Friday, April 1, 2011

Duff McKagan talks Velvet Revolver, Guns N' Roses and Rock n' Roll Hall Of Fame

Joe Bosso of recently conducted an interview with Duff McKagan (GUNS N' ROSES, VELVET REVOLVER, DUFF MCKAGAN'S LOADED). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. Let's talk about VELVET REVOLVER. I spoke with Slash before the holidays, and he indicated to me that things would be figured out soon. [McKagan laughs] Then, around the start of 2011, rumors circulated that [SLIPKNOT and STONE SOUR singer] Corey Taylor might be the new vocalist.

Duff: "We recorded a bunch of songs with Corey. I think he's fucking great. Whether he's in VELVET REVOLVER or not…'cause I'm at a point where I can see things with a bigger view, you know, it's not all about me… I think he's the best voice of a new generation. The best rock 'n' voice out there. He's got a lot of positive energy. I'd be proud to do anything with him.

"But the truth is…I can't see VELVET REVOLVER happening till fall, maybe. Slash is touring, I'm just starting to tour… We'll just see. Joe, I just don't have an answer. I don't." On to another group — GUNS N' ROSES. Last year, you played with the band in England, but afterwards — and I want to make sure I get this right — you said that you felt it was a mistake to have done so.

Duff: "It wasn't a mistake. Everything happens in life for a reason. See, I have a another business that has nothing to do with music at all, and my partners are with a London-based firm. As a result, I go to London from time to time. So I'm in London on a business trip, and the hotel manager is showing me and my wife to our room. Nothing's odd at all, everything's fine. Then the manager says to me, 'You're playing tonight.' And I'm like, 'No, I'm not playing.' He looked at me strangely, and then he said, 'Is it going to be a problem if your room is next to Axl's [Rose]?' And I said, 'No, there won't be any problem.' At that moment, I said to myself, 'This is the time when it's gonna happen, that he and I reconnect.'

"You know, say what you want, but some of us guys went through a bunch of shit together. You can't take that away, and you can't put yourself in our positions. People have quipped wise about our situation, but what it comes down to is that you're in a room with a guy you went to fucking war with. Everybody said we wouldn't make it, that we sucked. We played gigs to three people. But we believed in ourselves and we got huge, and we went through all of that together, too.

"I hadn't talked to Axl in some time, but you know… I'm a grown-up. Martial arts has really taught me how to deal with a lot of things. The biggest thing is, Don't be a pussy. Not just with that situation, but in general — in life." If my calculations are correct, next year GUNS N' ROSES are eligible to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

Duff: "Yeah, there are a lot of 'ifs' in that…

"I'd be lying to you if I said I didn't know it was coming. I've been made aware of it. I don't sit around and do the calculations: 'Oh yeah, the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, that's where I gotta be…'

"So yeah, I guess we could be eligible. But I think it's a real 'cross-that-bridge-when-you-come-to-it' kind of thing. I haven't done any thorough thinking about it or reaching out to anyone about it.

"My only experience with the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame was when VR played it and we were inducting VAN HALEN. That whole band was supposed to be there, including David Lee Roth — we were going to do a song with him. It all started falling apart in the two weeks leading up to the gig. It was sad to watch…

"We were just the innocent band that was there to play VAN HALEN songs, and we saw their whole thing crumble. To see Michael Anthony and Sammy Hagar show up, when it was supposed to be everybody... Michael and Sammy were really cool guys and good sports about it, but they took all the heat over the situation. A lot of heat.

"I don't know if I want to set myself up for heat. It's going to be a debacle, isn't it? A press debacle. I just don't know what else to say about it, Joe. I have to come up with some good quotes!" [laughs]

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