DUFF MCKAGAN Joins Forces With PROPELLER To Honor Mental Health Awareness Month
May 17, 2023
GUNS N' ROSES bassist Duff McKagan is honoring Mental Health Awareness Month with a number of important activities including last week's acclaimed release of his new solo EP, "This Is The Song". Now McKagan is joining forces with Propeller for a very special campaign encouraging fans to take action for mental health causes. Fans are invited to support these vital causes through actions like taking an online training course in helping someone through a crisis, sharing To Write Love On Her Arms' "Find Help" tool, or simply making a donation. Exclusive reward incentives include such iconic memorabilia as a signed vinyl gold 5" Duff McKagan Funko doll, a signed GUNS N' ROSES "Use Your Illusions" vinyl set, and a signed GUNS N' ROSES Duff McKagan II Rock Iconz statue, with an ultimate prize of McKagan's handwritten lyrics for "This Is The Song", the title track and first single from the new EP. For complete information, please visit propeller.la/duff-mckagan.
As noted, last week saw the premiere of McKagan's brand new, three-track EP, "This Is The Song", available now at all DSPs and streaming services. Produced by longtime collaborator Martin Feveyear (Mark Lanegan, Brandi Carlile),the EP's title track, "This Is The Song", is joined by an official companion video streaming now on YouTube.
"'This Is The Song' was written in the middle of a panic attack," Duff 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, 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, Washington-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 three-time 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."
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!"
This summer will also see GUNS N' ROSES traveling on an epic global tour set to touch down in the Middle East, Europe, and North America beginning June 1 in Abu Dhabi.
Since 1949, May has been observed as Mental Health Awareness Month, a time when advocates and activists across the country draw attention to the mental health issues that affect as many as one in four Americans. Today, more people die from suicide in the United States than from traffic accidents or homicides, and we lose 22 veterans to suicide daily. Unfortunately, because of the stigma associated with mental illness, many people are too ashamed or embarrassed to seek the help they need for themselves or their loved ones. Mental Health Awareness Month is a time when we work together to break through that stigma. We express compassion for those who struggle with mental health issues, and we draw attention to the proven methods that can help change their lives for the better.
"This Is The Song" EP track listing:
01. This Is The Song 02. Pass You By 03. It Can't Come Too Soon
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