After a half-hearted attempt at drug rehabilitation, he kick-started a solo career with 1993's Believe in Me. In 1994, McKagan's pancreas exploded (due to acute alcohol-induced pancreatitis) and he underwent emergency surgery. The doctors told him that if he did not quit drinking, he would be dead within a month, and so McKagan quickly became sober.
In 1995 he collaborated with Slash in his solo project "Slash's Snakepit," co-writing a song called "Beggars and Hangers-On," which he played live at the Palace during a Snakepit show in May of that year. He would go on to form "Neurotic Outsiders," an alternative rock super-group consisting of GN'R drummer Matt Sorum, "Sex Pistols" guitarist Steve Jones and John Taylor of "Duran Duran" on bass. They played the L.A clubs circuit in the late 90s, and toured the U.S. in 1996. A self-titled album was released in September 1996. After that he put back together 10 Minute Warning, the band he played in before joining Guns N' Roses. They recorded some of their songs to put out an album with the notorious Seattle-based label Sub Pop, published May 5, 1998.
In the years that followed, McKagan became a father and concentrated on his solo career. He recruited drummer Abe Laboriel Jr., Michael Barragan and Izzy Stradlin to help him record Beautiful Disease, with a 1999 release on Geffen Records. However, this album was never released due to a merger between Geffen and Interscope, which caused McKagan to be dropped from the label. Despite this, he want on tour recruiting former Black Flag's Dez Cadena, ex Twisted Roots' Paul Roessler and former Morning Glories' Michael Barragan.
Duff also tried it as an actor in 1997. He had a part in the TV serial Sliders, which aired in May of that year, as a dead rocker vampire.
On August 27, 1997, he had his first child, Grace, with model/swimsuit designer Susan Holmes. They married on August 28, 1999. On July 16, 2000, they had their second child, another girl, Mae Marie.
Duff was living between Los Angeles and Seattle from 1994 to 1999, because his mother was battling Parkinson's disease and he felt he had to be with her. His mother died in early April 1999 and since then, he lives in Seattle.
In 1999 he recruited bassist Geoff Reading (New American Shame), guitarist Dave Dederer (The Presidents of the United States of America) and keyboardist Martin Feveyear to form Loaded. They recorded the album "Episode 1999:Live", which was sold only via their own website.
Then, he participated to the album "Umanary Stew: A Tribute To Alice Cooper", and helped his former GN'R bandmate Izzy Stradlin' for the album "Ride On".
In 2000, he put together another band called "Mad for the Racket," also known as "The Racketeers" with MC5's Wayne Kramer and Damned's Brian James. For a drummer, they got different guest stars, such as Stewart CopelandPolice), Clem Burke (Blondie) and Brock Avery. In 2001, he reunited with Loaded for the club circuit in Seattle. He also ran a marathon in 2001 with bib number "11468." (
In August 2001, a new version of Loaded, with Michael James Squires on guitars and Jeff "Dumbass" Rouse on keyboards, toured Japan and released the album "Dark Days", a mix of new material and re-recorded previous tracks from the unreleased album "Beautiful Disease." Duff also toured Japan with Izzy Stradlin' to support Izzy's new album River. Duff also appeared with J, ex-Luna Sea bassist, in a number of magazines and venues during his tour in Japan that J opened for.
Duff produced the controversial debut EP "Get Off" by Betty Blowtorch and also appeared in the documentary film Betty Blowtorch And Her Amazing True Life Adventures, directed by Anthony Scarpa.