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2003.06.27 - Riki Rachtman's Triple R (97.1 Talk Radio Los Angeles) - Interview with Duff and Matt

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2003.06.27 - Riki Rachtman's Triple R (97.1 Talk Radio Los Angeles) - Interview with Duff and Matt Empty 2003.06.27 - Riki Rachtman's Triple R (97.1 Talk Radio Los Angeles) - Interview with Duff and Matt

Post by Blackstar on Thu Jun 04, 2020 2:14 pm

June 27, 2003: Triple R - Riki Rachtman interviews Duff and Matt

Riki Rachtman: This is 97.1 your FM talk station, I’m Riki Rachtman this is the triple R

Our guests this evening are Matt Sorum, Duff McKagan, formerly of a band, wait… a… yeah, yeah I can say that, formerly of the band Guns and Roses now of a… is it definitely a band because were hearing so much stuff, is Velvet Revolver a band?

Duff: Yeah… this is Duff talking…. I take offense to the comments you made earlier

Riki Rachtman: Oh now your gonna say it on the air?

Duff: That you thought we were gonna suck (laughter in background)

Riki Rachtman: That part is true

Duff: Then why?

Riki Rachtman: This is why, you know I hate saying this because when I say this I’m going to sort of sound like a kiss ass or I’m going to sound like one of those DJs, and DJs love to talk about all of these stories of the past but without a doubt, if I look at everything, and I have said this in a million interviews, everything that I think that I’ve achieved in my life, and I don’t want to put the blame on you guys, but I would say that Guns and Roses helped me more than anything in the world, and I feel that I kind of grew up in the whole scene, the 80’s to the 90’s I spent with you guys

Duff: You were there yeah

Riki Rachtman: I have some of he best memories and some of the… the very few memories that I can actually remember is with you guys

Duff: Yeah

Riki Rachtman: Is with you guys

Duff: No doubt

Riki Rachtman: When Guns and Roses did all the crazy stuff and then with Axl who I have to start off by saying, cause Axl was the one that… people don’t know the story… took me to New York, got me my MTV gig… helped me get it

Duff: Yeah

Riki Rachtman: He set up a lot of the auditions, Axl was very very helpful for a lot of my career, when he came out with his stuff that was called Guns and Roses, I was bummed out because from the “From the End of Day” Soundtrack I was like, oh damn you know what is this is gonna… and I was just bummed, and the when Guns and Roses in the other formation had played the MTV Awards I was… I felt let down because I didn’t have that contact with the band anymore and I feel a lot of people felt completely removed from Guns and Roses partially because I hate to say it, I felt that Axl was removed from earth and I don’t see that in a mean way because I want nothing but the best

Matt: So don’t blame us for that, ha ha

Riki Rachtman: So… hold on a second hold on a second, so then when this comes around… I’m hearing all this, Oh Velvet Revolver… their gonna have this singer, their gonna have that singer, their gonna have this singer, Ohhh their gonna do something with Weiland from Stone Temple Pilots, I’ve heard everything, I’ve heard from Sabastian Bach… to which I heard that a lot and said it’s gonna be… that could be interesting, then when Weiland from Stone Temple Pilots… and I’m like… I don’t know how this whole thing is gonna sound, its gonna sound like this… I could be blowin smoke up your ass but I’m telling the truth… then when I heard the song I’m telling you straight out that song is… from the guitar… from the very starting of the guitar to the very end of Weiland singing, the song… it’s just better than I had expected and I talked to everybody that went to the show and they said that is was great and I’m one of those guys who… its like… there’s no replacing the old, you know, I love Guns and Roses, that was… my whole life was Guns and Roses, so I was like its not gonna work and I’m coming clean saying the song does work, were gonna play the song if any of you haven’t heard it its from The Hulk Soundtrack, the song is awesome, so did I explain myself or are you insulted?

