Hey what’s up!
Sorry about the mixup earlier.
Its all right
I was kick boxing
You were kick boxing?
Yeah that’s what I do everyday, I’ve been doing it for a long time. I
got sober in 94, martial arts always intrigued me, through the whole
time I was fucked up, like “maybe that’s my answer” like deep down back
in there somewhere in the recess of my brain.
I got pancreatitis, I was in the hospital.... (he talks for a minute
about kick boxing, but I can’t hear anything) that’s kind of like my
... Drinking is the only thing you can die of withdrawals from.
I saw you on like one of those entertainment tabloid shows talking
about Scott Weiland when he came out of rehab.
Oh, he was coming out of court.
You said you were taking him rock climbing
I took him up to the mountains to learn martial arts... he said to me
“dude I’ve been to rehabs and obviously it doesn’t work, so whatever
you did, can I try it?” So I took him up to this guy in the mountains,
1200 miles away from LA, you know, no way out of there, and he really
caught on to it. And so he’s doing it now too.
Not to brag, but I got a Guns N’ Roses tattoo.. did she (the publicist)
tell you about that?
I got it on my arm, it’s kind of an ultra-fan out. I was always like
‘I’m going to get a Guns N Roses tattoo’ so I got the Appetite cross...
But I moved Axl off to the side, and I put you in the middle.
No shit! That’s great!
My other friend Ryan, got your skull on his arm
I’ve done Thrasher interviews throughout the years, like since the
band, fuckin Guns N Roses started, since ‘87. I was the guy that
always did the Thrasher interviews. And even my other band,
Neurotic Outsiders, I did a Thrasher interview. This guy John
Stainbrook, he writes for Thrasher in the Midwest, or did. He has
that band Stain.
Me and my friends have some lingo, one of my friends claims that used
to bend your cigarettes so that the smoke didn’t get in your eyes when
you were playing bass, is that true?
I used to what?
Bend them, like if you bent it and were playing guitar or whatever, the
smoke wouldn’t go in your face
That’s something that never happened
So then for some reason, we’d be like ‘we gotta Duff our cigarettes’
Ah no! I don’t want to fuck up your myth man... I’d just let the
smoke go in my eyes, I didn’t really give a fuck.
Do you remember saying ‘Drumwise I play a conductor like position.’
It was in the Use Your Illusion videos, never mind....
You mean as far as the whole band, i was the bass player.
I know! That’s what we were always wondering about! It’s a video
you can go get anywhere...
I know what your talking about. It might have been taken out of
context. Like for that band I was always the guy that was like “O.K.
that fits there, that fits there’ Like we all came in with riffs,
nobody came in with a whole song, ever. So we had a riff, and
another riff, like a true band. Like Velvet Revolver is the same
thing, nobody is coming in with a whole song. So I was always the guy
who would be the bridge keeper, ‘let’s not let it get out of hand
here.’ Slash would always want to do a solo for another four
minutes, i’d be like ‘no, no.’
Would you say that the drinking and drugs are responsible for Guns N
No, it was Axl. Drinking and drugs were a result of really the
times, we were that band, we lived on the streets of Hollywood.
We drank a lot and did what ever drugs we could find. And then
when Appetite finally kicked and we started to get money, we could
afford fuckin drugs, and it was kinda gnarly. And drug dealers
delivered to our house and we found a whole new world.
When you recorded the album did you think it would be big?
I was from punk rock, I played in thirty punk rock bands before Guns,
and I was only 19 or 20, when we recorded the record I was 21. I
moved down to LA from Seattle, and I was in every punk rock band up
there, and toured opening for Black Flag and the Dead Kennedy's back in
the day. You know, I thought if we sold 50,000 copies, the Circle Jerks
that’s what they sold on their big record back then. If we sold
50,000 records that be amazing. And that’s what we all thought,
you know, because we were not what was going on at the time, we weren't
a glam band, and we weren't Milli Vanilli, we weren't Paula Abdul, we
weren’t New Kids on the Block. We were a real raw fuckin kinda
almost punk rock band, but not because of Axl’s high vocals. We
were kind of a throwback to Zeppelin, but not be cause we were for that
There was another good band in town, luckily that was off beat also,
and that was Jane’s Addiction, which was at the same time. At
least a couple kooky records will come out at the same time and maybe
it will start an LA revolution.
It always surprises me how raw that record is, the lyrics and
everything, for being so popular
I think it took... the kids at the time were so sick of all the shit
they were getting, you know, a real kid, like a skater kid or whatever,
they don’t want to listen to Poison or Warrant... or Milli Vanilli or
Michael Jackson, especially back then... skaters were like they are
now, they just want to rock. and they lived the real life, they’d
fuck around and fuck chicks and get fucked up. They’d been
through broken families, or whatever. And skating is what they
do, skating is their thing, and that’s living on the edge. I
think our record identified with a whole lost generation.
I’m a lot younger, and I remember having no idea what the songs were
about, like ‘Nighttrain’ I pictured like a train, and Mr. Brownstone as
like some guy... I was in like the sixth grade, and I was still
obsessed with it.
Yeah that’s heroin and Nighttrain is booze.
