To be clear, the Offspring never actually tried to steal any material or recordings from Guns N’ Roses – they merely considered stealing the long-awaited album’s title, just for laughs. "I think it got blown up a little more than we intended it to," singer Dexter Holland told Spinner.
While recording in 2003, the band was at a loss for an album title. "When the record’s coming together, you try to seriously think of a title for ten minutes and then everyone in the band jokes around for the next two hours with ideas like ‘Offspring Bloody Offspring,’" Holland says. "One day, somebody suggested ‘Chinese Democracy’ and we couldn’t stop laughing about it." At that point, the Guns N’ Roses album had been in the works for nearly a decade.
The idea grew into a longer title, "Chinese Democracy (You Snooze, You Lose)," when the band decided to put out a press release as a gag. "We got a lot more attention than we thought we would," Holland says. "I heard Axl [Rose] was looking into legal options but there aren’t any, since you can’t copyright an album title before it’s released." Eventually the band dropped the ruse and titled the album "Splinter."
As for the Axl’s finished product, Holland says he’s "honestly not that crazy about it."