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Axl, happy with Best Buy, less so with Interscope

By | Published on Friday 6 February 2009

While Bruce Springsteen says he kind of regrets doing an exclusivity deal with US supermarket giant Wal-Mart regarding the release of a recent hits package, Axl Rose says he has no regrets that he did a deal with US retailer Best Buy for the release of ‘Chinese Democracy’ last year, mainly because it ensured the album a certain amount of promotion without having too rely too much on the publicity teams at his record company, Universal’s Interscope.

Rose, it seems, is predictably bitter about the way the Universal division handled the release of his long awaited comeback album, possibly because of the reports – possibly initiated by Interscope – that the reason ‘Chinese Democracy’ didn’t score the level of US sales that some expected was because Axl refused to do any promotion and went AWOL around the album’s release.

But in an unusually lengthy interview with Billboard, Rose hits back, saying the decision to not do excessive media promotion was a strategic one, with the band preferring to promote the album initially through the exposure delivered by the Best Buy tie-up, and subsequently through relentless touring.

He told the trade magazine: “The opinions expressed or ‘jumped’ on publicly regarding promotion seem to be [about] my or our involvement with mainstream media – talk shows, rock magazines and dot-coms – which have generally held negative public stances toward myself or the band for years, [and they] unfortunately have not been resolved”.

“Efforts are being made to understand the relationships and evaluate how best to proceed. Our approach, for better or worse, has always been to work the record over the course of the following tour cycles, with attempts to forge new or better and hopefully redefined relationships with the different forms of media that may be interested along the way”.

He continued: “In regard to our promotion, it was based around certain agreements with Universal, Interscope, our management and legal [teams] that unfortunately never happened. I won’t get into specifics but am beginning to address some of those issues in my own way as opposed to ‘working together’, and we’ll see how that plays out”.

He proceeds to have a mini-rant about Interscope – in general and more specifically regarding their involvement in ‘Chinese Democracy’ – which you can read at the link below.

Though, for those Universal UK people out there who worked on the album, he seems to be OK with you guys, because after saying: “I’ve asked for information regarding their role in working the record but that hasn’t come yet so I’m not able to tell what Universal has or hasn’t done. Though whoever’s behind the international efforts, is doing great. It’s more than appreciated and a welcome relief”.

So there you go, well done you guys. Now back to the ranting – here’s the link.