Velvet Revolver: How the Band Fell To Pieces

Velvet Revolver

How The Guns N’ Roses & Stone Temple Pilots Supergroup fell Apart

Velvet Revolver was one of the most hyped super groups in the early 2000’s. They had a huge hit with their debut album, 2004’s ‘Contraband.’ But within half a decade of forming, the band was done. Check out the full story below from Rock N’ Roll True Stories.

The origins of the supergroup velvet revolver began with drummer Randy Castillo who played with Ozzy Osbourne, Lita Ford and Motley Crue among many others. It would be his passing in the early 2000’s that brought one half of Guns N’ Roses and one part of Stone Temple Pilots together with mixed results. Velvet Revolver went from being one of the most highly anticipated bands of the 2000’s to imploding on stage half a decade after their formation. This is the story of Velvet Revolver. Former Guns N’ Roses and the Cult drummer Matt Sorum was close friends with drummer Randy Castillo. Sorum would reveal in his autobiography that he was initially offered the job to fill in for Tommy lee following his departure from motley Crue in the late 90’s.

It was around this time that Sorum’s old band the cult reunited. Sorum would turn down the offer instead suggesting Castillo for the job. Castillo would play with Motley Crue on one record, but struggled with health issues dealing with cancer until his death in 2002. Sorum would organize a benefit show with his former Guns N’ Roses bandmates Slash and Duff McKaganin in addition to Stevne Tyler, and Buck Cherry members Josh Todd and Keith Nelson Sorum would recall how electric the gig was and how the next morning he got calls from Slash and Duf saying they should form a band with the guys from Buck Cherry. Within a few weeks Slash walked away from the band saying he was out.

He would tell Sorum he couldn’t work with Josh Todd, but Slash according to Sorum wasn’t the type of guy who could fire people so the drummer fired the singer and the group became a quartet. Soon afterwards Slash couldn’t work with Keith Nelson claiming the guitarist just doubled whatever he was playing so Sorum fired him too. . Accoding to Slash’s 2007 book he would reveal the reason he couldn’t work with Josh Todd revealing “Josh’s voice was just too linear and grating, it was a distraction from the music, not to mention just a tad off-key.” Soon enough former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Izzy Stradlin joined his old bandmates to write some songs.

According to Slash’s book, izzy suggested the band be a quartet with him and Duff handling vocal duties and playing just some clubs in a van tour. The band didn’t entertain the idea and soon enough Izzy split. Duff would suggest a friend of his and high school mate of Slash Dave Kushner to be band’s rhythm guitarist. All they needed now was a singer. The band would put out ads in music magazines and on radio holding open auditions for a singers for their unnamed project. It would take the band almost a year before they settled on a singer. Some high profile names were thrown around to join the band including Sebastian Bach, Ian Asbtury and Steve Jones.

It would turn that Stone Temple Pilots broke up in 2003 and frontman Scott Weiland was suddenly free. Duff McKagan who knew scott suggested the singer and had him come audition for the band. The band would record their first song with Weiland called Set Me Free. The band’s manager got them a licensing deal with the Hulk movie in 2003 for a whopping $1.6 million. While the band was off to a good start they still didn’t have a name. They would throw around a couple ideas including Revolver, Dead Velvet Revolver before settling on Velvet Revolver.

The band would be the subject of a bidding war between labels before signing with Clive Davis’ RCA Records for a whopping 8.5 million dollars for 3 albums. In what should have been foreshadowing of what was to come Scott Weiland seemed like a problem from the beginning. Not helping things were the egos, bad management and lack of communication between the band members. At the band’s showcase for the movie producers of the Hulk, Weiland showed up over an hour late under the influence, but still performed well enough to get a movie deal. When the band sat down to review their 8.5 million dollar contract offer Scott showed up last at the band’s rehearsal studio wearing a pin stripe suit with no shoes and a giant gash on his forehead according to Sorum’s book. Weiland would tell his bandmates that he got the gash on his head fro