Sunday, August 28, 2011

First GN'R U.S. Date Appears

GN'R will play the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida on October 29, 2011.

If followed by more (rumored) dates, this will be GN'R's first full U.S. tour since Chinese Democracy was released on November 23, 2008.

Tickets on sale Friday, September 9 at 10am at the box office, all ticketmaster locations, online at Ticketmaster or charge by phone 1.800.745.3000

2011 GN'R tourdates

Monday, August 22, 2011

It's So Easy (and other lies) Book Tour Dates!

Tuesday, October 4 - NYC
Strand Book Store Event 7pm

828 Broadway NYC 10003

Wednesday, October 5 – NJ
Bookends Event 7pm

211 E. Ridgewood Ave.
Ridgewood, NJ 07450

Thursday, October 6 - Long Island
Book Revue Event 7pm

313 New York Avenue
Huntington, NY 11743

Saturday, October 8 – ORANGE COUNTY
Barnes & Noble Costa Mesa Event 2pm

901 B South Coast Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Sunday, October 9 – SANTA MONICA
Barnes & Noble Santa Monica Event 2pm

3rd St. Promenade, 1201 3rd St.
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Tuesday, October 11 - LA
Book Soup Event 7pm

8818 Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069

Sunday, October 16 – TWIN CITIES
Mall of America Event 2pm

60 E. Broadway
Bloomington, MN 55425

Tuesday, October 18 - PORTLAND
Powell’s Books Event 7:30pm

1005 W. Burnside
Portland, OR 97209

Wednesday, October 19 – SEATTLE
University Book Store Event 7pm

4326 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105

Thursday, October 20 - SEATTLE
Third Place Books Event 7pm

17171 Bothell Way NE
Lake Forest Park, WA 98155

Friday, October 21 - SEATTLE
Elliott Bay Book Company Event 7pm

Saturday, October 22 – SAN DIEGO
Warwicks Event 6:30pm

7812 Girard Avenue
La Jolla, CA 92037

Please Note: Duff will only be signing copies of "It' So Easy (and other lies)" Any memorabilia or outside items will not be signed.

Duff McKagan on Facebook

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Dj Ashba: "I Hate Bands That Literally Clone Other Bands"

via Blabbermouth

Alison Richter of the Music Industry Examiner recently conducted an interview with guitarist Dj Ashba. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Music Industry Examiner: You were raised in a religious household. Does your faith play a great part in your life?

Dj Ashba:
It does. I don't go to church every Sunday, just on Christmas, but I still pray every night and thank God for everything I have, because it could all be gone tomorrow. I'm fortunate. I work very hard and I'm very lucky to have two arms, two legs, two hands, and I don't take that for granted. I really could get hit by a car and it would all be over. I thank God every night and it makes me feel good. I'm not a Bible thumper, but at the same time, it was instilled in me at such a young age and it has helped me get through a lot.

Music Industry Examiner: When did you become interested in graphic design?

Dj Ashba:
I had a cartoon in the newspaper for four years when I was young. I was always into painting and drawing, and then I got into Photoshop. Ashbaland is the world of my music and Ashbaland Studio. Ashba Media is my graphic design agency for wallpapers and desktops for mobiles. I love scoring movies, and while we were doing The Heroin Diaries, I knew I could do orchestral music. My mom is a classical piano teacher and I grew up listening to that music. My influences are Danny Elfman and John Williams. I was into film music as a kid, and now I'm getting into making that music. I'm building Ashba Media up with good clients, and my brand with Ashbaland and Ashba Music.

Music Industry Examiner: What led you to production work?

Dj Ashba:
I had done some before SIXX: A.M., but not a whole lot. I always did stuff myself. I think it's super-important to learn the gear you use every day for your business, so every day since I was little I would record a guitar riff in my tape deck and then play along and record that in another deck. It was really crappy, but I was young and learning. Then I got my first 4-track. I always learned the gear, and when Pro Tools came out, I learned that. I didn't know it was classified as producing. I had to learn just to produce what I was writing.

Music Industry Examiner: What is the difference between playing guitar and being a guitarist?

Dj Ashba:
I think the difference is being mature in what you do and in the choices you make. Putting everything into a song and knowing when to go for it and when to pull back. I respect anybody who wants to be any type of musician and I would never discourage anybody. But there are definitely people out there … it's almost like they're into it for the wrong reasons, and that's sad. To be a true guitarist isn't about anything except the art of playing guitar. I didn't get into this … I didn't know I could make money at this. I spent most of my life starving and I didn't care because I loved what I did. Making money now is the icing on the cake.

