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 bassist Duff McKagan.

The interview touched on everything from his life in music and near death experiences, to his new solo album Tenderness, 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.

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 on the latest leg of their mammoth Not In This Lifetime tour.

In December, the band added a second UK show in London due to phenomenal demand.

Guns N' Roses: Appetite For Destruction Super Deluxe box set

Guns N' Roses: Appetite For Destruction Super Deluxe box set
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 Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.