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Duff McKagan Interviews Jack White About Solo Disc ‘Blunderbuss’

Duff McKagan and Jack White
Mike Coppola / Matt Roberts, Getty Images

When former Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan isn’t rocking out on stage with one of his bands Velvet Revolver or Loaded, he pens a regular column for ‘Seattle Weekly’ that covers everything from sports to politics and of course music. In his latest column, the legendary bassist digs a little deeper into the music scene, interviewing Jack White who recently released his solo debut ‘Blunderbuss.’

McKagan starts off his column comparing White’s creative freedom and spirit to that of Steve Jobs, Prince and John Lennon before launching into the interview where the two discuss Jack White’s lyrics, “happy accidents” that turn into memorable riffs and much more.

On his process for writing lyrics, White told McKagan, “I always find it kind of boring to write about myself. But whatever happens to you, if you’ve gone through anything–sort of a literal train wreck in your life, for example–you have to have that inside of you in some way; even if you choose not to write about being involved in a train wreck, it would come out of you no matter what choice you have.” He continued, “So whatever characters I was writing about during the record, I’m giving them these problems. But the problems are only things that I probably have seen or experienced sometime along the way.”

White also explained the idea behind touring with two different bands, saying, “I was just trying to think of ways to break things up for me, because a lot of times you see somebody you know from a band and they play under their own name and they just have to find four or five people to stand behind them and play the songs off their old album, and it’s a nostalgia trip, and I don’t really want to do that.” He added, “And a lot of the stuff–if it’s a White Stripes song, for example, that people are hearing, I don’t want to recreate something that a two-piece band did with six people in some really regular, perfunctory way, or a nostalgic way. So it’s a way for me to shake things up for myself so it stays really alive onstage, not just trying to recreate some moment from 10 years ago.”

White told McKagan that a lot of the riffs on the solo disc came from “a lot of accidents,” and making the most out of middle of the night inspirations. “I also made a rule for myself that when I wake up in the middle of the night and have some melody coming out,” explains White. “I told myself to write them down, which is probably the hardest thing I’ve done.”

White is on the road now in support of ‘Blunderbuss.’ Read the entire interview here.

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