Axl Rose

George Chin/WireImage.com

Maybe it was the recent crackdown in Tibet that did it, but Guns N' Roses says it's finally talking about unleashing its version of Chinese Democracy.

Per a post on the band's official website, the "Welcome to the Jungle" purveyors are in "negotiations" to release their near-mythical, decade-in-the-works comeback album.

Axl Rose & Co. assure us things are "going well," even if they aren't setting any definitive drop date.

For those just waking from their coma, congratulations, and let us fill you in. Rose and his retooled Gunners have long seen Chinese Democracy as the follow-up to the 1993 cover album, The Spaghetti Incident. But, aside from a couple of leaked track, there has been little to show for years of studio time and reportedly more than $13 million in recording expenses so far.

It was last slated for release in March 2007, but the big debut was canceled due to "scheduling difficulties," Rose, the sole remaining original band member, said at the time. So far, no new release date has been set.

Trying to jumpstart the band, the suits at Dr Pepper last month offered to give everyone in America with a free soft drink if Democracy comes out anytime in 2008.

Everyone, that is, except former bandmembers Slash and Buckethead.

Now another former Gunner might miss out on a gratis beverage.

Guns N' Roses just announced that guitarist Robin Finck has left the lineup and returned to his original band, Nine Inch Nails.

"Robin's plans caught everyone in Guns, as well as our fans, a bit off-guard," reads a message on the band's site. "Neither we nor management, etc., know any more in this regard and we prefer not to speculate or offer opinions at this time."

The rockers say that as they begin to finalize upcoming touring plans, they'll address Finck's replacement. Until then, "Robin's touring with NIN and we're working with management on our game plans."

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