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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.


2010.12.18 - Bravewords - Velvet Revolver: Ready To Shoot Again? (Matt)

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2010.12.18 - Bravewords - Velvet Revolver: Ready To Shoot Again? (Matt) Empty 2010.12.18 - Bravewords - Velvet Revolver: Ready To Shoot Again? (Matt)

Post by Blackstar Thu Nov 04, 2021 12:09 am

VELVET REVOLVER - Ready To Shoot Again?

Rock Hard

By Mitch Lafon

When VELVET REVOLVER first hit, rock fans were both curious and amazed at the band’s first album and incredible powerhouse line-up, but things quickly soured as front man Scott Weiland continued his unpredictable behavior that has marked his career. The band forced out a second album, but the writing already seemed to be on the wall. This past November the band released their first DVD, Live In Houston, which captures the band in all their glory in 2005. The show demonstrates clearly that the band is just too good to pack it in and be forgotten. Drummer Matt Sorum, recently sat down with to discuss the band’s past, but mostly the band’s future. Let’s talk about the new Velvet Revolver DVD, Live in Houston. That was recorded back in 2005 as a special for HDNet. What can you tell me about it?

Matt Sorum: “It seemed like the right time to put out a retrospective of what we had done and that was a particular time where we were firing on all cylinders. We were just starting out on our first theatre tour for Contraband. We had a #1 album, we were reaching platinum sales, we won a Grammy and there was an excitement around the band. The fans were really up for it and everyone in the band was in good physical and mental shape. I can see that by watching the DVD. We were all pretty fired up. We were excited to be on stage and excited to be in a band. We went through a lot of shit to get there. Weiland had gone through some trials and tribulations and we had gone through a couple of years trying to put the whole thing together. It was very exciting to be out there because once you get out on the road and you’re touring; you’re whole process is just getting on stage every night and putting on a great hour and a half performance. That particular night, we knew the cameras were rolling and we were in full effect. It’s cool that it’s out now because we are organically reforming the band. It’s coming back into shape now even though it’s been talked about now for a few years.” How is the new singer process coming along?

MS: “We’ve been spending quite a bit of time doing this process and it’s not an easy process for a band of our nature because we’re looking for a certain type of singer. We have a lot of pedigree and the guys that came before him are pretty well known front men. To find the guy to fill those pretty big shoes… You have to be a triple threat. You have to have personality, star quality… you have to have the whole package and have that 'X' factor. We had a couple of guys that we worked with, spent time with them, nurtured them and tried to see how their personalities would fit with ours and it never seemed to quite sell us. The only metaphor I could put to that is that we’re kind of dating…” But you’re not getting married yet.

MS: “That’s right. This last particular run of guys we started with right after Slash got off his solo tour. We started looking at guys that we had been watching and hearing and we sent songs to. We brought about four guys in who are basically unknowns and what we found from that experience is that the guys would come in either so nervous that they could barely perform or there was just something about it that just didn’t put it to the next level. We didn’t find any new guy and now we’re kind of “dating” a guy that’s been around and is out there. We’re looking at him and hopefully it’ll work out (which I’m about 85% positive that it will). Then we can make that statement to the world and be able to feel confident about making a great record. Otherwise, there’s really no point. People go, “Oh, Velvet Revolver, they should pack it in”. Well, not really because Scott wasn’t originally in the band when we were writing all that material. He sealed the deal and God Bless Him that he did. He was the right guy for the job at the time. He came in and put a modern sensibility on a bunch of rock riffs. It could have gone the other way. It could have been Sebastian Bach and it would have had a completely different sound. We’ve got to find a guy that we can go out with a feeling that this is a current outing and a real statement of where we are now in our musical career.” When you finally get your new singer. Do you first record a new album then tour or do you say ‘let’s get some shows under our belt. Let’s get the band gelling and then we make the album” ?

MS: “Either one would be cool, but for myself I wouldn’t mind getting out there and playing. In this day and age, you can put out a single and you’re fine. We haven’t had that conversation yet, but right now, I think we got, three pretty strong songs… four even. The songs are very powerful and a lot heavier, but you can’t force anything with this band. You can’t say, 'we’re going to be heavy,' like heavy in what sense? We’re not a metal band. We’re a rock band.” That’s the great thing about Velvet Revolver – is that you don’t have the pressure of your typical new band that has to keep doing that album/ tour cycle. You can really take your time to do it when it’s right.

MS: “I guess so. It’s a bit of a leisurely thing, but I’ve always been the one in the band that is a bit outspoken… I’m still as passionate about rock n’ roll as I was when I was twenty. I get fired up and it’s not that Slash and Duff are lazy by any means because Slash does his own thing and Duff does his own thing. Slash is very smart when he says, 'Matt let’s do this when all the cylinders are firing. We can’t just come out half-cocked.' Slash is a very patient guy and he’s learned patience by working with certain people that we know.” And like you say, you do have a certain pedigree and fans have a certain expectation of this immense quality and you can’t just deliver something that is not going to meet certain critical standards. I’d like to ask you about some of your other projects. Can you explain to me what is the band DARLING STILETTOS? Is it simply a Vegas show?

MS: “It’s four girl dancers and the interesting thing is that it’s never really been done in the rock world. I took it out for GODSMACK at Sturgis as an experiment to see if we were going to get killed or not (laughs). No one threw anything at us.” That’s a good sign especially at Sturgis where they like to throw ‘cow patties’.

