DUFF McKAGAN'S LOADED
Interview with guitarist
Interview by MauRnrPirate
Mau:First of all, congratulations to you and to Duff Mc Kagan’ s Loaded for “The Taking”, a real powerful cd ( it is possible to read our italian review here).
Mike, could you tell us , how “The Taking” was born and how did you decide to recruit Terry Date as your producer, instead of Martin Fedeyar, your usual producer?
Mike: Well, since the last record was made after a long hiatus and the first record was made from the inception of the band The Taking was the first album we made fresh off of a tour. Playing in front of a crowd makes us play more aggressively and the energy is much different. We also had a new member, Isaac, our drummer. He's an animal. So, we had that momentum going in to the writing and recording process this time around. Terry producing it was a dream scenario come-true! I still can't believe I made and album with him. I've been buying albums he's produced since the 80s! I love Martin and his albums sound amazing and have a particular sonic art to them and I missed him being around, for sure. Terry makes albums that are brutal and beautiful. And that's what we got.
Mau: During the years, you settled a strong friendly relationship between you and your fan with web loaded episodes videos. Which one of you had this idea?
Mike: I don't remember who had the idea? Those original videos were so fun to make. A local video production team in Seattle made them. We have since started doing them ourselves, which makes them a little less professional but a bit more personal, and it is still a ton of fun. We definitely need to work on our editing chops, though! Ha!
Mau:When did you start playing guitar and which player inspired you on your teens ?
Mike: I got my first guitar for my 15th birthday. I had a guitar when I was younger but didn't have the patience. I ALWAYS knew I'd go back to it and often fantasized about playing. I was always in to AC/DC and they influenced my energy, for sure. Somewhere there is a picture of the clay statuettes I made of the band when I was in grade school! My favorite guitarists when I started playing were Angus, Steve Vai, George Lynch, and Slash.
Mau:What do you feel playing with a star like Duff Mc Kagan ? And which are the Guns N’Roses and Velvet Revolver songs that you wish to be written by you?
Mike: I recorded on the Dark Days album when Duff was making it. Martin Feveyear gave me a call and asked me to come in and give it a shot. They'd been through a lot of guitarist. I was pretty nervous, but I put some nice stuff down that day and Duff immediately asked me to join. I was stoked!
I can tell you that I wish I had written My Michelle! That songs gets me so fired up! And Mr. Brownstone is a sick guitar lick, to.
Mau:You are a vinyl lover band and you released you album in vinyl and in collection 7”, too. Will you keep this format for the future, too?
Mike: There are no specific plans, but we'll always release vinyl. I still buy a lot of vinyl and am a strong supporter and Isaac still spins vinyl at home, too.
Mau: My favourite song is “Lords of Abbadon” and your guitar sound is simply amazing. When was this song born? (during a soundcheck, during a bus tour, on a studio jamming…?) . And which is your favourite song from “The Taking”? Wil you make another videoclip after “Dead Skin” or not?
Mike: Thanks! I love that song, too. That was a soundcheck riff of Duff's. Isn't it killer? So menacing. That might be my favorite solo on the album, too. It is over the bridge, technically, and sets up really nicely and kind of explodes like a whole new concept on to the song.
We will release a 2nd single but we're unsure which song it will be. We could go poppier or heavier and it is a tough decision to make!
Mau: How many guitars do you have and which is your beloved one?
Mike: I have about 10 guitars. I love them all differently, but my favorites are my Yamaha SG and my Koll Duoglide that I've owned since 1998. I have used the Koll on every album I've ever recorded on and played it at every show since 1998 until recently. The Yamaha is simply built like a tank and growls like a monster. I love it and it is my new main guitar.
Mau: Could you tell us something about “The Taking” movie with Jamie Chamberlin, and when we’ll be able to watch it here in Italy?
Mike: Well, its been fun to work on. Making a movie is a lot more work than any of us thought it would be! Ha! Jamie is great and it will be done sometime this year. With any luck we'll be able to tour WITH the movie!
Mau: Duff played with both already, and about you, would you love to play with Axl Rose or with Slash?
Mike: I've played with Slash and it was amazing. It was still pretty early on when I hadn't been playing with Duff for very long, maybe 2001 or 2002? So, I was in Heaven! I have a whole roll of film dedicated solely to the 2 songs that he played on stage with us that night.
To answer your question, I would give up my fantasy scenario to play with either of them to get a chance to step in to a time machine and see the original band play together.
Mau: Have you other plans besides “Duff McKagan’s Loaded” , and do you compose videogames or serial tv sounds , too?
Mike: I write songs at home all of the time. I keep guitars around my home so that I can pick them up at any time. I've started some recording projects but haven't decided which direction I REALLY want to go in. I have been kicking around the idea of doing an album of instrumental soundtrack-style music, though.
Mau: Could you describe yourself using five adjectives ?
Mike: Opinionated, stubborn, anxious, vocal, kind.
Mau: Would you mind to leave a message to your Italian fan. Thanks for your precious time. See you at the Gods Of Metal!
Mike: Thank you everyone! We love playing in Italy and can't wait to get back there for Gods of Metal in June! Hopefully we can return for a club show or two later this year. Look out. See you soon!
Pubblished April 23, 2011