Duff McKagan Talks to Jay Mohr About Axl Rose, Guns N’ Roses, New Album & More!

Jay Mohr and Duff McKagan

Duff McKagan Stops By Jay Mohr’s Podcast!

This week Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan stopped by Jay Mohr’s podcast to discuss Guns N’ Roses, his new album Tenderness (drops May 31, 2019) and more! You can listen to the podcast here.

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He talked about the following topics:

  • Going to see Iggy Pop in concert when he was younger and tripping out on mushrooms and having a panic attack.
  • Duff said if he has a panic attack he does push ups. He said they normally happen for him on planes as soon as the door closes and doing push ups helps him think he’s in the dojo.
  • Duff said he talks football with Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains and Perry Farrell of Jane’s Addiction. He said Perry knows every rule in the NFL
  • Duff talked about how he doesn’t know a lot of the rules in the NFL.
  • Jay Mohr said Andrew Stockdale of Wolfmother was a terrible interviewee.
  • Duff said the “Not in This Lifetime Tour” was amazing. He said it was great to be sober and to be at ease.
  • Duff says rehearsals for Guns N’ Roses “Not in This Lifetime Tour” started in January of 2016 and he used to go watch cable news after rehearsals. He said he couldn’t stand all the yelling and shouting. Duff said he talked with politics at rehearsals with his bandmates.  Duff said once Guns N’ Roses went to South America he stopped watching Cable News and stopped looking at Twitter. He said he still posted pictures from soundcheck on Twitter but that was it.
  • Duff said he used his time off tour to do touristy stuff and he felt a lot better. He said once you go off the beaten path off people don’t recognize you as easily. Duff said that political divide the media portrays isn’t there when you talk to people there.
  • Duff told a sweet story of a father and daughter who were following Guns N’ Roses on tour after their mother passed away. Duff said he ran into the family sight seeing in New Orleans and how everyone has a story.
  • Duff said Guns N’ Roses communicated best through music.
  • Duff talked about Melissa Reese and how they rehearsed the song Coma with her. She said the band members went into the circle of fifths without knowing it. He said she knows music theory a lot better than the guys in Guns N’ Roses.
  • Duff said when Guns N’ Roses came up, Jane’s Addiction played across the street from them. Duff said him and Steven would go see Jane’s Addiction to watch their rhythm section play.
  • Duff talked about auditioning Martin Chambers to replace Steven Adler and how he had a huge drum kit during the audition. Duff said the drum kit looked like an octopus. Duff said they did two songs with him and they were done.
  • Duff said they tried out Adam Maples from Falling James to replace Steven Adler. Duff said they didn’t want to steal another band’s drummer.
  • Duff said Kenny Aranoff helped Slash and Duff find Matt Sorum. Kenny ran into Duff at Dave Grohl’s 50th birthday and said Kenny told him Duff and Slash were hammered when they saw Matt Sorum play. Kenny had to help them in and out of the car.
  • Duff said Axl Rose had already written November Rain in 1985 when they first met.
  • Duff said the month before Guns N’ Roses Not in This Lifetime Tour Rehearsals he was sitting in his basement with his bass listening to old Guns N’ Roses record to relearn all the songs. He said it was the first time he listened to Guns N’ Roses since 2014 when he toured with Axl. Duff said he typically doesn’t listen to records he’s made once he’s done. Duff said he used to text Slash about how they came up with weird change arounds on the old songs.
  • Duff compared Axl Rose to Henry Rollins. He said he had the intensity of Rollings and could do a high and low voice at once. He said Axl works a lot and he did vocal lessons and warm ups and warm downs before.
  • Duff said Axl Rose does 1.5 hour vocal warm ups before shows.
  • Duff said Slash’s routine involves getting up going to the gym and playing guitar the rest of the day. He said Slash is a man of few words.
  • Duff said he was unaware of a lot of lawsuits going on with Guns N’ Roses back in the day.
  • Duff talked a bit about playing with Jane’s Addiction about a decade ago.
  • Duff said he never listened to Brandi Carlile’s new record that Shooter Jenning’s worked on because he didn’t want that record influencing Tenderness.
  • Duff said the day they were done mixing the record he bought Carlile’s record off iTunes and said he listens to albums and music at his kitchen table with headphones on.
  • Duff talked about seeing TSOL, Danzig and FEAR live recently.