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Welcome to Appetite for Discussion -- a Guns N' Roses fan forum!

Please feel free to look around the forum as a guest, I hope you will find something of interest. If you want to join the discussions or contribute in other ways then you need to become a member. We especially welcome anyone who wants to share documents for our archive or would be interested in translating or transcribing articles and interviews.

Registering is free and easy.


1993.09.22 - Much Music Power 30 - Interview with Duff

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1993.09.22 - Much Music Power 30 - Interview with Duff  Empty 1993.09.22 - Much Music Power 30 - Interview with Duff

Post by Blackstar Sat Dec 01, 2018 12:34 am


Interviewer: Hey, everybody. It’s the Power 30, coming out to you live from... Let’s see, how is everybody doing? As you can see, we’ve got a huge crowd here, and this is for Duff McKagan, bassist for Guns N’ Roses and now also solo artist. How are you doing, Duff?

Duff: How’re you doing.

Interviewer: It’s really nice to see you.

Duff: Me too.

Interviewer: And, as you can see, a few (?) out here.

Duff: I know. Bizarre.

Interviewer: You didn’t expect it?

Duff: Well, I had no idea. I thought there was some, like, convention or something going on (laughs).

Interviewer: (Laughs) Well, you’re here because you’ve got a new album out, called “Believe In Me.” And your band is called “Duff”.

Duff: Yeah. Original name, yeah?

Interviewer: Yeah. So why did you do this? Why did you decide to go solo for this album? I mean, you haven’t left GN’R, obviously; this is a side project.

Duff: Well, it’s really something that I’ve always wanted to do, since I was, like 15 years old, Prince’s first record that he did, and I went, “Wow!” You know, I always played drums, I always played bass, guitar and sang songs. And I went, “Wow, this guy did it. I can do it.” Then I went through a period of my life, after we did the Appetite for Destruction tour for two years. We had no money and nothing, and I got back and they handed me a credit card, a gold card - I didn’t even know how to use a credit card - to buy a house. So I bought this big house, and bought furniture and got all of that loaded in; and the door closed, and here I was, going, “Okay, now what?” So I started going out in the clubs in Hollywood, and all of a sudden people liked me, people that wouldn’t give me the time of day before. And I was like, “Wow, maybe I should have more confidence” or something. You know, I’m not naive, but I guess I was to that. And so, after about two or three months of finally realizing that they just kinda liked me for being in the band, or maybe I had a couple of bucks in my pocket or something, I went back up to my big house, and shut the door, and realized, “Okay, Duff, you’ve got yourself. That’s about it, for now.” It was a positive thing, you know. So I went off to my loft, and songs just poured out, and that’s what is on here.

Interviewer: So you’ve been writing this and recording this on the road, while you were touring on the Use Your Illusion tour?

[People in the crowd outside the studio are screaming]

Duff: (inaudible)

Interviewer: Wow. That must have been kind of hard. How did you do that?

Duff: It was a therapy. I’d get my feet on the ground. I’m playing to people - 50,000 to 140,000 people a night. And that gets very surrealistic, you know? So I’d take solace in the studio, and just turn off all the lights and light candles, and there it was.

Interviewer: You have some really amazing people working with you on the album. I mean, that is one of the, let’s say, positive sides of being famous is that you get to meet all these creative people and then, of course, you sort of connect on the musical level; people like Jeff Beck, Lenny Kravitz, Skid Row, your other GN’R bandmates and – who else played on the album?

Duff: That’s just about it.

Interviewer: That’s it?

Duff: It started –

Interviewer: So nobody else. I can’t really remember but I thought I read – I mean, you wrote everything and you played most of the instruments in it as well.

Duff: Well, this all started – yeah, I played all the drum tracks, and bass tracks, and guitar tracks, and sang. Yeah, like, Jeff Beck, he heard me playing at my hotel room, and I had all the basics. And knocks on the door and he comes in and he says, “What’s this?” I told him what I was doing, and he goes, “Man, can I play on it?” And I’m like, “Oh, when?” – you don’t say no to Jeff Beck, you know? And Lenny, he’s such a good friend of mine, and he used to come and play at the house, and he really liked this song, “The Majority;” and I got it down and recorded it in the studio, in A&M, a studio in L.A., and I called him and said, “Dude, I recorded at a real studio. Do you wanna sing it?” He was there in five minutes singing it, and that was that.

Interviewer: Okay, well, listen – oh wow, things are going really crazy out there [outside the studio]. I think we should see a video...

Duff: I think they get the CD. I don’t even have one.

Interviewer: We’ll open the lines and take a few calls from outside, and also take calls from you people. Please dial 1-800-265-6824 or fax us at 1-416-591-6824, which is “MUCH”. Okay? So let’s play the latest GN’R video, and then we’ll come back and talk about new music. This is GN’R with “The Garden,” and we’ll be back with Duff McKagan on the Power 30.


Interviewer: Back with Duff McKagan of Guns N’ Roses, now also solo artist, here on the Power 30. Well, Duff, we’re gonna take a phone call from Carl in Vancouver. Are you there, Carl?

Carl: Yeah.

Interviewer: Alright, Carl, go ahead. What would you like to ask Duff?

Carl: Duff, what are some of the names of the bands that you were in when you were still in Seattle?

Duff: You know, you’re from Vancouver, man. The Fastbacks – we played Vancouver all the time.

Carl: Well, I’m from Victoria, so...

Duff: Oh, Victoria. So you know – I can’t name this.

Interviewer: It’s close.

Duff: I know, yeah. Ten Minute Warning - I can’t say a lot of names on some family program – The Fartz...

Interviewer: The Fartz. Wow. We have, actually, a picture of The Fastbacks. We have a picture of you in The Fastbacks. Can we bring that up? It’s a little surprise. [the picture is displayed on screen]

Interviewer: There you go. The Fastbacks!

