(Big Hassle) Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver bassist Duff McKagan is honoring Mental Health Awareness Month with today's premiere of This Is The Song, a brand new, three-track EP available today at all DSPs and streaming services. Produced by longtime collaborator Martin Feveyear (Mark Lanegan, Brandi Carlile), the EP's title track is joined by an official companion video premiering today on YouTube.
"THIS IS THE SONG was written in the middle of a panic attack," Duff McKagan says in a statement about the EP. "I couldn't breathe and couldn't see straight, and lately, I have thankfully found my acoustic guitar as a refuge. If I just hold on to that guitar, play chords, and hum melodies, I can start to climb my way out of that hole. For those of you who have never experienced something like this, count yourselves blessed. To those of you who recognize what I am talking about: YOU ARE NOT ALONE!"
McKagan's first new solo music in close to four years, This Is The Song follows his critically acclaimed sophomore solo album, 2019's Tenderness, named by Loudwire as one of that year's "50 Best Rock Albums" and hailed by Rolling Stone in a three-and-a-half (out of four)-starred rave as "an album full of beauty and heart...It's music of conscience, heavy songs with a light touch."
In 2019, Duff McKagan moved into his own recording studio, allowing him a long-hoped-for opportunity to "finally explore songs that I may have written the night before or some of those old riffs from years ago. This is a big deal for me." Along with THIS IS THE SONG, the new EP includes the soulful IT CAN'T COME TOO SOON (featuring guest vocals from Seattle, WA-based singer, songwriter, music educator, and community organizer Shaina Sheperd) and PASS ME BY, the latter inspired by distinctly modern confrontation with a gun-toting horsewoman while on a motorcycle trip through the Cascade Mountains.
A founding member of both Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver, Duff McKagan is, at his heart, a songwriter, penning a growing canon of vulnerable, confessional, and authentic material. Produced by 3x GRAMMY® Award-winner Shooter Jennings, Tenderness marked a powerful new chapter for the ever-evolving artist, taking on societal ills and his own personal transgressions against a rich sonic backdrop of Americana-fueled arrangements. Among the album's many highlights is the volatile rocker, "Chip Away," which earned extraordinary praise from the Maestro himself, Bob Dylan, who recently declared the song a personal favorite.
"There's a Duff McKagan song called 'Chip Away' that has profound meaning for me," Dylan told The Wall Street Journal. "It's a graphic song. Chip away, chip away, like Michelangelo, breaking up solid marble stone to discover the form of King David inside. He didn't build him from the ground up, he chipped away the stone until he discovered the king. It's like my own songwriting, I overwrite something, then I chip away lines and phrases until I get to the real thing."
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