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SoulMonster
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

2005.08.11 - Springfield Newspaper - Band of Brothers (Slash)

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2005.08.11 - Springfield Newspaper - Band of Brothers (Slash) Empty 2005.08.11 - Springfield Newspaper - Band of Brothers (Slash)

Post by Blackstar Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:24 am

Band of brothers

Velvet Revolver: United by experience

By Nick Rogers

While secretly sympathizing with the Nazi cause, Scott Weiland rages with an ego so massive that its collision with Slash's own caused cancellation of five Velvet Revolver tour dates.

Oh yeah, and Weiland is headed back to rehab, too.

"That was all (incorrect)," says guitarist Slash, he of the trademark Cousin It curls and protruding cigarette. "They always make that kind of stuff up, and that's why we're a good band when it comes to surviving.

"You can't necessarily shrug your shoulders, because it does (make you mad)," he says. "I'm used to the bending, distorting, making things up. But as long we're working, no one can really say (anything). It's sort of like water off my back when these sorts of things happen. We just keep plodding along, doing our thing."

Weiland's onstage Nazi SS hat was a political statement meant to symbolize "the loss of democracy and the shift to totalitarianism." "Family obligations" and "preproduction work" on a second album (tentatively due early next year) caused the canceled tour dates. And Weiland would seem to be done with rehab; the former Stone Temple Pilots front man's felony drug charges from 2003 recently were dropped after a successful stint of staying clean.

After all, what's another rash of rumors in what has been a long, controversial career for Slash, formerly of Guns N' Roses and currently of Velvet Revolver - two bands for which PR reps would be hard-pressed to find plastic lining, let alone silver?

"The five members of this band (guitarist Dave Kushner and ex-GNR member Duff McKagan on bass and Matt Sorum on drums) make up for a really unique situation because we all have been around the block before," says Slash, whose real name is Saul Hudson.

"We have hopefully learned something from all those years of making mistakes in this, that and the other. We did come in with a certain amount of ... I'm trying to find the right word here ... knowledge that would make the band survive the harsh rock 'n' roll realities and being able to handle it with a more mature tactic."

Maturity might seem like the last badge any respectable rock 'n' roll musician would wear with pride. But Velvet Revolver has found success in marrying lessons learned from its members' hard past to lean, clean rock 'n' roll riffs.

The group's 2004 debut album, "Contraband," went double platinum, and the first single, "Slither," earned the band a Grammy Award last year for Best Hard Rock Performance. The band's current hit, "Come On, Come In," is a selection on the "Fantastic Four" soundtrack.

Slash says it's cool to see kids in their audiences who weren't yet born when GNR's "Appetite For Destruction" came out and who needed a nap after a milk break during Stone Temple Pilots' heyday.

"The commercial music available ... since basically 1995 has all been sort of this homogenized, transparent, rock 'n' roll mishmash of whatever different influences that doesn't seem to have any real heart," he says. "It's basically phony and industrialized to the point where people aren't getting off on it as much as they probably should."

The natural high of Guns N' Roses had worn off for Slash by the mid-1990s. He preferred the laid-back intimacy of the club tour with side band Slash's Snakepit to his main band's "chaotic, overly dramatic" arena tours.

Slash also realized his relationship with front man Axl Rose wasn't that strong when GNR regrouped to begin preproduction on its next album, "Chinese Democracy." (A decade later, the still-unreleased album has become an infamous industry punch line.)

"Axl was taking off in a direction I had no grasp of, and the way it was going, I wasn't having a good time," Slash says. "So I got out of the band in 1996 while it was still cool to do it."

He continued Slash's Snakepit in addition to offering guitar guest-star appearances on albums by Sammy Hagar, Alice Cooper and Insane Clown Posse.

In 2002, Slash reunited for a jam session with Sorum and McKagan that would become known as "The Project." With no singer, the trio of instrumentalists agreed to record two songs for "The Italian Job" and "Hulk," films to be released in summer 2003. Although Weiland remained in the waning STP, he was the wiry, wired-up front man Slash had in mind from the start.

"I just thought he had this great sort of cross between Lennon, Bowie, Morrison, this kind of rock 'n' roll voice that was very natural," Slash says.

When STP finally faltered, Weiland stepped in to what Slash says was then "something solid without serious long-term commitment."

"We did Pink Floyd's 'Money' for 'The Italian Job,' and it was fun, no pressure, because it was a cover song," Slash says. "And then we did 'Set Me Free' for 'Hulk' and everything just worked. It was sort of a little bit of a Cinderella story."

Sort of is right, as there was what Slash refers to as "other issues going on before the release."

Weiland's recently beaten possession charges still were outstanding, and the band fit in recording around his rehab schedule and court appearances. "Contraband's" release date also was pushed back two months to June 2004 - about a year after Velvet Revolver's actual debut.

"We just toured with a bunch of material no one had heard before with a band no one ever really had seen before," Slash says. "And then the single came out, and then the record came out, and it just worked out the way it worked out."

Because of the lack of original material at Velvet Revolver's outset, live shows naturally incorporated some GNR and STP selections such as "It's So Easy" and "Crackerman" - something that almost got tossed out recently.

"Other bands in a comparable situation do it on purpose because that's the only way to sell tickets," Slash says. "For us, it was like Pete Townshend smashing guitars - people were starting to expect it. And we got a little uncomfortable with STP and GNR chants at shows, but at the same time, we weren't going to change because of a couple of idiots in the front row. Funnily enough, all of that dissipated."

Slash says he tries not to compare the Velvet Revolver experience to GNR or any of his past projects. ("They're all gratifying when you're doing it," he says.) But he says that Velvet Revolver's "instantaneous, creative magic" is "inspiring."

"This is a band driven by emotions, experience and the love of doing it," Slash says. "All that stuff that goes along with the business aside, this band just gets in a room, writes and records. People are seeing a no-holds-barred, real rock 'n' roll band, in some cases, for the first time."
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