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APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
Welcome to Appetite for Discussion -- a Guns N' Roses fan forum!

Please feel free to look around the forum as a guest, I hope you will find something of interest. If you want to join the discussions or contribute in other ways then you need to become a member. We especially welcome anyone who wants to share documents for our archive or would be interested in translating or transcribing articles and interviews.

Registering is free and easy.

Cheers!
SoulMonster

2005.03.31 - The Vancouver Sun - Velvet Revolver Puts Hard Rock Back Into Rock 'n' Roll (Duff)

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2005.03.31 - The Vancouver Sun - Velvet Revolver Puts Hard Rock Back Into Rock 'n' Roll (Duff) Empty 2005.03.31 - The Vancouver Sun - Velvet Revolver Puts Hard Rock Back Into Rock 'n' Roll (Duff)

Post by Blackstar Mon Jan 11, 2021 11:25 pm

Velvet Revolver puts hard rock back into rock 'n' roll

By John Mackie

Do you like to rock? Do you like to rock? I said, do you like to ROCK?!?

Yes? Then you are no doubt excited about the emergence of Velvet Revolver, a quintet that has put some much-needed fire back into the arena rock world.

Combining the talents of three former members of Guns N' Roses (guitarist Slash, bassist Duff McKagan and drummer Matt Sorum) with former Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland and guitarist Dave Kushner, Velvet Revolver have hit a nerve with their turbo charged hard rock sound.

The band's debut album, Contraband, debuted at number one on the Billboard charts in the States, and has since gone on to sell about two million copies worldwide. Songs like Slither, Fall to Pieces and Dirty Little Thing have become album rock radio staples, and the band is in the home stretch of a long and successful world tour that touches down Thursday at the Pacific Coliseum.

Duff McKagan is looking forward to the Coliseum show. A native of Seattle, he misspent much of his youth in Vancouver, coming up to punk shows at the legendary Smiling Buddha Cabaret on Hastings and partying with like-minded souls like local fixture Zippy Pinhead.

"Zippy Pinhead is the guy who taught me how to drink beer properly," he recalls with a laugh.

"We used to come up with Seattle with fake letters from my parents saying it was okay for us to come up there, because we were under 16."

Duff loved the punk era because it was fun, but also because there was a sense of danger in the air, like you never knew what to expect. He says Velvet Revolver wants to bring that vibe back into music.

"If you remember goin' to the Smiling Buddha, you remember goin' to dangerous gigs," he says over the phone from Hamilton.

"And that went away. You couldn't go see Creed and feel any sort of danger, or 'This is going to be a night I'm going to remember forever.' I remember seeing the Clash on their first tour in 1979, I was at [DOA's] Hardcore 81, just really great shows. And there was none of that in the late '90s."

Velvet Revolver came together a couple of years ago play a benefit show to play the medical bills for Ozzy Osbourne's old drummer Randy Castillo, who had died penniless after a long fight with cancer.

Duff was back in Seattle studying to get a finance degree from Seattle University (honest) when he got a call from Slash asking if he'd come down to L.A. to play with Slash and Sorum.

"We hadn't played for seven or eight years together," he relates.

"We rehearsed, and the first three chords we hit, it was just like 'Oh my God.' Everybody in the rehearsal room went 'f---.'"

They did the gig with guest singers like Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, but the vibe was go good decided to stay together, adding Kushner from Duff's band Loaded. Then the Stone Temple Pilots split, and Duff asked his friend Weiland if he'd like to have a go as the singer. Everything clicked, and a band was born.

"Scott and I were friends . . . and he was in a treatment centre with Matt, he was roommates with Matt a couple of years prior," Duff notes.

"We're all peers, that's why this supergroup thing gets deflated. We're all friends. My idea of a supergroup is like some record company putting a band together: get this guy and get this guy and get this guy. It wasn't like that at all."

Weiland has had some well-publicized drug problems, some of provided lyrical inspiration on Contraband, particularly on the song Big Machine (which has a line "all this first class drug s--- brings me down down down").

"He was exorcising a lot of demons on this album," says Duff.

"But they're still very universal themes. We all go through s---: none of us leads a perfect life. We've all gone through hell or high water."

In any event, it sounds like Weiland is a lot easier to get along with than Guns N' Roses singer Axl Rose, who alienated band members one by one until all the original musicians quit. Duff hasn't seen Axl since the day he left in 1997

A recent New York Times feature detailed how Axl has spent $13 million US recording an as-yet-unreleased Guns N' Roses album, adding and subtracting members and recording and re-recording and then re-re-recording.

"Somebody e-mailed that to me," he says. ""I haven't kept up on it at all until I saw that article.

"Guns N' Roses was a band, much like this band. The band wrote the music as a whole, and we fed off of each other. Once all the key guys were gone, [Axl's] in deep s---. And I guess his record company's taking quite a beating too.

"If I was behind the scenes in his camp way back [when everyone else quit], I would have had him change the name, and not had the big moniker weighing him down. He would have had the freedom to make the record he wanted to make."

That said, Duff looks back on Guns N' Roses heyday with pride.

"It's a great laurel to have," he says. "The beautiful thing is, we don't rest on it.

"We created great music -- there were certain nights, man, we were the best band in the world. I'm not saying every night, but there was a couple of nights out of all the touring we did where all the stars aligned, we were that band.

"It's the cup half full with me. It's a great legacy to have, and Scott would say the same thing with the Stone Temple Pilots. But we've moved on."
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