It's not that I am trying to use this space to further my career or highlight how "cool" I am. On the contrary, really. I think people who have followed my arcane musings in this paper have actually truly seen me in my buffoonish glory. In a few weeks, Loaded (my Seattle-based rock outfit) will be releasing our new record worldwide, and the press tour has already begun. You may hear or read an interview that one or all of us do in your local paper or on a local radio station. Rest assured that will not be the only one we'll have done that day. I thought it might be interesting to some of you to take a little trip with me on a typical three-day press jaunt. In this case, 56 interviews in 70 hours. Here goes...
Duff McKagan's column runs every Thursday on Reverb.
Now Eddy has been around this business for a very long time and is a very good radio host. His show is pretty much commercial-free, which frees up time to play the music you want and to converse back and forth in a real in-depth way. I ended up staying on the show until its end at 10 p.m., and it was a great way to start the three-day stint. The people who phoned in were pretty well informed, and awkward moments were minimal. We played some cuts from the record and generally had a real good time. Got asked about search for a new Velvet Revolver singer and how Loaded got its name.
Tuesday, Feb. 10 (start time 8 a.m.): Today we start at CBS Radio in midtown Manhattan, where they will patch me through to numerous rock morning radio shows up and down the East Coast. Now when I get my coffee on... watch the fuck out. I can talk, and depending on how much caffeine, it can turn into a serious babble. I was suddenly brought back into focus when one of the radio-show hosts said he heard that VR had our new singer (and apparently, this was according to me!). I said that no, we did not have our singer quite yet, but yes, we could be close. Got asked about Loaded's name another 12 to 15 times. Time for a 10-minute lunch at Starbucks on our walk from CBS to Sirius Radio, also in midtown.
At Sirius, I am led around to the various radio shows that want a 15-to-20 minute interview about the new Loaded record. Also at this point, more and more people are getting interested in the fact that I write two weekly columns and that one of them is a FINANCIAL piece for Playboy. I was asked numerous times if I wanted to make a statement about VR's new singer. I politely stated that in fact we hadn't actually found "the guy" yet, but we were headed in a positive direction. I also started getting queried about whether I had been invited to the Playboy mansion yet. "No, I just write for them," said I. Again, was asked about Loaded's name more times that I care to remember.
I may have done a TV news show at this point, but it is kind of fuzzy. I got back to my hotel, went straight to the gym, and tried to get my "chi" back.
Wednesday, Feb. 11 (start time 8 a.m.): So we start today back at CBS Radio for yet another "radio tour" of East Coast morning radio shows. The reception for the new record is actually kind of overwhelming as more and more stations are beginning to add our single to their playlists.
Because I had done press for the previous two days, enough time had transpired for me to be generously misquoted. Questions like "Hey, Duff! How many times you been up to Hef's house?" or "What is your new singer's name?" seemed to drone at me and through me. Aw fuck... I've only got time for another Starbucks lunch before getting to the publishing offices of Playboy for another round of, you guessed it... radio interviews.
This time, the radio interviews were by phone (why, yes, I COULD have done this part in the comfort of my own home). The powers that be at Playboy were pretty excited that press people wanted to speak to them about something other than just naked chicks (nothing wrong with naked chicks, mind you!). As I got into the interviews, though, it was really becoming over-apparent that these questions about me going to the "mansion" and VR's new singer find were getting out of hand. I was happy to get some fresh air when this bit of phone glad-handing was over. On to Rolling Stone and...
You know what? Need I say more? Same shit, different question asker(s). I got back to my hotel and again went to the gym, this time desperately seeking some "me" time.
Thursday, Feb. 12: Today, I am doing Eddy Trunk's VH1 show in front of a studio audience. First, however, I must do a N.Y. rock radio morning show live and in person (these are usually always better, as the person interviewing you doesn't want to come off as a dumb-ass and ask you the same questions that everyone else has). The problem was they asked me EVERY SINGLE QUESTION THAT HAD BEEN ASKED OF ME REPEATEDLY FOR THE LAST 62 HOURS! If that wasn't bad enough, they didn't even seem to acknowledge that I had answered these questions and that my answers were right there on the Web site they were getting all their info from. I was actually saved by a few callers who called the radio host a moron, saving me the effort! Eddy Trunk's show went great, and all I had left now was a Spin interview and a trip to JFK to get on a plane.
Ah, but then it came. Once in a while, a guy in my position will come across interviewers who think they are real, real smart and have the sass to get cute with you. I had neither the time nor the patience to mince words. I asked the guy if he was being serious and if he really wanted to ask me the questions that he was asking me. The trick here is not to lose your shit. No, rather you want to point them in the direction that you would like the interview to go and leave on a high, which it did, and therefore, I did.
Loaded questions = 509
VR singer questions = 271
Playboy "mansion" questions (including the ones from all my friends I grew up with) = 2,192
Advil = 16
Next week, Mike and I head out for a 16-city radio tour. Stay tuned.
P.S. The editor's thought some of you may want to know the answers to some of the questions I was asked.
1) 'Loaded' is a name I came up with back in 1997. The tie-in with my old band's name was unintentional as the 'loaded' that I was thinking of was meant as inebriation.
2) VR has yet to find its' new singer but I will be sure to let you know here first.
3) As of this writing, I have yet to be invited to Hef's pad. I would probably just pass on the invite to a few friends anyhow...don't want to mention any names (Andy and Brian)!