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2004.04.30 - KROQ Radio - Interview with Velvet Revolver

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2004.04.30 - KROQ Radio - Interview with Velvet Revolver Empty 2004.04.30 - KROQ Radio - Interview with Velvet Revolver

Post by Blackstar on Fri Aug 21, 2020 9:06 pm

Credits: Many thanks go out to Alicemudgarden for transcribing it!

DJ: Ladies and gentlemen, making their KROQ debut... Velvet Revolver. In the studio, here at KROQ. Well people, you have been hearing the song "Slither" here on KROQ. The CD is going to be called "Contraband", coming out on June 8th, and the band is going to be playing at the Wiltern on June 8th and 9th. Ticket's going on sale, uh, next Saturday. One week from tomorrow on Ticketmaster. So we got, uh, Scott. Good morning.

SCOTT: Good morning.

DJ: Good to see you again, dude. Slash, hi.

SLASH: Hey.

DJ: Duff.

DUFF: Yep, right here.

DJ: Matt.

MATT: Yes, sir.

DJ: Dave, nice to meet you.

DAVE: Hi.

DJ: Fantastic, Velvet Revolver is here. What's up, guys? How ya feeling?

SLASH: We're feeling pretty groggy.

[laughter]

DJ: We were talking to Slash, about uh, gettin' up this early. What time did ya get up, five thirty this morning?

SLASH: I got up at five thirty.

DJ: When was the last time you went to bed, and then got up at five thirty in the morning?

SLASH: A year ago.

SCOTT: Yeah, this is definitely not rock n' roll time.

DJ: We've unfortunately, we have a long history of dragging Weiland out of bed at godly hours. We've done this to you a bunch of times over the past few years, haven't we?

SCOTT: Yeah, but I think, uh, you know, a few of those times I probably never slept.

[laughter]

SLASH: That's what I'm used to, is just not sleeping.

DJ: That's the key, to stay up, and then you just power through it. Well, we've got so many questions. We've been hearing about the band for a long time now in the course, as far as I understand, you only just had the one gig last year, right? And so we've kinda been waiting with baited breath to find out what happens next. Kinda give us the, uh, over-view of how Velvet Revolver came to be. Who called who, how did it work, and how does it feel.

SLASH: Duff's good at this one.

DUFF: Yeah? Alright, well, basically Slash and Matt and I got together initially. We did the benefit show and I was up in Seattle going to Seattle view, getting my finance degree. And really, the first five minutes we played together, I knew life was gonna change thereafter. Um, Dave Kushner and I had been playing together, so he came in and was a perfect fit and perfect for the ying to Slash's yang. We started writing songs and went through the whole process, and uh, then we got offered these two movie soundtracks -- The Hulk and The Italian Job. Scott and I were pals, and um, you know, one thing led to another. And uh, Stone Temple Pilots ended right at the time we got these two movies, really, and everything has been sorta faded, it fell right into place. Scott came in and he kinda just swaggered in at that moment...

DJ: Did you swagger?

SCOTT: Well, yeah, at that time in my life, I think I was still a little sort of, uh, swaggering and uh, sort of uh... I sort of fell into the rehersal room...

[laughter]

SCOTT: ...and, it was sort of a phase. Going from one period and into the next. This guys kind of helped me into the phase I'm into now.

DJ: How many lead singers did you listen to... consider?

DUFF: Oh, we listened to a lot. We didn't consider any of them, really, I mean...

DJ: Nothin' struck.

DUFF: Nope. Yeah, we listened to a lot, and you know, for us to do this thing right, we weren't gonna just kinda gonna go and, "Oh that guy's okay" and "Oh let's just use him". Scott is more in our vein, we all have traveled the same route.

SLASH: When this thing first started...

SCOTT: We've all had the same narcotic misadventures.

[laughter]

DJ: He said it's in your veins, you know, he said that.

SLASH: When this thing first started, we started thinking about singers. Scott was the first guy that we thought...

DJ: It was, you said that guy would be...