Duff: I was a drummer, yeah. I was 15 years old.

Interviewer: Duff at 15! That’s pretty funny (laughs).

Duff: (Laughs) Why did you do that?

Interviewer: That’s great! You grew up in a real Irish neighborhood, I think, didn’t you?

Duff: Yeah, yeah.

Interviewer: And your name is Michael, but everybody just calls you Duff?

Duff: Well, yeah, it was my nickname from when I was born. Because, you know, my mom would yell “Michael,” any mom would yell “Michael” out of the front door, and you’d see twenty kids come running.

Interviewer: Right.

Duff: And “Duff” is a very common Irish nickname.

Interviewer: Okay, we have a fax here from [mentions a name] in Regina. And [mentions the name] says, “Duff, I think it’s great that you’re doing a solo project. I was wondering if you think this solo project will cause any conflict with the rest of the members of GNR; and also, if GN’R or you, by yourself, are going to do any concerts in western Canada.” Do you think there will be any conflict with the band?

Duff: Well, no. I mean, the guys in the band, they’d come in and check it out, and say, “Wow, can I play on this?” And I talked to Axl last night, and – they are the biggest fans of the record, they’re all gonna fly out and join me on tour; “Can I come out and hang with you?” you know. And they respect what I did and the reasons why I did this. GN’R is my band, you know. This is something I had to do. It’s nothing like, “Oh, see what I can do.” It’s nothing like that.

Interviewer: Well, you’re going on tour with the Scorpions.

Duff: Yeah.

Interviewer: That’s great!

Duff: Yeah.

Interviewer: When are you gonna start?

Duff: October 1st, in Hamburg.

Interviewer: Where is that gonna start?

Duff: Hamburg, Germany.

Interviewer: Okay. So are we gonna see you in Canada?

Duff: Yeah. After that, I’m gonna do Canada and the States.

Interviewer: Okay.

Duff: So yeah, absolutely.

Interviewer: We’re gonna go outside now and take a call from somebody out there, I’m not sure...

[People in the crowd outside the studio are screaming]

Interviewer: Whoa! One question guys, one question.

Duff: They can’t hear you.

Interviewer: Somebody has to sort of get their act together and say something.

Duff: Hey (?).

Interviewer: Come on, guys. Quiet down for a moment. Quiet. Now, somebody speak up and ask Duff a question.

[Crowd still screaming]

Interviewer: (Laughs) Oh...

Duff (to the crowd): You wanna see my what?

Interviewer: (Laughs) This is not gonna work. We’re gonna take a call, from Lisa. Where are you, Lisa?

Lisa: Hello?

Interviewer: Hi Lisa. Do you have a question for Duff?

Lisa: What his songs are about.

Interviewer: What are your songs about, Duff?

Duff: Just a very personal – just a time of my life of just sort of self-realization I guess, you know? And it’s made me a very stronger man, the point I went through, and I’m a very happy person now. And this is what kind of helped me get through (?).

Interviewer: You’ve always sort of been considered the punkier member of Guns N’ Roses, and a lot of people were expecting this to be a real sort of punk album. I mean, although I think that at some points it sounds a little bit like Lords Of The New Church, like it’s reminiscent of that feel, but you even have a string orchestra on a song, and you’ve got something a bit bluesier, and something that is straight rock.

Duff: Okay, well, to answer the first question: people expect it to be a punk rock record, because I played in punk rock bands. Do you want me to go back, regress? Or do you want me to take what I learned and apply it here? And, yeah, it’s a roller coaster of different sounds. Emotions aren’t always the same, you know, and the album completely reflects it. And, sometimes, you feel like a string orchestra up here [in your head], you know? Sometimes you feel like a sledgehammer up here. And that’s all it is.

Interviewer: Okay. We’ll talk more about how you got all those sounds on the album, but now we’re gonna see a video you really wanted to check out, which was White Zombie, Thunder Kiss 65? It seems to be a favorite here on the show with all the musicians we have on. We’ll be right back with Duff McKagan on the Power 30.


Interviewer: Here we are, in the Power 30, live at the corner of Queen and John, with Duff McKagan. Now, Duff, one thing that’s great about the album here - your new solo album - is that you have a few paragraphs before each song that explain the situation that the song was written in. It’s sort of the color of the rose.

Duff: Yeah.

Interviewer: And I guess that says a lot about your life, too.

Duff: Well, I didn’t, really – I didn’t want this to become like a product, you know? They always do it, it’s like fodder to the masses. It just adds a personal touch, what I was feeling and going through, and how it was important, and I think people might, you know, kind of get it.

Interviewer: It’s a good insight into your life - and to your music, of course. You know, we’re running out of time here, so we just wanted to say – do you guys wanna say goodbye?

[Screaming from the crowd]

Interviewer: And we’ll be expecting you, very shortly, here in Canada with your band.

Duff: Yeah.

Interviewer: A new band, and your guys – I think they’re people you knew well already, and maybe some unexpected surprises on stage, too, once in a while.

Duff: Yeah. Mmm-mmm.

Interviewer: Okay. Well, thank you very much for dropping by.

Duff: Thank you. Take care.

Interviewer: And good luck with everything, Duff. We’re gonna see – we’re gonna leave with Iggy Pop, “Home,” because you’re in the video.

Duff: Yeah. And Slash and I played on four songs on the record. Iggy’s, like, my – if there’s a rock idol, Iggy is it.

Interviewer: Iggy is it?

Duff: Yeah.

Interviewer: Okay, well, this is “Home,” Iggy Pop. Stay tuned for Wedge, Blind Melon are gonna play. That’s it for now. See you guys later.

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