I hate bands that literally clone other bands because they're not original enough to put in the hard work to develop a style. It disgusts me. That's the difference: they don't want to put in the many years of hard work and dedication. They'd rather sit back, rip off somebody else's style and claim it as their own. It makes me cringe. It's embarrassing. The answer to that question — the difference between the two is that being a guitarist means being true to what you do. You can lie to yourself, but others will see through it.

Guitar is an art and it takes a lot of years and dedication. It's not an overnight thing. It's a super-long road and you're going to hit the ground, but at the end of the day, what makes you a true guitarist is honing in on a unique style and never giving up.

Read the entire interview from Music Industry Examiner.
Discussion thread.

"Exit Laaaaars!"

via Blabbermouth recently conducted an interview with Tommy Stinson, who will release his second solo effort, One Man Mutiny, on his own 'Done To Death Music' label on August 30. An excerpt from the chat follow below. When you joined GN'R, was Axl aware of your background?

He knew about The Replacements. He told me that he and Del James had come to see us in some club, and they were not impressed. He and I both had a chuckle about the fact he wasn't a 'Mats fan and I wasn't a Guns fan. You've worked closely with Axl for a long time now. What's the secret?

You figure out after a while what battles are worth fighting for. That's the big thing. A lot of times, whether it's Axl or Paul or just about anyone, they'll tell you they want to hear what you have to say, but they really don't. So you've got to walk a fine line. You have to play the moment for what it is. Who has the wilder backstage scene: indie- or hard-rock bands?

Back in the day we were all young and imbibing, getting our cocktail on. Like with R.E.M. and X, we got hammered with those guys pretty good. But with Guns, I've played with Metallica. Lars Ulrich vomiting in your dressing room, that's pretty nasty. Him taking one shot more than he should have, then having Sebastian Bach singing, "Exit Lars! Exit Laaaaars!" as his assistant is carrying him out of the building. But that's a whole other story.

Read the entire interview from

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Stars Step Up War on Leaks

BBC News
Rap superstars Jay-Z and Kanye West employed tight security and extreme tactics to ensure their album Watch The Throne did not fall victim to the curse that hits almost every other big release - the online leak.

When Watch The Throne, the hotly anticipated collaboration between the two hip-hop heavyweights, was released on iTunes last week, the music was not the only talking point.

Virtually every major artist - from Lady Gaga to U2 - has found their music being leaked. So how did Jay-Z and Kanye stop it happening to them?

Billboard magazine reported some of the steps they took - such as storing the music on fingerprint-protected hard drives that were kept in locked suitcases.

To keep hackers out, their producers turned off wi-fi on their computers as the album was recorded in pop-up studios in hotel rooms around the world.

Draft versions of songs were not sent by email. Instead, the duo insisted that all collaborators must come to their temporary studios to record their contributions in person.

The album's art director Virgil Abloh even suggested on Twitter - possibly joking, possibly not - that producer Noah Goldstein had been "sleeping with the hard drives for like 10 months straight".

Only a small circle of people had access to the music before it was released on iTunes last Monday, at which point it was delivered to a CD manufacturing plant.

The album has now broken the iTunes one-week sales record, selling almost 290,000 copies in its first seven days.

Jeremy Banks, anti-piracy director at the IFPI, the global body representing record labels, said that as far as he could recall, Watch The Throne's anti-leak strategy was "the most successful to date".

Such measures are becoming more common, he believes. "With each release, people learn from the lessons of previous releases.

"You would expect that given the success of something like this that other releases will be looked at and potentially treated in the same way."

John Giacobbi, founder of internet security company Web Sheriff, which has worked with such artists as Lady Gaga, Beyonce and Adele, says pre-release leaks are virtually inevitable.

"These days 99% of albums will leak early, it's just a fact of life," he says. "The bigger battle really is containing the leak once they have leaked."

So where do leaks come from?

Mr Giacobbi says most are traced to journalists who need to hear an album up front in order to review it.

Others occur once the music enters the CD manufacture and distribution process. Leaks from people working in studios are less common.

"Typically it would be beyond the studio, once you move above that process through to distribution," says Mr Banks.

"For that moment in time, that content is the crown jewels for that particular artist and that particular label, and it needs to be dealt with accordingly."

One growing threat is hackers, who have broken into producers' e-mail accounts and other online storage systems.

In June two German men, who targeted stars such as Lady Gaga and Dr Dre, were convicted of copyright theft and computer intrusion after hacking into private e-mail accounts and distributing pre-release music.

