Libertad is Spanish for both "liberty" and "freedom." Libertad is also the title of the new album from Velvet Revolver. Due July 3, 2007 (on RCA Records), it finds singer/lyricist Scott Weiland, guitarists Slash and Dave Kushner, bassist Duff McKagan and drummer Matt Sorum throwing off the shackles of expectation.
Produced by Brendan O'Brien, Libertad is the follow-up to VR's Grammy-generating, multiplatinum #1 debut, Contraband (2004). And though Weiland says the new disc "rocks like a mother" it's also greased up and rooted down. Rolling Stone, for one, detected the presence of "slippery funk." "Libertad has soul," Weiland says. "These songs took on a life of their own in pursuit of groove." The standout "Get Out the Door," with its enormously chunky bass line and cowbell, is suitable for money-maker shaking. "Mary Mary" likewise slinks atop Weiland's come-hither enticement, "Get back, sugar baby."
According to Slash, Velvet Revolver did not start living and breathing as a band until well after Contraband debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 and the radio track "Slither" won a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance. Though Weiland had fronted Stone Temple Pilots, Slash, McKagan and Sorum had played together in Guns N' Roses, and Kushner had played with McKagan in Loaded, Velvet Revolver was a brave new world.
For Slash, freedom from accumulated baggage is another fundament of Libertad. "The word has a lot of meaning considering where the band is coming from," he says. "We've been up against it from day one. People have tried to pick us apart, make Velvet Revolver all about Guns or all about STP. Some people didn't want to see us leave the past behind by committing to this new project. Some people said we wouldn't be able to find a singer, we wouldn't be able to keep it together to record an album, we'd fall apart on the road. But we're past all that now. We wrote a bunch of really inspired songs, we're excited to get out on the road, and we've maintained our dignity and a positive attitude. The dust has settled and we're standing tall. This record has liberated us."