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APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
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.

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2004.08.10 - Finnish pre-show interview (Duff)

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2004.08.10 - Finnish pre-show interview (Duff) Empty 2004.08.10 - Finnish pre-show interview (Duff)

Post by Shackler Thu Jun 17, 2021 9:19 pm

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2004.08.10 - Finnish pre-show interview (Duff) Empty Re: 2004.08.10 - Finnish pre-show interview (Duff)

Post by Blackstar Mon Jun 21, 2021 3:24 pm

Transcription:
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Interviewer: So nice to see you. How are you doing today?

Duff: I’m very good today. I think I’m over my jet lag, finally.

Interviewer: When did you arrive to Europe? It was, like, two or three days ago or something?

Duff: Yeah, two days ago in Copenhagen. And then, the thing that we didn’t know we had to… we arrived in Copenhagen and we had to drive 180 miles to the gig – it was a festival. It was really, really hot down there, and the bus we had had no air conditioning, so it was a brutal trip out to the gig. We were hoping we could sleep on the bus, you know, make up for some of the jet lag, and that wasn’t happening, so… Finally we got here yesterday. Beautiful weather, relaxed, worked out, went to dinner, went to sleep… it’s good.

Interviewer: Well, how was the show in Denmark? That was the first one in Europe, I guess.

Duff: It was a festival, yeah, so it was really good. We were the only, like, real rock band on the festival. It was all Danish bands - you know, it was like the 25th anniversary of this particular festival, so it was all Danish bands and, like, ran the gamut from the last 25 years, so… (laughs)… it had bands with horn sections, you know, and all of a sudden there was us. But it was cool. The crowd was great, it was 30,000 people, you know, into it.

Interviewer: Well, you played at least – was it two songs from Stones Temple Pilots and one Guns N’ Roses song-

Duff: Something like that.

Interviewer: …on that festival, so-

Duff: We did, yeah.

Interviewer: … because I saw the set-

Duff: The last minute they said, “We want you to play for an hour-and-a-half,” and we thought we were gonna play an hour. We have an hour-and-a-half set – or, no, they wanted us to play an hour and 20 minutes. So we had to, like, “Okay, what the hell do we take out?” We don’t want to take anything out, and we have this hour set list for other shows where you only play an hour, and it’s like a matter of what do you add and what you not put in there. So, yeah, we did Crackerman and Sex Type Thing, and It’s So Easy.

Interviewer: Has it been difficult to choose the songs? I mean, of course, both bands have so many good songs, so…

Duff: Well… they kind of come to us. Scott kind of dictates which Guns songs, because of what register… You know, he said, he got this big compliment when he got in this band, that he always wanted to do It’s So Easy, which is a song I wrote, and it’s a song he got his low voice on, you know, for Sex Type Thing - (sings in low voice) “I am, I am…” “It’s So Easy…” – which I never knew. So we do that and we do Brownstone, we do Used to Love Her sometimes… that’s about it for now - and Sex Type Thing and Crackerman. That’s the revolving set that we have that we can choose from.  And then we did these b-sides the other night in L.A. We did Surrender by Cheap Trick, we did No More, No More by Aerosmith - it’s great, it’s really great – and we did Tie Your Mother Down, so… We might do Surrender tonight, I don’t know.  

Interviewer: Yeah?

Duff: Yeah.

Interviewer: Well, we will hear. How does-

Duff: Would you guys like Cheap Trick? Is Cheap Trick… would people be familiar with Cheap Trick here?

Interviewer: Um, I don’t know. Hard to say. I mean, if there’s a lot of young people, they probably are not so familiar with Cheap Trick.

Duff: Yeah.

Interviewer: But if there’s… I don’t know, really.

Duff: We’ve been getting very young audiences. We’ve played it a couple of times live in the States and it got a huge reception. But Cheap Trick was huge in the States.

Interviewer: Yeah, I guess it’s been a lot bigger in the States compared to Europe, so…

Duff: Yeah. So maybe we should do Bodies by the Pistols.

