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2004.02.DD - Hit Parader - Velvet Revolver Beating The Odds (Slash)

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Post by Blackstar on Fri Aug 21, 2020 1:31 pm

Velvet Revolver Beating The Odds

By Randy Smith

By now everyone, everywhere has heard of Velvet Revolver, the new supergroup featuring guitarist Slash, vocalist Scott Weiland, bassist Duff McKagan, drummer Matt Sorum and rhythm guitarist Dave Kushner. But what they haven’t heard (except for a smidgen of movie soundtrack tunes) is music by this band of former members of Guns N’ Roses, the Cult and Stone Temple Pilots. But all of that is about to soon change. At this very moment this high-profile collection of rock and roll talents is in a West Coast recording studio laying down the tracks destined to comprise their eagerly-anticipated debut album. Recently we managed to track down Slash for a few words in regard to the status of Velvet Revolver.

Hit Parader: So how does it feel to be back in the spotlight?

Slash:It feels great because it’s happening for all the right reasons. People are interested in us because they believe that we can make some great music, and we think they’re right. But it’s not like we haven’t been doing anything over the last few years. I’ve been doing my thing with Snakepit, Matt was with the Cult and Duff’s been busy with his own projects. But it does feel great to be working together and making some really exciting music.

HP: So how did you come up with the name Velvet Revolver? That’s an obvious Guns N’ Roses “play” ... isn’t it?

Slash: For a long time we didn’t want to have any name, at least until we finalized on who the singer was going to be . For a while we just referred to what we were doing as The Project, and that name almost stuck. But once Scott came on board, things began to take shape. We liked the name Revolver because of our past associations, but it seemed a little too obvious ... too in-your-face, if you know what I mean. So then Scott was the one who thought that Velvet Revolver sounded cool, and as soon as he said it, we all agreed.

HP: We all know that Scott has had his share of personal problems - some as recently as last summer. Do you all feel those are now behind him?

Slash: I think they are. Look, I don’t think it’s a big secret that we’ve all been through some of that stuff. We can relate to what Scott is going through almost too well. But he seems so excited about this band, and so focused on what we’re doing, that I can’t imagine him wanting to jeopardize it in any way. I have confidence that he’ll be able to keep it together, and he know that he has a major support group in the rest of us whenever he feels the need to call on us.

HP: A lot of guitarists always complain about working with singers... and you’re certainly no exception going back to your days with Axl Rose. What makes Scott different?

Slash: What makes him different is that he’s cool to work with and a good friend. At the end of the day, that might be the most important thing. Duff, Izzy, Matt and I have remained friends throughout everything we’ve been through. Axl was just too high strung and unpredictable for that. He didn’t need anybody... at least in his mind. Scott is a total pleasure, especially in comparison to that

HP: Give us a little Velvet Revolver history. We had heard about the band, with various singers, going back to 2002.

Slash: I guess it does go back to 2002, that’s when Duff, Matt and I started jamming with Keith Nelson and Joshua Todd of Buck Cherry. We did some work with them, wrote some songs and stuff, but it wasn’t going in just the direction we wanted. We had some fun with a few other vocalists, but it wasn’t until Scott’s name came up that everyone really started to get serious. Suddenly we realized we had a band that could be really big - and more importantly, make some incredible music.

HP: Was it true that at one point former Skid Row vocalist Sebastian Bach was gonna be your frontman?

Slash: We all think Sebastian is the best, he’s a great friend and an amazing frontman, but he wasn’t the guy we had in mind for this band. We did a little work together, just to try things out, and a lot was made out of that by some people. But it was just some friends having fun, it was never anything serious

HP: What are the present plans for the band? Are you still planning on having your first album out early in 2004?

Slash: That’s the plan. I think we’ve got enough material already together to make it happen. Once Scott started writing with us, things went to an entirely new level, and once that happened we knew that we should take out time and make sure every song was great. The goal from the moment we got together was to make sure that this album was incredible. We want it to be the kick-off point for a long career.

HP: Having lived in the ultimate spotlight with Guns N’ Roses, and having felt a bit of audience apathy as a solo performer, how important is huge success to you now?

Slash: If you remember when we talked back during the early Guns N’ Roses days, I always said the important thing to me was having a long, successful career... not being famous. I always admired bands like the Stones who’ve done it for years and years. That’s the goal for me with any band I’m in. And that’s the goal of Velvet Revolver. I never want to get involved in a situation like Guns N’ Roses again if it means going through all the other crap that happened. It’s just not worth it either in an emotional or financial sense.

HP: In recent years we’ve seen the likes of Kiss, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest reform after bitter musical divorces. Can you ever see that happening with Guns N’ Roses?

Slash: I don’t think that’s ever been for me to say. That’s a question that should be directed at Axl. I haven’t even spoken to him in about eight years, so I have no idea where his head is at right now. All I know is that I’m very excited about Velvet Revolver, and that’s where my total focus is at the moment. It’s gonna have to be something very special for me to change that focus - even for a short while.



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