"Modern rock with a sense of danger and beauty that's been missing for far too long"
Velvet Revolver's debut album 'Contraband' is the proof that super groups do actually work, not that it's been easy for the band to get to this point.
It started when Slash, Duff McKagan and Matt Soran got together again after being in Guns N Roses for years for a tribute show for Randy Castillo in 2002. The guys realised they still had chemistry and maybe they should explore the possibility of reforming rather than letting it go to waste. The problem was who else to recruit?
The trio first got Dave Kushner in on guitar. He had been playing with Duff in recent years and had gone to high school with Slash and apparently if he could 'handle' Slash it meant they were keeping him! The next problem was finding a strong frontperson that could stand on the same stage as these rock icons without being overshadowed. Auditions were held but the guys were just not feeling it and started to be quite disheartened by the whole thing. By now it was known in most circles as 'The Project' and suddenly VH-1 were on the case filming the progression of the band.
Scott Weiland at the time was still in Stone Temple Pilots but was getting increasingly unhappy with the situation they were in due to disagreements within the band. He had recently been hanging out socially with Duff and 'The Project' had sparked an interest due to the members and their history. Slash decided to entice him by dropping off a CD of songs the band had already recorded. It did the trick. Scott picked up on about 15 of the 60 songs and decided that this was going to be a "five headed beast that would be lethal and indestructible". Thus Velvet Revolver were formed.
Velvet Revolver headed into the studio to record tracks for two upcoming films - 'Set Me Free' for The Hulk and a cover of Pink Floyds 'Money' for 'The Italian Job' but Velvet Revolver new the true test was a live performance. Their first gig was at the El Rey in Los Angeles. The band went down a storm and they knew that there was something in this to keep going.
Unfortunately at the time Weiland was going through a personal nightmare. After his divorce Scott found comfort through the use of drugs and his heroin habit soon got out of control. Possession charges forced him into rehab and the band supported him 100%, they had all been through similar experiences and therefore there could be no judgement whatsoever and they became a very positive influence on Scott.
Velvet Revolver decided to sign to RCA, a big part of that choice was Chairman Clive Davis. The recording of 'Contraband' began as Velvet Revolver used Josh Abraham to co-produce the album after a string of try-outs including old skool people but the band felt they needed someone young and fresh. Completed by the end of 2003 it took till June the next year to release due to several hold ups. Their first single was 'Slither'.