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2004.04.DD - Hit Parader - Velvet Revolver Clearing The Air (Slash, Duff)

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Post by Blackstar on Fri Aug 21, 2020 6:30 pm

Velvet Revolver Clearing The Air

by Eric Nash

The members of Velvet Revolver know that the entire rock and roll world is waiting to check ’em out. They know that millions of fans around the world can’t wait to sink their teeth into the hard rockin’ riffs and edgy vocals that will soon be coming their way. And they know that media outlets far-and-wide are anxious to delve deep into the band’s inner recesses, hoping to turn up some “dirt” that will make the 6 O’clock News… or at least the pages of Hit Parader. But for their part, former Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland, rhythm guitarist Dave Kushner, and ex-Guns N’ Roses rockers Slash (guitar), Duff McKagan (bass), and Matt Sorum (drums), have developed what might best be termed a wait-and-see attitude. Part of that comes from the fact that this unit has encountered a number of unexpected (and highly publicized delays while trying to complete their debut album, while another part comes from the knowledge that with each passing day interest in this star-studded unit just seems to grow by leaps and bounds.

“There’s been much more anticipation than we could have expected,” McKagan said. “I guess that has its good side and its bad side. Obviously, you want people to be excited about your band and why you can do. But at the same time, you don’t want them to feel frustrated when you’re not working as fast as they think you should. We had a lot written about us six months before the album was scheduled to come out. That’s kind of unusual. The last thing we want is for what we release to seem anticlimactic for anyone.”

It seems highly unlikely that anything Velvet Revolver release upon the anxiously awaiting world will be viewed as anticlimactic. After all, this is a band featuring some of the biggest stars of the last decade, musicians who’ve been responsible for selling more than 40 million albums in their various former bands. By combining their forces into a streamlined, no-holds-barred rock and roll act, the VR gang has proven that there’s still a large, voracious audience out there, one just waiting to gobble up everything that these rockers might choose to offer.

“I haven’t felt this kind of energy between musicians since the early days of Guns N’ Roses,” Slash said. “And I haven’t noticed as much interest from the fans in a long, long time. I can’t wait to have them hear what we’ve got going on here. It sounds great in the studio, and I think it’s gonna sound even more incredible once we get on stage.”

Of course, it’s not going too far out on the rock and roll ledge to state that for the moment at least all of the enthusiasm displayed by Slash, Duff and their bandmates is built on a foundation of quicksand. Much of this is due to the on-going off-stage problems encountered by Weiland, who after dealing with a number of substance abuse problems last summer, also suffered through a painful divorce late last year. Those around him hope that the talented-yet-tempestuous singer has finally begun to pull the strings of his life back together, which invariably would also serve to further tighten Velvet Revolver’s grasp on the brass ring of success.

“It all seems to boil down to Scott’s physical and mental well-being at this point,” said a well-placed industry source. “If he’s focused and together, there’s no telling how far Velvet Revolver can go. It helps him a great deal to have a big-time support group around him – especially since some of the guys in the band have suffered through their own personal problems in the past. I honestly think they’ll all manage to bring this project home, and when they do they’re gonna be as big as they can imagine.”

Indeed, at times this budding “supergroup” seems about to explode both literally and figuratively. With a sound as volatile as a loaded .45, and an internal chemistry that’s displayed all the off-stage stability of loosely-packed nitroglycerin, it seems certain that this all-star unit is destined to make a major splash in the music headlines over the next few months… one way or another. Yet, there’s no denying the degree of commitment that every one of these rock and roll veterans seems to be bringing to the VR project. Each has tasted the ultimate in rock and roll fame in the not-so-distant past, and each wants to taste it again. In fact, they may sense that Velvet Revolver could be their last attempt to regain the full power of their stellar credentials.

“It’s hard for me to believe that it’s been ten years since Guns N’ Roses was touring all over the world,” McKagan said. “I’ve missed it. We’ve all kept busy in various projects – Matt with the Cult, Slash with his Snakepit and I’ve had my solo things – but it hasn’t been quite the same. Maybe this band will allow us to capture lightning in a bottle for the second time.”

In sharp contrast to his bandmate, Slash still isn’t sure if he wants Velvet Revolver to ever be caught in the kind of musical hurricane that propelled Guns N’ Roses to instant-legend status. Yet, at the same time, he knows how much he wants this band to succeed. Indeed, those fortunate enough to have heard VR’s music seem to feel that it’s a virtual slam-dunk certainty that this unit will achieve each and every one of their artistic goals. Of course, how that will translate into commercial success in the highly unpredictable rock world of 2004 is still anyone’s guess.

“There seems to be a whole ‘return to roots rock’ movement going on at the moment,” our inside source said. “You’ve got bands like Jet and the Darkness showing that a younger generation of groups have already picked up on what great earlier bands were doing. That’s why the time might be perfect for Velvet Revolver because not only are they fitting into what is fast becoming a hot ‘trend’ in hard rock, they’re bringing a level of maturity, integrity and history with them that no other ban can match.”

So Velvet Revolver would seem to have it all goin’ on! In name they pay tongue-in-cheek homage to this unit’s Gun-totin’ past, while musically they manage to blend the classic sounds of rock’s past with the cutting edge of today. What ever way you may choose to view this particularly gifted unit, however, there’s no denying that through their style, their attitude, and yes, their name, the band known as Velvet Revolver has quickly managed to rekindle many of the long-dormant sparks of “vintage” hard rock. Such a notion brings a knowing grin to Slash’s face.

“We’re just doin’ what we do,” he said. “We’re not trying to fit in or teach anyone any rock and roll lessons. What you have here are five guys who really enjoy playing together and who really enjoy making some kick-ass rock and roll music.”


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