Faces Legend Ian McLagan Dismisses Green Day as ‘Horrifyingly Loud and Bad’
Ian McLagan will probably always be best remembered for his keyboard work as a member of the Faces and a sometime sideman for the Rolling Stones, but he’s also a solo artist in his own right. In fact, his latest album, ‘United States,’ is due to arrive in stores on June 17.
As McLagan explained during a recent conversation with Salon, he wasn’t thinking about politics at all when he came up with the title. “It’s not anything about United States. It just seemed to be a great title,” he shrugged. “It’s also an anagram of nudist estate. I do crosswords, you know. The thing is, it’s about relationships, really, and I just thought, ‘Ah, that’s funny; I bet no one’s used that.’ … Any of my albums could be called ‘United States,’ because I tend to write about relationships. That’s just how it is.”
He recorded the songs with his Bump Band, the outfit he’s fronted since the late ’70s — and in that same classic spirit, he’s also still playing the Hammond organ he used during the ’70s sessions that produced his classic sides for the Faces, Rod Stewart, and a host of other artists. “You don’t want to settle, do you? Once you’ve got the right one. And it’s my beast, you know. She has a name, too: Betsy. I’ve had it since 1969,” he pointed out. “It’s pretty much a Ferrari compared with what comes out of the factories. It’s loud as f—. I defy any guitarist to compete. Finally, I’m the king. It’s my band!”
Never one to mince words, McLagan responded with a direct “No” when asked whether he’s excited about the oft-rumored Faces reunion, explaining, “I’m excited about this album. I’ll be excited about that around about Christmas. There are gigs I’m gonna do in a week or two. Faces is going to happen, though. It’s the first time Rod’s real positive about it, and his manager is too. I want to do it.”
In the meantime, he’s already looking ahead to the next set of songs. “I’m dying to get to the next album. We’ve had a two-year wait. We cut the tracks for ‘United States’ in April 2012,” he continued. “I have songs I’ve been working on. I have these songs, some of them are finished, some of them are half-finished. Once this album is out, it’s over. I can move on…John Mellencamp in an interview was asked that question, Do you write every day, and he said ‘Yeah, I keep the doors and windows open.’ I thought, ‘That’s a good f—in’ way to think about it.’ And I wasn’t keeping them open, so now I do.”
He’s liable to close them, however, once anyone starts playing Green Day or Guns N’ Roses. As McLagan admitted during the interview, he learned to loathe Green Day while watching their performance during the 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony. “I don’t really get it. It’s too young for me. It feels like kids making a lot of noise,” he admitted. “I had a migraine that day, it was a bad one. I got it about two hours before the show. I’d ordered a meal, it was an hour late, it got to me just before I was supposed to leave. I was angry and I had a migraine. I get there, I’m 15 feet from the front of the stage, right in the middle, second table. Green Day come on. If I had a gun, they’d all be dead. And I’d be happy about it. Horrifyingly loud and bad, two things you shouldn’t be. Especially if you’re at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It was as much ’cause of the migraine as anything. I wanted to kill Guns N’ Roses as well. Apart from that, it was nice to be inducted, it was a big honor.”