Gregg Stone of Northern Colorado radio station 92.9 The Bear recently conducted an interview with GUNS N' ROSES bassist Duff McKagan. You can listen to the entire chat via the SoundCloud widget below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On whether he has plans to write a book about his recent experiences on the road with GUNS N' ROSES:
Duff: "I've read some really good books while I was out in the road. I was columnist for the Seattle Weekly and for ESPN, actually, and a couple of other things. When I was this columnist, I became an observationalist because you have to write a new column every week and you have to start observing what's going on around you. I think the columnist in me came back out when we started this tour. It wasn't things going on inside of the band; I wouldn't write a tell-all about what's going on inside the band — that would be a little tacky. Inarguably, it's a very interesting time in our history. I think what makes it more intense is that there's this onslaught of cable news and panels — I fell down the rabbit hole like anybody else. Before we went on this tour in November, December 2015, I just wanted to watch the debates. I've voted every year since I was 18. Seattle city, referendums, state votes and federal votes, I've always been very interested. I've listened to all of the candidates. I'm just one of those nerds that does this. It's our responsibility to vote and be attentive and all of that. I [started to vote] the first year of having to sign up for the Selective Service when I was 18 and I was a punk rock kid. That drew my attention to, 'Okay, I better have a say as to what's going on. I'm going to sign up for the Selective Service.'
"My only way to have a say is to vote. Ever since then, I wanted to pay attention. I wanted to hear what John Kasich had to say. I wanted to listen to who this Bernie [Sanders] guy was and all these people. I noticed all these panels coming on the news. These debates turned into these scream fests. I thought it was very interesting. I started following people on Twitter and doing all the wrong things. [Laughs] And switching back and forth between all the cable news stations, then this tour started, and I made the conscious effort to turn off my TV, turn off my computer, mute all these people I started following on Twitter because it was just a screaming match. I'd open up my Twitter and it was like you'd open a door in a movie like some cartoon and all this noise comes out of the door, so I shut it all down. I do read a lot of history and I have since my 25 years of sobriety. That's my passion and my hobby is reading history. I'm really interested in the places I go to and I go to the places I read about. When you turn off the computer and turn off the Twitter and turn off the news and go start seeing places, tourist-y places, sometimes not tourist-y places, but you end up talking to people. It's funny when you start talking to people. The vibe they were talking about on the news when I left, I didn't see it. I really took note of that. People face to face don't scream and yell."
On whether GUNS N' ROSES has plans to record a new studio album:
Duff: "I will tell you this: Things are very positive in our camp and they started that way and they remain so, if not more. But in classic GUNS N' ROSES fashion, I will tell you nothing."
On whether original rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin will ever perform with GUNS N' ROSES again:
Duff: "That is something that we tried to make happen at the beginning. It just didn't work out."
Last year, Izzy blamed his non-involvement with the GUNS N' ROSES reunion tour on the fact that he and the other guys in the band were unable "to reach a happy middle ground through the negotiation process."
Singer Axl Rose told Brazil's Globo TV in a 2016 interview that wasn't optimistic about Stradlin rejoining his former bandmates. "I don't really know what to say about Izzy," Axl said. "It's like you could have a conversation and think it's one way and the next day it's another way. And I'm not trying to take any shots at Izzy. It's just his thing is kind of his thing, whatever that is."
In response, Izzy called Rose's comments "bullshit" and explained that the band didn't want to "split the loot equally."
McKagan will release his new solo album, "Tenderness", on May 31. The disc sees McKagan reflecting on his experiences traveling the globe over two and a half years on GUNS N' ROSES' "Not In This Lifetime" tour.