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Guns N' Roses Bassist Duff McKagan Sings a Message of Hope

25/06/2019

Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan has spent three decades touring the globe, playing for tens of thousands of fans at a clip. But he's always set aside time to explore, observe, and learn about the people for whom he's strumming his strings. Their stories, situations, and struggles have often been the subjects of Duff's articles for Seattle Weekly and ESPN.com, as well as two nonfiction books. His new solo album, Tenderness, is perhaps his most cathartic-yet hopeful-analysis of the world's ills to date.

We caught up with Duff at Thalia Hall in Chicago a couple hours before his concert in support of Tenderness. He spoke about his writing process, artists who inspire him, the podcasts that keep him in good mental and physical shape-and the new Guns N' Roses album in the works.

What inspired you to start writing Tenderness and to explore the topics that you do? Why this particular album now? In late 2015, Axl, Slash, and I were getting back together and having talks and really clearing the air. We went out on tour, and I was at this intellectual ease when I turned off all the news.

Instead, I read a lot of history. I went and visited the places I read about such as Monticello, for example, or went with the airboat guy to see alligators. I talked to people and made observations.

I was going to write a third book about all of the noise and divisiveness in the news, and how we're in the infancy of social media, and we have to find a better way to interact with each other. I started writing these little vignettes that eventually became songs. The album presents an overarching theme of hope, and I was careful not to point fingers since there's enough of that going on. We're all on the same team. It's about us having each other's backs and making positive change, and this little record is my attempt at illustrating that.

So what's one thing people should know about Tenderness before listening to it? Open your mind and take the journey. It's a story of us, not me.

We know how '60s and '70s social consciousness played out in the music of the day. Are you seeing something similar now? Some people just never stop doing it. Like Bruce Springsteen or Willie Nelson. Rock 'n' roll has always been about rebellion. It's beautiful, it's love songs, it's songs of anger, it's all of those things.

We're all on the same team. It's about us having each other's backs and making positive change, and this little record is my attempt at illustrating that.
LINK: https://newsroom.spotify.com/2019-06-24/guns-n-roses-bassist-duff-mcka...
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