Walking Papers new album “WP2” is out today! You can pick it up here! Jeff Angell sat down with Loudwire to talk about the new album and discussed the influence of Guns N’ Roses on his career and Duff McKagan. He also talked about Duff’s absence from the group’s upcoming album launch party and future shows. The excerpts are below:
“I wanted to ask about Duff McKagan as well. I see he’s not able to play your upcoming release show and obviously Guns N’ Roses is a huge thing. How cool is it to have a guy in the biggest band in the world but also knowing he wants to be part of what you’re doing musically as well?
It’s pretty cool. It’s validating is what it is. I grew up and those guys were a huge influence on me when I was a kid. I was 12 or 13 when [Appetite for Destruction] came out and that was the record for me. I was like, “I’m not pretty enough for what MTV is selling me and I don’t have the weird thrash metal macho ink, so I’m not that guy.” So when their band came out, I was kind of like that’s me. I’m kind of in the middle – somewhere between a punk sleazy guy and a normal dude who likes his rock and roll.
To me, Appetite for Destruction and N.W.A.’s Straight Outta Compton really captures Los Angeles in 1987. Maybe a little Jane’s Addiction too, but those guys were heroes of mine and I didn’t seek them out, they kind of sought me out. And living in Seattle and seeing the grunge thing. You know, I’d never met Barrett Martin but with Mad Season and Screaming Trees, basically I have two guys from two of the most musically influential periods to me actually want to make music and support my songs and stuff like that, that’s my Grammy I guess. That’s my validation and reward and it’s kind of humbling and overwhelming at the same time, but it’s also nice to have people that you respect and admire believe in what you’re doing.
Plus, I get all these great stories about Guns N’ Roses. You know I don’t really care. I give two about what happens to someone after they get famous, but I always want to know that struggle … the struggle in getting the songs together and it’s really, really interesting in how they put together Appetite for Destruction and I don’t think it’s at all like people think. I mean those guys knew those songs and they had half of the next album already written. They really struggled and I really love that. It was really exciting, but holy, this ain’t a Guns N’ Roses redo (laughs)”
(laughs) Well moving on from that, I was going to ask about the show you have coming up, as Walking Papers’ live lineup for the release show has an upright bass player, a trumpet and sax player as well as an additional guitarist. Is this what you’re looking at for touring or is this just the one show as Duff’s not able to join in?
We’re liking the idea of doing anything. We’ve played some shows as a three-piece as well, with me on guitar and Ben on keys and in two of the other bands I’m in – Staticland and the Missionary Position – Ben played all the bass on his keyboards, sort of like The Doors. So this is really the only band I’ve been in that had a bass player for a long time.
But also, I like playing rock and I grew up on that, but to be honest I probably listen [more] to Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits and Nick Cave and Bob Dylan. I listen to music that’s more like that than I do hard rock. But at the same time being a guitar player I grew up on AC/DC and Black Sabbath and stuff like that, so I’m kind of a weird hodge podge. But having a horn section and Ben playing piano, you can hear chord progressions that for you as a guitar player sound boring, but you get these guys to play the same progression with a different instrumentation and it elevates it. It makes it exciting to me again and now I don’t feel like I’m kind of recycling the same kind of thing. There are different inversions of different chords that you just can’t get with the guitar. It doesn’t really lend itself to making it happen.
What’s on the horizon for the band as we start 2018?
There’s some opportunities that are starting to drop in for the touring and we’ll take that as it comes. I don’t think Duff’s available. He’s got a cash machine over there that he’s got to tend to (laughs). So the rest of us are going to do what we can do and whatever comes to us. We don’t think too much about it. I’ve had such a good run of music my entire life and I’m grateful for it and everything that comes I’m happy to get in on it.