In a recent interview with Q104.3's Jim Kerr, GUNS N' ROSES bassist Duff McKagan was asked what changed with Axl Rose to make him go from being hours late to a concert to being the hardest-working man in the music business. McKagan responded (see video below): "I can't speak for him. I'll just tell you what I know about… what I've observed that's really made me work so much harder. His work ethic is… he's an animal. He's in the gym. He starts an hour and a half before the show, vocal warm-ups. We do a three-and-a-half-hour-long show. He broke his foot at the beginning of the [GUNS N' ROSES reunion] tour. He had to do that show [at the Troubadour in April 2016] — he didn't say, 'Let's stop.' He said, 'Let's continue. I'll do it sitting down.' Just singing sitting down — I don't know if either of you are singers, but singing sitting down is super hard. He does an hour-and-a-half vocal warm-ups; he sings these shows; he does an hour-and-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 warm-ups. That guy's really chest-out, head-up… he's the real deal. Him and Slash both, just this tour, showed me how… we're hard workers. And it reminded me of how hard we worked back in the day. We'd have two-day rehearsals, and we would… People, I think, probably thought we were a bunch of eff-ups. But people don't know… You do the work when people aren't looking. And that was that band that did that, for sure, and we still do."
Last week, McKagan described Rose as a "super-smart guy" in an interview with Rolling Stone, saying that the GUNS frontman is "concerned about his country."
McKagan made his remarks with regards to Rose's support of a number of left-wing causes on Twitter, where the singer has also repeatedly criticized Donald Trump and his policies.
McKagan said about Rose: "If he says something on Twitter, he's thought about it. He knows the backup stories from every angle, and if somebody chose to debate him, I don't care who it is, you're going to be fucked. He's a well-spoken and well-read dude who has experienced a lot. I believe he's concerned about his country."
McKagan added: "One thing about Axl is if you're going to try to compete with him intellectually, you've lost, because he's a super-smart guy. He's a super-sensitive dude who does his studies."
McKagan is hitting the road in support of his new solo album, "Tenderness", a more subdued affair than he is known for with GUNS N' ROSES. The latter band will return to the road this fall and may also enter the studio to record its first new album in 11 years.