|NEW YORK — Velvet Revolver have been the subject of a lot of crazy rumors lately — Duff's in rehab, Slash left the band, and Pharrell's producing their next album.
Well, one out of three ain't bad.
Pharrell Williams will be a producer on Velvet Revolver's follow-up to Contraband, but he won't be the only one — Lenny Kravitz is also a contender, bassist Duff McKagan revealed Tuesday before a Camp Freddy show in Times Square. (Just by being at the show, McKagan laid to rest rumors that he's in rehab in the Seattle area, which he attributed to being spotted there on vacation with his family.)
As far as Velvet Revolver are concerned, they're going to take a different approach for their sophomore album. Instead of working straight through with one producer, they'll work with several.
"We've already started recording some stuff," McKagan said, "and we're going to try out a few different producers on a few different songs, more piecemeal, here and there. It's not as conducive to doing it straight, like, 'We'll take this month to make this record.' It's more informal."
As such, the band is approaching its wish list of collaborators in a laid-back fashion, by treating it more like jamming than working. "We were at a party last night, and I went, 'Hey, Lenny, want to try and record some songs? Come on, let's go,' " McKagan said of inviting Kravitz to join the sessions. Same with Pharrell, although that invite was extended a bit longer ago.
"[Frontman] Scott [Weiland] and I met him at a Clive Davis party in L.A. a year and a half ago. That's when it started," McKagan said. "We said, 'Hey, man, want to do a track with us?' And he said, 'I'd love to.' "
Schedules being what they are, it's taken this long for the producer and the band to meet up. "He was insanely busy, we were busy ourselves, but it's finally coming together," McKagan said. Plus, in the time since they first met up, Pharrell's written a song called "Happy" that Weiland plans to use for his next solo record, since the singer said he felt the song spoke to recent experiences he'd gone through.
At this point, fans might be shaking their heads — Pharrell and Velvet Revolver? How could that work? Does Pharrell even work with rock acts? But that's the whole point of having a meeting of their different musical minds, McKagan said.
"I've always been a huge fan of early Motown and soul and Prince, so to explore something like that with Pharrell would be amazing," he said. "There's nothing like that out there. It's uncharted territory. Dude, it's going to be way cool. It's going to be stinky. Pharrell's a genius."
— Jennifer Vineyard