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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

2007.08.03 - The Sun - Interview with Velvet Revolver

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2007.08.03 - The Sun - Interview with Velvet Revolver Empty 2007.08.03 - The Sun - Interview with Velvet Revolver

Post by Blackstar Fri Apr 16, 2021 3:39 am

THE SUN - SOMETHING FOR THE WEEKEND

SFTW Speaks To Velvet Revolver

By JACQUI SWIFT

EXPERIENCING a Velvet Revolver rehearsal is an ear-splitting encounter.

Guitars are cranked up LOUD, the drums are deafening and ear-plugs are a must.

Locked away at Mates Rehearsal Studios in North Hollywood, iconic guitarist Slash, bassist Duff McKagan, drummer Matt Sorum, all formerly of Guns N’ Roses and guitarist Dave Kushner are practising for their US tour and waiting for singer and ex-Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland to show up.

Back-to-back platinum and gold discs, a Marilyn Manson painting and autographed drum skins by Queens Of The Stone Age, Foo Fighters and Guns N’ Roses decorate the walls.

Two girls rush around to make sure Scott’s outlandish wardrobe of his faux-fur waistcoats, Clint Eastwood-styled ponchos and military jackets and hats are ready for the road as he finally puts in an appearance, two hours late.

With VR made up of two legendary rock bands, you’d expect a rehearsal like this to be routine, but in fact they are busy listening to playbacks of their own songs and relearning how to play them.

First, it’s American Man followed by big ballad Gravedancer from their latest album Libertad. Then they start playing old Guns N’ Roses classic Patience. There’s even a mention of Sweet Child O’ Mine.

“It’s true I said we would never play old Guns songs again,” says Slash as he puts down his guitar and lights another of a seemingly never-ending supply of cigarettes.

“That’s because I didn’t want us to feel obligated to play old Guns and Stone Temple Pilot’s tracks. In the same way Pete Townshend didn’t want to smash his guitar every night, it’s the same for us. But then we also missed doing it. They’re fun and we were responsible for all those great songs. So yes, on this tour and on some nights, when we feel like it, we will play some of the old songs.”

Unlike some bands who live on their past, making money by playing the hits every night, week in and out, Velvet Revolver proved they weren’t taking that route from the start. And they’re certainly not a supergroup, as they were tagged when first album Contraband emerged in 2004.

“We hated that term,” reveals Slash. “It sucked. We put up with it as we had something to prove. We’re proud of our past but now it’s all about now.”

Although Contraband went on to be a worldwide hit, including a No1 in the US, and the band picked up a Grammy for Best Hard Rock performance in 2005, it was only when the band finished second album Libertad, that Slash felt satisfied

“The album represents something I would never have expected a year ago. Even though Contraband was successful, it was limited. The band was so new and we made the album quickly. It was about proving ourselves then — which we did.

“On Contraband we barely scratched the surface of what we are capable of. Making Libertad we dipped in to see the band’s individual and collective talents and we had also blossomed as a band. The relationships between the guys got more personal and we have a real camaraderie going. The sound is more musical and sonically it’s not as aggressive. We played more raw with little over-production. What you’re hearing is how we played. It’s better and more exciting and so only now I have a sense of accomplishment.”

Though the end result was a milestone for Velvet Revolver, it was during the making of it that they faced some of their toughest moments including family death and for Slash, a stint in rehab.

After years of drug addiction and a spell in jail, Scott got clean just before Contraband.

However during the recording of Libertad, his brother Michael died of a drug overdose and a weeks later, Matt Sorum’s brother also died in similar circumstances.

Scott says: “Libertad is dedicated to Michael. It is a fitting album title as my brother was certainly searching for his own liberty and freedom up to the way he died.

“I was really angry at him at first, for my parents and our family but I was able to channel this anger and grief into songs as The Last Fight and For A Brother. It made me come to terms with how sad I was.”

As Scott and Matt dealt with their grief individually, Slash was facing his own problems when he started using drugs again. Slash explains:

“I was having problems at home so I went on a smack binge. It was Oxycontin I could get from a doctor. Being in Velvet Revolver keeps me sane and pulls me out of the black holes.

"That’s why when we stopped playing I went on a crazy drug bender. The thing is, I can keep myself together when I am working and touring but when we stop I go stir-crazy.

“I was indulging myself and letting myself go off the deep end while I realised what my priorities were. Music and my guitar have that influence on me and it can pull me back.

“But I know I could stop and I even pre-booked rehab. I was in control. I managed to go to rehab willingly. I had never been before and it was a good experience. It was only dark for the first week when I was withdrawing and I was able to clear my head and handle what I wanted to do.”