SLASH: So it wasn't until...

DJ: After Sammy Hagar, obviously, right.

[laughter]

SLASH: No, the Sammy Hagar thing was something else all together.

DJ: We have to ask, uh, Scott, not to belaver the point, but because we haven't heard from you. How did the decision come to dissolve Stone Temple Pilots? Those were your bros that you had been with for a long, long time.

SCOTT: Well, you know, to tell you the truth... we've never made, uh, we've never really announced that the band is over. We just sort of, uh, it just sort of kind of dissolved. You know, and uh...

DJ: Is it over?

SCOTT: You know, it just seems to be that way.

DJ: Okay.

SCOTT: You know, um, I think it's a bad thing to do to somehow make some kind of permanent announcment. It's
just, people end up embarassing themselves that way. This is a band, though. Velvet Revolver's a band -- this is not a project. And I kind of get sick of it being referred to as that. The last time we played together as STP, it was the last gig of a tour where half of the shows we were opening up for Aerosmith, and then half of the shows we were doing our own gigs. It ended, um, it was a show that was not one of our better shows. And I think every time Dean and I met on either side of the stage, we were elbowing each other. We finally carried it over into the dressing room where we got into it. We got into a fight. And I threw a punch and our tour manager and Jeff Kramer, the guys that work for us... they caught my fist before it landed. Half the band got pulled to one hotel and I was separated into a different hotel. And I didn't speak to him for, uh, over a year.

DJ: Wow.

SCOTT: It ended up, it was kind of odd that we were recording drum tracks in the NRG studio, in the valley...

DUFF: Velvet was.

SCOTT: Yeah, Velvet Revolver. And uh, Robert and Dean were producing the Alien Ant Farm record in the room right next to ours.

SLASH: We were sharing the same lounge.

[laughter]

DJ: That wasn't awkward.

SLASH: That was the second time it happened, though. The first time it happened, we were coming into the studio doing "Set Me Free" and I get this phone call on our way to the studio. And Robert and Dean are producing right next to the room of ours.

MATT: Both times we were in the studio, they were there.

SLASH: It was weird.

SCOTT: It forced us to get together and kind of bury the hatchet.

SLASH: I've got Dean's phone number now.

[laughter]

DUFF: Dean and I spooned on the couch.

DJ: You did bury the hatchet, it's all...

SCOTT: Yeah, we did. You know, I wrote Dean a letter and I had someone deliver it to the room that they were in, the studio they were in.

DJ: Just put anthrax in, and sent it out.

[laughter]

SCOTT: And uh, I just kinda made amends. As they say in jail, you know, I 'tossed them a kite'.

DJ: Tossed them a kite.

[laughter]

DJ: Is that an expression we need to start working in and everything?

?: Are you sure you know what that means, Scott?

[much laughter]

?: You're really gonna toss them a salad. It's completely different.

SCOTT: Uh, and so you know, I just kind of made amends. I cleaned up my side of the street and so he came up, we talked...

DJ: That's great.

SCOTT: We kissed, we hugged, we tossed salad. The rest is history.

[laughter]

DJ: I gotta ask, uh, Slash... Duff... Matt. And maybe Dave. You have some experience in this, too, with the band's that you've been in. It's gotta be funny for you to hear Scott talk about the kind of acrimonious STP final years. Because, you know, from your years in Guns n' Roses... it's just nothin' but flowers, man.

[laughter]

DJ: I mean that was just the smoothest ride a band can have. It's just... nothin' EVER went wrong.

SLASH: I reserve to comment.

MATT: You know, it's great. Scott said there was a guy who caught your fist... and there were those guys with us, too. I went after Axl a couple times.

DJ: Is that right. But somebody was there to stop it.

SLASH: I got stuck in the middle of you two.

MATT: Yeah, but thank God though, you know. You don't wanna hit somebody.

DJ: No, you don't. Slash, what's it like for you to see the Guns n' Roses revival that's going on right now. That "Greatest Hits" album came out, I think it's still in the top five. You sold a million copies or something.

