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Axl Rose responds to album task

Axl Rose
Rose is prepared to share his drink with ex-guitarist Buckethead

Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose has responded to a US drinks company who challenged the band to release their eagerly anticipated album this year.

In a statement on the group's website, Rose said: "We are surprised and very happy to have the support of Dr Pepper with our album Chinese Democracy."

The fizzy drinks firm has pledged to give everyone in the US a free can if the band releases the record.

The release date for the forthcoming album has continually been pushed back.

'Instant classic'

It was most recently scheduled for release in March 2007, but vanished from the schedule without a new date being set.

Dr Pepper's Jaxie Alt said "Axl's quest for perfection" was understandable.

The company said in an "unprecedented show of solidarity with Axl, everyone in America, except estranged guitarists Slash and Buckethead" would receive a free can of the drink.

Rose said: "As some of Buckethead's performances are on our album, I'll share my Dr Pepper with him".

It will be the first album of new material for the group since the 1991 records Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II.

Rose has reportedly spent $13 million (6.47 million) getting Chinese Democracy ready.

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