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“That’s all we f**king did”: Duff McKagan names the one thing that may have contributed to the success of Guns N’ Roses’ Appetite For Destruction

“Every little piece of Appetite for Destruction was super thought out,” says the bassist.

Duff McKagan and Axl Rose of Guns N' Roses

Image: Kevin Mazur / Getty Images

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Duff McKagan has named the one thing in early Guns N’ Roses’ routine that made their debut album, Appetite for Destruction, such a success.

In a new interview with Reverb, the bassist opens up about the amount of hard work the members poured into the making of their seminal record, saying [via Ultimate Guitar]: “What’s maybe not known totally about early Guns N’ Roses, and still to this day, we rehearsed twice a day. That’s all we fucking did.”

“So, we worked on parts, where Slash’s guitar would go in that part, and where Izzy [Stradlin]’s guitar [would go]. Everybody would find their piece, and Steven [Adler, drums] wouldn’t fill through somebody else’s lick. Every little piece of Appetite for Destruction was super thought out. And then, ‘Just play it and be a rock band.'”

“But we were prepared. And it sounds fucking raggedy, ferocious, and loose,” McKagan explains. “And because we rehearsed so much, we were able to get the first and second takes on Appetite. Like, that’s it — why do three? We’re good!”

The rocker also touched on the role of bass in Guns N’ Roses’ early music, saying: “In picking those parts, the bass had its own place, like playing off of those two guitar players, and without just playing a root note through a whole thing.”

“It’s just not interesting, you know, and Paul Simonon [from The Clash] wouldn’t do that. And I think we all understood and appreciated each other’s backgrounds.”

Elsewhere in the chat, McKagan shares how the Ibanez CS-9 Stereo Chorus cemented its place as one of his pedalboard essentials, saying “I used an Ibanez Stompbox Guitar Chorus throughout Appetite. I got that because of this band, Magazine, which I got to see, and the bass sound in this band was incredible. And I asked my friend, Kurt Bloch, he’s a legend in Seattle, ‘How do you get that sound?’ He goes, ‘It’s a chorus box.’ ‘What is that?’”

“And so, I got one for, like, 30 bucks, and I still have it. That’s the one I use. I don’t stomp on it anymore. I got a tech, and that really changed a lot of things. McBob, who I got as my tech in 1987, is still my tech. But at some point, he took the stompbox away from me, like ‘You’re gonna kill this thing!’, [with] my cowboy boots. Just because it’s called a stompbox, doesn’t mean [you should stomp on it]; you could just press it.”

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