Do you have resentments towards how Guns N Roses turned out?
How it ended you mean? I’m not the kind of guy who will sit
around and resent something for years. What happened happened. I
look at it as a glass half full. We did a lot for 5 guys who
stuck to this thing we wanted to do. We didn’t change for
anybody. We didn’t sell out publishing, somebody wanted to buy
our publishing and we were like ‘no, these are our songs, fuck
you.’ We wouldn’t take stupid tours. We did it our
way. We ended up playing stadiums, multiple nights, sold
out. We went from nothing to quite a lot. I’ve been able to
live off the publishing alone because the record still sells so many
units a year. Plus the money I made then, I live a comfortable
life, I have no regrets.
We had die hard fans. It was such a surreal thing for us to get so big,
you’d have to be there. We couldn’t leave hotel rooms in some
places, we couldn’t go out to have dinner in some cities. America
was the most slack about that, the most cool about it, in New York or
LA, you could go someplace, even Des Moines Iowa, people wouldn’t freak
out too much.
In Japan or Europe you’d have police escorts and all that shit...
Axl, in away, believed his own hype, and now it’s his downfall.
You gotta realize when your that big, you’re still just a rock n roll
band. Look at the Stones, they’ve been through it, and they
realize, if you talk to Keith he’ll say ‘we’re just a rock n roll band,
were not going to change the world...’
What I do regret is we let down a huge fan base that was there waiting
for a next record, and Axl made us all... we all bailed at one point or
another. We couldn’t deal with him. There wasn’t any sort
of rationality... it’s just too bad. God, I don’t want to come
off bad mouthing him, because the guy has a lot of great attributes...
But how it worked before was the band would write all the music and
rehearse it all and kind of give it to Axl and he’d write lyrics to it,
or Izzy or I would already have lyrics, and he would just come in at
the end. Later, he wanted to be the ringleader, and it didn’t go
anywhere, and i guess it still hasn’t.
On the recent Video Music Awards, even Jimmy Fallon was like ‘I’ve
always wanted to see them’ and they kept saying ‘them’ and it wasn’t...
It’s kind of embarrassing for us, like a lot of people from middle
America still think I’m in the band, and Slash... like ‘Oh you guys are
all going on a tour,’’ you know, when they did that tour last
year. I’ve been out of the band for seven years. There’s
nobody left in the band...
It should have been called just Axl Rose
Yeah, he should have just done that. Whatever, I have no
resentment, I moved back to Seattle had a couple kids, I married a
I remember when I told Thrasher I wanted to interview Duff, they were
like ‘his wife was in here...’
She’s like a full on skater, surfer chick from San Diego. She’s
hot. We had a couple kids, I went back to school in Seattle, I went to
college, and I didn’t graduate high school. So I went to this
pretty heavy Jesuit school. And I had this band Loaded and we’d
play shows on weekends just so I could play music still. My focus
was really on school and getting my MBA in finance. I was really
into it and then this thing happened, I got a call from Matt (Sorum), I
kept in touch with Matt and Izzy and Slash of course. Matt called
and said ‘Randy Castillo died and we’re going to play a benefit show
because he died broke, to pay for his funeral and stuff... so me you
and Slash should play and Steven Tyler will sing,” and I thought ‘wow
So i came down to LA, we rehearsed the day before, we had this set of
songs, and as soon as we played together we were like “oh fuck” because
we forgot about the chemistry we had. And we did this show and it
was insane, the minute they heard we were playing it was sold out in
five minutes. And the crowd was just out of their minds. So
the next day we decided ‘maybe we should just... the time is kind of
right to do something again.’
We found this guitar player that was in Wasted Youth and all these
great punk rock bands. A really great foil to Slash’s guitars, it’s
hard to be a guitar player next to Slash, it’s not something where you
can find just any guy. But we found this guy Dave Cushner, who
actually played in my band Loaded. I found him and I said ‘Dave would
fit perfect in this band’ and he did. And then we found Scott...
Were you looking at other singers?
Yeah, we had people sending in tapes. A lot of them were really
awful. There were a lot of good singers but maybe too
metal. We wanted to play the rock but we wanted to be
contemporary. We didn’t want to be some fucking throwback
band. The minute we gave Scott a riff, we gave him a song and he
wrote the lyrics to it and he came in and he sang it, it was like...
Stone Temple was done, and he redid it and was ‘why don’t we make a
band, man’ and that was that. And this song, we sold it to the Hulk,
got a bunch of dough, which was great for everyone in the band like
Dave, who didn’t have any money, and Matt who was running out of
money. And it paid for our rehearsal joint, like it financed the
band basicly. We did the song for The Italian Job ‘money’ that
gave us enough money to be comfortable and not have to go search for a
record deal all that did was make the record companies salivate.
So all these record companies started coming around. We did this
show at the El Ray down here, like a five six song show, we ended it
off with Negative Creep by Nirvana, almost in a death metal style,
killer you know?
