Monday, April 27, 2009

Hangin' with Duff

This past Friday we were honored to have Duff McKagan, founding member of Guns 'N Roses and Velvet Revolver, in our studio with his band Loaded. We interviewed Duff, chatted a little about Guns 'N Roses and Velvet Revolver, and he even performed two songs from the new album "Sick." You can check all of that at, we have video, audio and pictures of it.

Here's my take on the whole thing...It was awesome!

Nate and I picked up Duff and the band at the Pullman Plaze Hotel, which is barely a block away from the station. I told the manager that we could walk them over, but he insisted we drive over, which I completely understand. So we pull up to the bus, wait for everyone to get out, load up the guitars, and get everyone in the cars, and then make the long one block drive over. We are sitting at the stop light in front of the station, and I point and show Duff where we are going, and he goes, "That's it?! Why didn't we just F@#&ing walk over?!" I said I told his manager that, and Duff just laughed.

So we got everyone into the studio, and it was a tight fit (check out the pictures -- it's a small studio!). Then they did a sound check, and worked on getting all their harmonies together. To all of us who were in the studio -- that was freaking awesome. They were doing a little mini-performance just for us, yeah I know they were tuning up, but they were jamming the single "Flatline" out and even did a cool cover of the Rolling Stones' "Wild Horses," and we were the only ones that were hearing it!

Then it was time for the interview, and if you watch the video, you'll see Duff still strumming his guitar and singing when I crack the mic to start the interview -- I told them 30 seconds and all of that stuff, but they were all into it! It was cool. I thought the interview went pretty well, you can be the judge of that. Then they did the song "Flatline." I really do like that song -- it's catchy, it has a great intro, and great harmonies. While they were doing it, you'll see this in the video, the drummer was playing a shaker and a tambourine, and he was rocking up against one of our CD racks, and it is not the sturdiest thing to begin with! As he was playing, the rack kept rocking, and rocking, I was just waiting for it to fall and all 400 or 500 CDs to fall as well! Luckily it didn't! Then they did another tune, "Wasted Heart," it wasn't as fast, so there wasn't as much shaking on the rack!

After the interview, we all chatted for a minute, and I just have to say Duff McKagan is a really nice guy. He took time to sign some stuff for us and took some pictures. Before we left from the hotel, their manager told us to bring them back to the V Club. Well, after the interview, Duff and the band weren't really interested in that -- they wanted to walk around town! After talking with them before the show, we found out the went to Glenn's, Now Hear This and the Pita Pit, then they walked back to the venue. Nate drove their bass player, Jeff, back to the V Club and all of the guitars. Jeff said he had already walked around town earlier this morning, and wanted to relax. The thought of Duff McKagan just walking around in downtown Huntington just makes me laugh, he's cool.

Now it was show time. It wasn't the biggest crowd at the V Club, but it was definietely a rock crowd filled with some old school GNR fans. Loaded started the show with the title track to the album, "Sick," and about midway through the second verse, the left side of the stage pretty much lost all power, including Duff's vocals. Yeah, it sucked, but what was really cool about it was, while they were getting it fixed, the drummer, Geoff, was just banging away on this really cool beat, and the lead guitarist, Mike, was just rocking out some cool riff he was improvising on. Then Duff started getting into it was clapping and keep the crowd alive. Once his mic came back on, he was having the crowd do some shout alongs -- you can tell this band is made up of pro's!
Even though it was just a club show, you would have thought they were playing a stadium show! They put a lot into the gig, and just kept playing, and playing, and playing! They easily played for two hours, and did a couple of Guns 'N Roses tunes, and Duff really nails 'em! They did "Dust and Bones," "So Fine," and "It's So Easy." Those really got the place going!

It was a killer show and a great day with Duff McKagan's Loaded. If you're a Guns 'N Roses fan, or a Velvet Revolver fan, or if your just a Rock N Roll fan, you need to come out and support this band! I wouldn't be surprised if they came back to the area soon.