Scott says: “Slash would never do rehab before, he never believed in it. He would just go cold turkey. Making Libertad he went through hard times and I never knew how bad it was. I could tell there were times it was getting kinda f**ked up as his playing would get a little crazy. Duff knew more than everybody else as he had been close to Slash for a long period.

“What blows me away is that Slash was always so anti-rehab. He’s always believed rehab is for quitters, so I’m pretty amazed and he’s been clean and sober for over a year now, which is remarkable.

“As for me, I drink now and again but as far as drugs it’s been over three and a half years. My family and this band saved me. Forming a band with people who had been in the same situation as me, had a lot to do with it. We’d all had the same experiences.”

The band suffered another setback making Libertad when they had to sack producer Rick Rubin.

Slash says: “I’d hate Rick to think we were sitting here talking badly about him because I love him to death. We were really excited about working with him but he just has a certain style that wasn’t for us and he’s so busy that he was hardly in the studio with us.

“We started working on the record and we would write entire songs. But he told us not to do that and to keep writing and writing. But with a band like us we can’t sit around too long, we’re too energetic. So we started to get discouraged but couldn’t work out why. Finally we realised Rick’s philosophy on making a record didn’t gel with us so it was time for him to go and we parted amicably.”

Adds Scott: “We have great respect for him — unfortunately it just didn’t happen on this record but I ended up writing a record for my solo album with him.”

The band then hired producer Brendan O’Brien who had worked with Scott when he was in Stone Temple Pilots.

Slash says: “I wasn’t a fan of any albums Brendan had done before so I needed some convincing but as soon as we spoke on the phone I knew he was what we needed. He kicked us into shape and we got to work straight away. Everyone respected him, which is great as it is hard to walk into a room with this band and start telling them what to do. He did, though.”

But there was more tribulations for the band when rumours started circulating that Slash was going to rejoin old band mate Axl Rose, who had kept the Guns N’ Roses name and been promising the release of the long-awaited album Chinese Democracy, which he has been working on since 1997.

Slash says: “I was sitting at home writing songs when I heard Axl had a put out a press release saying in so many words I was going back. There had been a lot of sh*t going around, stories about me and Axl but what made this so bad was that it seemed so factual.

"The guys were worried, angry even. I had to sit them down and tell them none of it was true.

“They were still a bit sceptical as it seemed so detailed. We got through it but it was an unexpected bump in the road. I didn’t expect to go there with something that was so much part of my past.”

So on the eve of their US tour as well as being the 20th anniversary year of Guns N’ Roses classic debut Appetite For Destruction, Slash and Scott are looking forward to a future with Velvet Revolver.

Slash says: “There’s definitely going to be another album. We have only just started and have so much more to do. We’re also going to be touring the UK next year — which is important to me as it’s where I was born and if you’re accepted in England then that means respect. Libertad did so well in the UK and we were pleased with that. We’re dying to go back there to play.

“I still want to make my solo record — and Duff is working on his own stuff too.”

Scott says: “I’m working on a solo album as well but it’s different to the music I do with VR. It’s for me but it doesn’t allow me to perform on stage at the highest level the way I can with VR.”

And with their troubles now behind them and a solid future ahead, do they ever look back at their trials with regret?

“No,” says Slash. “I never have any regrets, everything has happened for a reason and has led us to where we are now.

"I’m proud of what I have done in the past but now we’re all looking ahead as there is much more to come.”

https://web.archive.org/web/20070822203442/http://www.thesun.co.uk:80/article/0,,2007350776,00.html
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Post by Soulmonster Thu Apr 29, 2021 10:26 am

What press release is Slash talking about here?

I was sitting at home writing songs when I heard Axl had a put out a press release saying in so many words I was going back. There had been a lot of sh*t going around, stories about me and Axl but what made this so bad was that it seemed so factual.

The guys were worried, angry even. I had to sit them down and tell them none of it was true.

They were still a bit sceptical as it seemed so detailed. We got through it but it was an unexpected bump in the road. I didn’t expect to go there with something that was so much part of my past.


There was a press release from March 2006 (https://www.a-4-d.com/t3580-2006-03-06-press-release-from-axl-s-lawyer-axl-rose-responds-to-lawsuit) where Axl mentioned Slash's visit to his home, but this release doesn't at all suggest Slash is going back (to GN'R). So what is Slash talking about?


Last edited by Soulmonster on Thu Apr 29, 2021 11:29 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Soulmonster Thu Apr 29, 2021 11:28 am

I would think something was lost in the article and Slash was really saying that the press release had indicated Slash wanted back in GN'R, which is a logical interpretation of the story of Slash visiting Axl's house at night and saying shit bout his band mates in Velvet Revolver.
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