Guns N' Roses' Duff McKagan shares a song written in the middle of a panic attack

'Lately, I have thankfully found my acoustic guitar as a refuge'
Duff McKagan
Duff McKagan Photo credit Shirlaine Forrest/WireImage/Getty Images
By , Audacy

Founding Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan has dropped his first new solo offering in close to four years with his new, three-track EP, This Is The Song, in celebration of Mental Health Awareness Month.

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The EP’s title track, Duff explains along with the release, was directly influenced by his own struggles with mental health. “’This Is The Song’ was written in the middle of a panic attack,” he shared on social media. “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,” he adds. “To those of you who recognize what I am talking about: You are not alone!”

Back in 2020, McKagan joined late Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell's daughter, Lily, on her IGTV series Mind Wide Open, discussing how when still a teen he first recognized his mental health issues, which later led to problems with alcohol and drug use. "Cocaine is not good for panic attacks. So, I would take pills to bring me down from too much cocaine and alcohol,” he recounted.

The new, three-track EP features the title track, which you can hear above, as well as two others: the Sam Cooke-inspired “It Can’t Come Too Soon,” and “Pass You By,” describing a tense encounter in the mountains of Washington state when Duff and another Harley-riding friend were mistaken for ANTIFA. Telling the story via a letter posted to his website, he says, “It was just a sad indication of where things have gotten to. Man, just be cool... We are all on this lovely planet together. No need to freak the f**k out.”

Audacy's I’m Listening initiative aims to encourage those who are dealing with mental health issues to understand they are not alone. If you or anyone you know is struggling with depression or anxiety, know that someone is always there. Find a full list of additional resources here.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Shirlaine Forrest/WireImage/Getty Images