Though he’s known for his work in Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver, Duff McKagan‘s new solo album Tenderness isn’t exactly a hard rock record. Instead, the collection, which McKagan recorded with country artist Shooter Jennings, is more of an intimate, acoustic-driven experience.
“I do a lot of big rock music,” McKagan tells ABC Radio. “I’ve done a lot of big rock music in my time.”
“I think now is a time to do something a little different musically,” he adds. “It’s OK, I’ve maybe earned the right to do this sort of thing.”
Lyrically, McKagan describes Tenderness as “observational.” He started writing those observations while traveling the world on the Guns N’ Roses reunion tour, and, originally, intended to use them for another book. However, he soon discovered that his ideas would be better suited for an album.
“It dawned on me that I should make a record,” McKagan recalls. “I won’t write a book, I’ll try to make a record. Just an acoustic record of these ideas about healing.”
Some of the songs are about real-life events, such as the Parkland school shooting or the ongoing opioid crisis in America. However, those songs often don’t come with an “answer.”
“I was very cognizant of not being another finger pointing someplace,” McKagan says. “I’m not name-calling, I’m not blaming.”
He continues, “If anything I hoped to accomplish, [it] was [for] this to be a record where you could sort of realize we’re all in this together.”
Tenderness is out now. McKagan’s solo tour behind the album continues Monday in New York City.
In other news, McKagan’s hometown baseball team, the Seattle Mariners, will celebrate “Duff McKagan Night” on June 17. Visit MLB.com for more info.
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