Duff: You got yourself out of that one

Riki Rachtman: I could be like the radio guy right now and I could say, oh I always… uh… the new one from the Guns, Oh this is gonna be great... I didn’t think it was gonna be, I’ve said very good things about “Loaded”

Duff: Yeah Yeah your right your right

Riki Rachtman: Course… but nobody heard me, now we are done with the Riki Show, Hi guys welcome to the show

Matt: Hello

Duff: Hey umm yeah you know I mean as far as like the comparisons of… obviously they’re gonna be there, were gonna face them and a lot of that in the next year so of doing… press… of comparing to the old Guns and Roses and to some extent Stone Temple Pilots. You know really if you look at it a long time has gone buy and I mean you know like my life… I went and did whole other things, I got sober, I started martial arts, I went to Seattle University, you know… I got a finance degree

Riki Rachtman: Were going to breeze over this part right now but we are going to talk about it later, because the whole thing with you guys is amazing and very respectable

Duff: But we’ve all… and then Matt and I went into “Neurotic Outsiders” which was a whole different thing with you know, my idol Steve Jones and we played on Modern Rock you know… like John Taylor and I went out and did a radio tour, we’d go to the classic rock or active rock station and the modern rock station in the same town which was new for me. So over this time I mean how long ago had I’d left… in 96ish or whatever a lots gone on and this is a whole new thing a whole new mind frame, there’s great familiarity with Matt, Slash and I, that chemistry is there but we’ve created a new… a whole new entity, we don’t even really think… I mean seriously we don’t think about oh this is going to sound like something from that, it’s just like Matt has become a strong songwriter in Velvet Revolver the riff from Set Me Free, its Matt’s

Riki Rachtman: I love the riff, it’s a good riff, from the very start it sounds awesome

Riki Rachtman: Let me ask you this question if it would have came up and I don’t want to keep on dwelling on this because it might be to you like talking about an ex-girlfriend

Duff: It’s not

Riki Rachtman: If somebody offered… if the opportunity would have said… hey you guys want the name Guns and Roses you can have it would you have taken it?

Matt: No

Duff: No

Matt: This isn’t Guns and Roses, you know I mean this is a different band the three of us Slash, Duff and myself are together but…

Riki Rachtman: So Slash is in Velvet Revolver?

Matt: Oh yeah

Riki Rachtman: Tell us so we get it straight Velvet Revolver is… these are the members of Velvet Revolver…

Matt: Scott Weiland, Slash, Duff, McKagan, myself Matt Sorum and Dave Kushner

Duff: Who was in Wasted Youth

Riki Rachtman: That’s what I said, I knew that it was that Dave because I talked to Arlette who also works with you and I was saying wasn’t Dave the guy who was in “Wasted” or LA’s “Wasted Youth”… who’s a great guy, and then I guess you met him, he was playing in another band in Japan or something like that

Duff: “Zilch”, this amazing band that ”Loaded” went over and played with over there and Dave was like this animal up there and Joey C. who is now in Queens was in “Zilch”

Matt: Queens of the Stone Age

Duff: And umm… these, you know these are friends of mine so I come to Japan not knowing who “Zilch” is and there’s Dave and there’s Joey

Riki Rachtman: Yeah Dave’s been around for a long time

Duff: Yeah, and I was like ok great and then I see him get up on stage and he is this gravity defying animal up there, they put all this paint on and you know its like a… old kind of punk rock but with a… samples and crazy lights

Matt: He’s a very modern guitar you know, yeah and he’s awesome, we had Izzy around for a while too ya know there was talk of that

Riki Rachtman: How is Izzy? That’s one of the people that I have… he’s put out two solo records, I don’t know how many other records he’s put out but I loved his solo records

Duff: Three he’s got a fourth one coming out in a month or so

Riki Rachtman: Now it seems like Izzy is some body that really disappeared… that I don’t know… and how is Izzy?. with members of Guns and Roses… when their gone people are like, that guy O.D.’d five years ago, when seeing you guys it couldn’t be further from the truth, I mean as I’ve said before, you two guys that are here and the other guys that I have ran into, and Slash, look a hell of a lot better than you did fifteen years ago, which is kind of a lot to say because people wouldn’t think that any of us would be around

