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Skwerl's Source


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This was written at MyGNR by downliner:

I researched this way too much back when the antiquiet leaks first occured, and documented some stuff as it appeared online, and digging around I found some interesting leads.

Short Version

Skwerl has a decade long working relationship with Billy Howerdel, Axls "computer guy" who worked on Chi Dem, and with Josh Freese (ex-GNR) - both left GNR to form A Perfect Circle.

Long Version w. Sources/Proof

Please understand that I'm not accusing anyone in particular of being the source of the leaks, simply proving that Skwerl has a long history with numerous people who were directly involved in the making of Chinese Democracy (which actually makes it impossible to pinpoint any one source). Unfortunately a lot of the original source links are dead now, maybe I should have posted this publically all those years ago instead of sitting on it, but some of them can still be seen using the archive.org Wayback Machine.

[The band] A Perfect Circle was born out of the "Chinese Democracy" sessions. Billy Howerdel and Josh Freese were cutting tracks for that record when they hooked and decided to do their own project.

A dirty little secret is that Geffen Records actually foot the bill for the recording of "Mer De Noms" because most of the tracks were cut in the same studio as "Chinese Democracy", even though they ultimately signed with Virgin Records for $3 million dollars.

- Source

So, "A Perfect Circle" was founded by Billy Howerdel in 1999, and directly prior to this he spent several years being Axls "computer guy" working in the studio at night (with Axl) on Chinese Democracy (source interview with Billy). Josh Freese, who was also recording/writing for GNR from 1997-1999 left GNR to join Billys new band - he was basically a founding member too (source interview with Josh).

In 1997 Robin Finck was hired as GN'R guitarist, and he quit in 1999 to join NIN on tour. Touring with NIN was, you guessed it, A Perfect Circle.

Kevin Skwerl and Johnny Firecloud (the owners of AntiQuiet.com website) ran a website about "A Perfect Circle" at aperfectcircle.net for ~7 years (see whois info here and archive.org here). They followed the band on tour across the country and were known by band members, tour staff, the label etc. Most of the links I had confirming this are now dead, though this photo of Skwerl with Billy still exists:-

Another source still active is Paul Hunters site, who directed a music video for APC and confirms Skwerl interviewed the band in 2000 (See the Sept 18th entry). Two entries from 2004 which are now dead were here (a fans blog entry confirming he'd met Skwerl backstage at an APC gig) and here (Skwerls personal site mentioned him and Johnny going on a roadtrip to follow APC on tour) - These links aren't on Wayback Machine so Im guessing lost forever.

In February 2008 the company Skwerl worked for as website designer interviewed Billy Howerdel (source).

The following month Johnny Firecloud interviewed Billy Howerdel for AntiQuiet.com - see Part 1 and Part 2 (in part 2 they talk about the work on Chinese Democracy).

June 6th 2008 - Johnny Firecloud hints at a Chinese Democracy leak on AntiQuiet (source). 12 days later, 18th June, AntiQuiet leaks the 9 tracks (source). 2 days later and Johnny says on MyGNR we got the songs from a pretty damned direct source, straight rip, and had them to ourselves only as long as it took to upload and post them for others to hear. - (source)

Skwerl confirms his history with the band in (yet another) interview with A Perfect Circle on AntiQuiet here in 2010.

You might think from reading this post that I'm accusing Billy of being the source but I'm genuinely not - from what I've read in interviews Billy has always shown a great appreciation for his time working with Axl. So has Josh Freese.

If Skwerl had close ties to APC, which I think I've proved with all of the sources above, it means the leaks could have come from anyone in that camp.

To further muddy the waters APC had those close ties to Nine Inch Nails - themselves featuring two of the GN'R alumni - Josh Freese and Robin Finck (who had just bailed on GN'R). Chris Vrenna, NIN live drummer up until 1997 also joined GN'R in the studio for a few months in 1997. For all we know it could have been Trent who leaked the tracks online - for years he was very vocal about his unhappiness with Universal and told fans to illegally download and share NIN music so the label wouldn't make money. Maybe this was just another "fuck you" to his former label, leaking one of the most mythical albums of all time. It was curious to see NIN were also featured on the homepage of AntiQuiet just days after the 9 song leak - a kickass video of Trent, Robin et al rehearsing for their upcoming live gigs.

