Guns N’ Roses announce new four-track EP, Hard Skool

Axl Rose and Slash performing live with Guns N' Roses
(Image credit: ALEJANDRO MELENDEZ/AFP via Getty Images)

It’s been a busy few months for Guns N’ Roses. Despite being in the midst of a US tour with the Wolfgang Van Halen-fronted Mammoth WVH, the iconic rock band has still found time to release two new songs in as many months, Hard Skool and Absurd.

Now, it’s been announced that both of the tracks will feature on an all-new EP, titled Hard Skool, which will be the first time in 28 years that electric guitar titan Slash, Axl Rose and Duff McKagan have all joined forces for a studio effort.

The trio will be joined on the record by the current members of the GNR lineup, which is completed by Richard Fortus and Frank Ferrer, as well as keyboardists Dizzy Reed and Melissa Reese.

Due February 25 2022, the EP’s tracklist will contain the two already released ex-Chinese Democracy cuts, as well as live recordings of the band’s ‘91 power ballad Don’t Cry and Appetite For Destruction track You’re Crazy.

The last effort to feature all three members from GNR’s original lineup was 1993’s The Spaghetti Incident?, with Slash and McKagan permanently rejoining the fold back in 2016.

Since then, the band have embarked on various tours around the world, though hopes for new material were seemingly dashed after three years without a hint of any recording intentions.

That was until 2019, when McKagan came out and announced the reconciled Guns N’ Roses crew had begun preliminary work on a new album, telling Trunk Nation Radio (via NME), “There’s never been a direct schedule on how we do things. 

“I’ve heard some magnificent stuff that Axl has, really cool stuff he’s been working on. So I’m excited about the possibilities of that, of course.

“The album is real,” he continued. “But the fun part and the cool part about Guns N’ Roses is we don’t really talk about it. What happens next just happens.”

And, while Hard Skool isn’t the full-length album that McKagan and co hinted at two years ago, GNR fans finally have something to look forward to – even if they have already heard the two new tracks from the EP.

Nevertheless, it may yet be a sign of things to come, with Hard Skool potentially acting as a gateway towards even more records for the original cadre of GNR bandmates in the future.

As for now, the band are continuing to make their way through their hectic concert schedule, with only three dates in North Carolina and Florida remaining on the North American leg of the We’re F’N Back tour, after three Mexico dates were postponed.

During their recent show at Royal Farms Arena, Baltimore, on September 26, Guns N’ Roses reportedly performed Hard Skool live for the first time – footage of which can be found below.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.