After weeks of online speculation suggesting the band was on the brink of collapse, the founding members of Velvet Revolver — guitarists Slash and Dave Kushner, bassist Duff McKagan and drummer Matt Sorum — officially sent lead singer Scott Weiland packing Tuesday. The rumors of a Velvet Revolver split began soon after Weiland's onstage announcement two weeks ago — during a gig in Glasgow, Scotland — that the crowd in attendance that evening were witnessing something very special: the last-ever Velvet Revolver tour.
Velvet Revolver announced their decision to fire Weiland in a press release issued just as the rockers were playing the last notes of their final performance with the Stone Temple Pilots frontman in Amsterdam. Slash cited Weiland's lack of commitment, "increasingly erratic onstage behavior and personal problems" as reasons for the dismissal. There is still no word on whether the band plans to continue with a new singer.
Surprisingly, an entire night passed without Weiland responding — but really, it wasn't a question of if he would issue his own retort, but when. In an e-mail sent exclusively to MTV News Wednesday morning, Weiland fired back at his erstwhile bandmates, and pulled no punches in his attack of the Revolver.
"After reading the comment by Duff, Matt, Dave and the illustrious 'Guitar Hero,' Saul Hudson, a.k.a. Slash, I find it humorous that the so-called four 'founding members' of Velvet Revolver, better known to themselves as 'the Project' before I officially named the band, would decide to move on without me after I had already claimed the group dead in the water on March 20 in Glasgow," Weiland explained. "In response to Slash's comment regarding my commitment [to the band], I have to say it is a blatant and tired excuse to cover up the truth. The truth of the matter is that the band had not gotten along on multiple levels for some time. On a musical level, there were moments of joy, inspiration, fun ... at times. But let's not forget the multiple trips to rehab every member of the band had taken (with the exception of one member — no need to mention his name).
"Personally speaking, I choose to look forward to the future and performing with a group of friends I have known my entire life, people who have always had my back," Weiland continued. "This also speaks to my commitment to my music and my fellow bandmates in [Stone Temple Pilots] and to the fans who I feel would much rather watch a group of musicians who enjoy being together as opposed to a handful of discontents who at one time used to call themselves a gang."
In conclusion, Weiland warned fans not to be "fooled by veiled trickery," and even wished Velvet Revolver his best. "Good hunting, lads — I think Sebastian Bach would be a fantastic choice." Former Skid Row singer Bach, who has also performed on Broadway and been a regular on VH1 in recent years, was in the running to be Velvet Revolver's lead singer in its early days.
Now, Weiland will turn his energies to the re-formed Stone Temple Pilots, who are expected to reveal details of a full-scale summer tour during a news conference next week. As for Velvet Revolver's future, Slash has said in a number of recent interviews that there would be a third LP from the band, and that Weiland's characterization of the band's European tour as its last was simply untrue.
Who do you think should replace Weiland in Velvet Revolver? Sammy Hagar? Chris Cornell? Courtney Love? Axl Rose? Comment us below!