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|Velvet Revolver is a Rock and roll supergroup with 3 former members of Guns n' Roses - Slash, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum along with Scott Weiland, the lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots. It also features Dave Kushner of the 80's hardcore punk band, Wasted Youth.
Velvet Revolver was formed when three Guns n' Roses alumni - Slash (guitar), Duff McKagan (bass) and Matt Sorum (drums) - joined together to play a benefit concert for fellow musician Randy Castillo in 2002. They decided to form another band together. When Izzy Stradlin declined an invitation, the band recruited guitarist Dave Kushner who had previously played with Wasted Youth and Dave Navarro. Kushner went to school with Slash and had worked with McKagan in the band he'd played with before forming Velvet Revolver, "Loaded". The quartet were referred to under the temporary moniker, "The Project" pending the selection of a permanent name.
The quartet then set about recruiting a lead singer with the recruitment process filmed by VH1. A number of lead singers auditioned including the Canadian rock and roll icon Todd Kerns formerly of age of electric, Josh Todd formerly of Buckcherry, Sebastian Bach of Skid Row, Kelly Shaefer of Atheist/Neurotica and Travis Meeks of Days of the New but were unsuccessful. Scott Weiland had become friends with McKagan and had played on the same bill as Kushner when Stone Temple Pilots were known as Mighty Joe Young and Kushner was in the Electric Love Hogs. Weiland heard the material and offered his services as the lead singer and the band clicked. Slash suggested the name Revolver for the project and Weiland suggested the addition of Velvet to the title.
Velvet Revolver recorded its first track "Set Me Free" for The Hulk soundtrack in 2003. The band is also responsible for a cover of Pink Floyd's "Money" featured on the soundtrack of The Italian Job remake of that same year. The band played their first live gig at the El Rey in Los Angeles in July 2003. It recorded its first album Contraband in the latter part of 2003 with recording complicated by Weiland's court appearances for drug charges and his subsequent sentencing to undertake rehabilitation.
The Contraband album was released in June 2004 debuting at #1 on the Billboard album charts, #11 on the British album charts, and #2 in the Australian charts. The first single "Slither" topped a composite world modern rock chart in June, reached #1 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and #5 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. Slither has also reached #64 on the Billboard Hot 100, gone top 20 in Finland and top 40 on a European composite chart, Canada, and Australia.
As of 2005, Velvet Revolver consisted of
Scott Weiland - Vocals (ex-Stone Temple Pilots),
Slash - Guitar (ex-Guns n' Roses),
Dave Kushner - Guitar (ex Dave Navarro),
Duff McKagan - Bass (ex-Guns n' Roses),
Matt Sorum - Drums (ex-Guns n' Roses).
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