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Watch the lyric video for Duff McKagan’s powerful solo song 'Tenderness'

Duff McKagan © Getty

Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan has premiered the lyric video for his solo song ‘Tenderness’.

Inspired the climate of ‘disillusion, injustice and fear’ in the world, the stripped-back piano led song is packed with potent lyrics imbued with hope and calling for unity.

“The real point of ‘Tenderness’ is not for me to be some damn politician or some other voice to add to what is already way too much noise,” Duff explains.

“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.”

‘Tenderness’ is the first taster of Duff’s as-yet-untitled solo album, which is a musical follow-up his 2015 bestselling book, How To Be A Man (And Other Illusions).

Set to be released via UME, Duff began work on the album in March 2018 at Station House Studios in Echo Park, California with producer Shooter Jennings while on a break during Guns N’ Roses’ record-breaking Not In This Lifetime… Tour.

Shooter Jennings says of Tenderness: “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.”

Duff McKagan and Shooter Jennings

Commenting on his collaboration with Shooter, Duff says: “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.”
He said of the solo album: “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.

“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.”

Duff McKagan plays solo shows in Philadelphia and Washington DC at the end of May.

Duff McKagan and his band 

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