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2005.05.18 - The Aquarian Weekly - The Return Of Indispensable Rock (Duff)

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2005.05.18 - The Aquarian Weekly - The Return Of Indispensable Rock (Duff) Empty 2005.05.18 - The Aquarian Weekly - The Return Of Indispensable Rock (Duff)

Post by Blackstar on Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:36 am


By JJ Koezan

While Alan Greenspan wouldn't release the exact figures at press time, professional estimates indicate that hard rockers Velvet Revolver now comprise no less than 27 percent of the United States' GDP. This should suprise no one familiar with the band, which is comprised of former members of such relative unknowns as Guns N' Roses and Stone Temple Pilots.

The members' ability to rise above their relative obscure pasts notwithstanding, Velvet Revolver owe much of their success to an old school work ethic and the complicated formula of hard rock minus shtick. Now, as the military strategy for global dominance comes to its long-awaited fruition, Velvet Revolver sit mightily like tunic-clad Zeus upon a throne atop Olympus, drinking wine with a leg draped over the arm of the chair in true relaxation form.

Duff McKagan, finance major and father of two, called The Aquarian office the other day by mistake, trying to order a pizza. All bow and kneel before opportunity. He wanted pepperoni, but the rock press would not be abated. Curiousity would not be quashed. And as it turns out, he's just too cool a guy to say no to an interview, even when hungry.

How's the tour going?

It's been great. Wicked shows. Every night is different and last night was a fucking great show. We haven't had a shitty show, or a shitty audience, knock on wood. I hope it stays that way.

Did you ever feel any apprehension going into it?

When Slash and Matt and I got together and did that benefit show, it was just so powerful. We hadn't played together in earnest for like seven years. And we all had our own bands, and I was going to school.

We did this benefit because this friend of ours died, and we weren't waiting around for the right time to come to get back together and play or anything like that, it just happened. We did the benefit show, and the chemistry and the power was just too much for us to just walk away and go 'Oh well, that was great.'

The next day, Slash and I talked, 'Well maybe we should start writing some songs, see what happens.' One thing led to another, we got Dave in the band, he was in my band Loaded, and he was just the perfect guy, perfect muse for the way Slash plays the guitar.

He added a lot to the whole sound, and eventually we got these two movies soundtrack offers and Scott, you know, Stone Temple Pilots had come to their end, and Scott came in to sing these two soundtracks. He was friends with us, and the chemistry was just perfect.

Trepidations, I didn't really have any because I was playing music, I'll always be playing music. I had my band Loaded, I was happy having kids. I've got a good life, a good wife, and everything's cool. It wasn't like I was afraid of anything.

I could've walked away at any time, but that wasn't even a thought. Everything just went together so well. Like, 'Well, okay, fate had this in my path for me.' So I'll just follow it.

Sounds like a very organic process.

It was very organic. People call it 'supergroup,' and you know, it's not. You had to be there. Supergroup is something a record label puts together. We didn't have a record label. We didn't have anything.

We recorded 'Set Me Free' for the Hulk soundtrack and radio grabbed it and played it as a single. They basically downloaded it, stole it (laughs), and it became a top single in the modern rock format. We didn't even have a record label.

It was very organic, we did it ourselves, and all the record labels came out and started wining and dining us. We were really in the mindset of just putting out our own record and just licensing it out somebody, but Clive Davis came around, and you know, he's the man.

He's a music guy - he's a business man, but music comes first. Look at his track record; Janis Joplin, Bruce Springsteen, Aerosmith, up to now and what he's done. He made us, financially, an offer that was acceptable.

I think it shows how hungry the world is for rock and roll.

We get it all the time, people are coming up to us, 'Thank you man. I didn't know if I'd ever see a rock and roll show again.' I think it's not us resurrecting rock and roll, it's the kids that are coming to the shows that are resurrecting it.

Hopefully they're going home and starting new bands like I did when I went and saw The Clash in '79. Like, 'Fuck man, I can do this. I can start a band.'

Tell me about doing the video for 'Dirty Little Thing.'

That was the first time we let the label pick the single. That's not the single we would have picked. I think we would have probably picked 'Sucker Train Blues.' But they did this whole thing with radio and what got the most response, and apparently it was 'Dirty Little Thing.'

It was a very simple video to do. The animation was the most tedious process of that thing, getting the animation right. It was a fun video to do.

When we're on that train playing, we were on this hydraulic floor that moves back and forth. So when we're flying around, it's like this floor is tilting back and forth. We did that part in a day.

It's a good video, it's just not getting any airplay, really.

What do you mean?

It's just not getting much airplay. I think rock, well, MTV doesn't play rock. Unless they're playing out there, maybe it's getting played on Fuse. We're in a bubble on tour. It's not like it's a single that blew up, like the other two.

I think it's a good video, and it's a good song. I love playing it live, it's a great song to play live, but if we put out another single from this record, it'll probably be 'You Got No Right' and if we do a video for it, we've got a ton of live footage, just do a live thing for that. We have a bunch of behind the scenes stuff, really cool footage. You gotta have a video like that every once in a while, kind of like the 'Paradise City' video.

Why for that specifically?

Because we have the footage. (laughs) We had one of the guys film all this stuff, and we had a 13-camera shoot in Houston, it's 13 different angles, so there's a lot of great stuff to pick and choose from that, and all the behind the scenes stuff.

It would be an easy video to put together, not overly expensive, and a nice ending to this record. A nice segue into the next record.

What was the 13 camera shoot for?

We got ownership of the film, it was for an HD. Hi Definition TV. They filmed this show in hi definition and aired it on those random HD channels, just as a kind of thing to draw people, and they paid us for it, and they let us keep the film. It was a good deal. So we have this really great footage of the show from 13 different angles.

Do you guys have anything planned for the next record yet?

We'll we've been writing since last May, so we have a ton of stuff. We're gonna do this American tour, then we're going over to Europe to do a bunch of festivals. We're doing the Download Festival and a bunch of others in Hungary, the Czech Republic.

We're playing Iceland, Norway, Italy, the UK, north Germany, all over the place. And we get a month off from July 11 to August 11 and we're going to do seven dates on Ozzfest.

Yeah, how did that come about?

Sharon loves us. She put together this thing for tsunami aid. She picked up to do ' Tears In Heaven,' and it's gonna be coming out pretty soon, if not next week. It was going to come out in March, March 22, but she decided to hold off.

Elton John's on it, Gwen Stefani, Mary J. Blige, Scott, Steven Tyler, the opera singer Andrea Bocelli, Rod Stewart. All kinds of people, and it's a beautiful version of the song, but she wanted to wait and see where money was really needed for this thing before putting it out. So she held off for a couple months.

There's a video that got filmed for it, kind of like the 'We Are The World' thing. But she loves the band and asked us to record the song. We did that in London in January.

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