Although Duff McKagan is best known as the bassist of Guns N’ Roses, he’s a versatile instrumentalist, having played drums and the guitar in bands prior to his move to Los Angeles. There were a handful of bassists that helped inspire him to pursue the bass, though.
The rocker’s upcoming solo album Lighthouse will be available next Friday (Oct. 20). In a new interview with Guitar World, he discussed what shaped the album’s new sound, and named the seven bassists that had the biggest impression on him.
“I will always write punk-rock songs because that’s where I came from. And my lyrics are always me telling the truth and are often based on my own experiences,” the bassist said. “But I think the more mellow side came in when I met and played with [Screaming Trees‘] Mark Lanegan after I got sober in the ’90s. We started hanging out a bunch, playing acoustic guitars, and that stuff really hit me. I was like, ‘Fuck, I hope to one day be able to do what he’s doing.’
“I have songs that maybe you’ll hear one day where you’ll say, ‘Oh, hey, there’s he is doing his Killing Joke thing,” he continued. “I can get my post-punk on as much as possible, punk and hard rock. And there’s stuff like ‘Shakedown,’ which is like a pure Vibrators track. The music I’m making now really combines my journey, which includes learning how to play acoustic guitar and telling stories based on what I’ve experienced and been influenced by in life.”
Scroll through the gallery below to see McKagan’s favorite bassists, and what he had to say about each of them.
Duff McKagan’s Favorite Bassists of All Time
The bassists that inspired Duff McKagan the most.
Gallery Credit: Lauryn Schaffner
Top 66 Rock + Metal Bassists of All Time
Counting down the very best bassists in rock and metal history.
Gallery Credit: Loudwire Staff