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Duff McKagan Talks Loaded, Money and American Rock Fans

Leave it to Duff McKagan to stretch a dollar. “Anybody that spends too much on a record these days, that’s fool’s money spent,” asserts Loaded creator Duff McKagan. “Nobody sells records like we did in the 90s or 80s. It’s not the business model anymore. People get their music for free off the Internet.”

Duff McKagan’s Loaded are back on the scene with ‘Sick,’ a 12 track mashup of punk rock, glam sensibility and a sprinkle of humor. Duff might be best known for his work with Guns n’ Roses and Velvet Revolver – but he’s especially proud of Loaded and a return to the do-it-yourself rock star model. “We signed with a small, indie label which was really cool. There’s not a lot of pressure like you get from a major. Major labels are becoming a thing of the past.”

For McKagan, exposure is a little more complicated. He admits the decade-old band is more widely known in Europe and Japan – and thinks it is just plain harder to crack America as an established artist. “I think people from the States don’t look at that as valid,” muses McKagan. “Like ‘Oh, really? So and so from this band thinks he can put out his own record and we’ll come see him play? No. Ain’t gonna happen.’ They don’t really give the music a chance. But we’re going out to try our best. All I know is we made a record I really love and am passionate about.”

For a musician that’s sold millions of albums worldwide, playing a gig without promotion seems pretty crazy. Or maybe it’s not. “The great thing about this band is that we just don’t give a f—. We’ll play anyplace, and it’s refreshing. It is kind of rewarding when you become the buzz of a town when someone sees you and finds you are playing. We sell records at the gigs. Who knows? By July this could be an underground summer record.”

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