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Velvet Revolver Dive Deeper

Rock supergroup channel "different grooves" for "Libertad"

April 18, 2006 4:57 PM ET

Velvet Revolver are in the mood to experiment these days, as they dive into pre-production for the follow-up to their 2004 multiplatinum debut, Contraband. The band's branching out more than ever on the new album, tentatively titled Libertide.

"The first one was definitely a rocking, punky, bashing record. We really want to make a deeper album this time," drummer Matt Sorum says of the rock supergroup -- also featuring former Guns N' Roses vets Slash and Duff McKagan, and fronted by former Stone Temple Pilots' singer Scott Weiland. "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."

Sorum adds that he and McKagan have been going off on their own, "writing a lot of riffs on the road, messing around with all kinds of different grooves, listening to Prince, tripping on stuff." Adding to the funk is hip-hop super producer Pharrell Williams, recently signed on to work on the release.

Weiland thinks the diverse sounds are starting to come together. "It's going great," he says. "We have about fifty songs. We have to whittle it down, record twenty and then pick about sixteen." But with all the creative decisions left, Sorum thinks new music will hit radio "by the end of the summer."

Meanwhile, Weiland, who was cleared last summer on drug charges stemming from a 2003 arrest after completing a required rehab program, is also teaming with Pharrell for a track called "Happy," set to appear in his next solo album. The embattled rocker also recently inked a deal with Scribner to publish a memoir, Desperation No. 5, that chronicles his rise to rock stardom, his struggle with drugs and his newfound sobriety, due in 2007.

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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