Duff McKagan unloads about Loaded, Velvet Revolver
ERNEST A. JASMIN; email@example.com
Last updated: August 22nd, 2008 01:27 AM (PDT)
Seattle boy Duff McKagan first became a household name as bassist for Guns N’ Roses in the ’80s. Then he struck gold again in recent years, after he and most of his G N’ R buddies teamed up with Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland to form super-group Velvet Revolver. But it’s Duff McKagan’s Loaded, the group he formed between his better-known bands, that will be on display tonight at Hell’s Kitchen. And he called recently to talk about having more time to dedicate to Loaded after Weiland’s departure from Velvet Revolver. For starters, there have been headlines for the past couple of months related to why you have more time to spend with Loaded. Yeah, I mean, we kind of knew back in even last August when Alice (in Chains) came out and was opening for us on that tour. That’s when we first started to really know this isn’t going to work out with Scott. But we went through the thing, hoping it was going to get better – you know, really tried to work with Scott and help him out and get back on the right path. But he kept going left, and we were going right. So that’s really it. Loaded is the band you formed when you were in school, right? (In) probably ’98. I think the first inception of Loaded had Taz Bentley from Reverend Horton Heat, Dez Cadena from old Black Flag and this guy Michael Barragan from this band Plexi. And we went and did a tour of the states, just a club tour.
I had a rehearsal space here in Ballard, and I would go in and play. But … my wife and I, our family was starting. And I was going to school (at Seattle University), so I didn’t really have a lot of time to do gigs or anything. But I was playing music … with Geoff Reading, the drummer. And we’d go in and just kind of jam, and eventually we made that first record – that “Dark Days” record. And the band sort of started to form. We got (bassist) Jeff Rouse and (guitarist) Mike Squires in. We’d go to Japan, like, on my spring break.
Velvet Revolver started. Velvet Revolver definitely took precedent over everything else. But we’d still do gigs. We’d do a charity gig for Christmas. And this last Christmas just seemed like the right time to re-explore what Loaded is. Loaded was formed pre-Velvet Revolver. But was it something that you wanted to take to the level of Guns N’ Roses? The music business is pretty cutthroat. It’s pretty gross, really, to tell you the truth. My experience in the music business and with record companies and so forth is pretty poor. It’s not a place where there’s a lot of integrity. I try to guard Loaded (from) all of that stuff. Let’s go play some live gigs; let’s go have a good time, try to get as many people to the gigs as we can within reason. You know, nobody really knows who we are. Do people recognize you from your other gigs? I think at this point in my career, people know who I am. I don’t know if that’s gonna pull ’em to come see us play. But it’s like, ‘Oh, yeah, there’s Duff. He’s with Velvet Revolver. He was in Guns N’ Roses like 20 years ago.’ (Laughs)
If nothing else, I’d like to be recognized, anyhow, as a guy who (has) never really sold out. I’ve always just kind of done things because I mean it, you know. Velvet Revolver was something I wanted to do because I wanted to play. I think it was important that (Guns N’ Roses guitarist) Slash and I played again. And it was this musical arena that we hadn’t explored. He and I can explore music for the rest of our lives and still not really scratch the surface of what we’re really capable of. That’s something that’s important to me. And it’s always been about the music and not about the dollar, you know, or the chicks or whatever.Recently, you posted “No More” on your MySpace site. Should that song give people an idea of the vibe of the forthcoming “Wasted Heart” EP? I think that’s a good indication of what the record is, definitely. And you’ve got a full-length coming up after that EP? The full-length is done. It’s all done. And we wanted to have some music out in Europe and the U.K. for this tour. So that’s why we’re kind of rushin’ the EP out there. Give me a few new songs we might hear at Hell’s Kitchen. Yeah, well, we’re gonna play a lot of stuff from the new record. There’s a song called “Sleaze Factory” that we wrote. … Jeff Rouse wrote the lyrics for that, actually. It’s pretty great. It’s a song kind of about a guy and a girl gettin’ in a fight. I love the lyrics to this song. It doesn’t have anything to do with my personal life, but I think we’ve probably all felt the feelings this song portrays. There’s a song “Wasted Heart” that I had written for my wife when I was goin’ through some troubles about three years ago. It’s a really heartfelt song … kind of like a Tom Waits-ish song. Since you brought up the new Velvet Revolver singer, I’ve seen a few rumors about who’s in the running. Last I read it was supposedly Lenny Kravitz. Yeah, I guess that was reported that he was our new singer, which is surprising to me. I got sent a ton of links yesterday by our management. And they were all from The New York Post; you know, the Sun in the U.K., reporting that he’s our new singer. I don’t know where people get all this (stuff). You know, I could almost see that workin’. Well, I think that would be killer. That guy’s a true musician. I’ve known that guy for 20 years. That would be great. But I’m not sure if Lenny knows about it. We didn’t know about it. We’ll find a guy.
You can hear clips of the interview, including what McKagan said about the possibility of Chris Cornell joining the band, on Bring the Noise (blogs.thenewstribune.com/ej).**
Ernest Jasmin: 253-274-7389
What: Duff McKagan’s Loaded in concert
When: All-ages show, 6 p.m.
today; 21-and-older show, 9 p.m. today
Where: Hell’s Kitchen, 3829 Sixth Ave., Tacoma
Tickets: $10 for each show
Information: 253-759-6003 or www.hellskitchenonline.com
Originally published: August 22nd, 2008 01:27 AM (PDT) www.thenewstribune.com/ae/story/455366.html
** Here's the blog that's referenced at the end of the article:
Thursday, August 21st, 2008
Duff McKagan on Guns, Loaded -- and little bit about Scott Weiland guyPosted by Ernest Jasmin @ 07:13:06 pm As you might have read in a previous post, ex-Guns N’ Roses and current Velvet Revolver bassist Duff McKagan will bring his other band, Duff McKagan’s Loaded, to Hell’s Kitchen tomorrow. And recently I called the guy at his home in Seattle to catch up. Duff’s a pretty laid back, candid guy, and I got lots of good clips about all three of his bands, including his account of what went wrong between former VR singer Scott Weiland and the rest of the guys.
But I thought I’d post these things in a couple of installments just to break it up. Today, I’ll post the clips where he’s mostly talking about Loaded, with passing reference to his bigger bands. And if all goes according to plan (that is, if I’m recovered from the Ice Cube show bright and early) in the morning you should be able to check back and listen to what Duff said about VR's search for a new singer. (Maybe you've already caught the gist of what he said here.)
The article he references is posted here: www.duffmckagans-rawpower.com/smf/index.php?topic=2184.msg9806#msg9806
Part 1: Forming Loaded in college
Part 2: His motivations, Guns, Velvet Revolver and Duff McKagan's Loaded rated as creative outlets
Part 3: New songs we'll hear at Hell's Kitchen, before the new Loaded album and EP http://blogs.thenewstribune.com/ej/
When you go to the site, parts 1-3 are links for mp3 formats