Biography and Profile of Velvet Revolver

Velvet Revolver. Annamaria DiSanto-Wireimage-GettyImages

Velvet Revolver Overview:

Velvet Revolver are a supergroup that brought together the core musicians from Guns N’ Roses with the lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots for two albums of old-school arena-rock. Their first record, 2004’s Contraband, proved to be a huge success, but tensions within Velvet Revolver eventually came to a head, forcing the departure of frontman Scott Weiland.

Velvet Revolver's Origins:

Velvet Revolver at first was the product of three men – guitarist Slash, bassist Duff McKagan and drummer Matt Sorum. All previously in Guns N’ Roses before tiring of Axl Rose’s desire to push the band toward a more experimental nature, these musicians wanted to form a new band that more closely reflected the spirit of classic rock. Later joined by guitarist Dave Kushner (formerly of Wasted Youth), the group looked for a singer, finally deciding on Scott Weiland, whose regular band, Stone Temple Pilots, was on hiatus.


Velvet Revolver released their first album, Contraband, in 2004. Expectations were understandably high for this Guns N’ Roses-meets-Stone Temple Pilots collaboration, which fueled the album’s out-of-the-gates success. Contraband went platinum within two months, and two singles, “Fall to Pieces” and “Slither,” went gold. Naturally, reviews drew obvious comparisons between Contraband and the sounds of the band members’ previous groups, but rock audiences appreciated the back-to-basics approach, which emphasized huge riffs and amphitheater-sized attitude.


Velvet Revolver didn’t release their second album, Libertad, until 2007. Less commercially popular than Contraband, Libertad actually received better reviews than its predecessor due to two factors – the group sounded more like a cohesive unit rather than an amalgam of previous bands, and the songwriting had improved, revealing newfound maturity while still reveling in rock-star theatrics. But these pluses didn’t seem to impress the record-buying public, who perhaps had cooled to the supergroup marketing hook of Velvet Revolver.

Velvet Revolver Lose Their Singer:

Tension within Velvet Revolver between Weiland and the rest of the group had been rumored for most of the band’s career, but that simmering resentment boiled over on March 20, 2008. At a show in Glasgow, Scotland, Weiland announced from the stage that this would be the final Velvet Revolver tour. The rest of the group refuted that claim, and on April 1, it was announced officially that Weiland had left the group. Weiland and his band mates differed on whose decision it was to part ways, but he quickly rejoined Stone Temple Pilots for a reunion tour and new album.

Search for a New Singer, Charity Reunion Show, and Reunion Talk:

Since Weiland's departure in 2008 Velvet Revolver searched for a new singer. In 2015 Slipknot/Stone Sour singer Corey Taylor told Loudwire he recorded "nine or ten songs" with Velver Revolver, but Slash said Taylor's voice "didn't have certain elements" the band needed and the album was scrapped. On January 12th, 2012, the original Velvet Revolver lineup performed a one-off reunion show for a benefit concert. In May 2012 Weiland said Velvet Revolver were reuniting which Slash denied a few days later. Although Weiland said in 2015 interviews that he was open to a Velvet Revolver reunion nothing came to fruition. Weiland's death on his tour bus on December 3, 2015 – while on tour with his band The Wildabouts – rules out any potential for an original lineup reunion.

Velvet Revolver:

Dave Kushner – guitar
Duff McKagan – bass
Slash – guitar
Matt Sorum – drums
Scott Weiland – vocals   

Key Velvet Revolver Songs:

“Fall to Pieces” 
“The Last Fight”
“She Builds Quick Machines”

Velvet Revolver Discography:

Contraband (2004)
Libertad (2007)

Velvet Revolver Trivia:

  • Velvet Revolver won a Grammy in 2004 for Best Hard Rock Performance for “Slither.” That total equaled the amount of Grammys won by Guns N’ Roses and Stone Temple Pilots combined.
  • Velvet Revolver have toured with Alice in Chains and Aerosmith.
  • Before deciding on Scott Weiland, Velvet Revolver had worked some with Josh Todd of Buckcherry.

(Edited by Bob Schallau)