Matt: I would say that when you cut back on like a bottle of tequila a day and a case of beer and an eight ball, you know it helps ( laughs)

Duff: I thinks it’s a case of… what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, you know. But Izzy leads a pretty charmed life, he does what he wants to do when he wants to do it and he doesn’t get caught up I any sort of huppla, he refuses to go there, he’ll make a record on his own, he’ll license it to Japan and maybe some where in Europe, and he’ll do a little tour, I’ve toured with him over in Japan, and he’s just this very pleasant country gentleman you know, who came in and wrote with us for a week or two, and it was great because it’s our bro, It’s Izzy, we got some songs out that we might use for the record

Matt: You know I don’t know if you know the history but we’ve actually been working on this for over a year

Riki Rachtman: I don’t know the history, what I thought you know because I’m one of those idiots that read the stuff off the internet, which I think everybody knows, every industry knows, now don’t believe anything you read on the internet, but I had thought that this was something that sort of a jam band that was put together almost to put a song…

Matt: Do you want me to run it by you?

Riki Rachtman: Please do, we’re talking, to Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum

Matt: Well basically what happened… do you remember our friend Randy Castillo? he was the drummer for Ozzy Osbourne, he pasted away a year and a half ago, so what happened was we put together a tribute gig for Randy down at the Key Club and Ozzy was supposed to play and he wasn’t available and you know we tried to get all of these bands, so they called me and they said Matt would you come play and who do you want to play with? blah blah blah, well I called Duff and then I called Slash, I said do you guys want to come down and jam for Randy, for the tribute? and Duff and Slash agreed and they said well who are we gonna get for a singer?, so we called Josh Todd from “Buck Cherry”, Slash thought hey lets try that guy from “Buck Cherry” out, so he came down and sang and when we were at sound check that night Steven Tyler had called and said I want to come down and do a song with you guys so were on stage rehearsing for the gig that night and Tyler calls and says he wants to do Mama Kin, so we learn Mama Kin, anyway to make a long story short, we play the gig, every thing is amazing, the chemistry is awesome you know me and Duff and Slash look at each other, Duff calls me the next day, says Matt, that felt really good, and I’m like yeah, that felt really good, lets do this, and we got into a rehearsal room and we asked Josh Todd and Keith from “Buck Cherry” to come in and work with us, to make another long story short that didn’t work out with them so at that point we moved on, probably about a month and a half we worked with them

Riki Rachtman: And at this time you knew that you wanted to play with the three of you

Matt & Duff: Yes, definitely

Matt: We were like… the time felt right for all of us we had all been through our own… you know things, personal things, and tried other projects, and I did my own album, Duff a couple solo records, Slash did a few Snake Pit records, it wasn’t like any thing like you know we got to get together because we got to make the band happen again or any of that, it just felt right

Riki Rachtman: It definitely wasn’t a money thing, this was something because it felt good

Matt: It felt really good, the crowd went off, the gig sold out in like 2 minutes, and the energy was on and we just went with it, so we started working on songs, Duff had the idea of bringing in Dave Kushner so we started working with Dave

Duff: He played in “Loaded” with me, at the second half of “Loaded”

Matt: All through last summer we wrote every day five days a week we were driving over into the Valley to this rehearsal room, just like a job, we got serious and really focused, and before we knew it, we had fifty songs written, we had a board with all these

Riki Rachtman: You didn’t have a set singer at this point

Matt: Then we said what are we going to do about a singer?