And people freaked out, and all these labels came around and were
flying us around to New York and the whole thing, and we started
writing the songs, and the songs were starting to crash. And Clyde
Davis from RCA, he signed everyone from Janis Joplin up to the Foo
Fighters and the Strokes and Alicia Keys... he signed Aerosmith back in
the day. the guys been around forever, he’s the king, he’s the
godfather, and he swooped in and made an offer that we basically
couldn’t refuse. He’s a good guy and he loves the music, he came
out to out dirty fuckin rehearsal space, he sat there and we play
really loud, and he sat there and watched us rehearse you know.
The records done you know.
I listened to it, i went down there, to do this interview they made me
go listen it
where did you go?
RCA in LA
You went to the publicist. Oh, you did the whole deal.
It was fun, I went with one of my friends and we sat there and listened
That’s cool, things can get out on the internet so fast,
something we never dealt with with Guns N Roses, we’d pass out fuckin
copies of our fuckin record to our friends, what are they going to
bootleg it? i doubt it.
This was like, I sat in this room and they hit play
It’s cool, it still has guitar solos, but not like... slash was
himself. It’s a real rock record.
I went with Erik Ellington who is a pro skater that’s Guns N Roses
obsessed, he tried to use Reckless Life for his part but couldn’t get
Ahh, it’s hard to get the rights... One guy used a GNR song for his
part but when the DVD came out
they had his part to another song and it wasn’t as good.
You know, we’ve had so many offers to put the music out, but i think it
would cheapen the record, to put it on everything we’ve had it offered
on. So we just kinda held on to it, you know, we’ve had some big
One day we might pull a Led Zeppelin and sell it to a Cadallac
commercial for 7 million bucks, or whatever they got paid.
I heard when you got your money from Appetite you invested it in
... ah yeah... man, a lot of people know about that... i got in early.
Ah... a lot of people have heard that. It’s been kind.
I want to brag one more time about something I did.
Someone asked me to be in a photo, cause they needed skaters to be in a
photo with Stephanie Seymour for Harpers Bizarre
It was kind of cheesy, so i was like, ‘only if i can wear whatever i
want’ and they were like ‘all right’ so i made a shirt that said “Kill
...As my new Guns N Roses protest. And it came out in the magazine. it
was in a Harpers Bizarre six months ago. she was like “Who’s
Buckethead?” and I was like “he’s this guy i don't like, he’s in this
band that used to be really good”
You didn’t say shit huh?
I didn’t want to bring it up, i thought it would be a bad thing to
bring up... but she was like “i’ve heard of that, who is it? what band
is he in?” and I was like Guns n Roses... and she hit me with her
bag. But she was like if I was to make that shirt it would have a
different member of Guns N Roses name on it.
Then we ended up talking more about it and she was like “It’s not Guns
N Roses without Slash” and she was like “I love Duff...”
That’s awesome dude! My girl might have that, she was a fashion
model for ten years, she might have that issue. That’s classic
dude, I gotta check that out... That’s fuckin hilarious, good thinking!
Buckethead is great for like Prague rock, he’s a pretty amazing guitar
player, but kind of a circus you know?
I don’t know anything about him other than that he’s in one of my
favorite bands and shouldn’t be.
That’s about it
Can you use the word Later’d in a sentence?
It’s my crew’s lingo...
how do you use it?
Well, if you don’t like somebody you say ‘that dude’s later’d’ or if
you’re drunk you say ‘I’m so later’d’
That’s a good word
But now you gotta use it for me, just think of something...
Well the obvious is... yeah... no I won’t use the obvious... shit...
you’re putting me on the spot, dude...
But this is so important... we use it for everything...
I guess you could say the metal group I was in was pretty much
I think this interview is handled
Later’d dude, I’m fucking later’d, I gotta get out of here... i like
or with sex... ‘I later’d that chick’
Oh nice! I threw down and later’d my chick last night. I had to
sneak into my closet dude because of my kids. That was a stealth
I’ll let you know when the story comes out...
We’re subscribers to Thrasher so we’ll get it.
Thanks for your time...
All right, So... you know, I’m buddies with Tony Alva, I remember the
first time I met him back in the punk rock days I was like “I met Tony
Alva, man” the guy is the nicest guy in the fuckin world.
He’s really a good guy, he’s old school.
I’ve seen photos of Izzy skating
Oh yeah, Izzy is a good skater... That dudes good at anything he
does... we were on the road once, and he had gotten his own bus cause
he had gotten sober and we were all fucked up and he had his dog and
his chick and he had a trailer in the back with all his toys, like
skateboards and motorcross bikes and a Harley. And he went and
entered into the Kentucky State trials, like a motorcycle trial, and
won a Kentucky State Championship!
Have you played with him in awhile?
Yeah, we just played this gig down here. We have this jam band
called Camp Freddie, we get all these cool different people to come
play, and Izzy actually played with Velvet Revolver for the opening of
my wife’s swim wear company’s fashion show. And we played at this
big fuckin’ place, we played two songs, to open up her show. Izzy
played with us, it was great. Izzy is a good guy, my birthday was last
week and he drove eleven hours from Baja, to get to this birthday
party. He’s just a straight up good dude. And he’s a skater.
I remember on this one interview, Axl was talking about skating, but I
think he was making shit up
Probably, he’s not a skater. He’s later’d.