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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

2013.02.19 - The Music Australia - Locked And Loaded (Duff)

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2013.02.19 - The Music Australia - Locked And Loaded (Duff) Empty 2013.02.19 - The Music Australia - Locked And Loaded (Duff)

Post by Blackstar Fri 1 Apr 2022 - 15:45

Locked And Loaded

Duff McKagan’s Loaded and Guns N’ Roses will soon be passing through Australian airports within a week of each other. “I hope one day that we become friends again because we did go through a lot,” McKagan enlightens Bryget Chrisfield. “But – I don’t know really what to say.”

"I remember the first time coming out there to play in ’88,” Duff McKagan recalls of exploring our great southern land with THAT band in which he was bassist for 12 years: Guns N’ Roses. “[This was] before the internet so you don’t know how many people are gonna come to your show. I think the first place we played was in Sydney, and we played a bigger place than we usually played and it was sold out. We were like, ‘What the fuck!?’ And um, the people down there – I realised it instantly. I was into Australian bands like The Saints, starting back then, your [Radio] Birdman, Rose Tattoo, of course, The Angels and AC/DC, of course. So getting down there was kinda gettin’ down to hallowed ground for me and then seeing these fans – and they were snarling rock fans, like, ‘This is the way it’s supposed to be!’ And some guy came up to me and he was like, ‘Check it out!’ and he was kind of freakin’ out and he took off his shirt and he had a whole back piece of our record cover. And I’m like, ‘Okay. Well, the Aussies: they’re hardcore.’”

It’s pretty easy to determine how big your band is on foreign soil these days thanks to social networking sites and YouTube. “How many hits are we gettin’ here?’ Right. All that stuff. And I guess it’s good, you know, but that mystique – since I lived in the time when there was still mystery, that was kind of funner not knowing, you know?”

Pretty sure “funner” is not in the dictionary, but don’t let that fool you. McKagan is highly educated, not only in the school of life but also academically: he completed an accounting degree later in life, mostly attending Seattle University, but then he ended up having to complete the course online when another of his bands, Velvet Revolver (which he formed with fellow ex-Gunners Slash and Matt Sorum), took off. McKagan’s also a proficient writer: his best-selling memoir, titled It’s So Easy (And Other Lies), wound up in the prestigious New York Times Best Sellers List and he also pens a column for Seattle Weekly. Anything else? Oh, Duff beer on The Simpsons is so named after the amount of amber nectar McKagan’s drained. He even came close to death via acute pancreatitis and then later exercised his way back to health via mountain biking and martial arts (particularly kick boxing). McKagan worked with Benny “The Jet” Urquidez, who trained Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris and Mark Wahlberg. On how his internally wrecked body coped with that first-ever martial arts session, McKagan remembers: “Well my first session just started with tearing my body down, basically – tearing the old crap out of my head. And the best way to do that is just to exhaust the body so the head becomes clear and so, yeah! There was a lot of shaking, there was a lotta throwing up – it’s a very hot dojo, like, 105 degrees upstairs and a mere two or three weeks into doing the thing you just learn that the pain and the suffering is an avenue into a clearer place in the head. But my body was freakin’ out, for sure, I didn’t really know how to drink water. I didn’t know what the good food I was supposed to eat was and so I had to change a lotta things. And it all kinda came hand in hand, but I was pretty beat up for a while, for sure.”

Fortunately now McKagan has his lovely wife Susan to cook up the quinoa. “I think we’re having quinoa for dinner tonight!” he marvels. “I don’t know what it is. I think it might come from outerspace, who knows? I like it!” If you watched the addictive soft-scripted reality series Married To Rock, which tracked the lives of rockstar spouses including Etty Farrell (Perry Farrell’s missus) and Susan Holmes McKagan, it sure looks like the McKagans are the real deal. “Well it’s a day by day thing playing in touring rock bands, you know. I can’t really complain because I still play gigs and people come to the shows and there’s this great trade-off of energy. And playing rock music is really I think what I was meant to do – I found the thing I was meant to do and I think I was also meant to be a father and I was kinda meant to be Susan’s husband. Everything at this point in my life seems to be working out really well.”

So these days McKagan, who sings lead vocals and plays rhythm guitar with Loaded, fills his time “taking care of [his] girls, having rock rehearsal, being literary”. His daughters are aged 12 and 15 and he describes them as “totally cool”. Do they think he’s cool? “NOoooo,” he counters before adding, “Well I think secretly they do, but they would never admit it to me. But I’m taking my older daughter to Coachella. So she taps me for…” Free tickets? “Yeah, haha, right. They’re not free, but we’re going.”

As his daughters celebrate milestone birthdays, does McKagan have flashbacks to what he was getting up to throughout his adolescence? “It’s inevitable, you know, it really is,” he replies. “I mean, I started some things that aren’t too healthy for ya [when I was] way, way younger than they are now and I think they know it. Sometimes I have talks about it… But I do grab ‘em and I try and shrink ‘em down. They’re growing up too fast.” Sounds like they’ve crossed the border into Boytown. “Yeah, we’ve crossed that threshold. We’re beyond the boy stress. We’re there. We’re in the middle of it. It’s okay.” McKagan’s rock’n’roll credentials probably work in his favour. “Well I think if nothing else this rock’n’roll thing – and being in loud, obnoxious bands – has worked for me as a dad because the dudes I think are either terrified of me, or not sure if I’m crazy or not. So they’re pretty respectful as a result, to my daughters.” Probably hanging that martial arts uniform in the hallway doesn’t hurt. McKagan laughs, “Funnily enough I have my boxing gloves in my car. But I always do, it’s just that I don’t move them out of my car.”

McKagan might even cross paths with his former Gunners bandmate Axl Rose while he’s Down Under since Guns N’ Roses are also scheduled to hit our shores for a string of shows in March. “Right,” McKagan acknowledges. When he’s informed there’s a faction of diehard (original line-up) Gunners fans planning on setting up outside the venue to listen to Rose and co play the much-loved tunes while refusing to fork out for a ticket by way of protest, he chuckles and sounds moved. “Obviously it is a little touching for sure [pauses], more than a little touching. But so much time has passed, you know: I’m this guy who likes to think everybody’s doing their thing they’re meant to be doing right now and sometimes you hope things will be different, just as travellers in life [laughs awkwardly]. Like, I hope one day that we become friends again because we did go through a lot, but – I don’t know really what to say.”

Duff McKagan’s Loaded will be playing the following dates:

Saturday 23 February - Soundwave, Brisbane QLD
Sunday 24 February - Soundwave, Sydney NSW
Monday 25 February - Manning Bar, Sydney NSW
Thursday 28 February - The Espy Hotel, Melbourne VIC
Friday 1 March - Soundwave, Melbourne VIC
Saturday 2 March - Soundwave, Adelaide SA
Monday 4 March - Soundwave, Perth WA

Bryget Chrisfield

https://web.archive.org/web/20130706223535/http://themusic.com.au/interviews/all/duff-mckagans-loaded/

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