Duff McKagan recently spoke up about his mental health issues, including depression and panic attacks. The Guns N’ Roses bassist recently spoke with Guitar World on his coping strategies and updates on his challenges. According to McKagan: “The frequency and intensity haven’t changed much. Coping skills: crossword puzzles, guitar, I’ve tried everything, drinking water and eating almonds – anything to keep my airways going. It may sound absurd, yet it exists. They aren’t even abilities. “I simply do what I can.”
However, coping skills alone are insufficient, according to McKagan:”I have professional assistance. It’s good to be able to chat to a doctor once a week and simply go over everything. I have excellent insurance, and I work in the mental health profession. I’ve used it, and it’s been fantastic for me.” In an earlier interview, the bassist described how Slash used to treat him with panic attacks: “Throughout this, Slash has been a type of safe person for me. I met him when I initially moved to Los Angeles. I informed him I was having panic attacks. He was attentive. ‘Okay, well, if it happens, we’ll deal with it,’ he says.
I had plenty of people around him, and he knew he could talk to me about anything but the panic attack. ‘Hey, that first Led Zeppelin song, did you notice they went into a-‘ anything.” Slash appears to have used music trivia and interesting insights about numerous things to distract McKagan when he needed it. Duff McKagan has published a three-song EP called This Is The Song in recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month. It’s the bassist’s first solo project in four years, following Tenderness in 2019. This Is The Song, the title track, was published accompanying a written note explaining how McKagan created it after a panic attack. Click here to watch the music video on YouTube.