Riki Rachtman: Now why?… Cause I’ve heard you sing in “Loaded” why did you say, you know, that we need a singer and Duff did you think… you know what, I could sing or we’ll all take turns singing

Duff: Well no… that was Izzy’s idea, he said, you know, why don’t Duff and I just sing, but you know you’ve got a world class drummer in Matt, you’ve got a world class guitar player in Slash, I could sing in “Loaded” because the expectations are… it’s a cool punk rock sort of whatever band, I’m not discounting “Loaded” because it was a great band and great guys, but I’m not gonna sing with Slash and Matt you know come on, give me a break, I can sing great back up vocals for something like that but you know to be the main guy

Matt: I think we knew we needed a great front man and we really wanted to find… we were actually originally looking to find an unknown guy, you know, we wanted to find that guy out in Iowa who’s like standing in front of his mirror like… wanting to be the worlds greatest rock singer, I mean we actually put out on the internet and through Rolling Stone and all over the world, like you know, send us your stuff

Riki Rachtman: When you were looking for singers for the band were you letting people know that hey this is three or four of the guys from Guns and Roses, are looking for vocalist

Duff: Not all the time, no no no

Riki Rachtman: How did you try to lure people in

Duff: Just an ad looking for a singer like the old school way to do it

Riki Rachtman: The Recycler?

Duff: Yeah

Matt: No we didn’t do the Recycler

Riki Rachtman: Or was it maybe the Music Connection

Duff: Yeah it was the Music Connection yeah, you know maybe you’d find a gem, but we got over five or six hundred cd’s and

Matt: But it got out that it was us

Riki Rachtman: Tell me some of the bad experiences tell me some of the funny experiences of people coming in to audition for a singer of this band

Duff: We didn’t have a lot of guys come in, we listened to cd’s first, our thing was we’d get cd’s, if we actually really liked somebody, I mean one day we listened to a hundred cd’s straight, brutal, like tone deaf

Matt: Almost once a week we would sit down and listen to like this big box of stuff that would come

Duff: But I remember this one particular day when we listened to a hundred straight, tone deaf guys, guys singing country, you know all kinds of, your like uh!,there was this one guy out of the hundred, ok lets send him three songs of ours, and see you know Pro-Tool you know he could put his vocal on top of it, and we found some guys who did some very interesting things there’s this guy from this band called “Portable” their local amazing songwriter just didn’t, chemistry just wasn’t right with us, but the guy was great

Matt: A guy came from Florida, a guy came from England

Duff: A guy from “Neurotica” with cool great energy, it just didn’t work, not that intangible “it” thing you know, this guy came from this band called “LittleHell”, this guy was like a mix between Perry Ferrell and Mike Patton and the guy was cool crazy you know he raises snakes, makes himself immune to the venom by having them bite him all the time, you know like (whistles), you know but real cool guy

Riki Rachtman: So far those are some things that you know there attractive to you

Duff: Yeah yeah and the guy on the demo he hit all these great notes, and, it was whack the stuff he was signing about, but he came out to sing with us and he couldn’t hit these notes and it just broke our hearts because we thought oh this might have been the guy, and then you got to tell them your not the right guy and Bas came in and he’s a personality

Riki Rachtman: That was somebody that a lot of people thought… this was going to be a really interesting thing and I think some people were expecting that Sebastian Bach was going to be the singer and tell me about how those things went because that was what some of the rumors were

Matt: Well that kind of happened through “Camp Freddy” right?

Duff: Yeah

Matt: I have this band called “Camp Freddy” and we do parties, Dave Navarro plays guitar and then what we do is we play all covers, so we were doing this gig at the Eye Bar in Hollywood and we invite all these different singers to come we had Macy Gray and Perry Farrell got on stage, Moby, Robby Williams, at the end of the night Sebastian said I want to do Time Warp because he was in The Rocky Horror Picture Show I don’t know if many people know that

Riki Rachtman: He’s done quite a bit of stuff on Broadway from Dr. Jeckel and Mr. Hyde to even Jesus Christ Superstar he did in La Mirada

Duff: I went

Riki Rachtman: I thought he was really good

Duff: Twice

Matt: His voice is very large he has a large voice, you know he’s got a huge vocal range, so anyway we did Time Warp and at the end of the night we did Paradise City and Ronnie Wood from the Stones got up, and played guitar so we were like wow man, the crowd went nuts

Riki Rachtman: You know how fun it is, and I hate to interrupt but I will, when you guys tell these stories it’s so fun to hear still being from a fan’s point of view, to hear these names just roll out

