DUFF6638.jpg
Duff McKagan is the former bassist for Guns N' Roses. He currently plays bass in Velvet Revolver and fronts the band Loaded. His column runs

"/>

Duff McKagan Addresses the Jane's Addiction Rumors, the Velvet Revolver Talk, and Those Missed Deadlines

DUFF6638.jpg
Duff McKagan is the former bassist for Guns N' Roses. He currently plays bass in Velvet Revolver and fronts the band Loaded. His column runs every Thursday on Reverb. He writes about what music is circulating through his space every Monday.
Hey, Duff. What's up, man? Column was a half-day late this week? Look, I think it's cool that you've got a book deal, but now I hear that perhaps some extracurricular activities are getting in the way of you hitting deadlines. Am I right?

McKagan: Well, it's about time I hear SOMETHING from one of you people at the Weekly! Is this what it takes? I've got to be LATE on a piece?! I'm not sure if you guys were aware that I still play music . . . or if you knew I was ever a musician in the first place! Yes, I have been busy! Not only do I have a wife and two kids and two dumb dogs, but I have been busy writing music for Loaded, and I started a book. I've also been fielding more than a few phone calls and emails because of my new association with Janes Addiction.

What? Jane's Addiction? Hey, man, if you needed some extra cash, why didn't you just say so? We're Village Voice Media, baby! I can probably come up with a couple more bucks a week for you. Would $25 do it?

I think people sometimes actually believe that because I was in Guns N' Roses, I must have a money tree growing in my backyard! Daddy (that is what they call me around here) has got to go out and earn a living just like most anyone else!

Something like a chance to write, record, and perhaps even perform with a band of the quality of Jane's Addiction does not come around every day. I have a lot of respect for this band and the guys in it. The music that we have been writing is an extension of that mutual respect.

Does this mean you've moved a set of steel drums into your house?

Not yet.

Speaking of bands, you know I played in a band too. I Pity the Foo was the region's premiere Foo Fighters cover band, but I gave it up when I started missing deadlines. Have you considered tossing in the hat on Loaded? Or perhaps Velvet Revolver? I mean, Slash is pretty busy these days, too, right?

Loaded will ALWAYS be something I do. It is more a way of life and a way to express music and have a fucking blast with those guys than anything else. I'm sure we have hopes of one day having a song that gets a lot of play on the radio or something like that, but that is not what drives us.

Velvet Revolver had an amazing climb from absolutely nothing to something that people around the planet got into. That is also an amazing thing to observe from the inside. I won't be the guy to say it was anyone's fault that we came to an end with Scott Weiland; shit just happens. If you've been doing this as long as I have, you just learn to shut your mouth and fucking move on. Velvet is in a period of downtime right now, and perhaps we will one day get a new singer. For now, though, I have to look at opportunities when they are presented.

I have been a huge fan of [JA founding bassist] Eric Avery since the mid-'80s, when I would go to see them play at clubs down in L.A. This is not, in my mind, about me replacing him, in any way shape or form. I have a lot of respect for this band and the guys in it. The music that we have been writing is an extension of that mutual respect. AND it's a blast! Perry Farrell is an absolute visionary. Dave Navarro has always been a guitar player who I have had a lot of respect for. Playing in a rhythm section with Stephen Perkins is almost trancelike. Kick-ass for sure. I also want to make it clear to JA fans that I really appreciate all of the kind words and sentiment directed to me.

I put no blame on Slash for VR not just putting everything else to the side and looking for a singer after our parting with Scott. I know Slash very well, and also know that his new record is something that he has arguably been wanting to do since the early '90s. This record is on his own terms, with no band members to deal with. I get it. I think maybe we all needed a break after what went down with us.

I have never spoken or written about this, because things of this nature are just so often better left alone. With the sheer volume of calls and e-mails I have received in the past week regarding JA, I thought it best if I was completely open about all the factors that make up my career. We are all friends in VR, don't get me wrong, but with all the different issues that plagued us, we all just needed to do something else for a while, I suppose. As I said, though, I also cannot just wait around. Life is short, and I am going to make the most of it.

Oh, damn. Now I kind of feel like a dick. Hey, if this doesn't work out for you, I'm sure we could find a job for you in the circulation department. Those guys are cool as shit.

Hey, you never know, this could all change tomorrow.

 
comments powered by Disqus