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Interview: Duff McKagen Walks Into Adulthood With Walking Papers

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What do you do when you’ve been in one of the biggest and most important rock bands in history and they break up before you hit middle age? If you’re Duff McKagen you leave the cliché L.A. rock n’roll lifestyle behind and move back to your native Seattle, study business and economics in your spare time and choose your musical projects wisely. Since leaving Guns N’ Roses in 1997 the bassist has played high-profile gigs with Velvet Revolver and Jane’s Addiction and others closer to his heart such as his reformed ‘80s band 10 Minute Warning and his solo band, Loaded. His latest project is Walking Papers with fellow Seattle scenesters Jeff Angell on vocals and guitar, former Screaming Trees drummer Barrett Martin and multi instrumentalist Benjamin Anderson. Unlike the full-throttle hard rock of his previous bands, the sound of Walking Papers is weathered, bluesy and broken in by years of experience. This is hard rock as made by grown ass men with stories to tell and no one to please but themselves. Jeff and Duff sat down with Tuner while they were in the midst of this summer’s Uproar tour with Jane’s Addiction and Alice In Chains. Read more…

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Weiland Strikes Back: Velvet Revolver Is Over

weiland.jpgCommenting on reports in the media that Slash had all but declared Velvet Revolver lead singer Scott Weiland persona non grata, the redheaded male sylph decided to fire himself. In a statement released to the press this morning, Weiland wrote:

“After reading the comment by Duff, Matt, Dave and the illustrious ‘GUITAR HERO,’ Saul Hudson, a.k.a Slash, I find it humorous that the so called four ‘founding members’ of Velvet Revolver, better known to themselves as ‘the Project’ before I officially named the band, would decide to move on without me after I had already claimed the group dead in the water on March 20 in Glasgow. In response to Slash?s comment regarding my commitment, I have to say it is a blatant and tired excuse to cover up the truth. The truth of the matter is that the band had not gotten along on multiple levels for some time. On a musical level, there were moments of joy, inspiration, fun?at times, but let?s not forget the multiple trips to rehab every member of the band had taken (with the exception of one member, no need to mention his name). Personally speaking, I choose to look forward to the future and performing with a group of friends I have known my entire life, people who have always had my back. This also speaks to my commitment to my music and my fellow band mates in STP and to the fans who I feel would much rather watch a group of musicians who enjoy being together as opposed to a handful of discontents who at one time used to call themselves a gang.

“P.S. Don?t be fooled by veiled trickery.

“P.P.S. Good hunting lads, I think Sebastian Bach would be a fantastic choice.”

Weiland is referring, of course, to the forthcoming Stone Temple Pilots reunion, which will only pave the way for Axl Rose to join Guns N’ Roses Velvet Revolver. Good times all around!

P.S. We don’t think this is an April Fool’s joke, but then again, we’ve noticed that metalheads aren’t the best with dates.

P.P.S. Axl has not indicated any willingness to become involved with Velvet Revolver, but he wouldn’t mind becoming a Pepper.

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Can’t Anyone Put the Axl Back Into Velvet Revolver?

guns-n-roses.jpgLooks like the halcyon days of John Varvatos camaraderie are over. The increasingly internecine relationship between Velvet Revolver and their red-headed lead singer, Scott Weiland, has come to a breaking point. Speaking to the NME, Slash explained that “There will be a third album . . . . We don’t know how or when but the core four guys will continue.” This comes after Weiland announced that the band might never tour again, and Velvet Revolver’s subsequent in-fighting hit the Internet. Idolator has a list of replacements for Slash and company (Rod Stewart! Yeah!), and, in not-unrelated news, Weiland is heading up the Stone Temple Pilots reunion tour this summer. Yay. [Ed.: Yay?]

Elsewise, Dr. Pepper issued a challenge last week to reclusive former Velvet Revolver singer Axl Rose, explaining that the soft-drink company would give a free can of Dr. Pepper to every American (with the exception of guitarists Buckethead and Slash), should Guns N’ Roses’ long-delayed, Howard Hughes-soap-opera-esque album Chinese Democracy see the light of day in 2008. Denying any involvement in the promotion, Axl explained that he found the offer flattering and that he’d share his fizzy beverage with Buckethead. Ouch, right? But also whatever. Look, Axl, if Velvet Revolver is missing a lead singer, we can’t think of another redhead who qualifies better than you. Can no one get Guns N’ Roses — the real Guns N’ Roses — back together? Please? We have an inkling that people would rather see even the worst, loosest, 20-minute-long version of “Coma” as played by Axl, Slash, Duff, Matt and that other guy than a tight “Interstate Love Song” performed by Weiland, the DeLeo brothers and that other guy. Just an inkling, though.