Matt: We’ve had some real good fun

Duff: Well Ronnie Wood called the night before and said hey a… you know can I come down and play Paradise City? You know how Ronnie Plays like yeah yeah whatever you know, and we played with him once before in Tokyo, he got up and played Knocking of Heavens Door or something with us I forget what song it was

Matt: He played all the wrong chords

Duff: Yeah

Riki Rachtman: And what do you say when you’ve got one of the rock legends up on stage with you, and your saying dude your doing it all wrong, they

Matt: They look so cool doing it you your saying who cares

Duff: There’s key changes in Paradise City you know and all kinds of different stuff and I’m like Ronnie Ronnie it goes to a “D” here, and he’s like… a.. a.. yeah.. yeah.. right.. Ok, you know

Matt: That was a classic evening, so anyway we just get the response again you know with Bas, young girls were freaking out, with Sebatian Bach, nineteen year old eighteen year old girls freaking out with Sebatian being on stage, we were like hey maybe this is cool, so we gave him a cd again and he went into the studio

Duff: He did some amazing fantastic stuff on it and you know he’s an old friend of ours and I love the guy dearly, the problems we ran up against is it’s kind of with Bas, we sounded like “Skid Row” and we don’t want to go down that… were forging forward you know, we want to try to break some new ground that doesn’t mean that we want to be industrial or modern rock we just want to be something new and this whole time we’ve kept current with music I mean some of my best friends are the Queens of the Stone Age, or Navarro, or Chris Cornell, you know these are guy who have gone on and moved forward and that’s something that we are doing and anyhow so Scott Weiland and his wife and my wife became friends during this whole time and their kind of plotting like we should get Scott in the band you know

Riki Rachtman: Get Scott in the band then we can get both of our husbands out on the road for a year

Duff: Yeah so they really were pretty instrumental in getting this thing together, we..., you know Scott and I we would go to dinner with our wives you know and Scott brought it up and he said you know I hear you guys are doing something and I’d be interested in hearing something, I gave him a cd, he was still out with STP and which I didn’t know, we certainly don’t want to break up Stone Temple Pilots you know, so we didn’t hear from him, fine we kept going, and I don’t know six months later, by this time we’ve got these managers a big management team and our manager David Kodicow called me, he says ok dude, you gotta call Scott Weiland again, I said hey man it’s you know it’s personal you know our wives are friends and he’s busy with Stone Temple Pilots, he goes Stone Temple Pilots are not around anymore, it’s done call him now, I’m like oh, alright alright alright, so I called him, he goes ok, we had a soundtrack to do, do you want to try it out, you know make a couple bucks and do these soundtracks it would be fun, he said Oh yeah, he came up

Matt: That’s the reason we didn’t go with a name originally we wanted to do was to just test the water, so we went and did the Italian Job

Riki Rachtman: Which for people who don’t know there is a song from… is that Velvet Revolver in the Italian Job?

Duff: Well it is for now, now it is but back then it wasn’t

Riki Rachtman: And that’s the song that you can’t get on the soundtrack but its played in the movie

Duff: Yes, that’s Money by Pink Floyd

Matt: They came to us and said would you do Money by Pink Floyd? And we were like oh well it’s not like we haven’t tried to tackle legendary classic songs before, which is in my opinion really tough to do, but we did our version of it, it came off cool and then at that point Cathy Nelson from Universal who is instrumental and behind all this stuff she’s like a great lady who does all the soundtrack stuff with… she did Armageddon with Aerosmith, she did Pulp Fiction she said

Duff: Come down… can you guys come and see a viewing of… it was a very early edit of The Hulk and Ang Lee is the director who is legendary you know, he did Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon

Duff: She says I think we might have a spot for a song in the movie if you have the right song, so we went to a screening of The Hulk, without any music in it or any sound effects

Riki Rachtman: It does make a big difference… we’re talking to Matt and Duff of Velvet Revolver formerly of Guns and Roses and we will be taking your calls in a second, but we are just trying to bring everybody up to date so that they know the truth of the story, not related… it is really weird seeing a movie without music isn’t it

