Duff McKagan Says He’s Already Played In His Dream Supergroup – ‘I Was Like, ‘I’m Going to Be a Stooge?”
On Oct. 20, Duff McKagan released his latest solo record, Lighthouse. A couple of weeks later, Guns N' Roses closed out their five-month world tour with two legendary performances at the Hollywood Bowl followed by a headlining set at Hell and Heaven Fest in Toluca, Mexico.
"You know, the year started out with the Iggy Pop record [Every Loser] that I'd worked on, too," McKagan told Chuck Armstrong on Wednesday night's Loudwire Nights (Nov. 29). That record was Iggy's 19th studio album and it not only featured McKagan, but also Chad Smith, Andrew Watt and a varied cast of characters. "[When he] asked us, I was like, 'I'm going to be a Stooge?'"
That's how McKagan started his year and now while he's resting from months of touring the globe, he's found himself celebrating the release of Lighthouse.
Even though he wrote many of the songs during the pandemic, he seems quick to correct anyone who might happen to call it a "COVID record."
"It just gave me space," he said of lockdown. "I got a brand-new studio right before everything hit [which meant] I didn't have to finish the song today — I could explore what I could do musically and instrumentally on songs and really stretch out my guitar playing."
McKagan has been really pleased with the reception of Lighthouse so far, but he's not planning on dwelling on this one record for too long.
"I'm really happy and proud of the record," McKagan told Chuck and later added, "I have 60 songs recorded. Lighthouse is just a group of 10 of them."
Playing With Guns N' Roses Is Still 'Pretty Rad'
In addition to diving into Lighthouse, McKagan shared a bit about what it's been like to be on the road with Guns N' Roses this year.
"We're a big, huge rock band and we play big places and we get to experience seeing a lot of humanity out there around the world," he admitted. "It's crazy — if you're a guy like me who really likes to study society, it's really cool ... You know, Guns is just this force and we've got visuals and, I mean, this is a killer rock band. I love that. I love playing bass and Slash is playing lead and Axl's right there to my left."
Even after all of these years, it's clear McKagan is still a fan of rock and roll before anything else. Whether it's playing next to Slash and Axl or getting to work with Iggy Pop, he wasn't shy to admit how lucky he feels.
"It's pretty rad," he said. "I'm really fortunate ... I get to experience a lot of really cool stuff and I enjoy it all."
Duff McKagan's Dream Supergroup
As McKagan and Chuck discussed his time with Guns N' Roses and playing with Iggy Pop, they ventured into the world of Velvet Revolver and, more broadly, the idea of "supergroups."
Having played with some of the best musicians on the planet, Chuck asked McKagan who his dream supergroup would be.
READ MORE: Who Was the First Supergroup?
"You know, I got pretty close to that — if not perfectly close to it — when it was Chad Smith on drums, Andrew Watt on lead guitar, Jamie Hince from The Kills on rhythm guitar, Matt Clifford from the Rolling Stones on keys and one Iggy Pop on vocals."
McKagan told Chuck that that group of people worked really hard because they all wanted to be Iggy's best band he ever had.
"We grew up with it," he said. "It's part of our makeup. I think that band was as close to the best 'supergroup.'"
What Else Did Duff McKagan Discuss on Loudwire Nights?
- What it was like having Slash and Jerry Cantrell appear as special guests on Lighthouse: "We're just friends. We're involved in each other's songwriting."
- How McKagan felt physically connected to his acoustic guitar and why that connection has helped him sing
- Why Andrew Watt says he owes his career to McKagan
Listen to the Full Interview in the Podcast Player Below
Duff McKagan joined Loudwire Nights on Wednesday, Nov. 29; the show replays online here, and you can tune in live every weeknight at 7PM ET or on the Loudwire app; you can also see if the show is available on your local radio station and listen to interviews on-demand. Stream Lighthouse at this location and stay up-to-date with everything going on in Duff McKagan's world here.
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