In a new interview with Germany’s Rock Antenne, GUNS N’ ROSES bassist Duff McKagan was asked if he plans on touring in support of his just-released third solo album, “Lighthouse”. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “I toured on the ‘Tenderness’ record [Duff‘s 2019 second solo album] and I had Shooter Jennings and his band. And we went and played about a dozen shows in Europe and about a dozen shows in the U.S. It was in 2019.
“I am obviously thinking about what band I want to portray these songs [on ‘Lighthouse’]. And what’s the inspiration? There’s two guitar players — I’ve got Tim [Dijulio], who played on the record, who’s amazing. I have to get people that can sing, ’cause there’s so many backing vocals on this record. And I want it to be — if I’m gonna do it live, it’s gotta be stellar. It’s gotta be that record, and it can’t be an approximation. So I would love to go play Europe. I mean, if I can play somewhere in Munich and in Berlin that enough people will come that I can do it. So now we’ve gotta figure that out… I don’t know when — maybe spring or some point I’ll do this. And I’ll probably have some more material when I come tour — ’cause I have so much material.
“I put out an EP last spring; I put [out] a song called ‘This Is The Song’. I put, like a three-song EP, just to start getting songs out. So I would have a lot of songs to play, really. I would have the ‘Tenderness’ record, ‘Lighthouse’ record, my EPs, a lot to choose from, to play live. But I’ve gotta finish this [GUNS N’ ROSES] tour I’m on.
“We were supposed to be done touring,” McKagan explained. “My record was gonna come out, like, three days after we got done touring, but we extended our tour. So, it’s a little strange having my own record come out and I go out and do a GUNS show that night. I mean, it’s great. It’s an embarrassment of riches, as they say. So I will get serious about who I find as a band and whatnot. But I wanna do just some really cool [solo] shows. Not a million shows. I do that with GUNS N’ ROSES; we play a million shows. But I would love to play Munich, Berlin, Rome — play in Poland. Poland was great on ‘Tenderness’. Some place we went in ‘Tenderness’ that was really great I’ll go back to. You know, play Milan, play London, and just do it right. Do it as big as I can, as the crowds allow.”
“Lighthouse” was released last week in a wide range of formats including streaming, download, CD, cassette, and LP. A number of deluxe versions and bundles featuring official Certificates Of Authenticity signed by McKagan are also available. In addition, two webstore exclusive vinyl variants – “Transparent Green & “Black Marble” and “Black Velvet” – of the deluxe packaging are on offer, including three lithographs, a 12-page booklet, a sticker, and a guitar pick, all enclosed in a transparent PVC sleeve allowing interchangeability of the graphics displayed on the album’s cover. “Lighthouse” — as well as an exclusive line of brand-new “Lighthouse” merch — is available now at www.duffonline.com.
“Lighthouse” sees Duff McKagan baring more of his artistic spirit than ever before, fusing acoustic elements with hard-edged rock ‘n’ roll to land at the sweet spot between soul-searching reflection and pure energy. The album was first announced earlier this summer alongside its title track, “Lighthouse”, joined by an official visualizer streaming now at the official Duff McKagan YouTube channel.
“Lighthouse” was soon followed by “I Saw God On 10th Street”, also joined by an official visualizer streaming now. “I Saw God On 10th Street” received immediate praise from such outlets as Kerrang!, Revolver and American Songwriter.
“Longfeather”, the latest single from “Lighthouse”, arrived next, hailed by Revolver as “folky, elegiac” and joined by an official music video — directed by longtime visual collaborators Connor Ellmann, Kuj Durollari and Arben Durollari — streaming now on YouTube. A new video for the song “I Just Don’t Know (Feat. Jerry Cantrell)” is now streaming on YouTube as well.
For more than 40 years, McKagan has been an unstoppable creative force, spanning a multitude of bands, tours, collaborations, and writings. Now, with his long-awaited new solo album, “Lighthouse”, the veteran musician proves to be, at his heart, a gifted singer-songwriter with a distinctive knack for authenticity and introspection.
In 2019, McKagan opened 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.” He spent much of the next two years working with longtime producer/collaborator Martin Feveyear (Mark Lanegan, Brandi Carlile),chipping away at a series of intensely personal new songs.
“Lighthouse” now marks the first full-length collection born in McKagan‘s studio. Songs like “Hope” (featuring veteran Paul McCartney drummer Abe Laboriel Jr. and melodic lead guitar from Slash) and the philosophical “I Just Don’t Know” (featuring contributions from McKagan‘s longtime friend, Jerry Cantrell of ALICE IN CHAINS) see McKagan baring more of his artistic spirit than ever before, fusing acoustic elements with hard-edged rock ‘n’ roll to land at the sweet spot between soul-searching reflection and pure energy. The 11-song collection is further highlighted by an additional take on the title track, “Lighthouse (Reprise)”, joined by the one and only Iggy Pop.
McKagan first unveiled his new music earlier this year with “This Is The Song”, a three-song EP honoring Mental Health Awareness Month alongside a call to action on Propeller. The EP — which was met by critical applause in Rolling Stone, Consequence Of Sound, Loudwire and American Songwriter, to name just a few — includes the deeply moving title track, “This Is The Song”, joined by an official companion video streaming now on YouTube.
Starting at just 15, McKagan has been a part of such diverse and influential bands as THE VAINS (1979),THE FASTBACKS (1980),THE LIVING (1982),THE FARTZ (1982),10 MINUTE WARNING (1983) and LOADED (1998),along, of course, with his historic role as founding member of both GUNS N’ ROSES and VELVET REVOLVER. Produced by three-time Grammy Award winner Shooter Jennings, McKagan‘s 2019 second solo album, “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. 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,” the album includes 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.”
Along with his prolific musical efforts, McKagan is The New York Times best-selling author of 2011’s “It’s So Easy: And Other Lies” and 2015’s “How To Be A Man: (And Other Illusions)”, and the co-host (with Susan Holmes McKagan) of SiriusXM‘s popular “Three Chords & The Truth” radio show on Ozzy’s Boneyard (Ch. 38). McKagan currently serves as a core member of a modern-day “Wrecking Crew” alongside Grammy Award-winning musician/producer Andrew Watt and RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS‘ Chad Smith, recording and co-writing on such recent albums as Ozzy Osbourne‘s “Ordinary Man” (2020) and two-time Grammy Award-winning “Patient No. 9” (2022) and Iggy Pop‘s acclaimed “Every Loser” (2023). What’s more, McKagan — with Watt, Smith, and RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS‘ Josh Klinghoffer — is part of the recently unveiled IGGY POP & THE LOSERS lineup, who made a high-profile televised debut earlier this year with an electrifying performance of the feverish “Frenzy” on ABC‘s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”
“Lighthouse” track listing:
03. Holy Water
04. I Saw God On 10th St
07. Just Another Shakedown
08. Fallen Ones
09. Hope (feat. Slash)
10. I Just Don’t Know (feat. Jerry Cantrell)
11. Lighthouse (Reprise) (feat. Iggy Pop)
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