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1992.07.29 - New York Daily News - What triggers Guns N’ Roses’ Duff McKagan (Duff)

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1992.07.29 - New York Daily News - What triggers Guns N’ Roses’ Duff McKagan (Duff) Empty 1992.07.29 - New York Daily News - What triggers Guns N’ Roses’ Duff McKagan (Duff)

Post by Blackstar on Sun Dec 16, 2018 9:04 am

1992.07.29 - New York Daily News - What triggers Guns N’ Roses’ Duff McKagan (Duff) EPua4DQF_o


What triggers Guns N’ Roses’ Duff McKagan

Daily News Staff Writer

WHEN GUNS N’ Roses bass player Duff McKagan walks offstage, sometimes he passes the sound system and a thought occurs to him.

“Man,” he thinks. “That’s really loud."

Good observation, and one fans can confirm tonight when Guns N’ Roses makes its final swing into the area with a 7 p.m. show at Giants Stadium also featuring Metallica and Faith No More. Tickets are available.

If you run into McKagan while they’re in town, here are a couple of tips. Do not ask when someone in the band is going to drop dead. And do not act as if McKagan, drummer Matt Sorum and guitarists Slash and Gilby Clarke are four guys hired to play behind Axl Rose.

“I have a T-shirt that says ‘No. I don’t know where Axl is,’ ” says McKagan. “I can’t tell you how often people say to me, ‘Hey, it’s you. ... Where’s Axl?’ After a while, you want to say, ‘Do I look like his f—ing mom?’ ”

Which does not mean the band members are mad at each other. “On our nights off, we still hang around together,” McKagan says. “We’ll call and say, ‘You wanna go to a strip club’ or a bar or whatever. It’s a lot more fun to tour with guys you get along with.”

Duff, Slash and Axl have been together since the mid-'80s, when the whole band shared a one-room apartment where they also rehearsed.

That was when they got good, and McKagan says they try to apply the same musical principles today.

“When I was 12 in Seattle,” he says, “I saw Led Zeppelin at the Kingdome and I said, 'I want to be up there someday.’ It’s a corny story that’s true. But even when we play stadiums, we’re still a bar band. We don't have a set list. Somebody calls out a song and we play it. Sometimes it’s brilliant and sometimes it sucks, which is part of rock ’n’ roll. To keep it alive, you gotta take chances.” And speaking of alive, that’s been the other part of the Guns story this tour: the idea that this band has picked up the mantle of Brian Jones, Keith Moon and John Bonham as the rockers most likely to kill themselves.

“It’s like people almost expect it,” says McKagan. “We read all the time one of us died, has AIDS or something.

“I’m not saying any of us are angels, but we’ve learned about self-survival. It’s an art. None of us take drugs now. A while ago Slash and I looked at lofts in New York — a place to stay, because we love New York — and we finally said, ‘Nah, we can’t do this. If we lived here, we’d be dead.’ “There’s such a big deal about these ‘bad kids.’ I mean, there are important things to write about in the world. Oil spills, whale killing. We’re not a big story. We’re a bunch of f—ed-up kids in a rock ’n’ roll band.”

And for all of it, says McKagan, they still like the music.

“We go to clubs all the time. At the Roxy in L.A.. Slash was playing and I was in the balcony and I was thinking, ‘This guy is great. And I’m in a band with him.’ ”

“Before we go onstage, we rock out — listen to Queen, Zeppelin, the Commitments, the Pistols. I love it all, Prince to punk.”

As for the future, the band finishes this tour in the U.S. in early fall and gets a two-month break before a final swing through the Far East After that, says McKagan, they may start on the next album.

“We have enough material now,” he says. “It’s more like ‘Appetite for Destruction’ than ‘Illusion’ — songs that are right in your face.”

Guns will also be a better studio act, he says. “Matt’s a great drummer, especially now that he’s been with us for two years. He’s a drummer you don’t have to pull along — he pushes you and makes you better. Nothing against [Guns ex-drummer] Steven [Adler], but Matt takes us up a level — and Gilby’s guitar is whipped cream on the cake.

“Whatever we do, it’s what we want. We fought hard to keep all the artistic control. Like, our videos might not make sense right away, because they’re all part of one long story and only part has unfolded so far. That’s just how we wanted to do it.”

Last train, leaving tonight.

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