Duff McKagan Describes Axl Rose's 'Inspiring' Before And After-Show Routine

Even three years after Guns N' Roses reunited Axl Rose with Slash and Duff McKagan, we still don't really know why it happened.

It's easy to imagine that holding onto the grievances of the band's mid-'90s split became less a priority for the three 20 years later, and it was probably a combination of factors (not the least of which would be money), that motivated the reunion.

When asked by Q104.3 New York's Shelli Sonstein what changed with Rose between the '90s, when he was notorious for arriving late to concerts an agitating audiences and law enforcement, McKagan demurred, explaining instead the effect Rose's newfound professionalism has had on him.

"What I've observed has really made me work so much harder," McKagan said. "His work ethic is...he's an animal. He's in the gym. He starts and hour-and-a-half before the show vocal warmups. We do a three-and-a-half-hour long show. He broke his foot at the beginning of the tour; he didn't say, 'Let's stop.' He said, 'Let's continue, I'll do it sitting down.'"

McKagan has previously explained that Rose broke his foot at the Troubadour in Los Angeles during the first show of GNR's reunion. At the time, the bassist thought the literal tough break meant the reunion was over — at least they got through one show.

"To sing sitting down ... singing sitting down is super hard," McKagan added. "He does the hour-and-a-half vocal warmups. He sings these shows. He does an hour-and-a-half warm down — I'm already in bed reading my book, man. Like, I'm done and he's still warming down; I can hear him sometimes. And that makes me work harder. I get up, I go to the gym. I start playing my bass extra early. I'm doing vocal warmups. That guy's really chest out, head up, he's the real deal — him and Slash both. ...It reminded me of how hard we worked back in the day."

McKagan is currently on the road promoting his latest solo album, Tenderness, with Shooter Jennings. Get their tour dates here.

Guns N' Roses has a handful of festival dates on its itinerary for this year. Get all GNR's tour dates here.

Photo: Getty Images

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