SLASH: It's just one of those thing we were assigned at the time. Five years ago, that wouldn't have happened. So I was really surprised to see it in the charts.

SCOTT: You know, it's really interesting actually. That there is such a switch right now in what's considered 'cool', with like the revival of American rock n' roll. It's really, um, exciting for us to see. And it's really inspiring, because that's what we're about -- we're an American rock n' roll band. And even in the 'ultra-cool' stilver like, you know, and that's like the underground scene. You know, the guys or the kids there, the younger people there, are like dressing the way Guns n' Roses and other sort of 'underground' rock n' roll Sunset Strip bands dressed. I'm not talking about the Poison's... I'm talkin' about the Guns n' Roses.

?: Thank you.

SCOTT: You know, the real bands.

[laughter]

SCOTT: That's like the cool, hip image... you know. And so it's kind of interesting to see. So I think the time is kind of right for us.

DJ: Yep.

SLASH: The fad's come and go, we just stay the same.

?: Slash just waited it out. He's the king again.

DUFF: You know, KROQ was the first station to play "Rodney On the Rock" back in, uh, whatever. KROQ was the first one to play our demo.

SLASH: "Move to the City"?

DJ: It was like '87 or something, right?

DUFF: I think it was '86.

DJ: '86 even.

DUFF: Before we did the record. We were hip there and I guess we got...

DJ: Un-big.

SCOTT: You see, that's the big misconception with Guns n' Roses. Is uh, you know, once they got so big... you know, Guns n' Roses were never a heavy metal band. I think Guns n' Roses, before they got a record deal, you guys played an equal amount of shows on Sunset Strip that actually played equal amount of shows in the underground clubs with punk rock bands.

DUFF: The Chili Peppers...

SCOTT: Jane's Addiction...

DUFF: Texan Horsehead, uh, Johnny Thunders...

MATT: Led Zeppelin.

[laughter]

DJ: There's been so much frustration, though. For rock n' roll fans over the past few years. To see Axl kind of flirt with the new band, which I don't think anybody's ever been excited about without a lot of you guys. But I mean, uh, we always hoped that Guns n' Roses would come back and be great again. Because we really do feel like they had the potential to be one of the biggest and best bands of all time. And it just seemed like they ended too soon. Do you guys have a lot of regrets about the way it came down?

DUFF: I was just gonna say, I have none. I mean, I look at the glass half full. It was five, basically street urchens, who came and met in Hollywood. And really just stayed to our beliefs, as far as songs, and style. Whatever. And just stayed there -- we got a record deal. We didn't let anybody come into the studio when we did the record.

SLASH: We made absolutely no concessions to this business.

DUFF: None. And you know, we went from there -- pennyless, to at the end, you know, playing multiple nights in some stadiums. Around the world.

DJ: It happened fast. And in '87, is that when "Appetite For Destruction" came out?

DUFF: Yeah, we actually toured, uh, it's another misconception that it happened fast. We did tour for...

SLASH: Two years.

DUFF: Yeah, before anything happened.

MATT: But you know, Slash is so passive of a guy that most of the time I ever saw him upset was when he came to rehersal one day and said, "Someone thought I had changed my hat and now I'm wearin' a bucket on my head..."

[laughter]

DJ: He was most upset about that?

MATT: Someone thought that you were wearing a Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket on your head.

[much laughter]

MATT: "Hey man! That's a cool hat!" It was like, dude, that's not me.

DJ: Slash, are there any pictures of you anywhere with short hair... by the way. Because I've never seen 'em.

SLASH: Um...

DJ: Have you ever had, a crew cut or something?

SLASH: I've only had short hair once in my life. And I don't know where those pictures are.

DJ: When you were born, right, your baby pictures.

SLASH: Well, no, that doesn't count. I remember one year, one summer, like during High School... I guess it was.

DJ: Because you were the fuzziest man in rock, dude.

SLASH: Thank you very much.

DJ: You really are.

SLASH: Thank you for making that observation.