Interviewer: Maybe (chuckles).

Duff: Okay.

Interviewer: (Laughs) All right. How does touring differ from the old times?

Duff: (Laughs) I’m not out in the street trying to cop drugs instead of doing interviews right now.

Interviewer: That’s kind of a big difference.

Duff: (Laughing) It’s a huge difference, yeah. I’m lucid, I can speak, I can understand what you’re saying… You know, before it was a whole different thing. In this we all have our heads together and we’re having a really good time; and we all like each other, which is a big difference, too. We’re having fun. We’ve been through it all, man, you know? We know – hopefully, we’ve learned how to keep a band together. We know the idiosyncrasies of five guys – it’s almost like you’re married to four other guys, and, you know, you gotta learn where to push and where to back off, and it’s a very important lesson. You just can’t learn unless you’ve done it before and made the mistakes.

Interviewer: But if you think of those old times, what’s your main idea about it?

Duff: Oh, it’s good.

Interviewer: Do you, like, miss those times, or regret those times, or… How is it?

Duff: I don’t regret them, but I don’t miss them. I think what we did was amazing and I would never go through that again. I don’t regret any of it, because it was only me and four other guys who went through that whole thing, and it’s a life experience that you can’t really equate to much else. You know, we saw the world many times over through this, you know, very surreal looking glass. And you go out and play in front of 80, 100, 150, 200 thousand people. You’re a worldwide name - you know, household name worldwide. We’d go into Istanbul, Turkey, or Tel Aviv, or Prague, or Bogota, Colombia…  It didn’t matter, you know? We were just as huge any place, if not - you know, you’re huge in South America. But, in getting that big, a lot of people got in between the band. You know, our entourage got bigger and bigger, and a lot of people just got in between especially Axl and Slash and I. That’s what tore the band apart, it wasn’t the band itself. The band left to its own devices was okay, but it began to be - Slash and I were the only guys who had reason. We were saying, “No, no, no, we can’t do this.” There was 100 other yes men going, “Yes, yes.” So Axl is hearing Slash and I being the only guys saying “no” - you know, where we would have said “no” the whole time along, it wasn’t like we were just all of a sudden starting saying “no”. I’m using “no” as in for instance, you know. So, after a while, it just got really old.  

Interviewer: Yeah. Well, talking about your debut album with this new band, you must be satisfied with the album, because, honestly, it’s really great - one of the best rock albums this year, absolutely, so…

Duff: Thanks. Yeah, I mean, it came together the way it came together. It wasn’t thought out, it wasn’t pre-thought out. It was like, you know, destiny brought us together and the rock gods were up there going, “Okay, it’s time.” You know, we were all of really good health at that time, and still are, and our musical ability had grown in those years. You know, we’d played in bands and experimented around. I’d moved back to Seattle and played with a lot of my friends up there and had my own band up there, and grew as a bass player, grew as a musician. So did Slash and Matt. And Scott wants to be a rock ‘n’ roll singer. He wants to be Freddie Mercury or something now, you know, and he’s found, like, the perfect guys. Stone Temple Pilots, don’t get me wrong, I think, brilliant, brilliant band, but, you know, they’d kind of outgrown themselves and had a lot of water under the bridge as far as drugs and stuff that, frankly, we didn’t have with Scott. We’d had our own drug problems – you know, Slash died four times, my pancreas exploded, Matt OD’d a bunch of times. So it was a perfect group of guys to come in with. You know, we’ve been through it all, and so… here we are.

Interviewer: Was it easy to find Scott for lead singer? Because I’ve heard that you tried with some other names, Ian Astbury for example, is it true?

