"Our music is very aggressive. There's always that 'F*** you' element to it. Really that's all we know how to do. We can't play nice or play radio. Slash, Matt and I were always that way in Guns, and Scott and Dave are very like-minded. To me, this is the first dangerous band that's come around in a while--truly dangerous. People are going to say, 'Oh a supergroup. These guys have everything.' And I can understand that, but we're not coming at this that way. We really hope to bring some chaos back into the whole world of rock." Velvet Revolver.
Hard rock supergroup Velvet Revolver, consists of three former members of Guns N' Roses (Slash, Duff McKagan, and Matt Sorum), Scott Weiland (the lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots) and Dave Kushner (of the 80s hardcore punk band Wasted Youth), scored big with their two-time Platinum debut album, Contraband (2004), which spawned the Grammy-winning single "Slither." They also recorded several songs for movie soundtracks, including "Set Me Free" for Hulk (2003), a cover version of Pink Floyd's "Money" for a remake of the original 1969 classic film The Italian Job (2003) and "Come On, Come In" for Fantastic Four (2005). Their song "Dirty Little Thing" from their debut album was also on the soundtrack of XXX: State of the Union (2005).
The band is now reportedly working on their sophomore album, tentatively titled Libertad. Rumored to out Spring 2007, the group has confirmed that the album's first single will be a track called "Wasted Heart."
"You know all the possibilities are there. And we don't want to miss them this time." Velvet Revolver.
Childhood and Family:
"There was still something very powerful and intense between us. That chemistry never went away." Velvet Revolver.
When three former members of Guns N' Roses, (Slash (guitar), Duff McKagan (bass), and Matt Sorum (drums), joined to play a benefit concert for fellow musician Randy Castillo in 2002, they subsequently decided to form a new band that would bring back the spirit of rock to the mainstream. After Izzy Stradlin declined to join the band, they hired guitarist Dave Kushner, who had previously played with Wasted Youth and Dave Navarro. During that time, the quartet briefly went under the temporary name "The Project."
The group went on recruiting a lead singer with VH1 filming the recruitment process. After a competitive selection, Scott Weiland, who had become friends with McKagan and had played on the same bill as Kushner when Stone Temple Pilots were known as Mighty Joe Young and Kushner was in Electric Love Hogs, finally got the position. And as the group’s members are complete, now they set a new permanent name, “Velvet Revolver.”
"We're all looking for a rebirth here. We're looking to get back that same feeling we had when we all first started making music--the sense of doing it for the pure joy of making music. Along the way the whole idea that got us into this had been raped and sodomized. We were all in mourning of that and wondering if we could somehow get it back. As it turns out, the only way we could get it all back was to start it all new. Now we have that opportunity and it's amazing. This music is just vicious, very aggressive and it forces you to lace your boots up and sort of get ready for the fight." Velvet Revolver.
In 2003, Velvet Revolver recorded their first track, "Set Me Free," for the soundtrack of Hulk (starring Eric Bana and Jennifer Connelly), a movie by director Ang Lee based on the comic book series. They also recorded a cover version of British progressive rock band Pink Floyd's 1973 song, "Money," for the soundtrack of the movie The Italian Job (starring Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron and Donald Sutherland), F. Gary Gray's 2003 remake of the original 1969 classic film. In June that same year, the band played its first live gig at the El Rey in Los Angeles.
"There is no real concept to me. We set out to make music we enjoy and can feel proud of playing--music that people we like will want to listen to. As soon as you start thinking beyond that--about wanting to keep up with the Joneses or about fitting in with somebody else's format--that's when you lose the map. So we've just done what we do, and tried to have a cool time doing it." Slash, guitarist of Velvet Revolver.
June 8, 2004 saw the release of their first album, Contraband, through RCA Records. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard album charts #11 on the British album charts and #2 in Australia. The lead single "Slither" (May 2004) peaked at #1 on the Billboard mainstream rock chart and was on #5 on the Billboard modern rock chart. Its music video also went to #64 on the Billboard Hot 100, became top 20 in Finland and top 40 on a European composite chart, in Canada, and in Australia. In 2005, “Slither” was awarded a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance.
The follow-up singles from Contraband were the ballad "Fall to Pieces" and the hard-rocker "Dirty Little Thing," all of which accompanied by music videos. Contraband was eventually certified Platinum twice. "Dirty Little Thing" was later featured in the soundtrack of Universal Studios' 2005 sequel to the 2002 film XXX, XXX: State of the Union (starring Vin Diesel and Rob Cohen). Velvet Revolver also recorded a new song entitled "Come On, Come In" for that same year movie based on the Marvel Comics', Fantastic Four, starring Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Michael Chiklis, Chris Evans and Julian McMahon.
By this time, the band has toured both the United States and Europe twice, while also hitting Australia and Japan. For the Spring of 2005, they have several Canadian dates lined up and a headlining arena tour for the U.S. They have once performed at Live 8 and are scheduled to open for Black Sabbath in Europe this summer. And more recently, in October 2006, Velvet Revolver performed acoustically and electrically at the Canyon Club in Malibu, California, to help raise money for injured Malibu deputy sheriff Jim Mulay, who was critically injured while attempting to apprehend an armed robbery suspect on August 28th.
"The first one was definitely a rocking, punky, bashing record. We really want to make a deeper album this time. The other record was more of a collaboration -- now we want to see what everyone brings to the table on their own. It's cool when people come in with an idea without the usual collaborators, 'cause it can totally spark." Matt Sorum, drummer of Velvet Revolver (on the band’s second album).
At the 2005 Radio Music Awards, the band’s frontman, Scott Weiland, announced that they will release their sophomore album, tentatively titled Libertad. It is rumored to out Spring 2007. For the first single, it has been confirmed that it will be a track called "Wasted Heart."
"We were like a bunch of kids who just learned how to play the same chord together. That's what it's been like every time we've done something together. We're thrilled, like 'Hey, we wrote a song!' 'Hey, we played a gig!' Maybe that's why this has worked--because we're actually the opposite of jaded." Velvet Revolver.