GUNS N' ROSES frontman Axl Rose gave up songwriting for several years because cruel comments from former bandmates Slash and Duff Mckagan made him feel inadequate.

The Paradise City hitmaker took almost 14 years to complete the Chinese Democracy album, and Rose confesses the delay followed a period when he began doubting his skills thanks to criticism from his ex-bandmates and ex-fiancee Stephanie Seymour.

He tells USA Today, "They did damage to my ability as a writer. To those three it was all c**p. It beat me down so much. At the time of the (Use Your Illusion) tours, Slash and Duff said: 'You're an idiot, you're a loser.' I didn't write for years."

And due to his inner turmoil Rose admits he struggled to find the right words to explain his feelings in songs.

He adds, "I was trying to figure out what I wanted to say - when it's right to be venting, and when you're digging a bigger hole."