You might feel like you’ve been hearing the name Axl Rose more than you would have guessed in 2018, and it’s no accident. The Guns N’ Roses frontman who was deemed the greatest singer of all time just a few years ago has been undergoing a mighty resurgence, and it’s made him and his band among the more popular names in music once more. This didn’t happen just because of a single reunion show or a greatest hits album, however – or for that matter even because of any new music. Rather, Rose just seems to be doing one unexpected thing after another to raise his profile.
First on that list of unexpected things was Rose (presumably) allowing Guns N’ Roses licensed material to be used in the creation of a 2016 online game. Designed as part of a series of rock games involving a few other bands, the Guns N’ Roses slot brought some of the group’s famous tunes back to the forefront of the internet, in a manner of speaking. That might be a touch dramatic, but these types of games – in this case featured at a very high-volume Irish slot arcade platform – reach a lot of players, and in some cases a lot of young players. In a way it’s about as effective an advertisement as a classic band can hope to create, and Rose and the rest of the Guns N’ Roses crew were shrewd to do it.
The next masterstroke in Rose’s return to prominence was getting together with legendary guitarist Slash not just for a reunion show, but for an entire tour that more or less came out of nowhere. Guns N’ Roses has been rocking shows across the Western world for the better part of two years now, bringing in boatloads of money, generating news at a near-daily rate, and establishing itself once more as one of the most high-powered rock bands on the planet. Plenty of groups scheme for reunion shows or tours, but not like this. What Guns N’ Roses has done of late is essentially unprecedented.
Toward the tail end of this mega-tour though, Axl Rose has been up to something perhaps even more unexpected: taking control of AC/DC. That’s a dramatic way to phrase it, but it’s probably the most appropriate way also given that Rose has become the new lead singer and now captains two of the biggest rock groups ever simultaneously. Rose has been doing shows with AC/DC (seemingly with an insatiable love for the stage even in his mid-50s), and now reports are indicating that the vocalist will record a new album with AC/DC. We wouldn’t say it’s fully confirmed just yet, but it certainly seems like it’s happening.
We’ll just put it this way: if you’d told us in 2015 that Guns N’ Roses would have its own video game, a record-breaking tour, and that Axl Rose would be recording fresh material with AC/DC, we’d have told you to get some sleep.