Duff McKagan: Back in Guns N’ Roses
Duff McKagan is an experienced bass player who is part of Guns N Roses rock band. Today, the rock icon comes with a new solo album and a new comeback with his GNR band. In 2016, Duff McKagan played at the Grammys with Alice Cooper’s superband, Hollywood Vampires. With the passing of Motorhead’s lead, Lemmy Kilmister, Alice Cooper wanted to perform “Ace of Spades” as a tribute to the icon man of rock and metal. McKagan recalls that Alice asked him about playing the song at the rehearsals. McKagan accepted the offer saying that the Motorhead songs are part of his making.
GNR’s debut with album “Appetite for Destruction” topped the Billboard 200 and became the most wanted album in the U.S and has sold over 30 milions copies worldwide. The album has numerous hit songs, like “Welcome to the Jungle”, “Paradise City” and “Sweet Child o’ Mine”. The latter song featured one of the most recognized bass motifs in the music of rock.
McKagan’s Gallien-Krueger-driven, pick-wielding tone with nuanced and melodic sensibility quickly became a signature of the GNR sound. The albums “Appetite” and “Use Your Illusion I and II” were both certified seven times platinum by the RIAA. However the band had an interior strife which was driving them apart.
McKagan was the last original member who left GNR in August 1997. Lead singer Axl Rose continued to help the GNR moniker. In 2002, McKagan formed the Velvet Revolver with a former GNR bandmates, Slash and Matt Sorum. In addition, ex-Stone Temple Pilots singer, Scott Weiland, joined the newly formed band.
Like always, McKagan showed his bass skills. The song “Slither” from Velvet Revolver’s debut album “Contraband”, gave McKagan a 2005 Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance. The album was also #1 on the Billboard 200 chart. The lead singer, Scott Weiland left to rejoin Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver failed to land a suitable replacement, the band became inactive. However, that didn’t slowed down McKagan.
The Seattle native launched several of his own projects, like Loaded, 10 Minute Warning and Walking Papers. He joined for a short time Jane’s Addiction in 2010 and has toured several times with Kings of Chaos and Hollywood Vampires. Since 2010, McKagan has began to reappear with Guns N’ Roses, with their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. He official rejoined the band in 2016, together with Slash and Axl Rose.
Currently, McKagan is promoting a new signature bass from Fender, as well as his solo album “Tenderness”, which will be soon released. His solo album was recorded at Station House studios in Echo Park, California and it is a pleasantly surprising musical nod towards classic soul and country. McKagan is the lead vocals, acoustic guitar and bass.
Back With GNR
McKagan started his career with Guns N’ Roses and after their split McKagan has been playing with Velvet Revolver, taking lessons with Reggie Hamilton, playing in Walking Papers and then going back to Guns N’ Roses. In the early days McKagan didn’t play much with his fingers. He used the fingers on songs like “Estranged” and “November Rain”. Now, he is approaching the Guns stuff with maybe a third of the set with his fingers.
McKagan gets more feeling from the songs like “Estranged” and “November Rain”, however now he plays a couple of “Chinese Democracy” songs with his fingers too. On slower songs, McKagan has more control by playing with his fingers, and it was something he wanted to learn from Reggie Hamilton, John Humphries a Musicians Institute and Scott Shriner from Weezer.
Playing with different drummers affected McKagan’s approach in the GNR catalog, however the current Guns N’ Roses drummer, Frank Ferre is a big, solid drummer. He’s got some real nice pocket, McKagan described, but every drummer is different. Some of them don’t play with a click, some of them use the click all the time, and some just use a click for tempo at the beginning, or middle.
Frank uses a click in really cool places. Sometimes the band has to slow down for a bridge, and sometimes they feel the song really pull back. Fans get excited when the band is playing, and sometimes the band has to speed the songs up. Frank is like a marshall, he will marshall that and pull everyone back.
After so many years, the band had to do rehearsals for six days a week for three weeks and each day was between 6-8 hours of rehearsals. They had to learn how to play all of those songs together, because Richard Fortus was there too. They brought in Melissa Reese too, who is a keyboard player, opera singer and jazz singer. Her backup vocals are incredible and she has the perfect pitch. The whole band consists in Slash, McKagan, Axl, Richard, Frank, Dizzy Reed and Melissa.
Ever since its formation from 1985, Guns N’ Roses, often abbreviated as GNR has become a legendary band. Their songs were also used in other media, like movies, games and others.
A prime example is Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas with “Welcome to the Jungle”. No other song would establish San Andreas early 90’s setting. Rockstar Games already proved their fans that their GTA games are popular, but adding the “Welcome to the Jungle” song gave more interaction with the game and the band as well. The song is also available in the in-game radio.
One of the band members, Slash made his own appearance in the video game industry.
In 2007, Slash appeared in Neversoft’s “Guitar Hero III” as a playable musician. Players would unlock Slash after a heated battle and they could also play “Welcome to the Jungle” with Slash being their character.
In addition, Guitar Hero and GTA: San Andreas are not the only games that can give life to the stage with guitar chords and drumming sounds. Ever since 1985, the band has made many fans, in addition the NetEnt company has joined the crowd by creating a masterpiece with Guns N’ Roses. The game created by NetEntertainment is considered one of the best rock music slots that can be found online.
With Guns N’ Roses video slots, fans can enjoy a rock song anytime on their mobile phones, tablet or PC. Plus, players can choose up to five songs to play while the game is playing. However, the Guns N’ Roses slots isn’t a 2019 game, it was launched back in January 2016. In addition, the slot game is still popular because of its amazing authentic Guns N’ Roses hits. All the game features blend perfectly into the mix. However, it is nice to have a good stereo sound, especially on mobile platforms.
A main interface feature is that the game will take you into a stadium filled with a cheering crowd. The songs that can be heard in-game are “Welcome to the Jungle”, “Sweet Child O’Mine”, “Paradise City”, “November Rain” and “Chinese Democracy”.
The player is welcomed by a 3D Guns N’ Roses logo intro, all made in shades of black. The playing intro song and video music is “Sweet Child O’ Mine”. The intro can be skipped, but who would do that? After the grand intro, the video stops at the Guns N’ Roses logo which then sends you towards the main menu of the game, with “Welcome to the Jungle” song playing.