Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan has shared a new song, “Tenderness,” from his forthcoming solo album. You can check out the tune, produced by and featuring Shooter Jennings, above.
McKagan and Jennings began work on the new album in March of 2018 at Station House studios in Echo Park, CA, where they wrote and recorded in between McKagan’s tour with Guns N’ Roses and the release of Jennings’ eponymous album, Shooter.
“Before beginning this project, I was asked more than a few times if I was going to write a book on my experience of the two-and-a-half-year GN’R Not In This Lifetime … tour,” McKagan said. “While, of course, it had been an amazing experience, in the end, I decided the ideas swirling around in my head were better suited for a record. The heartbreak, anger, fear, confusion and divide I have experienced traveling this globe of ours coerced these words into songs that tell my truth, and one that I hope will spread and help us all.”
Regarding the album, he said: “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. This is 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. I can use what marginal voice I have as an artist, to hopefully help arrest what seems like a fall. 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 am able, or perhaps never get a chance ever again.”
Said Jennings, “From the start of the development of this record, ‘Tenderness’ stood out as a focal point. I was almost scared to cut it too early - before we had really mined the sound of the album. I knew we had one shot to do it right with feeling. After it was done and we had a first mix, I wrote Duff and said ‘this song has to come out right now!’ It has a simple message of celebrating life and each other and for everyone to take it easy on one another. It offered an empathetic solution for a divisive time in the world: Tenderness.”
About his collaboration with Jennings, McKagan said, “Fortune shone my way when Shooter and I began to work on the structures of the songs. Shooter has a brilliant mind, and a seemingly endless musical catalogue bouncing around in his head that he’s ready to tap into at any moment. He believed in this thing from day one, and that gave me the confidence and energy to forge on. Shooter, seemingly, can play any musical instrument, but instead of that being sort of daunting to me, he works in such an honest way that I never once felt like I was in the company of a guy trying to show me up. The contrary was in fact true. He made me a better acoustic guitar player, and more at ease as a singer. His ability to get real and authentic sounds in the studio are second to none, and making this record was one of the most inspiring musical experiences of my career.”
McKagan has also announced two shows, at TLA in Philadelphia on May 30 and City Winery in Washington, DC on May 31. He’ll be backed by Jennings and his band for both gigs.
“Tenderness” is available for streaming or download here.