Duff: Yeah. No, I read that about Ian. We never tried out Ian, and I don’t know if we ever asked him, but I read something that we asked him. Unless Matt might have asked him. But we got, like, 1000 CDs in of different singers and you could probably imagine what that would be like. It was painful. It was… (laughs). Oh, it’s just painful, man. You know, you’d hear, like, the first few bars of Jungle and that guy going, “Waah!” Click, next - you know, it’s not who we’re looking for. But Scott and I were friends through our wives and Scott kept asking, “What are you guys doing?” You know, “I hear you guys are down there writing songs.” But I said, “Dude, you’re in Stone Temple Pilots,” and we let that rest and we just kept looking. And sure enough, Stone Temple Pilots broke up right as we were being asked to do two soundtracks for two different movies, one the Hulk and one the Italian Job. Scott was free and I said, “Scott, do you want to sing these two soundtracks with us? If nothing else, we’ll make a little dough.” We gave him the music for Set Me Free, he wrote the lyrics to it, he came in down to rehearsal and he sang it, and we got done, and it was perfect. You know, it’s just one of those moments. And he turned around, and he goes, “We can be the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band, man. We can be.” So that kind of lionized the whole thing.

Interviewer: How was writing the songs and recording them in the studio?

Duff: So insane.

Interviewer: I mean, also compared to the old times, because it was probably, again, a bit different this time.

Duff: With Scott it was a lot easier, because Scott is there in the room with us, whereas before Axl would never be there. We’d just write a bunch of songs and a lot of times write lyrics for them, and say “Here,” you know. Scott is very involved with the whole process, and it makes it easier and songs get done a lot quicker. It only took us three weeks to record the record. We just wanted it to sound as live as possible, because I just think we sound better live than we do on record. And this is a touring rock ‘n’ roll band, it’s a true rock ‘n’ roll band. We’re not a band that puts out singles and pop garbage and okay, you know, and you go see them live and you’re really disappointed, because they can’t actually play their instruments. I guess it’s old school that we’re a touring rock ‘n’ roll band. But, you know, so the process of writing and making the record was one of the most pleasurable experiences of my career.

Interviewer: How are the lyrics? I mean, how important is it for you that Velvet Revolver has that kind of lyrics that you have?

Duff: Well, it’s important for me to have the singer into what he’s doing. And every band that I’ve been in, the lyrics were always very honest and about what was going on, you know, whether it was in his life or one of the band - the band as a whole, you could reflect upon that. His songs are definitely autobiographical, but I think anybody can latch on to Fall to Pieces, you know, and apply that to their own lives. And the aggression of the record itself, people can latch onto that. So, you know, if the lyrics are important to a singer, he’s going to perform them much harder and believe in it.

Interviewer: Yeah. Well, it seems kind of that rock ‘n’ roll with bands like you, and the Darkness, and Queens of The Stone Age, and so on, it’s, like, cool again. What do you think? What is the reason for that? I mean, of course, it has always been, but it seems now it’s, like, really popular again, and so-

Duff: Popular again. Yeah, I don’t know, things just go in cycles. And, you know, like, I went to college; I was in school with 18, 19, 20-year-old kids, and they were coming up and going, “We don’t have a rock ‘n’ roll band,” you know? “We have all this garbage, Nickelback, and Creed, and…” That wasn’t the reason we formed this band, but that seemed to be the going consensus, you know, of that demographic of kids and they’re probably just happier than shit that there’s real rock ‘n’ roll bands out there again. You know, I grew up with Black Flag and I saw The Clash in ’79, and I saw Zeppelin when I was 12 in ’77 and Iggy Pop in 1980. These are gigs that I’ve formulated, like, how I looked at rock. Imagine a whole generation that didn’t have a Black Flag – you know, in-your-face. The Clash in ’79 were a punk rock band. There wasn’t a-

Interviewer: The Ramones…  

Duff: The Ramones. They saw the Ramones, of course. You know, these were real bands. Real gritty, dirty, fucked up bands. They lived it, they played it, they… you know. Nickelback certainly doesn’t live and breath it, you know (laughs). They probably wear cologne.

Interviewer: Well, this is the last one, and I don’t know if you like this, but would you ever imagine – even imagine – playing with Axl in the future?

Duff: NO. No, it’s not gonna happen.
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