DUFF MCKAGAN On 'Chinese Democracy', VELVET REVOLVER's Singer Search

Former GUNS N' ROSES and current VELVET REVOLVER bassist Duff McKagan was interviewed on Eddie Trunk's "Friday Night Rocks" radio show on New York's Q104.3 FM this past Friday, November 21. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

On whether he's heard GUNS N' ROSES' long-awaited new album, "Chinese Democracy", and what his thoughts are on it:

"I just heard the single, 'Chinese Democracy', and I heard it at the gym when I was working out. So I didn't give it… It wasn't like I sat down in a quiet room and listened to it and analyzed it. And I probably wouldn't. I think Axl's [Rose]… obviously he's a really talented guy and I shared a big part of my life with him, but that was a long time ago for me.

"I've been asked more about this record, starting about 8-9 years ago, and I probably know the least about the record. It's not like I don't pay attention to what's going on in music. But I've got a really short attention span. You know, I'll hear something… I heard a song by this band SHINY TOY GUNS last week — and these guys are killer; I love 'em — and then that'll be gone in about a week.

"As far as Axl's new record, I'm sure there's probably amazing stuff on there, just know there. I've only got that one song and a listen at a gym to go off, so I can't really say that much about it. But how do I feel about it? Good for him that this record's finally coming out. Obviously, I wish him the best. I'm glad that people that have been waiting for this record have something to finally go get."

"The band that we formed twenty-something years ago is a completely different thing, and that's been over for… wow, 15 years. But I know Axl; he's a perfectionist, in a good way, musically. So I know he's not gonna let something come out that sucks — at least in his mind. That counts for something with me. He and I, we shared a lot of good times, some crappy times, but when you look at the glass, it's definitely more than half full for me."

On VELVET REVOLVER's singer search:

"The only guy [out of all the people that have been rumored to be the new VR singer] we ever played with, and he was great, [was] Royston Langdon from SPACEHOG. And he was everything a singer should be — a great singer, a great guy, and an odd character — but there was just something that was missing, and it wasn't anything that he could have done differently. A ton of singers, through our management, have turned in their vocals on two songs of ours that aren't released. Once you get up over, say, 40 singers, it's hard to listen to listen and distinguish them all. If you sit down and listen to 10 guys, you're not giving the tenth guy the same listen you are the first guy. So we've gotta figure out how to go about this. I don't think any of the guys we've heard so far are 'THE' guy, and I don't think we can go out with a guy who's just good — we have to have somebody that's amazing. Scott [Weiland, VELVET REVOLVER's former frontman] was an amazing singer. I don't think people would really buy it if we went out with somebody who's just, sort of, good."

VELVET REVOLVER recently parted ways with RCA Records (a Sony BMG label), the record company that released the group's first two full-length albums.

VELVET REVOLVER's 2004 debut, "Contraband", has sold 1.98 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Its follow-up, "Libertad", has shifted a little over 300,000 units in the U.S. since its July 2007 release.


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