During an appearance on the March 20 edition of SEX PISTOLS guitarist Steve Jones‘s radio show, “Jonesy’s Jukebox”, on the 95.5 KLOS station in Los Angeles, GUNS N’ ROSES bassist Duff McKagan spoke about his upcoming solo album, “Tenderness”. Due on May 31, the record sees McKagan reflecting on his experiences traveling the globe over two and a half years on GUNS N’ ROSES‘ “Not In This Lifetime” tour. Encountering heartbreak, anger, fear, confusion and divide on his travels during this tumultuous time in our world history, McKagan channeled a collective hurt into songs of monolithic power.
“The ideas for these songs were originally ideas for things I was gonna write for possibly a third book — observations I made while traveling,” McKagan told Jones (see video below). “Not observations of GUNS N’ ROSES, but of the actual things I was seeing. A very interesting time — inarguably — in all of our history, the two and a half years we were on tour. Without comment, really — just observing. Writing columns for Seattle Weekly for five years, I really became an observationalist more than, ‘Oh, look at that.’ I would stand back and look.”
Duff added: “A lot of times, I didn’t get the cable news you see in America. And I don’t check Twitter when I’m on tour; I just post something [like], ‘Soundcheck.’ And, man, I’ve gotta tell you, life is a lot cooler that way. I’d get back to where the news station, they’re just screaming and yelling, and it’s like three different things, and panels on there and all of this. It makes you feel like there’s a divide. And me traveling without that stuff and talking to people and going places, I really realized there’s not that divide and there’s kind of two different things going on, and I wrote about it. And this record, Shooter was so great at kind of getting that whole method of the record and the lyric writing. I used his band, and one of my most favorite musical experiences was recording this record with Shooter.”
McKagan and Jennings began recording “Tenderness” a year ago this month, working out of Station House studios, located in Echo Park, California, where they wrote and recorded in-between McKagan‘s tour with seminal rock band GUNS N’ ROSES and the release of Jennings‘s eponymous album, “Shooter”. “Tenderness” features Jennings and his band along with appearances by The Waters and The Suicide Horn Section (which features Duff‘s brother Matt McKagan on trombone), amongst others.
Twelve months later, they’re gearing up to take these songs on the road for a North American tour that kicks off May 30 at TLA in Philadelphia. Prior to the tour’s launch, Los Angeles-based fans can catch McKagan and Jennings discussing the album and giving a special performance at the Grammy Museum in downtown L.A.
Also available for pre-order is a special limited-edition “Tenderness” deluxe book, which includes the album on 180-gram yellow-and-red starburst vinyl, the CD, and features an exclusive lithograph signed and numbered by McKagan. The hardcover book contains 40-pages of photos from the recording sessions and also presents liner notes written by Duff detailing his experiences with each song and the project as a whole. The vinyl features 10 tracks and a unique sequence carefully selected by McKagan and Jennings, while the CD includes 11 tracks.