Guns N' Roses' Duff McKagan Plots New Solo Album for 2019 | Revolver

Guns N' Roses' Duff McKagan Plots New Solo Album for 2019

GN'R bassist working with producer and country-music royalty Shooter Jennings
duffshooter.jpg, Scott Dudelson
Duff McKagan and Shooter Jennings in the studio, 2018
photograph by Scott Dudelson

In between tour stops with Guns N' Roses, bassist Duff McKagan has been hitting Station House studios in Echo Park, Los Angeles, to write and record his upcoming new solo record. Working alongside him is producer and country music royalty Shooter Jennings, who also managed to take time to release his eponymous 11th album back in August. 

McKagan's record will act as a follow-up to the rock icon's 2015 New York Times–bestselling book How to Be a Man (And Other Illusions), a memoir that provides advice and wisdom the musician picked up while experiencing the ups and downs of fame and debauchery before eventually settling into a sober life of fatherhood and responsibility. "I wrote a couple of articles about historical places I passed through on this last tour and people kept asking if that was going to be the focus of my next book, but an unseen and irrepressible force guided me to write little vignettes of reflective prose … little instant-reactions," says McKagan of writing this new album. "The heartbreak, anger, fear, confusion and divide I have experienced over the last two and a half years of 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. I do this for my daughters ... I do this for my love of where I grew up ... I do this, because I truly feel it must be done and said right now."

Jennings was thrilled to work for McKagan, as he'd been a longtime friend after being a serious fan in his younger days, and the country musician even claims his choice to move to Los Angeles was partially inspired by his love for Guns N' Roses. On working with McKagan, he says, "There was some kind of magnetic force I guess that kept us orbiting each other over the years. When the idea of collaborating with him on this album came up, I was very eager to get the job as producer. I felt like the music this man made was part of the fabric of my own musical identity and that I would really love building a record with him. Once we sat down and started going over the songs he had, I instantly knew that the two of us were going to be a great fit together." 

As for the album, the two are inching closer to its completion and will release the final product in 2019. Fans can expect plenty of emotion and passion on the album, as Jennings describes, "From the first night we sat together at my piano hashing out arrangements of his songs, before going into the studio to record them, I felt it was a really important record that had to be heard. 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."