One of the men, who went by the name DJ Stolen, was also found guilty of extortion and was jailed for 18 months.

"These days producers either keep everything on a portable hard drive and keep it under the mattress or, if they're keeping stuff online, have it very heavily protected and firewalled," Mr Giacobbi says.

While Watch The Throne did not leak, hackers took control of the Twitter account of one of the album's other producers, Mike Dean, to claim they had been sitting on a copy for a month.

They did not leak it, they said, because they "didnt wont [sic] to hurt the team and KW".

The consequences of a leak can be "fairly dire" in terms of lost sales and disrupted schedules, Mr Giacobbi says.

There is also the annoyance to artists who may have been working on an album for years and want to control the way in which it emerges.

Once it happens Web Sheriff has deals with major file-hosting services, such as Mediafire and Rapidshare, allowing the company to remove files within minutes.

But as well as attempting to throttle the leaks, Web Sheriff also appeals to fans' and bloggers' better natures by politely asking them not to share leaked material and to report any leaks they find.

Lady Gaga's Born This Way was one of the most hotly anticipated albums of the year. Prior to its release in May, Web Sheriff took to Twitter and fan forums.

"We would kindly ask you not to post pirated copies of Born This Way on your site," the message read.

"The label, management and artist would greatly appreciate your co-operation... Thank you for respecting the artist's and label's wishes."

The album did leak a week early. But Mr Giacobbi says a more gentle approach does pay off.

He adds that fans were offered approved Lady Gaga material such as taster tracks, videos and video blogs in return.

"If you treat fans like fans, instead of treating them like criminals, it tends to work," he says.

"We set up a mailbox where all the fans globally could report the leaked files. It was amazing - we had literally thousands if not tens of thousands of fans sending in links.

"They were co-operating because they love Lady Gaga. She has a very close bond with her fanbase and they actually wanted to help.

"So it's working with the fans as opposed to working against them. At the same time, it wasn't a one way street.

"It was you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. It's a much better way of doing it."

Discussion thread here.

Happy Birthday, Gilby Clarke!

Today, the Broward / Palm Beach New Times has a fantastic tribute to Gilby, chock-full of tasty videos spanning his career.

Head over there and read it.

Duff McKagan's Loaded - The Taking - Feature Film Going Into Production

Photo (c) by
Duff McKagan's Loaded has just returned from a European trek and is about to go into production for its upcoming feature film, The Taking. Helmed by Seattle filmmaker and documentarian Jamie Burton Chamberlin, this rock 'n' roll flick is a series of "vignettes" that explores the lyrical content of Loaded's recently released studio album of the same title.

In a November 2010 interview with West Seattle Herald, Chamberlin said that the film "will be a contemporary version of, say, Hard Day's Night meets The Song Remains the Same, with aspects of documentary, music video, and live performance, all interconnected by an underlying motivation. The album will serve as the soundtrack." He added, "Everything will be shot in Seattle and the Northwest. We hope to use locations in West Seattle and other familiar settings to create these vignettes that develop organically within them."

Chamberlin told the West Seattle Herald that McKagan may push to have the piece released in the film festival circuit to offer exposure to a wider audience beyond his music fans.

"Not a lot of artists out there are interested in going to this extreme of having their music interpreted in film," said Chamberlin. "This project wouldn't be happening without Duff's vision, and the support of people like Rick Canny at Sanctuary management, LOADED's manager.

"Duff is a super guy, one of the nicest guys you could meet. He has shown a strong commitment to getting this project off the ground. He's got a great business sensibility and is totally creative, qualities that draw me to him as an artist. He's just a classy cat."

In addition to the film, fans can also look forward to a few stateside dates, including a stop at Rock On The Range Canada in Winnipeg on August 20, KISW Pain In The Grass in Auburn, Washington on August 27, and PDX Rock Festival in Hillsboro, Oregon on August 28. More U.S. dates will be announced soon.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Corey Taylor Says He is Writing New Music with Duff McKagan

via Blabbermouth
Slipknpt/Stone Sour frontman Corey Taylor was interviewed on this past Friday's (August 12) episode of Hoppus On Music, the Fuse TV talk show hosted by BLINK-182 bassist/vocalist Mark Hoppus.

When asked about the persistent rumors that he may end up being the new Velvet Revolver vocalist, Corey said, "I'm not singing with Velvet Revolver. We were doing some writing and doing some jamming and what-not, but it just seemed like there were different ideas as to what they wanted to do. And it was completely mutual; it was all good. I just love the fact that I got to hang out with people I grew up listening to."

