Forgive Velvet Revolver for not yet having picked a single from their just-completed second album, Libertad.
"We had this joke in the studio that it's all A-sides, no B-sides," singer Scott Weiland said recently. "So it's really kind of hard to pick. There are just a lot of great songs."
VR credit the greatness to two factors, the first being producer Brendan O'Brien, who worked with Weiland during his Stone Temple Pilots days.
"He has really helped the guys challenge themselves on a musical level," Weiland said. "[Libertad] definitely still rocks, but it's incredibly more musical. There's a lot more textures, and Slash and Duff [McKagan] have really sort of risen the bar. It just goes places that the first album didn't go."
"He is the best musician in the room," guitarist Dave Kushner added. "I talked to Tom Morello because he has done records with Brendan, and he said the same thing. And to have a producer who is so musical, you can't just skate by. He'll say, 'Why don't you try this chord?' And I'm like, 'I've never heard of that chord!' "
The second factor is that, unlike with their debut, Velvet Revolver actually feel like a band now.
"We toured for two years," Weiland said. "And [because of that] we've really gotten close during the making of this record."
While he admits the bandmembers got a bit sick of each other touring behind 2004's Contraband, Weiland says the guys are now looking forward to returning to the road.
"We're actually going to do a short American tour of some intimate clubs and small theaters, just to warm up," Weiland said. "Then we're going to South America and Europe, then back for a big American tour at the end of the summer."
Moreover, according to the band's publicist, Weiland and Slash will give the induction speech for honorees Van Halen during the 2007 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, set to unfold inside New York's Waldorf-Astoria hotel on March 12. In light of recent rumors, it's unclear whether Velvet Revolver will perform at the event in Van Halen's place — and whether any of the members of the latter band will even be present to accept the honor (see "Van Halen Reunion Tour Might Not Happen After All").
In the meantime, Weiland is also finishing his second solo album, which he plans to release at the end of 2007 (see "Scott Weiland Pumped For Velvet Revolver LP, Solo Collabo With Pharrell").
"It kind of goes all over the map like the first one, but a bit more focused because I'm not using drugs anymore," Weiland said. "It has a little bit of Latin jazz, some R&B-oriented stuff, some stuff with beats. There's some stuff that's really kind of out there. I'm into creating sounds, but it's all about melody, really."
Before finishing, Weiland hopes to collaborate with Mick Jones of the Clash.
"We wanted to work with him with Velvet Revolver, but we didn't get the chance to do it," he said. "So I'm thinking about getting a hold of him, working on a track or two."
Libertad is due this spring.