|VELVET REVOLVER will perform their new single, "Dirty Little Thing", from their platinum-selling debut, "Contraband", on Thursday (April 7) on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno".
In other news, VELVET REVOLVER bassist Duff McKagan told the North County Times about a recent interview when a journalist asked about an Associated Press story that reported that singer Scott Weiland was going to be replaced by Mario Vasquez, the "American Idol" finalist who mysteriously dropped out of the Fox TV show last month.
"I said, 'What are you talking about?' " McKagan said, recalling the exchange with the writer. " 'Well the AP says you guys are getting the guy from 'American Idol' and he's joining June 8,' I mean that specific. I started laughing."
According to McKagan, life within the band is going fine and the quintet (which also includes guitarist Dave Kushner) plans to start work on a new CD before year's end.
"We've got so much material it's ridiculous," McKagan said. "We just write constantly, at sound checks or before shows or on our own, but usually together. So we've got tapes and tapes and tapes and CDs full of stuff. I think the hard part is going to be paring it down."
As for Weiland, McKagan said the singer appears to be winning his battle with drugs. He's been clean for more than a year now, and he has also reconciled with his wife (who had filed for divorce in 2002) and two children.
"The main thing is he got his family back," McKagan said of Weiland. "That's the thing he really always yearned for. That was what was killing him. Now he's got his family back. I don't think anything could pull him away. Once you go through that narcotic hell and you get out of it, you'd be an idiot (to go back on drugs)."
Critics have hailed "Contraband" as a stirring hard rock effort, and the CD earned VELVET REVOLVER three Grammy nominations — for best rock album, best rock song ("Fall to Pieces") and best hard rock performance ("Slither"). The band won the last category at the ceremony in February.
McKagan, though, clearly has taken the Grammy award in stride.
"I guess it's nice. We never got one with GUNS," he said. "It's cool, but it's not the accolade we look for. We like to fill up places we're playing and get a positive response from the audience we're playing for. That's a much better accolade, a much better high. The Grammys are kind of stiff and all that. But actually winning one, I won't lie to you, it's flattering. But it's not something you go out and strive to (do), like let's make this a Grammy-winning record."
VELVET REVOLVER resumes the Electric Wonderland tour on April 12 in Chula Vista, California, with dates booked through May 25.
VELVET REVOLVER drummer Matt Sorum also told Launch last week that VELVET REVOLVER will play 10 Ozzfest dates, commencing on August 16 in West Valley City, Utah. The last seven dates will be in lieu of IRON MAIDEN, which drops off the bill on August 20.