He added, "Me and Duff will probably do some stuff later. Me and him, we really hit it off, and we're really close, and we started writing songs together, and we've got some really good stuff. So, you never know. There might be a mystery supergroup out there — me and Duff and some other weird people — making some weird music that people are, like, 'What?! That's them?!' So, yeah, maybe. We'll see what happens."

In a recent interview with, McKagan stated about Taylor, "I think he's fucking great. . . I think he's the best voice of a new generation. The best rock 'n' voice out there. He's got a lot of positive energy. I'd be proud to do anything with him."

Velvet Revolver guitarist Slash admitted in a recent interview that he was the main reason why Taylor didn't get the frontman job, explaining, "It just didn't seem to fit right to me. And he's great, and I love Corey, but it didn't seem like the answer to the Velvet Revolver problem."

Taylor told a Canadian radio station after hearing of Slash's comments, "I guess it just wasn't working for him, which . . . He's Slash and he's entitled to have that, and I'm not gonna argue with him. But it was cool to just be able to get together and jam with those guys and I made some really cool friends."

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Road Recovery Benefit Concert Featuring Slash, Duff McKagan, Matt Sorum & Gilby Clarke

Road Recovery Benefit Concert honoring Slash on September 13, 2011 at Best Buy Theater, NYC

with Matt Sorum, Duff McKagan, Gilby Clarke and Wayne Kramer (MC5) plus Ours, Miggs & other very special guests to be announced

Ticketmaster Pre-Sale Link:
Password: SLASH

Pre-Sale Time/Day:
Starts: Tuesday, August 9, 2011 at 10:00 AM-EDT

Public-Sale Time/Day:
Starts: Wednesday, August 10, 2011 at 12:00 PM-EDT

*General Admission tickets are low-priced at $25.00 each
General Admission tickets are only available via Ticketmaster and fee-free at the Best Buy Theater box office (West 44th Street & Broadway).

*Sound Check tickets (including General Admission entry) are priced at $100.00 each allows early entry to Best Buy Theater to experience sound check. Only 100 sound check tickets will be available exclusively through Ticketmaster.

*VIP-Balcony Tickets are $500 each. VIP-Balcony Tickets allow access in the VIP-Balcony sections. VIP ticket-holders also will be invited to both the sound check experience and an intimate pre-show private artist ‘meet & greet’.

VIP tickets can be purchased FEE-FREE directly through Road Recovery (in addition to Ticketmaster) and reserved as soon as possible by emailing [$400 of the $500 VIP ticket price is considered a tax-deductible donation]

Tickets are available on a first come, first serve basis. After the Road Recovery pre-sale, Road Recovery will no longer be able to 100% guarantee that tickets will be available for purchase due to the Ticketmaster sale to the general public on Wednesday, August 10th. So if you plan to attend the show, please make your ticket selection tomorrow starting at 10:00 AM-EDT.!


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Slash Live in Stoke DVD Coming in October

Photo © Ross Halfin (more photos here)

Slash's July 24 show from Victoria Hall in his birthplace - Stoke On Trent - was recorded for a live album and DVD release scheduled for this October.

Setlist: Been There Lately, Nightrain, Ghost, Mean Bone, Back From Cali, Civil War, Rocket Queen, Nothing to Say, Starlight, Promise , Watch This, Doctor Alibi, Patience, Solo, Godfather Theme, Sweet Child O' Mine, Slither, By the Sword, Mr. Brownstone, Paradise City

GN'R American Tour 2011

October 02 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
October 05 - Santiago, Chile
October 08 - Buenos Aires, Argentina
October 09 - Cordoba, Argentina
October 10 - Rosario, Argentina
October 12 - Cordoba, Argentina
October 15 - Asuncion, Paraguay
October 18 - Mexico City, Mexico
October 19 - Mexico City, Mexico
October 22 - Guadalajara, Mexico
October 23 - Monterrey, Mexico
October 28 - Orlando, Florida
October 29 - Miami, Florida
October 31 - Halloween, Greenville, South Carolina

November 2 - Atlanta, Georgia
November 5 - Dallas, Texas
November 12 - Kansas City, Missouri
November 13 - Minneapolis, Minnesota
November 15 - Chicago, Illinois
November 19 - Hartford, Connecticut

Guns N' Roses - Events

Scott Weiland Makes Up With Velvet Revolver "Maybe We’ll Do Some Shows Some Time"

ULTIMATE Classic Rock
Never say never. That’s the viewpoint Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland had adopted when it comes to his other former band, Velvet Revolver. Weiland reports that he is once again friends with Slash and the rest of the group, and says not to rule out an on-stage reunion at some point in the future.

