Here comes the Guns N' Roses/Scott Weiland supergroup. Guitarist Slash tells about Velvet Revolver's post-''Hulk'' plans

By Brian Hiatt
Updated July 15, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

Thank ”The Hulk” for giving a gamma-powered boost to new supergroup Velvet Revolver. Their single ”Set Me Free” from the movie’s soundtrack is a bonafide rock radio hit. The band — made up of former Guns ‘N Roses members Slash, Duff McKagan, and Matt Sorum, plus Suicidal Tendencies guitarist Dave Kushner and Stone Temple Pilots lead singer Scott Weiland — is planning a live EP, a VH1 special, and a studio album. Les Paul-wielding guitarist Slash tells what to expect — and why there will never be a Guns ‘N Roses reunion.

THE EP Audaciously, Velvet Revolver is planning an October release of its first live performance, a six-song romp recorded last month at Los Angeles’ El Rey Theater. ”It’s just to tide people over — and tide ourselves over — until the album comes out,” explains Slash. ”The show sounds pretty good for a raw, rock ‘n roll representation of what we’re about, with mistakes and all.” In addition to ”Set Me Free,” the set included covers of the Sex Pistols’ ”Bodies” and Nirvana’s ”Negative Creep” ? plus, STP’s ”Sex Type Thing” and G N’ R’s ”It’s So Easy.” The EP will also include a studio version of the new song ”Slither,” which is said to sound like STP. Slash claims that plans for the quick release have nothing to do with Weiland’s pending substance abuse charges, which could be resolved in the coming months. ”I don’t think he’ll go to jail. He’s doing great.”

THE VH1 SPECIAL A September episode of new VH1 series ”Inside Out” will chronicle the unlikely genesis of Velvet Revolver. A VH1 crew has been following the band since last year, when it was known as The Project, and prospective singers included metal relics like Skid Row’s Sebastian Bach. Back then, few were taking the idea of the group seriously. ”Nobody had faith in this thing,” says Slash. ”The people around us were, like, it’s never going to happen…. I don’t know if the show will give a hundred percent taste of what we were going through, but it will give you an idea.”

THE ALBUM No release date is set for the band’s debut CD, but Slash jokes that it should be ready before Axl Rose’s eternally delayed ”Chinese Democracy.” Before Weiland joined in May, the group had already written nearly 60 songs. Currently, the singer is busy adding lyrics and melodies to some of those, even as he and the band start new ones from scratch. ”When we actually go in to record, all we need to do is pick the songs,” Slash says.

A GUNS REUNION? NO WAYAxl Rose’s decision to form a new version of Guns — with such ringers as guitarist Buckethead and former Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson — ruined chances for a reunion. ‘There will never come a time when we all get together and play under the name Guns ‘N Roses because it’s too f—ing tainted,” says Slash. ”If he’d done the solo thing, then we could have gotten together and jammed for one show. Now it’s like, over with. He screwed that up.” But you can still expect to hear Slash’s guitar lines screaming over some G ‘N R classics. ”We’re not gonna go and do every big Guns ‘N Roses hit,” says Slash about a future Velvet Revolver tour. ”But we have no problem with our history as long as it’s not pushing Scott into something he’s not into.”