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1993.10.23 - Park City Daily News - "Mckagan Satisfied by Solo Work" (Duff)

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Post by Soulmonster on Tue May 06, 2014 8:27 pm

1993.10.23 - Park City Daily News - "Mckagan Satisfied by Solo Work" (Duff) Utenna11
1993.10.23 - Park City Daily News - "Mckagan Satisfied by Solo Work" (Duff) Utenna10

Transcript:

McKagan Satisfied By Solo Work

By EILEEN LOH

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) - You would think being in one of rock 'n' roll's most bankable bands would satisfy any musician.

But Duff McKagan, bassist for heavy-metal bad-boy quintet Guns N' Roses, says he began his solo efforts partly to escape the unexpected pressured of sudden fame.

At the recent premiere of his solo album, 'Believe in Me', the shaggy-haired blond emerged from the shadow of his notorious bandmates - singer Axl Rose and guitarist Slash - to make a name for himself, fronting four little-known musicians to demonstrate his prowess in thrash-punk rock.

Mckagan's band, Duff, drew an [?], sold-out crowd of about 2,000 at Manhattan's Webster Hall. The audience encompassed everyone from a 27-year old self-proclaimed pagan witch who called himself H (he said he once cleansed Axl Rose of a troublesome spirit by bringing divinities to a Madison Square Garden concert), to computer consultant Brian Dillon, 30, who decided to forgo sleep for the 1 a.m. show on a Monday night.

McKagan, straying somewhat from Guns N' Roses tight, blistering guitar-vocal arrangements and aiming instead for a hard punk feel, said he wanted his album, warts and all, to reflect bitter personal times and his cynicism of overnight superstardom.

Then, suddenly, everyone seemed to want a piece of him.

Before the 1987 release of Guns N' Roses chart-topping debut LP, 'Appetite for Destruction', "people wouldn't give me the time of the day," a soaked, makeup-smeared McKagan said after the performance, "Then all of a sudden they're like, "Hey, how ya doin', buddy?"

McKagan recorded the 13 tracks for 'Believe in Me' during Guns N' Roses 1991-93 'Use Your Illusion' world tour. "To keep my sanity I'd go into the studio turn off the lights, light candles and say, 'Roll tape'."

He chronicled his despondency in such tracks as 'Swamp Song' ("Keep your head clear, Don't believe what you hear, Just play what comes from your soul") and 'Trouble' ("The only age I know is the dark age, All the people I know put me in a cage").

McKagan said the album is, above all, highly personal. Although some of its ripping tirades and hard-edged ballads are highlighted by notable performances from Slash, Lenny Kravitz, Jeff Beck and Skid Row guitarist Snake, McKagan said he wanted to produce certain tracks entirely on his own.

"I couldn't ask Axl to sing what's in my heart and soul," he said. "I'm not a singer, for God's sake. It's a human record. People critisize me for playing all the instruments myself (on some songs); they say the musicianship ain't so great…

"That's not the point. I had to get these things out. When you hear my voice crack on the records, maybe its because I was crying," he said, embarrassed.

Although McKagan said that pleasing an audience wasn't a concern when he recorded the tracks, he admitted he was more nervous before the show than he'd ever been before any of Guns N' Roses sold-out stadium concerts. Backstage, Slash found himself reassuring Mckagan that the show was a success.

"I told you so, man," Slash said, clutching Mckagan's shoulder. "It sounded so tight".

"Really?"

"Yeah. Really."

McKagan said that while he has no desire to leave Guns N' Roses , he will continue to do his own thing.

"It's refreshing," he said.
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