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Velvet Revolver Dispels Doubts About Band

Of the Oakland Press

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For the five members of Velvet Revolver, the best part about releasing a second album is that skeptics will stop asking if the all-star rock band will have a second album.

“It’s just human nature; everybody’s looking for a little bit of controversy,” says guitarist Slash (real name Saul Hudson), who formed Velvet Revolver in 2002 with fellow Guns N’ Roses refugees Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum, former Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland and guitarist Dave Kushner.

“We had every intention of making a second record and a third record and doing this for as long as we could possibly do it, against whatever odds — which, funnily enough, presented themselves all the way along.”

McKagan adds “there’s always gonna be doubters. Even before Guns N’ Roses made (‘Appetite For Destruction’), they said, ‘Ah, these guys’ll make a great record — if they live that long.’ That was back when I was 21 years old. I’m 43, and they’re still saying, ‘Well, so now have you finally proven yourself ?’

“I’ve got nothing to prove, man.”

That’s not to say making Velvet Revolver’s sophomore effort “Libertad,” which has sold more than 200,000 copies since its July release, was easy. The group started out working with Grammy-winning producer Rick Rubin, who never managed to get the band focused and into the studio. In fact, McKagan says, “we were quietly falling apart.”

But subsequent hire Brendan O’Brien was able to get the project on track and finished, and Slash, 42, says “Libertad” ultimately benefited from the sheer fact that the group had been together longer than when it made 2004’s double-platinum “Contraband.”

“We just had a lot of experience together,” he explains. “We toured extensively for 19 months. We’d already made a record. We got to know each other as musicians, as people, and whatever else comes along with being together on a bus for that long.

“Without really knowing it, we just naturally fell into a groove with being a lot more comfortable around each other. So when we went into make the second record, we knew that we wanted to make a good record and we wanted to make something that we felt really strongly about, just something we thought was cool.

“It was hard work, but it was also a little easier, in a way.”

Velvet Revolver, Alice in Chains and Kill Hannah perform at 7:30 p.m. Monday (August 27th) at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Auburn Hills. Tickets are $59.50 and $39.50 pavilion, $29.50 lawn. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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