VELVET REVOLVER guitarist Slash spoke to Chile's Rock & Pop about selecting songs for the band's current South American tour. He reportedly said that they chose to keep songs from the previous setlist around because the band has never played South America before, and that they added four new songs as well. Throughout South America, VR will still be playing GUNS N' ROSES and STONE TEMPLE PILOTS covers in their set, but will abandon them in the later legs of the tour.

In other news, VELVET REVOLVER frontman Scott Weiland reportedly announced at the group's Santiago show that "She Builds Quick Machines" will be the first single off the group's new album, "Libertad", tentatively due late June.

In a recent interview with Kerrang! magazine (web site), VELVET REVOLVER bassist Duff McKagan explained how VR's much publicized personal struggles took their toll on the band and how, even with the best intentions, rock and roll never goes entirely to plan. "We went through a lot of crap the last year and a half," said the bassist candidly. "We'd been touring for 15 months, Matt [Sorum, drums] had broken his hand and we were at each other's throats because we were so tired. Then when you add in the pressures of being in the public light it's going to get [to] you," he explained. "When we finally got done touring we didn't want to see each other."

Taking a much needed few months break from each others company, and from a band that McKagan openly admits has "a lot of ego" within it, the members went their separate ways. However when the group finally reconvened co-operation was more of a struggle than they imagined.

"It was really, really tough getting us back together into a place where our headspace was right to be able to start a new record," said the bassist. "We were all pretty fragmented, writing off in diffrent camps but what we do best is write together. It took us a while to get back to where we were feeling good, and we finally got that back last July and August."

The band worked on the new album with producer Brendan O'Brien (PEARL JAM, INCUBUS, AUDIOSLAVE) whom Duff describes fondly as being "a very musical guy". "He put us into an area where it was just pure music, and that's what we're all really good at," the bassist explained. "It really helped us out personally and pretty soon everythingthat was happening in the last year was forgotten and I think we made sort of a silent pact to let everything in the past go and move forward. It's been an amazing experience."

Although the title of the record "Libertad" (meaning freedom) actually comes from a Mexican t-shirt that Duff was spotted wearing a year ago, the bassist now believes that the band has grown into the meaning behind it. "If we'd come up with the title during the making of the record it would still have made perfect sense," he revealed. "There was all this shit and we got through it. Now it's [the album] beyond what I'd hoped for in terms of songs and performances."

"We've grown into VELVET REVOLVER," the bassist believes. "We've now got used to the chemistry of this band. I think 'Contraband' was a great indicator of who we were at that time but now we're not afraid to bring in something diffrent. I am really happy with the record."



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