Brian May says working with “recluse” Axl Rose on Chinese Democracy was an “odd” experience

May originally featured on the track Catcher In The Rye

Brian May of Queen was once set to feature on Guns N’ RosesChinese Democracy album, and has called his time working with Axl Rose in 1999 “odd” in a new interview.

In an interview with Classic Rock [per Guitar World], the iconic guitarist described his strange remote working relationship with Rose on the track Catcher In The Rye. “It was an odd experience. I think it was about midway through the whole thing. By that point Axl was pretty much a recluse,” May recalled.

“He was working in his house, and I was working in the studio at the bottom of the hill with his engineer at the time, and he only rarely came down. Now and again he would call in and get all enthusiastic and talk a lot, and then he’d be gone again. I don’t think any of what I played actually got onto the album.”

May received word that his contribution to the album was axed just before its long-awaited release in 2008. A fan wrote in to May’s website to notify him that his name was no longer credited on the track, to which May responded, “Well, it is a shame, perhaps … I did put quite a lot of work in, and was proud of it. But I could understand if Axl wants to have an album which reflects the work of the members of the band as it is, right now.”

May also revealed he had mixes of the track with his work still intact, but would not be releasing any of the material out of respect for Rose.

In other Queen news, Roger Taylor has opened up about the band’s difficulty with writing new music despite having recently announced a new singer in 2011, American Idol alumni Adam Lambert. “We started it in Nashville when we were all quite tired.” the drummer reflected. “We couldn’t decide on a title and the lyrics felt a little too negative for Queen, maybe.”

Taylor revealed that May had suddenly “lost interest” in the track, though he had no answer as to why the guitarist responded that way. The drummer later clarified that the stresses of touring and creative differences had led to the band’s difficulties.


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