We won’t find out “for sure” what “Destruction” is “Coming” our way until midnight of Friday (May 4). However a leaked unboxing video essentially confirms that Guns N’ Roses has been teasing a massive Appetite For Destruction box set. That’s surely disappointing news to the many fans who thought the cryptic countdown on www.GNR.fm somehow involved the classic Appetite For Destruction era of Guns N’ Roses properly reuniting.
As cool as the box set looks, a full reunion is the one thing many fans have been craving for most since GN’R first announced plans to reunite with Slash and Duff McKagan (sans Steven Adler and Izzy Stradlin). Though if that would ever come to fruition (which continues to seem very unlikely), it would likely be at the cost of something else fans have been at least curious about: new music from GN’R.
While we’ll find out soon enough for sure, it begs us to question: Do we really want a full-fledged/proper reunion or would we be more satisfied with a new album from the current incarnation of GN’R?
Zach Shaw: Fair warning, there’s a chance I might change my mind half way through writing this… because truth be told, I am really torn. Honestly, despite how much I love GN’R, I initially wasn’t too hot on the idea of shelling out major bucks for nosebleeds seats to see Axl Rose and Slash casually walk by each other on stage back in 2016. But then my friends encouraged me to go to the Met Life show… and I am SO glad they did. The show truly exceeded my expectations, and seeing the fabulous 3 (Axl, Slash and Duff) onstage playing songs I love so much was incredible.
I mention this because I’m experiencing a similar feeling to both scenarios. My initial thought on an Appetite For Destruction era reunion is “Eh?,” simply because it’s hard for me to imagine that Adler and Stradlin would really make GN’R that much better live. Same goes for the idea of a new album with the current lineup of GN’R; I just can’t imagine the addition of Slash and Duff in the studio with Axl will produce that much better of an album … BUT, just like how the initial reunion turned out to be really great, both scenarios could also exceed expectations. Maybe the band beats the odds and records an amazing comeback album, or maybe seeing Appetite For Destruction played by the core lineup turns out to be more powerful than anyone anticipated …
Alright, I’ve stalled long enough, if I had to pick, it would be … the Appetite For Destruction era reunion. I guess in the end of the day, nostalgia wins. And truth be told, a reunion show has a better chance of being a triumph than a new album. Even if GN’R does get their act together to record an album (a process that’ll likely involve Axl recording and writing separately from Slash and the entire band), it’s less likely that it’ll even come close to capturing the glory of Use Your Illusion I and II, let alone Appetite For Destruction.
Bram: Before I give an answer, I want to chime in on the reissue. Appetite for Destruction is one of the best albums of all time. No, not the best debut album. Best album. I can see collectors wanting to have this, but no Guns N’ Roses version of Appetite needs to be longer than 12 songs.
As far as whether I would have hypothetically preferred a classic-era reunion of GN’R vs. new music from them, I think I’d go with the reunion. We all know they can play that, and well, I guess I got burned by Chinese Democracy being as average as it was for the wait. Would it be cool to hear Duff, Slash, Axl and whoever make music in 2018 or 2019? Potentially, but even if it exceeds expectations, it’s not going to capture the lightning in a bottle that they did back in ’87, and it’d be hard to imagine it being anything more than a curiosity to be forgotten after it got dutifully played on their next tour.
Jeff Podoshen: New music? Hard pass. All of their best days are so far behind them. And have you heard what some of these members are working on now? Take Duff McKagan’s latest band Walking Papers. It’s not good. Not even a little. Think Matchbox 20 but maybe at half the originality. It’s like Matchbox 10. Can G’n’R put out something as mediocre as Chinese Democracy? I just don’t think so. G’n’R has an incredible legacy. Time to embrace that and time to give the fans what they want. Original lineup. No nonsense. No bullshit. And start on time. Most of us have kids and jobs now.
Zenae: I’m a bit disappointed with the GNR hype, as I was hoping it would be more than a box set/reissue. Not going to lie, the box set does look awesome and if I had money to spend, I would consider purchasing it. Now, to answer your question, I’m also torn. I’m not sure if anyone remembers but, I was at their show in Nashville, TN back in July, 2016. This was the show when someone, who happens to be a close friend of mine that is also a die hard GNR fan as well as her husband, she made the “Where’s Izzy” sign that led to security forcing her to remove it. As funny and entertaining as it was for me to see my dear friend make it on Blabbermouth etc.., what happened back then made me realize that a full-on reunion will most likely, never happen. When I initially saw the #DestructionIsComing teaser, I was honestly confused because I couldn’t get past what happened. Based on my friend’s experience, Axl did in fact, look pissed and I believe her 100% and wouldn’t want to see that hostility live on stage. Now to think about a reunited GNR making a new album, well, it looks like Slash featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators are about to release something new. What I mean by that is, I’m more focused on their other projects than listen to an overly forced new record.
Chip: Appetite is hands down one of the greatest rock records ever recorded. Period. I’m actually intrigued by the idea of it getting the box set treatment. However, Izzy Stradlin was quietly the backbone of the classic era, the rhythm guitar that moved mountains on that record. When the other three bring Izzy back to the fold I’ll start to give a crap about a reunion, new music, or anything else along those lines. Until then, as Dwight Schrute would say…Shun.