Axl Rose Finally Reveals Why He Kept Guns N’ Roses Name Without Slash


Former Nine Inch Nails drummer Chris Vrenna discussed playing with Guns N’ Roses in the earliest Chinese Democracy days in a new AL interview. Vrenna also shared a paraphrase quote from Axl Rose explaining why he kept the Guns N’ Roses name after Slash’s 1996 departure.

“[The early Chinese Democracy material] was a little all over the place. And Paul (Huge) made it change a little bit. By that time everything was so fractured, and everybody had an opinion of what the band should do. After Duff [McKagan] left, that really bummed me out. Because Duff was a good hang and he was the last thread to the first record.

After he left I even had a talk with Axl one time like, ‘You know, you’re changing the sound of the band and it’s really just you and we’re all new dudes and we all come from cool places. But have you ever thought of just saying, f— Guns N Roses. That name is dead. The band is over. We are now called blank.’

And he goes, ‘Yeah you’re not the first person who’s told me I should probably do that. But Guns N’ Roses is an international brand name, and to start over when I can just use the brand name that everybody knows, I can’t sacrifice the branding that’s already been established.’

And I got his argument for not changing the name. But I also firmly believed in what I was saying. If Axl Rose came out and said, ‘Look, man. Everybody’s quit the band. If I call this Guns N’ Roses you guys are going to laugh at me,’ which a lot of people did. Because it’s not what we know as Guns N Roses, so call it something new. You’re Axl Rose, it will be big and people will know that new logo and that new name and that new whatever.”