2019 album also available on CD.
Duff McKagan is releasing ‘Tenderness’ his second* solo album, following on from his second album with his band Walking Papers: ‘WP2’ 2018. The busy Guns N’ Roses bassist began working on new music for his solo project last year during gaps in GNR tour schedule, with singer-songwriter and producer Shooter Jennings - son of country icons Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter. McKagan said in December that much of his new lyrics are inspired by experiences he had during his travels over the past few years with GNR and seeing the world change around him. McKagan’s in-the-works solo album is a “musical follow-up” to 2015s tome ‘How To Be A Man (and Other Illusions).
"The real point of this record, and the lyrics for “Tenderness” is not for me to be some damn politician or some other voice to add to what is already way too much noise," McKagan said in a statement. Regarding the new single, McKagan called it a "song of unity and peace... and I want this record to be a meditation and to bring maybe some healing, if that is not too high-handed or lofty of a goal." The bassist suggests that the new track is a reaction to political and social friction in America today. But it's not a political song; it's a song about acceptance.
“We’re becoming divided at a time when we need each other most,” says Duff. “When huge industries get replaced because of modernisation, it’s time to retrain and bolster up those who get swept aside. Homelessness and drug addiction are avoidable in this country if we come together and get private and public cogs turning together in a positive direction. We can at least try to tackle mental illness while we’re at it. But alas, we stump and lie, point fingers and divide. We’re way better than this. As a father, I must say and do something now because I love my girls and my wife, and I love my country, and I feel I must be strong and use my voice now, do it while I’m able or perhaps never get a chance ever again”.
McKagan also recently told Billboard about the musical direction of Tenderness: “I’ve been dabbling with this kind of songwriting for the last 20 years. I’m good friends with guys like Mark Lanegan and Greg Dulli, and both of those guys have influenced me tremendously. The thing is right now we have this huge rock band going [with Guns], so I don’t feel the need to peel off a rock record right now. It is the perfect time for me to do a record of whatever the f_k I want. I mean, I could have done it at any time.
“I’ve done a bunch of cool stuff in the past like Walking Papers and the Neurotic Outsiders, but it was more like aggressive punk rock. For this one, though, I really took my time with Shooter to get the right arrangements and the right instrumentation. It didn’t have to be perfect. I didn’t want any part of this record to be perfect; I wanted it to be real.”
The record sees Duff hook up with Shooter Jennings, John Schreffler, Jamie Douglass and Aubrey Richmond, along with guests including Mark Lanegan, written and recorded at Station House studios, located in Echo Park, California.
*Actually his third album. His second album 'Beautiful Disease' (1999) was caught in the merger of Polygram and Universal Music and it was dropped from the release schedule and never released. Duff later re-recorded some of the songs with his band Duff McKagan's Loaded in 2001.