If you haven’t tuned in to the Guns N’ Roses resurrection over the last two years or so, you’ve missed out on a rare and remarkable musical event. It’s not unusual for older classic groups to play reunion shows or even put out new music nowadays, but in the case of these hard rockers, it always seemed impossible.
Lead singer Axl Rose had once said “not in this lifetime” when asked if he and famous guitarist Slash would ever play together; Then Axl’s own words were used as the namesake of a mega-tour which started in the spring of 2016 and is still going today.
The band passed through Canada late last summer, playing shows from Montréal to Vancouver before moving back into the U.S. and then on to South America. Even those who haven’t been able to see the band in person have been able to participate, to some extent, in the revival. This is in part because of Guns N’ Roses’ own creative efforts, most notably via the customization of its own video game. The “Guns N’ Roses” slot by NetEnt sets up a themed slot reel accompanied by four of GNR’s finest moments (which basically means hit songs). The game came out just before the tour and, as such, has been considered part of the celebration of GNR’s comeback.
By extension, that’s put Slash – perhaps the most famous living guitarist – back in the news again. And somewhat surprisingly, Slash appears to be finding ways to make music outside of Guns N’ Roses even in the final leg of a worldwide tour. We’ve recently been treated to a clip of a new song featuring, of all people, Canadian-born vocalist Andrew Cole on a new project called #NoJoke.
#NoJoke is a documentary that follows Cole as he sets out to convince his musical idols to help him record a song in support of victims of bullying. Along the way, he’s joined by Slash and other celebrities like Jeff Goldblum, Patrick Stewart, Lemmy, Chad Smith, Jane Lynch and more, who share their talents and their sometimes painful experiences with bullying.
Through the journey, Cole realizes that the issue of bullying is far more complicated than a song can possibly address and far more personal than he ever imagined.
#NoJoke is written and directed by multiple Gemini Award recipient and Hot Docs winner Manfred Becker, and is executive-produced by Adam Leipzig, former president of National Geographic Films and SVP at Walt Disney Studios. Leipzig has been behind films such as “March Of The Penguins”, “The Way Back”, “Titus”, and most recently “A Plastic Ocean”. The film is produced by Peabody Award winner and three-time Canadian Screen Award nominee Jason Loftus, CEO of Lofty Sky Entertainment.
Cole may be best known for his 2012 EP Voices with Tom Cochrane and Alex Lifeson of RUSH, as well as for Glenn Morrison’s Colourblind, a remix of a song Cole wrote and recorded that will be released in its original format later this year. The Morrison remix reached the #11 position on the Billboard charts.
We don’t yet know the extent of the project, but the song (or what little we’ve heard of it) sounds very cool.
It’ll be fun to see where this is going. For more information and updates about #NOJOKE, visit www.nojokefilm.com or @thenojokefilm on Facebook or @nojokefilm on Instagram and Twitter.