Having played bass with Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver and Jane’s Addiction, Duff McKagan has been around a lot of talented frontmen. Now in his new band, Walking Papers, McKagan gets to work with a vocalist he’s long admired, Jeff Angell.
“I hoped at some point I would do something with Jeff; we’re good bros and we share a similar path in certain aspects. Early on, when we were looking for singers for Velvet Revolver, I brought Jeff Angell down, about 2003,” McKagan tells Rolling Stone of the Missionary Position vocalist. “I’ve had a relationship with him and wanted to work with him for that long.”
Walking Papers is a Seattle quartet that features McKagan, Angell, drummer Barrett Martin (Screaming Trees) and keyboardist Benjamin Anderson. Their dark, alternately sensual and sinister self-titled debut album is out August 6th. “I’ll Stick Around,” which premieres here on RollingStone.com and featuring a guest spot from Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready, boasts a slow, grinding blues pace that combines elements of Morphine and Tom Waits.
McKagan knew early on that the band was onto something special. “[Angell] and Barrett Martin, who of course I’ve known since the Nineties, started recording tracks that were the bed of this record,” he says. “I got into the studio where the beds of these songs were being tracked and it was just fucking gorgeous.’
Next, Walking Papers will join their Seattle pals Alice in Chains on the upcoming Uproar tour. Based on the group’s experiences touring overseas and on the West Coast, McKagan has high hopes for their next jaunt.
“There was a gig we played in Paris where everybody had their eyes shut. I think it was ‘I’ll Stick Around’ – everybody was so into it, I could’ve gone and pickpocketed everybody,” he says. “So it must pulse in a certain way that affects an audience differently than other things I’ve done in the past.”