Guns N’ Roses Release Trippy, AI-Generated Video for ‘The General’ + Here’s What Fans Are Saying
Guns N' Roses have released a new, AI-generated video for the song "The General," and fans seem to have very mixed feelings about it.
Guns started teasing the video on social media earlier this month, writing in the caption of a Reel, "Get ready for something F'N' special... 1.24.24." While some fans were hopeful that the teaser was hinting at some sort of announcement, many assumed that it was a video for "The General," as the song played over the clip.
The video was shared on the band's official YouTube channel earlier today (Jan. 24), and it features a mix of AI-generated animations and live footage of them performing the song in 2023. They teamed up with London-based creative director Dan Potter for the project, and the band came up with the dark concept — scenes of a young boy whose childhood is laced with monsters and other horrific imagery.
It essentially depicts how innocence can be tainted by our life experiences, and how we carry those experiences with us forever.
Fans, however, have shared their reactions online and seem split on how they feel about it. Some seemingly enjoyed the video, with fans praising its uniqueness and the band's willingness to experiment in the comments on YouTube.
"This is heavy, on so many levels... the despair reeks through the sound and video too. It took me a bit to get into it but I like it, in a kinda ambivalent way," one fan wrote, with another describing it as "amazing, somewhere between the best Pixar and The Twilight Zone."
Others are not so impressed, expressing their disdain over the fact that the band utilized AI technology for the video.
"Bit if a letdown [to be honest] and the AI stuff just makes it worse," someone said on X.
"This is absolute garbage. While as a concept it's great, the execution being done with AI is rubbish. I really hope that this flops hard enough for the management to never consider using AI in the music videos," another added.
See the video and other reactions below.
More About "The General"
The rockers released the song on Dec. 8 of 2023, just over a month after they performed it for the very first time in Los Angeles.
It's the second track they shared in 2023 after "Perhaps" came out in August, but their fanbase seemed to have a mixed bag of opinions about it, with many criticizing the band for releasing yet another outtake from the Chinese Democracy sessions. "Absurd" and "Hard Skool," both of which were released in 2021, were also outtakes from then.
However, many on the other side have praised the song for its subject matter, as the lyrics seem to point to the sexual and physical abuse that frontman Axl Rose has openly said that he endured when he was a child.
The song begins, "Daddy don't / I swear I won't / I'll be good from now on / And I'm awful sorry," and the visuals in the video now add an even more eerie element to the words.
In a 1992 interview with Rolling Stone, Rose opened up about his childhood, noting that he'd undergone regression therapy to uncover the traumatic memories he repressed when he was very young.
"I blacked out most of my childhood. I used to have severe nightmares when I was a child," the singer recalled. "And what I found out in therapy is, my mother and [Rose's biological father] weren’t getting along. And he kidnapped me, because someone wasn’t watching me. I remember a needle. I remember getting a shot. And I remember being sexually abused by this man and watching something horrible happen to my mother when she came to get me. I don’t know all the details. But I’ve had the physical reactions of that happening to me."
The vocalist's mother eventually remarried a man named Stephen Bailey, and the cycle of abuse continued.
"And this person basically tried to control me and discipline me because of the problems he’d had in his childhood. And then my mom had a daughter. And my stepfather molested her for about twenty years. And beat us. Beat me consistently. I thought these things were normal," he continued.
Guns N' Roses - 'The General' Video
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Gallery Credit: Lauryn Schaffner