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Duff McKagan Stays True to Punk Rock Roots

“We thought it would be funny to look like we were getting ready for a big gig at Madison Square Garden and then we walk out to a bingo hall,” says Duff McKagan of Loaded‘s video treatment for “Flatline.” Truth be told, Duff McKagan is as wickedly funny as he is deadpan smart.

While McKagan waits for a consensus regarding the future of Velvet Revolver, he has his hands busy with side project Loaded and several financial writing gigs. The original bad boy alcoholic cum college graduate and financial expert is a bit paradoxical for the music world – but to McKagan it’s all just a day’s work. “I’ve got a mortgage payment, just like anyone else,” explains McKagan. “I’m out here on the road – I work from the moment I get up to when I go to bed. It’s not an eight hour job.” Not an eight hour job indeed as McKagan fills his days with interviews, soundchecks and personal appearances.

Through it all, McKagan has embraced his punk rock roots while not turning on his status as an elite musician. “I am absolutely proud of everything I’ve done in GnR (Guns n’ Roses). It’s a huge part of what I’ve done…I created that thing with four other guys. We went against the grain then. People didn’t give us half a chance… but apparently we broke through a whole generation of youth at the time.”

Perhaps playing with Loaded while on hiatus from Velvet Revolver provides McKagan ample story ideas for his financial columns with both Playboy.com and ‘Seattle Weekly?’ McKagan freely admits that Loaded’s newest album ‘Sick’ was recorded on a $20,000 budget – and that publicity is earned the old fashioned way – through fan chatter.

Still, McKagan isn’t hitching to gigs like the early GnR days. While Loaded might be a lot of do-it-yourself rock, the band is afforded some luxuries: “[It is] sort of like when I did punk rock tours in my teens…except we have a bus,” admits McKagan.

Duff McKagan’s Loaded will tour Europe this summer and open select shows for Mötley Crüe.

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