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2004.03.31 - Crud Magazine - Velvet Revolver: Cocked and Ready to Rock (Duff)

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2004.03.31 - Crud Magazine - Velvet Revolver: Cocked and Ready to Rock (Duff) Empty 2004.03.31 - Crud Magazine - Velvet Revolver: Cocked and Ready to Rock (Duff)

Post by Blackstar on Fri Aug 21, 2020 6:19 pm

Velvet Revolver
"Cocked and Ready to Rock".

Interview by Sherief Younis.

’A good rock n roll album is like smuggled drugs in all this corporate bullshit, and Contrabands a cool word’ – Duff Mckagan

Let’s get one thing straight:

1. ’It’s not a fucking super group or a pre fabricated fucking thing.’
2. ‘This isn’t a project.’
3. ’It was a totally organic process how we came together.’
4. ’We don’t sound like G n R and the Stone Temple Pilots in the way that Audioslave sound like Rage and Soundgarden.’

When you try to keep a band that boasts a line up of 3 ex Guns n Roses and ‘the last real rock n roll’ front man and a ‘secret weapon’, it’s a PR stunt that’s gonna blow up whatever happens. Whether it be in your face or out of control, it remains to be seen. Born out of a 2002 benefit gig for Randy Castillo, and after a long haul search for a front man, Velvet Revolver finally looked cocked and ready to rock. Understandably hailed as a super group, a line up consisting of Slash, Duff and Matt from Guns, Scott Weiland, ex Stone Temple Pilots front man and Dave Kushner, a serial underground guitarist, these guys have seen it all. When Duff Mckagan starts talking about 3 gram a day habits being ‘miniscule’, you better believe, that along with others, he could have written the rulebook of rock n roll excess. Still any ex Guns n Roses member synonymous with the lifestyle, it’s a little disconcerting to see him drinking non alcoholic beer.

Duff comes across as the blonde, more coherent, more fucking articulate Ozzy. He speaks of family values, and his two daughters. But he’s back with old partners in crime (literally). ’I’m really fucking lucky my passion is what I do. This is the rock band I’ve always wanted to be in’. Some sound bite coming from the Guns n Roses bassist. For a band who always looked like imploding, it’s surprising that the Guns n Roses legacy has lasted as long as the band members friendships. Almost 8 years after the acrimonious departure, the ghost of Guns n Roses retains more than one form, with a few echoes of their illustrious past.

So does time really make the heart grow fonder? It’s no coincidence that just as Velvet Revolver look to make a mark, a Guns n Roses greatest hits appears on the shelves. ’It annoyed us. We had no say in the track listing. I actually agree with it not coming out sort of, but it was like you two guys aren’t even in the fucking band so fuck all y’all’.

In the way Duff and Matt made the skeleton for G n R it can’t be denied that for all his eccentricity, Axl, and Slash were the largest cogs in the Guns n Roses machine. Once one failed, so would everything else.

It’s also not the industries best kept secret that there was a mutual hatred that raged between all camps. But it seems less bad blood is being spilt between the respective bands. ’I’ve got over the situation about having to leave my ownband. I had to leave that fuckin disaster. I had to leave while it was still cool’. Stepping out from the ruins, Slash and Velvet Revolver looked to open a new chapter but they still needed to find that missing link.

Enter Scott Weiland. Well documented personal problems brought about the demise of the Stone Temple Pilots and almost his own well being before Velvet Revolver and most notably Duff came to his rescue. ’Scott used to go to McArthur Park in a white limo and a dress to score drugs! I mean I learnt early on, drug dealers deliver to your fuckin house!’ In such professional, if a little grizzled, company the inevitable hook up occurred.

On the realisation that ‘there are no old junkies’ it was Weilands influence, from his vocals to his bared soul lyrics, that deviate Velvet Revolver from their old selves. ’It sounds pretty fresh. We haven’t really changed anything at all. From my own point of view it’s not as riff heavy as Guns, but I can see where you might see similarities’. Velvet Revolver come at you with an element of the Sex Pistols fury, some chugging Status Quo-esque chording and of course Slash’s trademark riff’s and licks, whilst Scott Weiland pulls off pretty mean impressions of both Chris Cornell and Axl Rose. It’s essentially a musical make over. The wrinkles have been smoothed over, a few things tucked and tweaked, and Velvet Revolver appear to be the finely toned, finely tuned form that Guns n Roses once were.

The new found direction and energy that seems to have returned has created an unexpected sound similar to that of Audioslave more than anything else, which is as interesting as it is unexpected. Forthcoming single ‘Slither’ is what ‘Cochise’ was to Audioslave. It’s a pretty simple recipe, take an imposing riff, add some phlegm soaked vocals, mix it with years of experience and you have the perfect comeback single. ‘Slither’ is perfect in the sense it indicates everything you would expect of the band. They’re older, possibly wiser, but the ‘fuck you’ attitude won’t go away.

Formed on the premise of everybody making the music they wanted to make, and following the ‘intense chemistry’ felt on stage and in the studio, the album ‘Contraband’ set to surface in the summer gives the band a perfect ‘vehicle for us to go out and perform’. With Ozzfest already rejected the temptation of going back to their roots is providing the perfect spur for the band. ’In the big stadium shows I played with Guns the lights would be so bright, sometimes we couldn’t even see the crowd. I mean we could hear them but that was it’. The echoed sentiment of both Duff and Slash was that of ’We want to maintain a toe to toe relationship with our audience. We’re gonna play the small venues too. We want to keep that closeness but don’t be surprised if we take out a security guard’’ giving anyone who missed the Guns n Roses heyday an opportunity to see, if not hear, what they missed.

As they look to threaten authority from clubs to stadiums, as well as Guns n Roses record sales, a phoenix has risen from the smoke and the ash, so when the Revolver takes aim, will the Guns be smoking?

Track listing Preview for ‘Contraband’
Sucker Train Blues
Fall to Pieces
Big Machine

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