VELVET REVOLVER will reunite with singer Scott Weiland for a short one-off performance at “Love You Madly: A Concert For John O’Brien” on Thursday, January 12 at the House Of Blues in West Hollywood, California. Also scheduled to appear are Adam Levine and James Valentine (MAROON 5), Sheryl Crow, Tom Morello (RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE), Stephen Stills and THE FOREST RANGERS.
“Love You Madly: A Concert For John O’Brien” pays tribute to award-winning ASCAP composer John O’Brien, who was found dead in his Chicago hotel room on August 20. He was 45 years old.
VELVET REVOLVER guitarist Dave Kushner tells RollingStone.com he brought the group back together to honor O’Brien, who was his best friend.
“I found out he passed away on August 20, and it was like out of nowhere,” Kushner tells RollingStone.com. “Next day I was in shock and my wife said to me, ‘You gotta have a benefit concert for his wife and you have to get VELVET REVOLVER back together.’ That’s how it started.”
He then approached the different band members. “We did a benefit show for this thing called Road Recovery — me, Duff [McKagan], Slash and Matt [Sorum] — in New York, and that’s when I asked those guys individually if they would agree to do it,” Kushner says. “Once they said so then I got in touch with Scott, and he agreed.”
“Because we hadn’t played with Scott in a long time I said, ‘Look, let’s just do three songs.’ It’s not too much of a commitment,” he says. “So we just got a bunch of people, everyone will do three songs.”
Regarding the possibility of VELVET REVOLVER carrying on with Weiland after next Thursday’s concert, Kushner tells RollingStone.com, “We haven’t played together in four years, and so we’re really just like, ‘Let’s see how this goes.’
“I know everyone’s got other commitments, but I think everyone’s like, ‘Let’s get this thing done and get through this and then we’ll see.'”
It’s been almost four years since VELVET REVOLVER parted ways with Weiland, and time appears to have healed all wounds. Although Scott and the band split on unfriendly terms, the vocalist told Classic Rock magazine last year, “We patched things up and we get along. I see them every now and again, we text each other. And you know, we can never say never. Who knows, maybe we’ll do some shows some time.”
According to The Pulse Of Radio, Weiland was reflective in the interview about his time in VELVET REVOLVER, which teamed him with former GUNS N’ ROSES members Slash, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum. He said, “That was right when I was getting off dope and those guys were all sober and clean, and I had a very special kind of kinship because we’d all experienced the same things . . . It was a great band to see live, and I think we made two exciting albums.”
Weiland reunited with his original band, STONE TEMPLE PILOTS, just as his run with VELVET REVOLVER was coming to a close. STP has toured constantly since and recorded a new album in 2010.
VELVET REVOLVER has still not found a replacement vocalist and is more or less on hiatus, although it was recently revealed that the group recorded an album’s worth of material with STONE SOUR and SLIPKNOT frontman Corey Taylor.
In a July 2011 interview with Brazil’s “Lokaos Rock Show”, VELVET REVOLVER drummer Matt Sorum said about the band’s current status, “After [we parted ways with] Scott Weiland [in 2008]… We had such a great first record, especially. The second album is still a good album, but… It’s hard to replace Scott for that particular band, I think.
“When we did VELVET REVOLVER, we wanted to make a modern rock album, and we had to figure out a way to make that work. We didn’t wanna be like GUNS N’ ROSES. We knew we had that in us anyway, especially the Slash and Duff sound was the initial sound of [GN’R‘s classic debut album] ‘Appetite For Destruction’, the way they played together and everything. Part of that chemistry was there, and when we added Scott, it brought it into a more modern rock element. He came more from grunge — the Seattle [sound like] SOUNDGARDEN, PEARL JAM and bands like that. So it took it sort of forward. We became more of a modern rock band and we were on modern rock radio.”
O’Brien‘s first prominent composing job came in 1997, when he provided music for the horror film “Nightwatch”. He stayed active until his death, composing additional music for “Anywhere But Here”, “Iron Man” and “Iron Man 2”, “Pineapple Express”, “Four Christmases” and “Couples Retreat”. O’Brien also scored the ABC series “In Case Of Emergency” and “Detroit 1-8-7”. He was most recently working as a music supervisor on the NBC sitcom “Up All Night”.