Matt: Oh, it’s tough man, it’s really tough to watch, I mean we seen it both ways and now we went and saw the premier and man what an awesome flick with all the Danny Elfman score and all the sound effects it’s a whole different animal

Duff: But I think that the key to that, after we saw this viewing we went to dinner with Ang and Cathy Nelson and Ang was so passionate about this thing he’s talking to all of us and then talking Scott about the lyrical content

Riki Rachtman: This is the guy that is the director of the movie saying how important it is for you guys to have a song you would think that everything that he would care about would be wrapped up in the movie

Duff: No he loves this band, so Scott went and wrote the lyrics we had some music, this riff of Matt’s and ok lets through it together and Scott… we did this demo and Ang heard it and just freaked, and Stacy Snider and Mary Parent were with Universal and they were very instrumental, they were just amazing, by the time we went into track this thing I mean they were… we had this huge machine behind us and I don’t know if you saw any of the ads or the NBA half time

Riki Rachtman: The first time I heard the song, I told you, and I hate basketball, but Arlette called me who works with you guys and she says hey they’re gonna be playing the Velvet Revolver song during half time for the NBA Basketball… I don’t what was it a final game or something?

Duff: Come on Riki, geeze

Riki Rachtman: So I watched the friggin basketball game just so I could hear the song and I’m telling you the honest truth, you guys know me and I would… if I didn’t dig it I didn’t dig it… I got goose bumps I dug the song that much and that was the first time I heard it, we’re gonna break were gonna come back were gonna bring people a little bit more up to date, find out what’s up with Velvet Revolver, and maybe if you’ve got any things that you want to talk to about with one of the biggest bands in the world the number 520-9710 form Orange County 977-9710 and all though this is a talk station we will play that song Set Me Free from Velvet Revolver off The Hulk Soundtrack and it’s coming up as the triple R continues on 97.1 your FM talk station

Riki Rachtman: This is 97.1 your FM talk station this is Riki Rachtman Riki Rachtman radio don’t forget tomorrow night I do a music show from midnight til 2am and we play all the type of music that people usually don’t play and we really don’t play music on this show because this is a talk format but we are going to be playing some music due to our guests, Duff and Matt formerly of Guns and Roses now of Velvet Revolver they have a song from the Hulk Soundtrack they do a song called Set Me Free, and this whole station were all set up with AOL, powered by broadband, but AOL music is going to stream Set Me Free on their Soundtracks Page for one week beginning next Friday the 4th of July

Riki Rachtman: I’m kind of shocked… there aren’t really anymore rock stations out in California anymore and I really don’t care if you mention other radio stations because I know I’m better, but like who… is KLOS playing Set Me Free a lot?

Duff: KROQ

Matt: We’re on KROQ dude

Riki Rachtman: So those are the stations?… because I’m not hearing it as much as I think it should be played

Duff: Well we were the number one most added to modern rock and active rock weeks ago and #2 most added last week

Matt: We didn’t put it out as a single because we don’t even have a record deal right now, we are an unsigned band

Duff: Here’s sort of our plan right now were gonna start making our record our studio album, but we recorded this live show we did last week were gonna put another studio track on it for another single for sometime in October were gonna release a live EP like old school days and go do some shows on that

Matt: And then were gonna make the record and then we’ll tour after that

Duff: We will be playing live, it is possible that we might be doing some more surprise gigs here in August or September. Were gonna concentrate on making the studio record and again we are releasing a live EP I think about October 6th coinciding with some live gigs after that.

[part in which they talk about the El Rey Theatre show, will be added ASAP!]

Riki Rachtman: Guys thank you very much for coming down here it’s always good to see you, when there is more stuff happening with Velvet Revolver I’ll keep everybody up to date

Duff: Hey Riki thanks for having us on, and callers and people out there who are listening, thanks and we’ll be around for along time, listen for our live record and out studio record, and remember Velvet Revolver!

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Source:
https://web.archive.org/web/20040222045714/http://www.belowempty.com/Velvet-Revolver/articles/030627_TripleR_Interview.php
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