Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Velvet Revolver: Matt Sorum discusses plans for 2011

Drummer Matt Sorum believes Velvet Revolver has something to prove.

While there’s hints that the band is close to making the final call on a certain singer – they’ve recorded demos of 9 songs with him - Jon Wiederhorn of AOL's Noisecreep talked to Sorum about the band’s plans for the coming year.

Here’s a bit of that conversation:

NC: So now the focus is Velvet Revolver 2011 full steam ahead?

Matt Sorum:
Yeah, we're really gonna make 2011 a new period for Velvet Revolver.

NC: How has the audition process been going?

We tried out a lot of new guys, and basically it's quite a process. Scott Weiland is one of the best frontmen out there. And I've been in bands with Axl Rose and Ian Astbury. Those are big shoes to fill. So we're looking for a tried and true individual that can mesh with guys like us that have been out there doing this for a long time.

It hasn't been an easy task, and that's why it's taking a long time. But we don't want to come out half-cocked. We want to create something that people are gonna go, "Wow, that's awesome." We've had a couple situations where we've been with some singers, and we've pulled out of because we didn't feel completely secure in the fact that, going forward, the guy was the right move.

We tried out some fairly unknown guys and some guys that have been out there a little bit. But the guy we're really excited about now is a pretty known guy. I don't want to say anything yet because we're still in the dating phase. We haven't consummated the relationship or made a gentleman's agreement. So I can't let the cat out of the bag until there's an official stamp of approval on the deal.

NC: Have you and Slash already written material for the next album?

Yeah, we've got some tunes. We've got some great riffs. We're trying to strip it down a little bit. There's some good stuff. I would say we've probably got about four or five pretty good contenders with lyrics for stuff I'd be happy on a record. It's definitely rocking. But overall, we don't have too much music yet, because we're gonna just get in there and do it. The beauty about being in a band with these guys for so many years is we know what we've all got to offer on that front. So we don't have to pre-think things a whole lot. Even though we can dabble in ballads and play in other styles, we're pretty much comfortable being in a rock 'n' roll unit. We don't have to make ourselves something that we aren't. We're traditional in that sense.

NC: How will the next record be different than 'Contraband' or 'Libertad'?

'Contraband' had sort of a punk rock element to it. When I listen to it, I feel like it's got a lot of angst to it. When I was making that record, I wasn't newly sober, but I had been sober a little bit. I remember I was still trying to feel comfortable in my own skin. And that angst came off useful for us.

There's an energy that says, "Man, these guys still have a lot of vitality in them." And when I listen to 'Libertad,' I feel like that album's something that we sort of weren't [into] at the time. It took a turn more for the singer in the band. Scott wanted to make a certain kind of record, so that became more his thing. 'Contraband' was already written before Scott came into play. He just gravitated towards the songs and wrote the lyrics and the melody. 'Libertad' was more an album based around what his lyrics and vision was, and it came off a little lightweight.

NC: It sounds like your next record might be more like 'Contraband'?

Well, that's the goal and I know we're fired up about it and that's the beauty about these guys in the band. I can look at all of them and know that they're passionate enough about making the music and they have enough drive left in them. In a way, we've still got something to prove. It's more about outdoing ourselves and trying to be the best we can be.

The goal now is to get right back together [this month] and make a call on the singer. Slash is going to finish out his tour through the beginning of the summer, and then hopefully by that time we'll have a bunch of songs compiled. We all work on our own, and send each other ideas and work together when we got breaks. And maybe we'll take a few more weeks to write, get in the studio and record an album by the end of the summer to get it out by the late part of 2011. I'm looking forward to that. We've all had enough time to go out and live other lives and have an adventure and organically come back as a unit that wants to do it again.

NC: Was it healthy for the band for Slash to do his solo record, or were you frustrated because you would have preferred to work with him on Velvet Revolver?

At first I felt frustrated, but then I understood where he was coming from and I kind of put myself in his shoes. He's always been a ring leader. As far as work ethic goes, Slash is one of the hardest working guys I know. Last year, you couldn't turn on the TV without seeing him. It was actually, enough already. Did I want to be out there playing? Yeah, to be honest. But he needed to do the solo thing again and come back to a band and feel that environment, which is completely different. Now it's not all riding on his shoulders anymore and I think that can only be good for us.

Check out the full interview at Noisecreep here

Velvet Revolver Velvet Revolver

Velvet Revolver – Dirty Little Thing (2004)

See also:

Velvet Revolver record demos with new singer
Duff McKagan: new columnist for
Slash jams with Alter Bridge in Hollywood
Duff McKagan shares his New Year’s resolutions
Matt Sorum: Velvet Revolver “real close” to finding new singer