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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

2005.08.19 - The Albuquerque Tribune - Supergroup A Velvety Fit For Heavy Metal Crowd (Duff)

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2005.08.19 - The Albuquerque Tribune - Supergroup A Velvety Fit For Heavy Metal Crowd (Duff) Empty 2005.08.19 - The Albuquerque Tribune - Supergroup A Velvety Fit For Heavy Metal Crowd (Duff)

Post by Blackstar Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:31 am

Supergroup a velvety fit for heavy metal crowd

By Paul Maldonado Jr.

Recipe for a hard-rock supergroup: Mix three parts Guns N' Roses with one part Stone Temple Pilots and add one part Wasted Youth. Blend thoroughly, then stand back and enjoy the results.

Thus was the evolution of Velvet Revolver, which arose from the dust of GNR and STP last year.

The band — former STP singer Scott Weiland on vocals; GNR alums Slash on guitar, Duff McKagan on bass and Matt Sorum on drums; and Dave Kushner, formerly of Wasted Youth, Infectious Grooves and Dave Navarro's band, on guitar — has the second headliner's slot on the main stage for the last seven dates of Ozzfest, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

Some might consider the hardrockers out of place at such a metal fest, but not McKagan.

"We'll do all right; we'll hold our own," the 41-year-old says during a recent phone interview from his Los Angeles-area home. "We did Ozzfest in Europe last month — we did Donnington (Castle in England) ... and Greece. We did it for about a month, but Ozzfest only plays twice a week, so we did our own gigs, too.
"Sharon and Ozzy really like us; they asked us to play," McKagan says of the Osbournes, who are the tour creators and festival namesake. "Sharon is a sweet, sweet woman."

Still, the group had to have some trepidation being on a bill that includes such heavy bands as Shadows Fall and It Dies Today.

"We kind of got experienced in Europe, what we could play and what we couldn't get away with," McKagan explains. "Like we can't encore with (Pink Floyd's) 'Wish You Were Here'; we do a medley with 'You Got No Right.' That didn't go over too well.

"The fans just wanted us to get back to the rock. So we just keep it hard, fast and in your face," he adds with a laugh. "The second stage is where it's all hardcore. I don't think it'd work over there."

The month of European dates allowed the quintet to hone its set.

"We'll figure it out; we'll keep to our own songs. (The ballad) 'Fall To Pieces' goes over quite well; it's not completely alien," McKagan says, before regressing into fan mode. "But it's Black Sabbath, man. I mean, if it was just Black Sabbath and us, it would be totally compatible."

What isn't compatible is a drummer with a fractured finger.

"Matt broke his pinkie water skiing; he's having surgery today," McKagan says matter-offactly. "I mean, we're all kind of extreme guys. We like to do extreme things; it could've happened to any of us. We've been off four weeks; we're into jet skiing and motorbiking, things like that."

McKagan had an accident in January that could've delayed the band's foray through North America. But the trouper was able to just soldier on.

"Like right before the U.S. tour began, I cut myself and had stitches on my index finger right on the part I play with," he says. "I was able to make it through the whole tour, though."

Velvet Revolver was scheduled to resume its U.S. tour during the second week of August. Sorum's accident forced a change of drummers, not necessarily plans.

"We got Brian Tiskay playing with us; he's Billy Idol's drummer," McKagan says. "We're rehearsing right now so he can learn the songs. He's doing at least seven gigs with us."

Those songs are from Velvet Revolver's first CD "Contraband," which came out in June 2004. It debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart, selling more than 250,000 copies its first week; it has worldwide sales of more than 3 million, so far. The band won a Grammy for rock single for the No. 1 hit "Slither," and "Fall To Pieces" has also topped the singles chart.

McKagan hopes Sorum's absence is only temporary, as the band members have future plans.

"But we're not going to pressure Matt, make him come back before he's ready; we want the guy around for the next record," McKagan says, laughing. "We'll just play it by ear. We'd do it for any of us."

However, McKagan and his bandmates are eager to follow up "Contraband" considering it has been out for more than a year.

"Oh, man, we have tons of new material. We've been writing since the beginning of the U.S. tour. We probably have enough for five records," he says. "The problem is paring it down to one record; it's a lot of stuff. We each have a CD and we each come back with the ones (songs) we like."

McKagan says it's the method the band used on the first record: each guy listening to songs or fragments on CD and coming back to work them out in the studio. And each contributes to the process.

"On days off, I come up with riffs and partial songs. But our songwriting, ... we really have to be together to be able to write, to come up with the song," he says. "Nobody's brought in a whole song. Like Matt'll have a drum riff, or I'll have a bass riff, or Slash will come in with a guitar riff; we all contribute. We're real prolific when we're all together. We are the sum of its parts."

And since Velvet Revolver has only one album's worth of material, the members are wont to perform songs from their old groups and even tunes from other bands.

"One record is not enough for an hour-and-45-minute set," he says. "We have to play some of the stuff from our old bands, like 'Sex Type Thing'; and we've done 'Crackerman' and 'It's So Easy' and '(Mr.) Brownstone' and 'I Used to Love Her.'

"And we've done covers, too, like 'Surrender' by Cheap Trick and 'No More No More' by Aerosmith and Nirvana's 'Negative Creep.' "

On stage, variety is the key.

"Every night is different for us. We keep it alive; it's not cookiecutter," he says. "We change things as we go. It keeps it interesting for us and for the fans."

What was interesting for most observers was the sudden demise of Guns N' Roses: its rapid descent after a meteoric rise. Does McKagan have any qualms or harbor any recrimination about how it ended

"I have no regrets at all," he says, seemingly eager to set the record straight. "I mean, we were five guys who were street urchins who believed in our songs. And we did it with no compromise. We started out playing punkrock dives and ended up playing stadiums five years later.

"With Guns, I had nothing or nobody to come home to. I was like, 'Put me on the road for 2{ years; it's cool,' " says the married father of two girls. "I didn't like the way it ended, but I'm a halffull kind of guy; no regrets."

McKagan then steers the conversation back to talk of the sophomore record.

"We'll probably start work on it at the end of September, but it probably won't come out until March or April," he says. "We record real quick, in a matter of weeks, but it's all the other stuff (mixing, tracking, packaging) that takes time.

"We don't want to rush it, but we want to keep this momentum that we've got right now going."
Blackstar
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