13 long years after the release of Use Your Illusion, and a decade on from the demise of GN’R, Duff reunited with Slash and Matt Sorum, linking up with Dave Kushner and Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland to form Velvet Revolver. The gang mentality that was key to Guns’ success was back in full force. Today, Duff acknowledges the importance of being a tight-knit fighting unit.
“It has worked for things that I do. I think if everybody believes in the thing together and has a part in it then it is going to make a much stronger unit and you do become more of a gang. You’ve got each other’s back and it’s a formidable presence. It’s not like you’re trying to be tough but it just comes off that way because you’re all on the same page.
“When it got out that Slash and I and Matt were playing together again, there was a lot of…we’d kind of put the blinders on because there was a lot of talk. ‘Oh, what are those guys doing? Did they get a singer?’ We had got used to just drowning everything out, so there wasn’t pressure, we knew that we had some great songs, we knew that we had a great band. By the time we got into the studio we were confident. We didn’t know if it was going to be big or not, but if you’re making the record that you want to make, it doesn’t matter if it’s big or small, it’s a piece of time that you got onto audio somehow and it is exactly as you had hoped.
“Set Me Free was the first song that we did together. It just felt right. We had the song and then Scott stepped in and it was like, ‘There is the missing piece.’ It felt right and we thought, ‘Oh, we can go play anywhere now, this could be a thing right now.’ It was interesting and different and not what people would probably expect and that’s always cool.”