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"Libertad" Article in Rolling Stone


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DATE: March 22, 2007

TITLE: Velvet Gold Mine: Scott Weiland conquers demons on Libertad


Velvet Gold Mine

Scott Weiland conquers his demons on Velvet Revolver's Libertad.

Scott Weiland's demons seem far behind him as he relaxes at Henson Studios in Hollywood, where Velvet Revolver are weeks from completing their second album, Libertad. But the singer's voice goes soft when discussing the inspiration behind some of his newest songs; the death of his younger brother, Michael, from a drug overdose three weeks earlier.

"It could have been me, for years and years," he says quietly. "Slamming dope, slamming speedballs, all that shit. Somehow, by some miracle, I made it through, but he didn't."

It's been a rough stretch for the band: Missing from the studio is drummer Matt Sorum, away supporting a family member battling cancer. Considering the adversity, the mood is surprisingly positive as the band works to complete the follow-up to 2004's multiplatinum Contraband - Which debuted at Number One and won a Grammy. Where that album was dominated by straight-ahead hard rock, Libertad adds new flourishes of melody and slippery funk to balance the heavy guitars of Slash and Dave Kushner, and the driving rhythm section of Sorum and bassist Duff McKagan.

After plans to record with Rick Rubin fell through, Weiland recruited Brendan O'Brien, and recording began on December 11th. "We hand a lot of fights with each other and got over them and figured out how to be a band," says Weiland. Adds Slash, "This one is a little bit more expressive - there's a looseness to it, and everybody played great."

"Mary Mary" is a sexy love song inspired by "Little T & A" by the Stones. "Pills, Demons, Etc." - whose lyrics Weiland wrote after his brother’s death - erupts with furious beats as Weiland warns, "You got your demons and your wasted life/You could pull the trigger and you'd end the strife."

This is Weiland's first album recorded clean of drugs, and he senses a change in what he can do as a singer and songwriter as a result. "If you’re shooting dope, it fucks up your voice completely. You have no range," says Weiland, whose vocal chops sound stronger and looser than ever. He also notes a deeper emotional connection within his work: "Without drugs, I have a direct link to my emotions. I can feel them."

Album: Libertad, VR's follow-up to their Grammy-winning debut

Due Out: June

Recorded In: Atlanta [southern Tracks Recording]and Los Angeles [Henson Recording Studios]

Steve Appleford


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SOURCE: Rolling Stone Magazine

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