In terms of the writing of the lyrics in the album, I'm pretty sure Axl has been continuously writing throughout his musical career. For example, I'm pretty sure This I Love was written during the Illusion sessions. Richard Fortus joined in 2002 and he stated that all the songs had been written by the time he joined. In terms of recording the music, that probably happened after 2000, when Axl had a full band together - Himself, Robin, Buckethead, Paul Tobias, Tommy, Dizzy, Brain/Freese and Pitman. Then later on after 2006, Frank and Bumblefoot added their contributions. So there are many places in time you can say the album started from. But in terms of actually recording it, it was probably 2000 onwards. Maybe even 1999, as there were a few very rough demos from that year.