After scrapping the original May 29 release date, Velvet Revolver has settled on July 3 to unveil its second RCA album, "Libertad." Impacting in mid-May, the first single from the set will be "She Bui

After scrapping the original May 29 release date, Velvet Revolver has settled on July 3 to unveil its second RCA album, "Libertad." Impacting in mid-May, the first single from the set will be "She Builds Quick Machines," one of the four new tracks the group has been playing of late during shows in South America.

"RCA did a bunch of research on what the first single should be," bassist Duff McKagan told Billboard.com last night (April 16) before a gig in Buenos Aires. "I'm pretty anti that stuff. The band had something they wanted to go with, but RCA just kept coming with it. So we decided, it's fine. It's a great f*ckin' rock song. It has a kick-ass guitar riff, a great chorus, a really big bridge and a great Slash solo."

McKagan is also high on "Last Fight," which he calls "a mid-tempo, really beautiful song; probably something you wouldn't expect from us," as well as "She Mine," described as "a fun pop ditty."

"I think 'Contraband' was a great record," he says of Velvet Revolver's 2004 debut. "It was the right one for us to make as our first record. But 'Libertad' really goes way beyond that musically. I don't think any of us could have made a better record at this point in our careers."

As previously reported, the group was planning to record "Libertad" with producer Rick Rubin but found itself at odds with his approach. Brendan O'Brien ultimately produced the album.

"We all went to dinner last August and shook on it," McKagan recalls of Rubin. "At that point, we had 30 songs. He came down the second week of September and said, 'Okay great guys, now write some more songs.' So we wrote more songs. Another month later, he was like, 'Okay great, write some more songs.' We got up to 50 songs! When somebody tells you to write more songs, you start thinking, 'Well, all of our sh*t sucks.' It's not a good place for a band like us to be at."

"Rick is a great guy," he continues. "We've all known him for a long time. But we just decided, maybe next record, or some other time." Once O'Brien took over, "he inspired all of us to dig in to the parts," McKagan says. "None of us were afraid to bring anything new to the table."

Velvet Revolver begins a short North American tour May 3 in Los Angeles, and European festival dates are on tap through early July. McKagan says fans can expect songs from its members' old bands (Guns N' Roses, Stone Temple Pilots) to crop up occasionally, but less frequently than in Velvet Revolver's early days, when it barely had enough originals to play a headlining set.

"I don't know whether we'll do it the whole tour or once in awhile," he says. "But I know people like to hear them and sometimes we really like to play them. It's songs we wrote, so why not?"