Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan recently appeared at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles and had a conversation about his new album. Here is his statements, transcribed by BlabberMouth.
Interviewer asked ‘Who is his lyrical role models?’, Duff responded:
“I think the [biggest] thing that’s affected me lyric writing-wise is reading Cormac McCarthy or [Ernest] Hemingway — just the scarcity of words, and picking the right word. I’ve read lines of Cormac‘s — you read just a sentence, and I started crying. The subject, and the economy of words he used and how he used them.
Writing my first book, I would try to aspire to that benchmark — like, ‘Can I get one sentence like Cormac? Just fucking one?’ I really tried to write up to the standard of authors I read. Writing for the lyrics for this record especially, I used a lot of ‘we,’ because the songs are about us, not me. I really wanted every word to be exactly the right word — don’t rhyme ‘fire’ with ‘desire.’ Do not fucking do it. Don’t do it.”
Interviewer asked ‘What does he think about the song “Parkland”?’, Duff said:
“I was down in my basement, and this engineer guy came over and he came down the stairs, and he goes, ‘Oh shit — have you heard about Parkland? It happened again.’ I have a TV down in my basement that’s never been turned on, and we turned on the news. At that time, I had a junior in high school…
We just sat there, numb, watching. We’ve seen this happen so many times. I started playing this B-flat [chord] and this D [chord], and it was like a funeral dirge… I go on to name Columbine and Sandy Hook and Virginia Tech and the Charleston church without saying much more than, ‘Do we have to see another mother cry? Do we have to see another schoolkid die?’ If that’s political, you can fuck off. It’s paying honor to these kids…
We have a daughter who’s 18, and all her friends are like those Parkland kids — like, so together, and so aware of what’s going on politically, and aware that they’re the next voters. They’re being really active, and I’m watching the kids and I’m going, ‘Okay, I’ve got to do something, because what did you do when this was going down?”
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