Maynard James Keenan’s Bandmate Details ‘Close’ Relationship With Axl Rose

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A Perfect Circle guitarist Billy Howerdel told Meltdown of the WRIF radio station what he contributed to Guns N’ Roses’ Chinese Democracy album. “I was… you’d call me ‘Pro Tools engineer,’ basically,” he said. “I came in, to start, making sounds for Robin Finck, who I knew from Nine Inch Nails. He called me and said, ‘I just got this offer to come down and play some guitar or get some sounds with Guns N’ Roses. They want interesting sounds. Can you help me program?’ And that kind of turned into this two-and-a-half-year gig with the band. And I became close with Axl [Rose, GN’R singer] and I felt connected and passionate about the project and wanted to see it through. But it was just… it was taking too much time for me, because I had a window of opportunity with A PERFECT CIRCLE that was just catching. And I kind of… I resigned in September of ’99 and then we just took off in APC world.”

Nearly a decade ago, Howerdel said in another interview that although he was initially brought in to program guitar sounds on Chinese Democracy, he “wound up hitting it off with Axl,” after which his job “kind of migrated into the computer guy. I don’t know what you would call me exactly,” he said. “I kind of was there all night with Axl as he would work. The band came in during the day with a producer and would work most of the day, and then I would come in ten o’clock at night, say goodbye to those guys, Axl would show up later on, and then we’d do our thing all night and then do it the next day.”

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