Slash digs deep; Velvet Revolver blossoms in live shows.Byline: Scott McLennan
COLUMN: SCOTT MCLENNAN
Following the career of guitar player Slash - he of the perpetual top hat, aviator shades and cigarette - you get the sense that all he really wants in this world is to make his own version of Aerosmith's "Rocks."
With singer Scott Weiland Scott Weiland (born Scott Richard Kline, October 27, 1967, Santa Cruz, California ) is an American musician, lyricist, and vocalist. He moved to Chagrin Falls, Ohio at the age of five where he attended the Kenston School District. - a great voice traveling in a train-wreck-prone body - his career seems bent on Adj. 1. bent on - fixed in your purpose; "bent on going to the theater"; "dead set against intervening"; "out to win every event"
bent, dead set, out to recasting David Bowie's "Hunky hun·ky 1
n. pl. hun·kies Offensive Slang
Used as a disparaging term for a person, especially a laborer, from east-central Europe. Dory" with songs of his own.
Those assumed aspirations somehow collide in the band Velvet Revolver Velvet Revolver (abbreviated to VR) is a hard rock supergroup with three former members of Guns N' Roses — Slash, Duff McKagan, and Matt Sorum (who also played with rock bands Hawk and The Cult) — plus Scott Weiland, the lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots, and , which recently released its sophomore album "Libertad" and is on a tour that brings the band to the Tweeter Center Tweeter Center can refer to any of the following amphitheatres:
Reached just ahead of the start of the tour earlier this month, Slash gave some thoughts on the tour, the state of the band, and the making of the album, all of it wrapped in glowing good mood.
Just about the only words we did not hear were "guns" and/or "roses." When not directly asked about the band with which Slash found fame, the guitarist seems happy enough to let it go, even when the rest of the world seemingly cannot. For example, the most recent Rolling Stone rolling stone
a restless or wandering person magazine has Slash on the cover, albeit in a 20-year-old photo with the rest of Guns N' Roses hyping a story about the 20th anniversary of the release of GN'R's classic "Appetite for Destruction." Inside the magazine, there is a fine feature on Slash and his current mates in Velvet having a coating of velvet over the antlers; in the annual stage where the antlers are still growing; - of deer.
See also: Velvet Revolver, and deeper still into the pages, you'll find a thumbs-up review of "Libertad."
Slash and former Gunners bassist Duff McKagan Duff McKagan (born Michael Andrew McKagan on February 5 1964) is an American musician and bassist, who is best known for his thirteen-year tenure in the hard rock band Guns N' Roses. He is currently the bassist for the modern rock band Velvet Revolver. and drummer Matt Sorum Matt Sorum (born November 19, 1960, in Mission Viejo, California) is an American hard rock drummer and percussionist. Sorum is most famous for his 7 year stint in Guns N' Roses (1990-1997). (who joined post-"Appetite") formed Velvet Revolver with guitarist Dave Kushner and former Stone Temple Pilots Stone Temple Pilots (abbreviated STP) was a popular Grammy Award-winning American hard rock band in the 1990s and early 2000s, consisting of Scott Weiland (vocals), brothers Robert (bass guitar, vocals) and Dean DeLeo (guitar), and Eric Kretz (drums, percussion). front man Weiland in 2004. The band came out swinging with the record "Contraband," which sold millions of copies and earned the band a Grammy award.
"The last record was cool for what it was. It was an aggressive first statement," Slash said.
But for "Libertad," he said, Velvet Revolver wanted to dig a little deeper.
"Before we started working on the record last July, we played five shows in California, and I noticed how the band blossomed in the live show. Everyone was more relaxed and more confident. I don't think we were trying so hard," he said.
From there the band set out to make a record that could go from hard-charging rockers such as "Pills, Demons Demons
See also devil; evil; ghosts; hell; spirits and spiritualism.
one who denies the existence of the devil or demons.
recognition of the existence of demons and goblins. & Etc." to the smoother ascent of "The Last Fight" to a gauzy and glam reading of ELO's "Can't Get It Out of My Head."
Weiland covered a lot of ground both with his lyrics and vocal style. With no shortage of sex, drugs and debauchery Debauchery
See also Dissipation, Profligacy.
Debt (See BANKRUPTCY, POVERTY.)
Borgia pope infamous for licentiousness and debauchery. [Ital. Hist.: Plumb, 219–220]
(Gk. in his tales, Weiland, whose own bouts with addiction are well documented, comes across as a personal tour guide through some sort of universal skid row. But there is little glamour in the darkness, especially as a few of the songs are haunted by the recent death of Weiland's brother, a musician himself who overdosed on drugs.
"We had a confidence on this record, and the right environment, to branch out," said Slash, noting the contributions of producer Brendan O'Brien. "He helped open some doors on experimenting with our sound."
But don't look for any radical departures on "Libertad." The band's sound remains grounded in the sound of twin guitars, theatrical vocals and arena-filling bass-and-drum workouts. While Slash, Weiland and crew may have been revolutionaries in the late-'80s and early '90s toppling all manner of spandex-wearing bands, these guys now in Velvet Revolver are more like the remaining guardsmen for a classic rock sound.
But as familiar as it all sounds, Slash said that working with the Velvet Revolver crew has not been predictable.
"Working with Scott, you never know what he'd do on each outing. Even working with Matt and Duff on these songs feels like something new. It's just a different environment to be in," Slash said
As for the tour that began earlier this month, Slash said performing has not grown old.
"I'm like a kid. I get all excited about starting a tour," he said.
And teaming with Alice in Chains merely sweetened sweet·en
v. sweet·ened, sweet·en·ing, sweet·ens
1. To make sweet or sweeter by adding sugar, honey, saccharin, or another sweet substance.
2. To make more pleasant or agreeable. the deal for Slash, who counts himself a fan of AIC's guitarist Jerry Cantrell.
"Duff and I went and saw Alice in Chains six months ago in Los Angeles and it was one of the best shows I saw. They sounded amazing," Slash said. "When we started talking about putting a tour package together their name came up. I see Jerry on a regular basis and just kept my fingers crossed that everything would work out."
While he does not go off talking about his past, Slash will still play songs from the past as the current VR tour takes stock of some GN'R and STP STP or standard temperature and pressure, standard conditions for measurement of the properties of matter. The standard temperature is the freezing point of pure water, 0°C; or 273.15°K;. hits of yore, just as the band did when it went on the road behind the release of "Contraband." But the emphasis will be on airing "Libertad," a record that the band is banking on to seal its own identity.
"You always want to be doing something interesting," Slash said. "You don't want to get struck in a pattern."
Scott McLennan can be reached at email@example.com
Velvet Revolver with Alice in Chains
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Tweeter Center, Route 140, Mansfield
How much: $50, $35, $25 and for four lawn seats $17.25, plus service charges
CUTLINE: (1) Velvet Revolver (2) Slash