After Velvet Revolver wraps a spring tour in support of its second album, “Libertad,” frontman Scott Weiland will rejoin his former bandmates in Stone Temple Pilots for a handful of summer reunion shows, guitarist Slash tells Billboard.com.
STP broke up in late 2002; the band’s last album was the previous year’s “Shangri-La Dee Da.” No other details have yet been revealed about STP’s plans.
In the meantime, Weiland and his Velvet Revolver bandmates are still plugging away in support of “Libertad” with dates that run through early April. There’s also the hope that recording for album number three could begin in the spring.
“I don’t think anybody knew the second one came out,” Slash admits. “We didn’t promote it, for one. The first record I remember going out for three weeks on the road and just promoting, with (bassist) Duff (McKagan) and myself going to Europe, Japan and the States.
“This time around we actually went on the road way before the album came out. It’s just a different kind of promotion,” he continues. “People are just going to a concert, and you’re not necessarily drilling into their head about the new album. So I think that had a lot to do with it. All things considered, it doesn’t matter to me. It’s still just a really good record.”
On the current tour, which plays Milwaukee tonight (Jan. 25), Velvet Revolver has added additional Guns N’ Roses and Stone Temple Pilots covers it hadn’t performed previously.
“There was a point there where I thought that we felt like we were sort of obligated to do them, like people really, really were expecting that,” Slash says. “And once we got a bigger catalog by putting out another record, there was a feeling like we don’t necessarily have to do any Guns N’ Roses and Stone Temple Pilots songs.”
“It was more like Pete Townshend feeling like he didn’t have to smash his amps every night,” he continues. “So for a second there, that was the plan, but then we personally started missing it. They were like the easiest cover songs for us to cover because we wrote them, so we just sort of got over that.”
Speaking of Guns N’ Roses, Slash admits he has no contact with Axl Rose, nor has he heard material from the long-awaited “Chinese Democracy.” But any silence between the camps is bound to end come 2012, when the influential hard rock act becomes eligible for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Slash, McKagan and drummer Matt Sorum experienced firsthand what could be in store based on the drama that ensued last year around Van Halen’s induction into the Rock Hall. With Eddie Van Halen in rehab and David Lee Roth refusing to attend after a set list squabble, Velvet Revolver ended up jamming with Michael Anthony and Sammy Hagar.
“I never even thought about it until we had to do that,” Slash says. “Somebody asked me, ‘Do you think you guys will be able to show up for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (induction ceremony) in five years?’ I was like, ‘Oh, I guess we’re eligible.’ It never dawned on me before then. If this comes up, I’d hope we’d be mature enough to get up and do that, but I have no idea.”
When asked what his gut feeling is about Rose and the other original members coming together, Slash says, “My gut doesn’t count because it’s not just about me. It’s about everybody. And if it was easy to predict, we probably wouldn’t have had so many hassles in the first place.”