What began as a hard rock supergroup jam session became a full-time band as Velvet Revolver released two Top Ten discs, sold-out venues across the globe and even won a Grammy.
The band formed former Guns N' Roses Slash (guitar), Duff McKagan (bass) and Matt Sorum (drums) began jamming together in 2002 without their notoriously difficult ex-front man Axl Rose. Producers at VH1 rolled their cameras as the trio searched for a singer to fill Rose's shoes. "The Project," as they called it, found the three auditioning a number of potential replacements — including Buckcherry's Josh Todd and Skid Row's Sebastian Bach — before settling on another difficult front man, ex-Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland, who came up with the band name.
In 2003, fleshed out with second guitarist Dave Kushner (formerly of the punk band Wasted Youth), Velvet Revolver recorded two songs for soundtracks: "Set Me Free" for The Hulk and a cover of Pink Floyd's "Money" for The Italian Job. They made their full-length debut on RCA Records with Contraband (Number One, 2004). The album sold 256,000 copies in its first week and eventually sold more than two million. Its first single, "Slither," topped the Mainstream Rock and Modern Rock charts and reached Number 56 on the Billboard Hot 100. Other singles did nearly as well including, "Dirty Little Thing" (Number Eight Mainstream Rock, 2004) and "Fall to Pieces" (Number One Mainstream Rock, Number Two Modern Rock, 2004). In 2005, "Slither" took home a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance.
After extensive touring and three years of writing and recording, VR followed up with Libertad (Number Five, 2007). It yielded the single "She Builds Quick Machines" (Number Two Hot Mainstream Rock, 2007). In late 2007, the band enlisted fans to choose, via its Web site, a new single from the album. They opted for "Get Out the Door," which was released in January 2008, the same month the band had been scheduled to embark on a tour of Australia, Europe and the United States. However, Velvet Revolver hasn't been immune to the problems that plagued both GN'R and STP. The Australian leg of the 2008 tour was cancelled when Weiland entered rehab again. In April of that year the band announced it was parting ways with Weiland a few weeks before he announced he was reuniting with his former band Stone Temple Pilots. In June 2008 rumors swirled about possible replacements for Weiland but no official announcement had been made.