Even as it rolls out a new concert DVD from its original incarnation, Velvet Revolver is in the “dating” stages with a new singer whose identity is still being kept under wraps but who the group is “very excited” about, according to drummer Matt Sorum.
“The guy we’re liking now is a young guy, a very strong guy… a little bit heavier rock ‘n’ roll than we are,” Sorum tells Billboard.com. He says the prospective frontman has been in other known bands before. “He’s a guy we’ve had our eye on, but the timing wasn’t right. We don’t like stealing people or any of that shit. [Scott] Weiland was available. He was out of Stone Temple Pilots. It wasn’t like we went and said, ‘Hey, dude…’ He came to us, basically, like, ‘Hey, I’m out of my band. I’ve got time. Let’s do this.’ And it’s a similar situation with this particular individual.”
Sorum says he, guitarists Slash and Dave Kushner and bassist Duff McKagan came back together in October and also worked together with the singer earlier this month. Velvet Revolver is planning to hit Sorum’s Hollywood studio again in January to start recording songs it’s been working up.
“[Writing] is a lot of the way we’ve been trying out singers,” Sorum explains, “and a lot of the reason we’ve had trouble trying to pick a guy, because we really need to hear that truth. We can’t just jump out there with any singer. We’ve got to make the right decision…a guy who can front a rock band of this caliber and be a strong enough frontman to go out in front of Slash and be that guy. We need to hear that vocal, that lyric, that melody. It’s not an easy thing.”
Nevertheless, Sorum says the band is impressed that the frontman candidate “has a work ethic similar to ours” and also brings a “modern” edge to the group. “I’ve always stressed to the band that we need to be current,” Sorum notes. “I don’t want to go out there and make retro rock ‘n’ roll music. We have to take in the environment and parlay that into a rock ‘n’ roll outlet.”
Velvet Revolver’s timetable is somewhat up-in-the-air. Slash plans to be on the road promoting his solo album into the summer, including a stint opening for Ozzy Osbourne. Sorum, meanwhile, is producing a new album for the Runaways‘ Cherie Currie that includes contributions by Slash, McKagan and Smashing Pumpkins‘ Billy Corgan. Still, he hopes the band will be able to announce its singer soon and be out and active “at least by fall” of 2011.
Meanwhile, fans can tuck into the new “Live From Houston” DVD, which dates back to the group’s first tour in 2005. The release showcases material from its Grammy Award-winning debut album, “Contraband,” as well as Guns N’ Roses “It’s So Easy” and “Used to Love Her” and Stone Temple Pilots’ “Sex Type Thing” and “Crackerman.”
“It’s a good representation of that band,” Sorum says, “when we were just starting out and firing on all cylinders and we were all in good mental and physical health. Everybody was fairly drug-free and excited about playing music, and it really comes across in the video. You can see the makings of something that could have possibly gone further and even greater. But we can look at it as that time, and now we’re gonna move forward.”