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2004.06.DD - Hit Parader - Loaded For Action (Slash, Duff)

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2004.06.DD - Hit Parader - Loaded For Action (Slash, Duff) Empty 2004.06.DD - Hit Parader - Loaded For Action (Slash, Duff)

Post by Blackstar on Fri Aug 21, 2020 10:32 pm

Loaded For Action

Velvet Revolver: “This band is our sole focus in life at the moment.”
“Scott wants to make this work, we all know that.”

Okay….so Velvet Revolver isn’t just a name anymore. It isn’t just a compendium comprised of some of the biggest names in the rock and roll galaxy – former members of Guns N’ Roses and the Stone Temple Pilots. Now thanks to the appearance of their debut album, Contraband, Velvet Revolver is a true musical force. The hard-driving, yet eminently listenable brand of rock and roll fury created by guitarist Slash, vocalist Scott Weiland, bassist Duff McKagan, drummer Matt Sorum and rhythm guitarist Dave Kushner has caused quite a commotion in music circles, and rightfully so! In many ways this may well be the best pure, straight-ahead hard rock album since (dare we say it) Guns N’ Roses’ Appetite for Destruction was released nearly 15 years ago. Despite the problems caused by Weiland’s recent personal problems, this star-studded unit has bravely forged ahead, creating an instant legacy for overwhelming guitar fury and snarling vocal passions. Recently we sat down with this multi-faceted band to gain the inside scoop on the phenomenon known as Velvet Revolver.

Hit Parader: What does being in Velvet Revolver mean to you?

Scott Weiland: I think it means the same thing for all of us. We’ve each had our share of notoriety in the past, but in many ways this represents a fresh start – a rebirth, if you will. When you’re in a band for a number of years things just naturally change. Some of the excitement you may have initially felt begins to fade away. But in this band we’ve all been able to re-experience that excitement of first-time discovery. It’s been really magical.

Slash: All you can do is try to make music that turns you on. Sometimes that’s a lot more difficult than it may appear. Finding the right people to play with, and the right opportunity to present what you’re doing isn’t easy. So that’s why I’m so excited about this band. This is my chance to make music that I enjoy with people who share my passion.

HP: But in many ways the music made on Contraband would fit in better in the ‘70s or ‘80s than now.

Slash: It’s great rock and roll music, and rock and roll is timeless. It’s when you develop the attitude that you’ve got to make music a certain way in order to fit in and keep up with everyone else that your music stands the chance of getting corrupted. Our focus has stayed on doing what we like – and what we feel comfortable doing – and then hoping for the best.

SW: That’s the exact attitude that propels this music along – that it doesn’t fit in. It doesn’t want to fit in. Why should everything have to adapt to expectations? That doesn’t make sense to me. We’ve all been quite successful over the years by developing something unique…not by fitting in.

Duff McKagan: We’ve never been very good at trying to play nice and fit in with everyone else. We’ve always been much better at rubbing everyone’s face in the mud and just doing our own thing. This is a very dangerous band on a number of levels – and we maybe the first dangerous band that’s come along in a long time. Rock music has become so predictable. It’s almost a paint-by-the-numbers sound these days. We hate that. Our goal is to go out there and cause as much chaos as possible.

HP: A lot of people are going to speculate if that “chaotic” approach isn’t going to throw the band off-course…especially in light of Scott’s admitted problems.

SW: There’s no way I can deny that this hasn’t been a tough year for me. Most of that stems from my personal life – I went through a painful divorce, and it brought out the weakness in my personality. Narcotics seemed like a good, quick solution to my problems. Obviously they weren’t. Thankfully, the guys in this band have been an incredible support group for me. They’ve been there themselves, so there was never any finger pointing or guilt trips. They weren’t there to judge me, they were there to support me, and I’ll always be incredibly thankful for that.

DM: We’ve gone through a lot of this stuff with Scott, and we’ve done whatever we can to get him focused in a better direction. We even got him into the martial arts in an attempt to get his mind in a different place. We all believe in him, and we know he’s going to do everything in his power to keep himself in a good place and help this band achieve all that we think it can.

HP: How would you describe the music on Contraband?

SW: This music is very aggressive, almost vicious in the way it just explodes on every track. We grab you right in the beginning and we don’t let go! You should feel like you need to lace up your boots real tight and get ready for a fight. I used the toxic nature of the relationship I was in to fuel a lot of the writing I did for this album. That’s why many of the lyrics on songs like Fall to Pieces and Headspace are very personal. But I think that everyone can relate to them on some level. The only other album I ever put as much effort into was the first STP album – and I know a lot more now.

DM: We wanted to make sure that the music didn’t sound too slick or overly produced. We didn’t want to instantly get labeled as some sort of over-thirty-something, over-produced super rock band. We wanted to keep a lot of the live energy that we feel when we’re jamming together. No matter how familiar some of our faces may be, we’re still just a rock band that wants to growl at you when we make music.

HP: How do you feel about being called a “supergroup”?

DM: It just seems too easy to say, “Oh yeah, a supergroup.” But that’s not our motivation. We’re not going to stand above everyone, acting like we’re some larger-than-life force. We want to get down and dirty in the trenches. That’s where we come from, and that’s still what motivates us. We learned a lot of lessons well during our days with Guns N’ Roses. A lot of those lessons we’ll never forget.

Slash: People can call us anything they want. All we care about is that they listen to the music. We’ve had so many opportunities in our lives. Some of them we’ve taken advantage of, and others have slipped through our fingers. We want to make sure that we take every advantage of the great situation we’ve encountered with Velvet Revolver.


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