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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

1999.06.DD - Hit Parader - Gearing Up, Tech Talk (Duff)

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1999.06.DD - Hit Parader - Gearing Up, Tech Talk (Duff) Empty 1999.06.DD - Hit Parader - Gearing Up, Tech Talk (Duff)

Post by Blackstar Tue Jul 11, 2023 4:06 am

Gearing Up, Tech Talk

By Jodi Summers

Guns N' Roses might be an old issue, but the members of the band keep on making music. Bassist Duff McKagan's lastest solo effort is Beautiful Disease, a rough and rocking collection of tunes that sounds like Hanoi Rocks meets the New York Dolls. Beyond the attitude, the lyrics reflect his experiences with sobriety, lucidity and drugs and alcohol. The album was produced by Noel Golden (Sammy Hager) and created at McKagan's home studio in Los Angeles. Guests include former bandmates Slash and Izzy Stradlin, as well as Faith No More drummer Mike Bordin and Plexi guitarist Michael Barragan. And now a few words from our star...

Hit Parader: How do you fit into the current rock scene?

Duff McKagan: I wasn't really concerned with that when I was recording Beautiful Disease. I've never compromised to be hip. I was in punk rock bands at the wrong time. When Guns N' Roses started it was not hip.

HP: As you're establishing yourself as a solo entity, which is more important to you: double platinum sales or incredible artistic credibility and critical response?

Duff: The latter. Money has never driven me. When I left Guns, I was lucid and sober. I kept getting calls saying, "Duff, you're the only one who can save this band." Carrots were being dangled in front of me, millions of dollars here and millions of dollars there. That stuff would go into my head. But I have a house. I have everything I need. I was trying to save the band because of all the fans who had come and supported the Use Your Illusion tour. Guns has never been about the money so why would I do it now? I realized, this is not the direction that I want to go.

HP: You're back to playing bass on this album.

Duff: I'm playing bass and I'nm singing in this band, and it's amazing. I don't have stuff in my sinuses to clog the way. I don't have a messed up voice from binge drinking, and I don't slur the words. I really concentrate. The bass is my instrument. Sure, in Neurotic Outsiders I played guitar. My bandmate, John Taylor played bass too and I was a better guitar player than he was. He's a great bass player.

HP: Are you using the same equipment you used with GN'R?

Duff: I use a different bass, and I have this new Galien-Krueger 2000 Watt head. There are only two. Me and Flea got them. It blew out all my speakers. It's not so much to be loud, it's just got this growl.

HP: Are you still using a Fender bass?

Duff: No. I'm using a Music Man Stingray. I started using it onstage. I've always liked these basses. Actually, when we were trying to do the Guns album I broke this bass out, and it just sounded amazing. It's bigger and fatter sounding. I don't have to worry too much about dialing in my stuff. I'm going though some modulators, I use a wah-wah and a fuzz thing, it gives me a really growling sound. That's why I stuck with that bass. And since I recorded this record using that bass, I'm playing it live too.

HP: You used to tour with several basses.

Duff: With Guns on the big Illusions tour, I had a rak of basses because I didn't know if I was going to break one. Now I've got one and a back-up. I've still got my Fenders, I put the white one away. Fender are great recording basses too.

HP: What kind of equipment did you use to record at home?

Duff: I went through my 800 RB to record through two EB 400-watt 15-inch speakers. I have two tracks for my bass, one is miked into the 15-inch speaker, the other is miked straight into the board. I get a nice mixture of the two and I can put different levels on the pre-amp. I used a sub-harmonic gizmo on Song for Beverly. It rolled off the tone on the bass, so it's a really low sound. There's no crispness to it. I've always dont it that way, even when I was with Guns. So I have this signature way I play.

HP: Creating an album on your own is a change for you. Don't you usually like to play off the drums?
Duff: I like to play off a drummer. I watch them hit the snare because that's when I want to hit the bass.

HP: Whose equipment do you endorse?

Duff: I've never endorsed products because I don't want to play something for money. I don't want to compromise.

HP: You got former GN'R bandmates Slash and Izzy Stradlin to work on this record, did it take a big effort to get their contributions?

Duff: Not any effort. On the song Mezz, Slash called and said, "Can I come play on this man?" I said, "We've got a spot for a solo." As for Izzy, Todd Sullivan, my A&R; guy on the record said, "We need one track -- a Lord of Your Thighs mid-tempo rocker." I'd just written 29 songs. I didn't want to force writing a song, so I decided to call Izzy. I said , "Dude, they said I need a mid-tempo rocker." He just chuckled. So he wrote Put You Back, and a b-side called Riding Home.

HP: What is the chemistry of this project compared to Guns N' Roses?

Duff: Well, it was basically just me over a period of 10-12 months. At my house I have a two-inch tape and a real studio, so the recored songs are album quality, and they came out well. Jazz drummer Abe Laboriel helped me with the basic tracks, then I'd put everything on top. Basically the chemistry was just me going, "Is this any good?"

HP: If Slash and Izzy came back to Guns N' Roses, would you rejoin the band?

Duff: In a heartbeat. The electricity was brilliant. If it was just to go jam when nobody was there, I'd do it.
Blackstar
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