Velvet Revolver (abbreviated to VR) is a Grammy Award-winning hard rock supergroup consisting of Slash (guitarist), Duff McKagan (bassist, backing vocals), Matt Sorum (drums) of Guns N' Roses, Scott Weiland (lead vocals) of Stone Temple Pilots and Dave Kushner (guitarist) of Wasted Youth. Formed in 2002 following the breakup of Stone Temple Pilots in 2003, the band achieved success with their debut album Contraband and have released their second album Libertad in 2007.
Critics initially described Velvet Revolver as a mere combination of Stone Temple Pilots and Guns N' Roses, and have criticized the band for a "disconnection" between the sound of Weiland and the rest of the band. However, the band went with a different approach for their second album Libertad, and have received some acclaim. They have won the 2005 Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance.
Velvet Revolver was formed when three former members of Guns N' Roses, Slash (guitar), Duff McKagan (bass), and Matt Sorum (drums) joined to play a benefit concert for fellow musician Randy Castillo in 2002. They subsequently decided to form a new band that would bring the spirit of rock back to the mainstream. Izzy Stradlin was initially invited to be the band's rhythm guitarist, but both Stradlin and the band decided against this because of his aversion to lead singers and life on the road. The band recruited guitarist Dave Kushner, who had previously played with Wasted Youth, Suicidal Tendencies, The Infectious Grooves, and Dave Navarro. Kushner had attended school with Slash and had worked with McKagan in Loaded, the band in which he played before joining Velvet Revolver. The quartet were referred to under the temporary name "The Project" while the band was auditioning singers.
The quartet then set about recruiting a lead singer, with VH1 filming the recruitment process. The resulting documentary was aired as VH1 Inside Out: The Rise of Velvet Revolver. A number of lead singers auditioned, including Canadian Todd Kerns (formerly of Age of Electric), Josh Todd (of Buckcherry), Michael Matijevic (of Steelheart), Sebastian Bach (formerly of Skid Row), Kelly Shaefer (of Atheist/Neurotica), Myles Kennedy (of Alter Bridge), who declined any invitation, and Travis Meeks (of Days of the New), all of whom were unsuccessful. Reportedly, ex-Faith No More singer Mike Patton was also approached early in the process, but he declined the offer to front the band. Scott Weiland had become friends with McKagan and had once played on the same bill as Kushner. Weiland heard the material and offered his services as the lead singer and the band clicked.
According to Slash's autobiography, Scott Weiland suggested the name "Black Velvet Revolver", combining something intimate with something violent, after Slash suggested Revolver. He liked the word Revolution, which he saw in the credits of a movie. From Black Velvet Revolver, Slash though it was a mouthful and suggested simply "Velvet Revolver." This was done while walking to the viewing room, at Universal Studios, to see The Hulk. They were considering lending a song to the soundtrack.