Velvet Revolver Fired Up

New album nearing completion, set for spring release

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Velvet Revolver frontman Scott Weiland can't contain his enthusiasm when talking about the band's still-untitled debut album, due in late March/early April. "As a whole, the album is a true representation of the best aspects of STP's music, and the best aspects of Guns n' Roses, when they were at their best -- vicious, streamlined, living off strippers, and their music was great. It's a perfect marriage between the two."

In addition to Weiland, late of Stone Temple Pilots, the band features and guitarist Slash, bassist Duff McKagan, and drummer Matt Sorum -- all formerly of Guns n' Roses -- and guitarist Dave Kushner.

The upcoming record will include twelve of the more than fifty tracks the band co-wrote before and after Weiland joined the lineup last spring, and is being co-produced by the group and Josh Abraham (Limp Bizkit, Staind). "We're going to try to finish it up and get it mastered by the end of the year," says Abraham, who insists the album is on schedule.

Weiland describes "Slither," a rocker that twists and turns its way through the underbelly of the pre-dawn world, as a "dark, prodding heavy one that definitely has an old STP vibe to it." The heavy ballad "Fall to Pieces," meanwhile, features Slash's signature guitar sound and invokes the Gn'R classic "November Rain."

"'Falling to Pieces' is going to be a cool song to play live because it's such an arena rocker," McKagan says. "You can already envision the corny video for it, on the mountaintop, playing a guitar solo."

Among the other tracks up for selection are "Superhuman" and "Illegal Eye," which McKagan compares to "a Refused song, like an older punk rock song." But altogether, he says, "It's an album. It's twelve songs. It's not a single with eleven fillers. It's a journey."

Slash agrees. "Every song sounds different," he says. "Everything has got a vibe to it. Each song is its own style."

As far as titles go, the leading contender right now was suggested by a fan. "There's a fan Web site," McKagan explains, "and somebody came up with Uppers & Downers, which is pretty brilliant."Though the album is still a few months from release, touring plans are coming together. "We're going to go to Japan, Europe and play some shows, and then come back here," McKagan says. "Then our record will come out and we'll do some guerilla touring in major cities in the U.S. And then we were offered to headline Ozzfest."

The band's live reputation is already legend, even though they've only done one show together, at the El Rey Theater in Los Angeles earlier this year. "That was the first time I'd ever seen Scott perform," Slash says. "I knew I liked his voice, but when we got on stage together that spontaneous chemistry sealed the deal on this whole collaboration."