LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - You can’t keep an old punk rocker down.
Duff McKagan co-founded Guns N’ Roses, took as many drugs as possible, and almost died from an exploded pancreas. After the band self-combusted in the mid-1990s, he sobered up, went to college, and formed Velvet Revolver with Guns N’ Roses band mates Slash and Matt Sorum.
The group released two albums and won a Grammy, but is on hiatus following the firing of singer Scott Weiland. McKagan has now teamed up with three little-known musicians from his Seattle hometown to assemble another band, Duff McKagan’s Loaded, which are on the road promoting their new album “Sick.”
McKagan, 45, who is married with two young daughters, is also developing a second career as a columnist. He writes about finance for Playboy and offers insights into his domestic life for the Seattle Weekly.
Q: Do you still have it in you to start all over again with this band, hit the road in a van, play every small town for the next two years?
A: “I know I have it in me. It’s a band I believe in. There’s a grassroots movement behind this band. People have seen us. They get on the Internet, and they bring their friends to the next gig. That’s cool to see.”
Q: You’ve got a wife and kids and distractions. You’re not 21 years-old anymore
A: “Yeah. But the wife and the kids, they come out on the road. I see it as an opportunity — summer, spring break. My daughters have grown up seeing the world. They consider themselves world citizens because they literally grew up going to Europe, going to Japan ... The payoff is that one gig you’ll have — that one gig every 10 days or something — where everything is killer.”
Q: What’s your favorite era for music?
A: “I think the coolest era, but it probably wasn’t cool at the time, but I was too young, was the Stooges and MC5 and (New York) Dolls and all of that. We can romanticize all that, but there were probably a lot of terrible gigs.”
Q: Especially with the Stooges
A: “Well, I’d hope they’d be terrible!”
Q: Have you finished your business degree yet?
A: “One day. What I went to school for I’ve been able to use. I just don’t have that senior project ... But I will. It’s sitting right there.”
Q: What’s your view of the investment climate?
A: “I think people maybe think I’m much more of an investor than I am. I have solid positions that I’ve pruned out as time goes by ... If you study history you know we were in a bubble
Q: Have you thought about writing a memoir like Slash did?
A: “I’ve been approached recently by different publishing houses to write a book ... If I wrote a book, ‘90 through ‘93, it’s a grey area in my memory. It would open up something like, ‘Here I sit in my living room. I just hit my 45th year. I remember my dad was 45. Some might have said I wouldn’t have made it to this age. I’ve got kids underfoot.’ And maybe flashback to 1994, when I was in the emergency room when my pancreas blew up. But it would have to be funny.”
Q: There’s nothing funnier than an exploded pancreas
A: “If you survive it!”
Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Patricia Reaney