“It’s cool you’re coming to see us, but there should be a band that’s 21 or 22 that you’re losing your s**t to”: Guns N’ Roses’ Duff McKagan on the future of rock music

The bassist shares his thoughts on the state of the genre in a new interview.

Duff McKagan says he hopes that young fans are attending the concerts of newer bands, too, in a new interview about the future of rock music.

Asked if a guitar band debuting now could have the same impact as Guns N’ Roses did back in the day, the bassist told Classic Rock: “Man, I hope so.”

“I see these young people coming out to Guns show, and I’m, like, ‘Man, it’s cool you’re coming to see us, but there should be a band that’s 21 or 22 that you’re fucking losing your shit to.’”

“I don’t know if it’ll be the same, but I fucking hope so,” he says.

Aside from his optimism for the rock genre, McKagan also speaks about his long standing musical relationship with fellow rockstar Iggy Pop.

The pair first collaborated on the latter’s 1990 album Brick By Brick; McKagan also appeared on Pop’s most recent record Every Loser. Pop has also returned the favour by guesting on his new solo album, Lighthouse, which arrived last week.

“To me, there’s Prince and there’s Lemmy and there’s Iggy,” says McKagan. “And Iggy is a deity to me – it’s hard for me to have a regular relationship with him, because he’s been a hero of mine since I was 12 or 13 years old and I discovered The Stooges.”

“Back when I played on a record with him in the early 1990s, I was drinking. I was a little bit more, ‘Yeah, man, fuck yeah!’ But doing that last record with him now, and playing those shows with him [in April 2023], he’s such a hard worker. He’s kind of like James Brown in how he runs a band.”

“He had a band, which was me and [Red Hot Chili peppers drummer] Chad Smith and Jamie [Hince, guitarist] from The Kills and [guitarist/producer] Andrew Watt. We’re professionals, y’know. But he’ll call Chad “drummer”. He has notes on every song and he’ll go, ‘OK guys, gather round. Drummer! Can you hit that on the upbeat?’

“He did ask one of the other guys if he smoked. ‘Maybe you should have a cigarette on that song.’ I was thinking, ‘I really hope I don’t get asked to smoke a cigarette on that song,’” McKagan recalls.

“But he really is very good at running a band, and he’s very appreciative of musicians. And my two daughters both fucking love him. They came to one of the shows, and I see him over in the corner enraptured in a conversation with them, just going for it. He’s an all-round nice guy.”

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