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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.

Registering is free and easy.

Cheers!
SoulMonster

2011.04.19 - Gibson.com - Interview with Duff

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2011.04.19 - Gibson.com - Interview with Duff Empty 2011.04.19 - Gibson.com - Interview with Duff

Post by Blackstar Sat Jan 01, 2022 7:18 pm

The Gibson Interview: Duff McKagan

By Peter Hodgson

Duff McKagan’s Loaded is in itself a loaded name for a band. It refers to McKagan’s battle against substance abuse, and it also seems to slyly hint at the same Guns N’ Roses reference found in the name Velvet Revolver. The band’s latest album, The Taking, is heavier and louder than its predecessor, Sick, and it also has a more cohesive band feel, buoyed by some decent touring time since the last album.

While the band’s first recording, the EP Wasted Heart, was released in 2001 and the second in 2009, it took a mere two years for The Taking to enter the world. “Velvet Revolver got in between Dark Days – the first Loaded record – and Sick,” McKagan recounts on why Velvet Revolver took precedence. “It was kind of important because Slash and I had this really long, obvious history, and the thing that got Velvet Revolver together was a friend of ours dying.”

That friend was drummer Randy Castillo, a driving force in Ozzy Osbourne’s second-most-classic lineup during the No More Tears era. Castillo also replaced Tommy Lee in Mötley Crüe. After Castillo tragically died of cancer in 2002, Duff, Slash and GN’R drummer Matt Sorum performed at a benefit concert with Josh Todd and Keith Nelson of Buckcherry (plus B-Real and Sen Dog of Cypress Hill). Velvet Revolver grew from there.

“It was one of those things where fate stepped in, Velvet Revolver started playing, and the guys in Loaded got it, and Velvet Revolver made two records,” McKagan says. “Loaded played a few gigs here, but more like charity gigs around Christmas and stuff, up here in Seattle. We knew we were going to do another record but we didn’t think it was going to take that long. As soon as I was off the road with Velvet Revolver after Libertad, Loaded got right back.”

The band wrote Sick, took it on tour and kept writing and recording ideas on the road. The demos caught the ear of legendary producer Terry Date (Soundgarden, Pantera), and the rest is history.

aken as a whole, The Taking goes a little deeper than either Dark Days or Sick. “The record is almost a backwards concept record,” McKagan explains. “It’s really the story of a break-up of two very dear friends that we witnessed as a band. We were such good friends with both of them, the guy and the girl, and we watched the fracture and the deceit, the lying to yourself, the lying to the other one, the heartache, the heartbreak, the anger – that’s why there’s ‘Your Name,’ ‘Follow Me to Hell’ and ‘Lords of Abaddon’ – then that kind of wishful thinking… Like ‘Man, it was always better somewhere else,’ and that's where ‘Indian Summer’ goes. That first love.”

“Indian Summer” is a brighter, lighter-sounding track than the bulk of the album, with almost Smashing Pumpkins-like melodies soaring over a part-punk/part-grunge/part-Cheap Trick groove. Although the narrative of The Taking as a whole is non-linear, the track’s placement in the running order – seventh of 12 songs – pushes the whole set forward and pays off the optimistic thread established on track four, “We Win.”

“What happened is these two got divorced but they became better friends than ever, and that’s where ‘We Win’ came from,” McKagan says. “The thing about this backwards concept record is that we didn’t really realize we were all writing about the same thing, because it affected us all. We couldn’t really take part in the break-up – usually you take part in somebody’s break-up because you’re friends with the guy or the girl, and they talk to you, and just by them talking to you about it, you’re taking part in it. We kinda refused talking to either one of them about it because we didn’t want to take sides, so it was like Zen Buddhism: we didn’t talk to each other about it. The first song was ‘Easier Lying’ and ‘Indian Summer’ had its place in that story.”

Although he plays bass in the currently dormant Velvet Revolver and was, of course, the bass player for GN’R, Duff is Loaded’s rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist. His gear stable on The Taking included a newer Gibson SG. “I have some great Gibsons,” he says. “I didn’t use any but the SG on The Taking, but I have ’59 tobacco ’burst that I just keep in storage – a safe, basically. Y’know, you can’t take that thing out and play it because it’s worth so much damn money these days. I have an old ’58 Junior or Special, too, which is a beautiful guitar. I don’t really play that one too much, because again it’s worth a bunch of dough. And I also have a ’73 Les Paul Custom that I play a lot.”

McKagan is maintaining a “wait and see” approach to Velvet Revolver’s search for a new singer to replace Scott Weiland. In the meantime he has plans to take Loaded on the road for much of the year, and then there’s the pressing matter of his forthcoming book, an autobiography, which is due in October.

http://legacy.gibson.com/news-lifestyle/features/en-us/duff-mckagan-0419-2011.aspx
Blackstar
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