David Swan of Australia’s Faster Louder recently conducted an interview with Duff McKagan (DUFF MCKAGAN’S LOADED, VELVET REVOLVER, GUNS N’ ROSES). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Faster Louder: Who is really going to replace [singer] Scott Weiland in VELVET REVOLVER?

Duff: I have no idea.

Faster Louder: Where’s that at right now?

Duff: Um … I think it’s at nowhere. I think everybody just kind of got sick of talking about it, because there’s really no guy, so there’s nothing that me or Slash or Matt [Sorum] or Dave [Kushner] could say that would change the course of this question. So there’s nobody now, I think the longer that Slash is out touring, and that I’m out touring, people will stop asking as much. Maybe once it’s settled down, we’ll find the guy.

Faster Louder: Is it more intimidating being in a “supergroup” than a regular band?

Duff: All the bands are super. The intention is, when Slash and Matt and I were first writing songs and there was a murmur around L.A. and the music industry that we were writing songs, it wasn’t called a supergroup, it was just three guys from GUNS. So as soon as you add that other guy from another band, suddenly [it’s a supergroup] … I mean when I think of the word “supergroup,” I’m an older guy, so I think of ASIA, and that was the first time I’d ever heard the word. And we’re not fuckin’ like ASIA. But it was no more intimidating playing with Slash and Matt in 2003 and 2004 when we started that thing than it was in the ’90s. We’re just fellas. Scott, I’d already been friends with for quite some time, so it was just another buddy. From the outside, it’s like, “Oh my god! The superpowers are coming together,” but it’s more like “not really,” but you can’t really argue with that.

Faster Louder: You have a lot of things on the side going on. Is that cause music doesn’t pay the bills like it used to?

Duff: Writing doesn’t pay the bills. I just like to write, and Seattle Weekly gave me a call about four years ago, for a weekly column. I sort of fell into it. I read a lot. And I’ve got a column for ESPN, so suddenly I’m writing 2000 words a week and because of that much writing I was able to write the book. I’ve never done anything based on money or how earnings in the short term. I just like doing stuff I do. So if you see me doing something, I like doing it. But rock’n’roll doesn’t pay all the bills for sure. Record sales pay some of the bills, but these days no one’s really making a ton of money from selling records. Maybe LINKIN PARK or PEARL JAM.

Faster Louder: Why did you really leave JANE’S ADDICTION? At the time you cited “musical differences.”

Duff: I didn’t actually say that. I never did the “musical differences” thing, because I don’t think it was. It was more to service that band … for a minute. And I’ve known those guys for a long time, and I got to play a couple of gigs with them, and help them write some songs. They were back on their own feet, and it’s weird for me, a guy who’s always started his own bands, it’s kinda hard to come into a band with a 20-plus year history and try and fit in. They were really trying to make me feel like I fit in, but I did my service and I knew when it was time to say, “I’m good. Are you guys good? I’m good.” It wasn’t musical differences at all, it was just an unexplainable thing.

Read the entire interview from Faster Louder.


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