Johnny Firecloud denied that anyone from the NIN camp were involved in the leak - but then he's not likely to admit it if there's any truth to the suggestion.

It could be anyone from either the APC or NIN camp, or it could have been Azoff like the original post suggested, or it could easily just have been some nobody who worked at Universal (and they just happened to choose AntiQuiet to leak it). Skwerl was a Universal employee himself at some point in time working in Universal's NetReach online promotions division so he would have plenty of contacts there too.

---- Edited to Add More Proof ----

The original article has been removed from AntiQuiet.com but its up on the Wayback Machine (and all backed up on my HD now too) ....

http://web.archive.o...t-is-antiquiet/

Skwerl: I guess that I’m most well known (on the internet) for being the guy that started aperfectcircle.net. Literally, it was just a fansite for the band A Perfect Circle. But to many that were involved with it, from visitors up to contacts at record labels, it was a little bit more than that. We had a reputation for digging a little deeper than your usual artists-ass-kissing fanboys, and we weren’t afraid to piss off the record labels or even the band by giving the fans what they wanted, when they wanted it.

As much fun as I was having with all of it, the band broke up right around the time I went broke, and I had no choice but to move on. So I took a job at Universal Music & Video Distribution, where I made a ton of great contacts, but then left to tour with a shitty punk band that noone cares about. Which I don’t regret.

That again confirms that Skwerls work on his APC site attracted the attention of the band, and that he worked for Universal - something I claimed earlier but only had a dead link for.

Also, if you look at the comments on that archived article Skwerl links to the very first article posted on AntiQuiet - posted only 3 months prior to them leaking Chinese Democracy. AntiQuiet wasn't an established source of news, they would have had a minimal amount of visitors to their site if they'd only been open 12 weeks, so why would anyone choose them to leak Chi Dem?

All just another funny side to the GNR story that we'll probably never be given the true answer to.

Interesting.

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Skwerl post on Mygnr today.

i'm just going to copy and paste my own words from some email threads... with some notes added here and there. you guys have a lot of wacky speculation going on here. the statute of limitations has run out on a civil suit, so i'll tell more of the story soon.

i get asked about this idea of an azoff conspiracy a lot. i have no evidence supporting it. but regardless of the factors that led me to acquire it, the leak was definitely used to the label's advantage, and directly enabled them to finally release it.

i believe delays would have continued without some sort of event.. be it a leak, or axl getting hit by a donut truck, or something that put axl / old guns into the public consciousness. they wanted to do a deal like best buy where they could just dump it for one lump sum because they didn't believe it would sell. for that to happen, best buy needed to believe people cared. the label used the hype about the leaks to close that deal. we have evidence of all of this from our investigation, and had we gone to trial, it would have been a big part of our case.

yes, people have drawn lines through billy/apc and nin connections. but you can't throw a rock in hollywood without hitting someone who worked on chinese democracy. i know people closer to it than billy. it's a small world.

my leaks didn't come from any of the apc or nin guys, or anyone i met at universal.

yeah, antiquiet wasn't "established" in june of 2008, but it was older than this thread says it was. we published an exclusive bombshell interview with josh homme in 2007, where he put interscope on blast and pissed off half the industry. we never waited for anyone to give us a story, we went out and took it. take that however you'd like.

re: "...When eventually allowed time to think, ‘Skwerl’ was able to pinpoint the origins of the Antiquiet leaks. With the context of Axl’s very public fall-out with Mr. Azoff as support, does anybody else suspect that Kevin Cogill came to the same apparently ‘bat shit crazy’ conclusion as Axl Rose?"