MS: “They dug it. I wanted to put a dance element and a rock n’ roll show together. It’s something very different to see and it’s very entertaining. There are synthesizers and all kinds of shit… it’s just completely different than anything you’ve seen before… Let’s be clear. When you say a ‘dance element’, do you mean strippers or do you mean Swan Lake?

MS: “Completely choreographed modern dance. It’s not sleazy and it’s not cheap. It’s not ‘butt-rock’. It’s kind of like the Pussycat Dolls, but there are elements that are more like Mick Jagger and Iggy Pop versus Britney Spears for instance. It’s got more swagger than that. You just have to see it. The lead singer, she looks like a cross between a young Deborah Harry and David Bowie circa 1970. Basically, I created a show call Rock N’ Roll A Go-Go which is kind of a West Side Story dance thing that takes you through classic rock to glam rock to The Ramones to David Bowie, T-Rex, Queen… We’ve been building the show for Vegas. I’m very excited about it. I go to those shows out there and it’s a very appealing visual world and if you tap into it… It can be really exciting. So, I started working on this the last couple of years and there’s also a lot of original music. We’ve been focusing on getting a record deal. We’ve gotten offers and we’re very close. It’s the kind of group that could tour with Pink or Aerosmith. It crosses genres. It’s heavier than Pink and not as pop, but it’s got guitar. It’s a young band and I play drums for them occasionally. There’s a lot of track going on. It’s a little bit like Marilyn Manson… Synthesizers, visuals, but the guitar player is a guy named Nick Maybury. He’s a great young guitarist. I think he’s going to be heard of. He’s that good.” Is it still important for you, as an artist, to have a record deal? With the Internet and iTunes, you can do more of a direct marketing thing.

MS: “With a band like this (Darling Stilettos) yes, but with a group like Velvet Revolver, no. Does Velvet Revolver need a major label? Maybe not. We can go to Best Buy. We can go to Target. We might go to Wal-Mart. AC/DC did it and sold two and a half million records.” Kiss did it too with Sonic Boom. Journey and the Eagles did it as well.

MS: “For a pedigree band like that, which is a brand, that’s cool, but for concept like Darling Stilettos it’s a brand that needs to be built and it has to be built in a mainstream market like a Lady Gaga. You need a team. That Interscope team with the Black Eyed Peas, Eminem… Jimmy Iovine is a genius. The majors that are left still have the infrastructure and they’re tied in with a company like Live Nation. The machine that’s behind it is important for something that you are going to build.” Let me ask you a couple of questions about your Velvet Revolver bandmates. What was your reaction when saw Duff join the old band onstage in London?

MS: “I called him and said, ‘what the hell are you doing?’ That’s what I figured. Were you surprised that it worked out (apparently) so well?

MS: “I wasn’t surprised because here’s the biggest problem with bands and people that have that much history. The communication factor is the biggest break down. People get between you and the truth. The reality of Axl’s feelings towards Duff are a bit blown out of proportion. Maybe the situation between Axl and Slash is more fired up because there’s a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes that even I don’t know about. But when he got up there, it was actually cool. He just happened to be in the same hotel, from what Duff tells me. Axl was having one of his moments (which he does have). He’s a very sensitive guy at times. I know that down deep he has feelings for all those guys. So, he just happened to be there and it was ‘ok, cool. Let’s do it.’ From what Duff tells me, he rode in the car with him and they were just chatting about the old days. They were hanging out and Duff got up there with him and he really put on a good show that night. I watched the video of it and he sounded better than ever. You could tell that he was singing more for Duff than for the crowd. A ‘look, I still got it’, kind of shit. He saw Duff and he was probably like ‘wow’. Duff’s a completely different guy from when he was in Guns N’ Roses. He’s a guy that’s running two different business columns. He’s gone to school and he’s got a family. Axl probably looked at him and thought, ‘who is this guy?’ He probably didn’t recognize him. The way Duff described it was that it was an organic thing and after that he hasn’t had very much conversation with him, but of course all the vultures swooped in and said ‘it’s going to happen’. Well…I don’t know. It’s one guy.” Can you comment on your time in Guns N’ Roses? Was it a magical time for you coming The Cult to playing stadiums for two and a half years?

MS: “Sure. It was a magical time, but it was a long time ago. I wish I could kind of remember it specifically. It was a great ride. Probably one of the greatest times in my life even though there were a lot of trials and tribulations as well. It wasn’t easy. It was a difficult thing to navigate because there were so many people involved and negative factors. There were drugs and alcohol…” And as the machine gets bigger, there’s more lawyers, more accountants, more people telling you that you’re the superstar and it’s time to start a solo project…

MS: “Yeah. It got ugly. I got to be honest. It did. Unfortunately, it did, but when it was great. It was GREAT! When we were on stage, it was great. It was always great onstage. You try to think, ‘oh, I’ll do it differently the next time. Maybe I’ll try not to make the same mistakes, but we made some of the same mistakes in Velvet Revolver unfortunately.” I have to admit, I always found your choice of Scott Weiland as a bit bizarre. He had his trials and tribulations with Stone Temple Pilots and heroine arrests and he quit the band and the band threw him out and… I just thought ‘wow, they hired Axl Rose Part II’. What are the thinking? I can understand why Sebastian Bach wasn’t chosen. You wanted a ‘fresher’ face on the project, but why was Scott chosen? Was it just marketing?

MS: “At that same phase in my life, I went out with a lot of the wrong girlfriends too. You know what I mean?” I got you…

MS: “Didn’t always make the best choices for longevity. Seemed sexy at the time, but it’s like dating a stripper. It’s like ‘oh, that girl’s hot’, but then what you get with it is like ‘oh, boy’ (laughs).

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