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Duff McKagan looks back at the making of Appetite For Destruction

Guns N roses
Guns N' Roses in 1987 (Image credit: Paul Natkin / Getty Images)

In June’s edition of Classic Rock magazine, we caught up with Guns N’ Roses (opens in new tab) bassist Duff McKagan.

The interview touched on everything from his life in music and near death experiences, to his new solo album Tenderness (opens in new tab), which he recorded with Shooter Jennings.

McKagan was also asked about what he remembers most about the making of GNR’s classic debut album Appetite For Destruction (opens in new tab).

He replied: “Tracking it with Mike Clink. We finally found this producer who said: ‘I just want to record how you guys sound – nothing more.’ That made perfect sense.

“Hearing those basic tracks, it sounded like us in that room. It was perfect. We really learned how a good song should be written. We had these big riffs, but how do you get them to the next riff, and how does the vocal go in?

“So you hear all the little connector parts on that record and that was something you really had to work on.”

Appetite For Destruction landed at no.1 in the US in 1988 – and asked how that affected him on a personal level, Duff said: “We toured that record for so long and we were just too ‘in it’ to realise how big it was blowing up. 

“Then one day you’re in a  grocery store and you’re on the cover of Rolling Stone – that’s right there as you’re checking out.

“People are like, ‘Oh, you’re that guy.’ I didn’t really know how to handle that for a while. There’s no training for it.”

Guns N’ Roses will return to the UK and Europe later this year (opens in new tab) on the latest leg of their mammoth Not In This Lifetime tour.

In December, the band added a second UK show in London (opens in new tab) due to phenomenal demand.

Guns N' Roses: Appetite For Destruction Super Deluxe box set (opens in new tab)
The debut album from Guns N' Roses is packaged in a faux-leather box set with five discs of remastered music, rarities, B-sides and music videos. Plus a 96-page hardcover book, flyers, exclusive lithos and much more.

Scott looks after and updates Louder’s online buyer’s guides and also scouts out the best deals for music fans from every corner of the internet. He's spent more than 28 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014, where he wrote extensively about rock, metal, prog and more, before moving to the eCommerce team full-time in 2020. Scott has previous written for publications including IGN, Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky.