Seven Degrees of Duff McKagan: UPROAR fest at Usana
Published: September 9, 2013 11:05AM
Updated: August 27, 2013 05:02PM
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While fans can expect an embarrassment of riches at the Rockstar Energy Drink UPROAR Festival, the musicians themselves look forward to playing their own rock version of Seven Degrees of Duff McKagan.
Let’s see if you can follow.
Famed bassistDuff McKagan was formerly with Guns N’ Roses. Two members of another festival performer, The Dead Daisies, Dizzy Reed and Richard Fortus, both also play with Guns N’ Roses.
In addition, McKagan once was a member of festival performer Jane’s Addiction.
Now McKagan is the bass player for festival performer Walking Papers, which boasts drummer Barrett Martin. Martin used to be in the Screaming Trees with Mark Lanegan, and McKagan has played on two Lanegan solo albums. Martin also used to be a member of Mad Season, which featured the late Alice in Chains singer Layne Staley on vocals.
Alice in Chains is too a festival performer.
Got that straight?
McKagan, 49, said that he never intended to have relationships with so many bands. “If you had asked me at 21 if I wanted to be in a lot of bands, I would said I just wanted to be in one band,” he said. McKagan was actually the last founding member of Guns N’ Roses (besides founding and current member Axl Rose) to leave the band .
McKagan was around the scene in the early 1990s when there was supposed bad blood between the Los Angeles bands like Jane’s Addiction and Seattle grunge bands like Alice in Chains. (McKagan is associated with L.A. bands, but actually grew up in and now primarily lives in Seattle.) “That whole conflict was made [by the media],” he said. “I didn’t move from Seattle because of a s___ music scene. Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam would all come down and I rooted for them. Maybe [the media] tried to create something like a rap feud, East Coast versus West Coast.”
Good vibes, therefore, is why McKagan has joined Martin in a new venture, Walking Papers, which formed last year. The band’s debut album features guest musician Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, whom incidentally was also a member of Mad Season.
The idea of a band still appeals to McKagan. “It’s four or five guys working towards a goal,” he said. It’s like a family, he said, and some of his fondest concert memories include seeing Seattle sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson perform together on stage as Heart.
Jane’s Addiction drummer Stephen Perkins remembers McKagan’s times in the band fondly, even though McKagan only had a brief yet amicable time spent with the band. “We had some good times,” Perkins said, who noted that he had known McKagan since Guns N’ Roses were in the Sunset Strip scene along with Jane’s Addiction in the 1980s.

Rockstar Energy Drink UPROAR Festival
Feat: Alice In Chains, Jane’s Addiction, Coheed and Cambria, Circa Survive, Walking Papers, The Dead Daisies, and more
When • Monday, Sept. 2, at 2 p.m.
Where • Usana Amphitheatre, 5150 S. 6055 West, West Valley City
Tickets • $20 to $74 up until Aug. 29; $25 to $79 after Aug. 29; at SmithsTix