DUFF MCKAGAN’S LOADED just released their latest record, ‘Taking’, last week and put on a killer show that included a song with Slipknot/Stone Sour frontman Corey Taylor at the Revolver Golden Gods. Along the way, we were able to catch up with Mike Squires and talk about the record, touring plans and more!
‘Taking’ is your 3rd Duff McKagan’s Loaded record, fourth recording from the band overall, and first time not working with producer Martin Feveyear (Presidents of the USA). This time you guys used producer Terry Date (Soundgarden) – How did that come about?
Mike Squires: Our drummer, Isaac, was working on a project with Terry and he heard some of the demos that we’d been doing for the new Loaded album. Terry really liked it and expressed some interest in working with us. We were all, of course, super excited considering Terry’s resume.His body of work speaks for itself. I think Duff and Terry ended up on a flight from LA to Seattle together, coincidentally, shortly after he heard the demos and we sort of worked it out from that conversation. The whole experience was really awesome and Terry is a great dude and makes you feel right at home while you’re recording. He makes things sound really fucking good, too.
Also this is the first record with new drummer Isaac Carpenter. Can you describe him coming into the band, were there auditions held for the guy or just “Let’s call Isaac”?
Mike Squires: We tried out a few guys. He honestly wasn’t the very first guy we tried or thought of. I remember when the light went off and we thought of calling HIM, though. It was like, ‘oh, right. duh’. We phoned him and he stopped off for a few hours to play with us while he was on tour and nearby where we were in Eastern Washington and absolutely killed it. We played 3 or 4 songs and he nailed them. He’d never physically played the tunes, just listened and mentally prepared. But, he’s that kind of player/dude. He’s turned out to be an amazing addition to the band. He can play every instrument about as well as any of us!
I believe the last record “Sick” started from all of you guys and acoustic guitars, and even had a horn section, how was the writing process this time?
Mike Squires: Well, a bit of stuff came from riffs on the road, soundcheck riffs. That sort of thing. We were recording ideas in to garageband and revisiting them once we got off of tour. Other ideas came once we were home and had that aggressive energy still in us from touring. When you’re touring and working, your energy is up and you play more aggressively. We relied on that momentum and energy for the writing of this album. Then, once Terry was at the helm our aggression was met by someone who really knew how to channel that energy and aggression in to a mean-ass sound that was tailor-made for our new songs.
You guys just performed at the Revolver Golden Gods awards, what were some of the highlights of evening?
Well, those kinds of events are always pretty fun, strange and exciting. There’s a ton of folks roaming around backstage. Lots of guys that I watched from the audience growing up right there in our dressing room, kicking it and being friendly. I’d have to say that the absolute highlight of the evening for me, though, was hanging out with Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols. He’s a fucking knight of the highest order, in my opinion. Talking to Sebastion Bach was pretty great, too.
We shared a room with Scott Ian who I got to meet for the first time. I was a huge Among The Living fan and I ended up being too nervous and proud to ask him to take a photo with me. That was dumb. I bumped in to a guy at the bar and turned around and it was Geezer Butler. I almost shit myself. This is the kind of thing that happens backstage at these events. Duff is well acclimated to this type of company but I’m pretty green. So, I was like a kid in a candy store!
Really, I’m just stoked to be 39 year old guy basically getting a fresh start right now. Not many guys my age who’ve not already met with greater success get to do this stuff. I’m one of the luckiest guys around and I’m grateful for every moment!
You guys just did split home town record release shows in Seattle and Los Angeles what’s next?
Mike Squires: Well, we head to Europe for the month of June. We’re doing a ton of the big fancy rock and metal festivals there. We have a blast doing them. There are so many bands to see and meet and the crowds are amazing. We’re working on dates for North America next for the end of Summer and hopefully we’ll be getting out to see our other fans in South America, Japan, and then back to Europe and the UK in the Fall!
-Written by Frenchy