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1996.11.DD - Off The Cuff With Neurotic Duff!

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1996.11.DD - Off The Cuff With Neurotic Duff!

Post by Blackstar on Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:13 am

Off The Cuff With Neurotic Duff!!

Metal Edge
November, 1996
by Paul Gargano


Guns N' Roses, Duran Duran and the Sex Pistols are three of the last bands anyone would expect to hear mentioned in the same breath, let alone walk into a club and find members of each jamming together. But crazier things have happened, and now Neurotic Outsiders--Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan and drummer Matt Sorum, Sex Pistols frontman Steve Jones, and Duran Duran bassist John Taylor--are out to prove that there is room in the music industry for four guys with day jobs.

Things may be a little hectic, with the Sex Pistols on tour and Guns N' Roses and Duran Duran currently writing material for upcoming albums, but in a recent interview from his Los Angeles home, Neurotic guitarist (yes, he plays six-string in this) and part-time vocalist Duff McKagan made it clear that the Outsiders are looking to score an inside track with their self-titled debut on Maverick Records. "It's all pretty tight, we're doing what we can, when we can," he said about trying to coordinate schedules around the writing, recording, and touring of four bands, not just one. "I love the [Neurotic Outsiders] record. To me, this is like a band that I wanted to be in when I was 18. We're very proud of what we've done, and it's a cool thing. We're all from successful bands, and this is like a glimmer in each one of our eyes, it's fun and not causing anybody any harm."

More often than not, all-star collaborations in the music industry don't live up to their expectations, showing great promise but invariably achieving little more than mediocrity. That's where Neurotic Outsiders are one up on the competition. There were on expectations when the band was assembled by Matt Sorum. When the drummer was asked to take part in a benefit at Los Angeles' Viper Room, he looked no further than his circle of friends, enlisting the aid of his GN'R bandmate and friends Jones and Taylor. "It just kind of fell together," Duff said of the project. "When we got onstage to do the first gig and did a soundcheck, we were like, 'Wow!' As a musician, you really do know when the chemistry is right--because it doesn't happen that often."

The music is as volatile as its line-up suggests, swirling a grainy, rough-around-the-edges punk mentality around Taylor's Brit-pop practicality and an aggressive front reminiscent of Guns N' Roses in all their gritty pomp and punchy splendor. Vocally, the Outsiders' shine their brightest with Taylor at the helm, most notably during the tender asylum of "Better Way" and the jealous stupor of the Clash's "Janie Jones." McKagan isn't far from the mark of his 1993 solo release, blasting out throught the vocals on Jones' "Good News" and "Revolution," and contributing a song of his own to the effort, "Six Feet Under." The track was unavailable on an advance cassette, because the band's label requested that he "clean up some lyrics" before the final pressing of the album. "They were cool about it, I just changed a few words," McKagan said, adding that his "Seattle Head" will be the b-side to the band's first single, "Jerk."

While things are looking good for Neurotic Outsiders, who are predominantly playing material originally written for Steve Jones and John Taylor solo albums, McKagan is equally as optimistic about the immediate future of Guns N' Roses. "It's fun and the energy is there," he said only hours before joining Axl Rose, Slash, Matt Sorum and rhythm guitarist Paul Huge at a GN'R rehearsal and writing session. "It's awesome now, everything's killer, so I guess things like the time off do happen for a reason. I would hope, at the latest, Guns can have an album out by spring."

Though the exact dates hadn't been confirmed at press time, Neurotic Outsiders are planning a "three week world tour" in September that will hit North America and Europe. The tentative American stops are San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Dallas, Chicago, Detroit, Toronto, New York City, Washington D.C. and Boston.
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