Tenured Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan is all set to release a solo album sometime in 2019. Alongside McKagan is long-time GNR collaborator and outlaw country music icon Shooter Jennings. The two have reportedly been hard at work on the album since March 2018.
As strange as this seems, McKagan has explained via Thomann Music that the forthcoming album is going to be a follow-up to his best-selling book, How To Be A Man (And Other Illusions), which was released back in 2015. “I like being informed, I like traveling, talking to people and knowing what the lay of the land is wherever I go. And it’s evolved over the 30 years that I’ve been traveling. It interests me,” said McKagan. “So I wrote these little vignettes that were gonna be starts of stories I was
gonna write about, but they became songs.”
While the world is likely expecting something heavy from the GNR bassist, McKagan himself reveals that the new album is not going to be a “rock record.” McKagan will be playing both bass and acoustic guitar on the album and will be accompanied by a band chosen by producer Jennings. The two musicians are actually long-time friends who have known each other for nearly two decades, and they’re currently working on wrapping up the album at the famed Station House studios in California.
When Consequence of Sound got in touch with the pair late last year, Jennings talked about how important it was to record McKagan’s new songs, a feeling he’d had since the first night they sat together to hash out new arrangements. Said Jennings, “The songs have so much heart and are so musical that I could just hear all the arrangements immediately and I could really feel them.” It’s safe to say that this new album is going to be fueled by passion – from no lesser talents than two of the most accomplished musicians in recent history. But will this supposedly new musical direction fly with the bassist’s long-time fans? The short answer is probably yes.
However the new album turns out, it’s bound to be met with open arms by McKagan’s worldwide following. As the longest serving bassist for Guns N’ Roses, McKagan is no stranger to global popularity, particularly during these past few years. The bassist’s best-selling 2015 book – technically the prequel to this new album, as mentioned – is just the tip of this fame and fortune iceberg. After most of GNR’s classic ’80s lineup reunited for 2016’s Not In This Lifetime tour, it went on to become one of the highest grossing tours in all of music history. During that same year, the NetEnt Rocks series launched on the web with a game dedicated to Guns N’ Roses – the third and most popular in a trio of games dedicated to global heavy hitters including Jimi Hendrix and Motörhead.
Meanwhile, just last year, our own reporters here at Music Mayhem Magazine revealed that McKagan starred in a live video by multi-platinum American band Awolnation, in a collaboration that brought new life to the band’s classic hit Burn it Down. In short, McKagan’s been as busy as ever these last few years, and churning out success after success. His audience is undoubtedly all ears for 2019. We can only hope that the celebrated bassist meets – if not exceeds – the expectations of both critics and fans.