In a recent interview with Classic Rock magazine, Weiland reflected somewhat wistfully on his time in Velvet Revolver, which paired him with former principal members of Guns N’ Roses, saying, “That was a magical thing, too. That was right when I was getting off dope and those guys were all sober and clean, and I had a very special kind of kinship because we’d all experienced the same things.”

Weiland intimated that there was a fraternal camaraderie in the band: “It felt like us against the world: ‘We’re gonna play just pure rock ‘n’ roll.’ And I think we did a really good job of it. It was a great band to see live, and I think we made two exciting albums.”

So it’s great to see that after the expected nastiness that follows a breakup, the musicians are all friends again, even staying in contact thanks to technology. Weiland admitted, “We patched things up and we get along. I see them every now and again, we text each other.”

He also offered up a little sliver of hope to diehard VR fans, saying, “And you know, we can never say never. Who knows, maybe we’ll do some shows some time.” That’s good news, especially since Velvet Revolver still haven’t found a replacement for the singer, having shelved recent material recorded with Slipknot’s Corey Taylor.

One can dream, right?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Nobody Chooses Addiction, Not Even Amy Winehouse

By Duff McKagan
Seattle Weekly -- REVERB

​Like everyone else this side of the pond, I woke up Saturday morning to hear the sad and terrible news that singer Amy Winehouse was found dead in her London apartment. Like everyone else, too, I suddenly felt a great loss and not a little bit of anger.
In my head I yelled at her, "C'mon, girl! It seemed as if you were pulling OUT of that drug shit! It seemed as if you were on your way back! It seemed as if maybe, just maybe, you'd be putting that troubling time behind you..." But no. It wasn't to be after all. Alas, the Winehouses do not have their daughter Amy anymore.

In the late '80s into the '90s, there was a mess of drug-addled youth in their 20s in and around rock and roll music--buying into the "Live Fast, Die Young" mantra and all of that stupid and ignorant rot--that I found myself and my circle of friends a part of. I lost two of my very best friends to overdoses. And for a while it seemed that I'd most certainly go that same route.

But I had good people around me, a network of friends and family that some of my peers didn't have. It was those people, who when I saw a chance to get better, and get sober, it was they who called and stopped by, and showed me how to stay away from the bad stuff--taught me how to stay alive.

Amy lived her life for the last eight years in a fishbowl. We all peered in when she had her great and worldwide success. We all gawked at that same fishbowl as we watched her stumble again and again. Our view into the fishbowl changed as her life's trials changed. But her view OUT of the fishbowl never changed. I'm sure it was claustrophobic and terrifying in there. For those of you who may say "Yeah, but she had EVERYTHING! Why would she waste her time on drugs; she should have JUST GOTTEN SOBER!", let me just say a few things:

-- No one loves to be addicted.
-- No singer or musician I have ever known has dreamed of one day being successful AND strung out.
-- Do you think Amy's success changed HER more, or do you think it is possible that her success changed how other people treated her more?

People who become that high-profile in an overnight fashion rarely have the time or guidance to really know what the hell is going on once that massive "fame monster" smacks them upside the head. She was suddenly on TV and the radio all of the time, she suddenly had a #1 record all over this planet, and won five Grammys. All at once, we expect these people to adjust how we perceive we ourselves would adjust in the same limelight. When that doesn't happen in Amy's case, the tabloids are right there to show us all that "this girl is just plain fucked-up." Maybe she never got a chance to catch her breath.

The "specialists" and talking heads on cable news are criticizing Amy Winehouse's inner circle of "advisors." I know Amy's manager and accountant, and I also know that both of them are VERY stand-up people. It is a shame that people like this, people who have tried their best to help Ms. Winehouse in the past few years, get their names dragged through the mud. But in the end, it is just so sad to have lost this young woman to what will most likely be discovered to be, drugs. She was a talent. She was different. She railed against the norm. She was a musical trailblazer.

In the end, I cannot compare what I went through or experienced with what Amy Winehouse went through. I only know that addiction is a lonely and terrifying place to be. It's not glamorous, and addiction does not care if you are well-known and rich, or a loner-hermit with no dough.

In Amy's case, like mine, I think she had some friends and family who tried and cared about her, but in the end fell short.

I'm sure she must have been a good friend to some people.

I'm sure her parents must have watched with joy as her musical talents blossomed in her young teens at school.

I'm sure that they must really miss her right at this very moment.

They will not have their daughter . . . anymore.