DJ: We have to take a quick break.

(quick break)

DJ: Tell us about the, uh, the CD "Contraband"... comin' out on, uh, June 8th. What's it all about, guys? Who can describe that?

DUFF: You know, it's just really about, um, the chemistry of this band and a certain ferocity that came out of us all getting together, and putting the songs together, and recording them basically 'live'.

DJ: Some bands do twelve songs, put 'em on the CD. Some bands do three thousand songs, and pick twelve. What did you guys do?

?: We did eighty.

?: We put thirteen on it.

MATT: We had a bunch of riffs, you know, we had probably forty-five... fifty riffs -- whatever -- before Scott came.

DJ: Mmm Hmm.

MATT: And then Scott kind of picked the riffs that he liked, that he thought he could sing over. And basically came back with about thirteen or fourteen things. And we pretty much just pulled the trigger and got to the studio, got with Josh Abraham, and did it.

DJ: Scott, did you do the lyrics by yourself? Or...

SCOTT: Yeah, the lyrics and melodies, you know. I remember, I think it was, uh, Duff got me some music and Slash got me some music... and you know, just kind of tried to figure out which kind of songs I could wrap my head around. And then we'd work out those songs, recorded to dat, and throw 'em pro tools. And then, you know, work on those... and then we wrote a bunch of new songs.

DJ: Together.

DUFF: "Head Space", "Superhuman".

SCOTT: There's seven new songs and six songs that were written previously.

DJ: Did it go easy? It felt like you guys were just meant to get together and do all of this stuff.

SLASH: Yeah, it was just one of those things were you find this once in your life. This is a rarity. I mean, it was so inspired.

DJ: That's cool.

SCOTT: The gig we played, and that was after recording the two songs that we recorded in the studio for the two movies... that was like to sort of figure out if we were a real band or not. You don't really know if you're a rock n' roll band until you play live.

DJ: To try it out and see if it works.

SCOTT: Yeah, and it was immediate. By the end of the first song, we opened with "Bodies" by the Sex Pistols. We just knew it immediately, the energy was just overwhelming.

DJ: And that's why you just couldn't wait to get back out on stage and not do another gig EVER.

[laughter]

SCOTT: Well, yeah, you know, we started getting record offers immediately. It was a bidding war and we wanted to get right into the studio and make a record.

SLASH: We were gonna take the live taping of that El Ray show and release it as an EP, and actually go on the road. That was the kind of buzz we had. We got more sensible about it and said well, we should write the record.

[laughter]

MATT: The waiting game hasn't really been on us. I mean, we've been waiting to put the record out, but we've been doing just so much press... Duff and Slash just got back from Europe, there were there for a couple of weeks. And the press is just endless, you know, to build this thing.

DJ: Well, it's a great story. And you've got all of these elements that you already know and everybody's curious to see how they're gonna gel together.

DUFF: And we're alive.

MATT: We were in the starting gage back in December when we finished the record, you know, we were ready to go.

SCOTT: I was sort of 'chained up' into a rehab, for a while.

MATT: Oh, I forgot about that Scott. Yeah.

[laughter]

?: Rehabilitation.

?: That's right, that's right.

DJ: Will that be a problem on the road, is that gonna be a tough thing?

SCOTT: No, it was uh, you know... luckily, and I worked my ass off to do what I had to do and fufill my commitments. So that's kind of behind me now.

DJ: Good for you. The road is not a challenge, you see it that way?

SCOTT: No, to me it's actually sort of a 'safe haven'. You know, because everything's kind of regimented.

DJ: Right.

SCOTT: And you know, you're out there doin' what you love to do. And, in the past, it's been more difficult being in L.A., bored... but now, having a family and stuff, I'm not bored at all. And we have a real strong work ethic here, with this band. We reherse all the time. So I never get bored. And besides, having children is so hard to get bored. So that kinda really reminds me... I really want to, um, just say, um, 'hello' to my wonderful wife Mary. And, um, say I love you very much.

ALL: Aww, aww.

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