Velvet Revolver load up
From page 6 of Classic Rock Magazine August 2003
Weiland officially joins Slash, Duff and co project.
DESPITE HIS RECENT ARREST FOR possession of heroin and cocaine (see last issue’s Upfront story), Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland has been given the job of fronting the band assembled by former Guns N’ Roses members Slash, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum. Now named Velvet Revolver, the quintet – completed by guitarist David Kushner – have already made their first public appearances.
Having debuted by playing a single song at an NBA basketball game, they took to the stage before an invited audience, which included Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters, at the El Rey Theater in Los Angeles and played a six-song set that included ‘Bodies’ by the Sex Pistols, STP’s ‘Sex Type Thing’, Guns N’ Roses standard ‘It’s So Easy’ and ‘Negative Creep’ by Nirvana, plus originals ‘Set Me Free’ and ‘Slither’.
Velvet Revolver manager David Codikow later told reporters of his optimism that Weiland need not go back to jail. The singer faces up to a year in prison if convicted, but he has already issued a plea of not guilty to drug possession and offered to return to rehab before his next court appearance. He has received unanimous support from his new bandmates.
“Rock‘n’roll shouldn’t be a safe thing,” McKagan said of Weiland’s appointment. “There’s a lot of safe rock‘n’roll out there right now; we’re real. What happened to Scott a few weeks ago could’ve happened to any of us – it has happened to all of us.” “Scott’s one of those guys who’s got a dark side, which obviously fits with us,” guitarist Slash agreed. “I always liked his voice. He’s got a great rock vibe, but also a cool, slinky thing going on.”
Though as yet unsigned, Velvet Revolver are said to have five songs of their own, including ‘Set Me Free’, which is included on The Hulk movie soundtrack. They plan to gig throughout the rest of the year.
Contrary to an earlier announcement, news of Weiland’s appointment and completion of his second solo album don’t necessarily spell the end of Stone Temple Pilots.
“We’re taking an extended hiatus,” Weiland said of STP. “We’re gonna put out a greatest hits album. [But] I’m committed to Velvet Revolver, and we’re gonna make a record and tour.
Our goal is to make the best rock‘n’roll album in the last 10 years.” Of his own recent misfortunes, Weiland was optimistic, stating: “I hit a few speed bumps. Going through a divorce set me back – I started getting involved in pain medication, and I sort of slid backwards. At the time it seemed like a negative thing, but now I’m back on track.”
Meanwhile, current Guns N’ Roses bassist Tommy Stinson – who is working on a solo record – insists that the band’s long-awaited new ‘Chinese Democracy’ album is definitely coming out. “The record is being completed.
Other people are putting their final little touches to things, then it goes to mix,” he explained.
When he was asked to be more specific about a possible release date for ‘Chinese Democracy’, Stinson replied: “I’m just gonna say September, because that’s when I’ve got to be back.” Frontman W Axl Rose also expressed confidence in the album’s arrival, when he was spotted at the LA launch party for Led Zeppelin’s new DVD.
However, with Geffen Records being reorganised, and the project estimated to have cost $8 million and eight years so far, insiders expect it to be shelved.
Guests on Stinson’s album include fellow GN’R members Richard Fortus on guitar, Dizzy Reed on keyboards and drummer Josh Freese.
Former Gunners guitarist Izzy Stradlin has completed another solo album, his sixth, which will be called ‘Like A Dog’.