haha... message board kids have a lot of free time and very active imaginations.

when the fbi first asked me, i had a story, but i didn't know if it was true. and i wasn't about to give the fbi information i wasn't sure of. nor was i going to give them any names of anyone at all before speaking with a lawyer. by the time the case was over, we had investigated everything and confirmed what we needed to. and we confirmed that the original story was true. so i wasn't sure at first, but now i am.

not that someone just handed it to me in a back alley, i was going after it. but i had no idea if i'd been lied to along the way or not.

a lot of people have asked me about the azoff conspiracy theory. i haven't seen any evidence of it, and we went really deep. i'm afraid to say what is more likely, because then you guys will go crazy on that. but if there was someone behind some conspiracy, i wouldn't bet on azoff.

and it wouldn't need to be a conspiracy anyway, what you're talking about is just how labels work.

also, fernando's a bitch. and as i told syndicate, he had nothing to do with anything i ever got.

also there are about 10 new tracks out there.

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a lot of people have asked me about the azoff conspiracy theory. i haven't seen any evidence of it, and we went really deep. i'm afraid to say what is more likely, because then you guys will go crazy on that. but if there was someone behind some conspiracy, i wouldn't bet on azoff.

Touch of MSL to this little passage.

Otherwise translated as "please continue to ask me stuff".

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a lot of people have asked me about the azoff conspiracy theory. i haven't seen any evidence of it, and we went really deep. i'm afraid to say what is more likely, because then you guys will go crazy on that. but if there was someone behind some conspiracy, i wouldn't bet on azoff.

Touch of MSL to this little passage.

Otherwise translated as "please continue to ask me stuff".

Exactly.

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  • 7 years later...

I bet that the Antiquiet Leaks had it sources from the 2004 double album that Axl has played in a club in early 2006. Each album contains 10 tracks.

 

_____________

 

We already have 12 of those 20 tracks.

 

 1 - Better (leaked in 2008)

 2 - Chinese Democracy (leaked in 2008)

 3 - I. R. S. (leaked in 2008)

 4 - Madagascar (leaked in 2008)

 5 - Riad N' The Bedouins (leaked in 2008 under the name New Song #1)

 6 - Prostitute (leaked in 2008 under the name New Song #2)

 7 - If The World (leaked in 2008 under the name New Song #3)

 8 - Street Of Dreams (leaked in 2008 under the name The Blues)

 9 - There Was A Time (leaked in 2008)

10 - Oh My God (leaked in 2018, obtainable w/o BBF overdubs in an edited form)

11 - Silkworms (leaked in 2018, obtainable w/o BBF overdubs in an edited form)

12 - Going Down (leaked in 2013, obtainable w/o BBF overdubs in an edited form)

 

Not leaked yet from the 2006 double 10-track album:

 

13 - Sorry

14 - Catcher In The Rye

15 - This I Love

16 - Lies They Tell

17 - Atlas Shrugged

18 - The General

19 - Soul Monster

20 - Seven

 

All 20 tracks not in order.

 

____________

 

"Thyme" was an outtake in late 2002. Orchestrated by Beltrami.

 

"Shackler's Revenge" without vocals until 2007.

 

"Berlin" was called "Oklahoma".

 

"Cuban Skies" was a song about cigars.

 

"Tonto" was a song about the Lone Ranger partner. 

 

 

"Hard School", "Perhaps", "Rebel", "The Sharpening", "Blue Volcano", "Down By The Ocean", "Nothing", "Eye On You", "Firecracker", "Moustache", "State Of Grace", "El Hermano", "Dragon", "Quick Song" and "Zodiac" were outtakes by 2004.

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On 4/22/2020 at 2:01 AM, Whiplash said:

lol manets, you were exposed as a fake and a fraud long ago. good to see you not acting like an insider these days.

This is acting as an insider for you? Would an insider need to post sources? And who the fuck are you, to dig a oldass topics, hiding behind a noob account?

 

This right here is investigative journalism, idiot.

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