"We opted to make an record because that was the more pratical thing to do. Besides, at the time we were in a writing zone and new material was coming to us very quickly." (Slash)

Slash, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum came back together and put down Velvet Revolver with Dave Kushner and Scott Weiland. Contraband, their debut album, started at number 1 on the Billboard 200 charts, selling 256,000 copies in its first week of release.

Album information

By: Velver Revolver

Released: June 8, 2004

Length: 60:19

Label: RCA

Producer: Josh Abraham & Velvet Revolver

Recorded: NRG & Pulse Recording Studios

Singles: Slither / Fall To Pieces / Dirty Little Thing

Associated tour: R&FN'R Tour



  1. Sucker Train Blues (Velvet Revolver)
  2. Do It For The Kids (Velvet Revolver)
  3. Big Machine (Velvet Revolver)
  4. Illegal I Song (Velvet Revolver)
  5. Spectacle (Velvet Revolver)
  6. Fall To Pieces (Velvet Revolver)
  7. Headspace (Velvet Revolver)
  8. Superhuman (Velvet Revolver)
  9. Set Me Free (Velvet Revolver)
  10. You Got No Right (Velvet Revolver)
  11. Slither (Velvet Revolver)
  12. Dirty Little Thing (Velvet Revolver & Keith Nelson)
  13. Loving The Alien (Velvet Revolver)

Music videos

Recording guitars & amps

Interviews & articles


Slash about Contraband songs

Sucker Train Blues: "This song developed from one of my riffs, basically. When I presented it to the band, it was 10 times slower, but the sped the whole thing up. This is a very different kind of song for me because i recorded it with an old Fifties Telecaster and played the solo on a '65 Strat. I also put a baritone Music Man underneath the guitars."

Do It For The Kids: "This is another song that developed from one of my riffs after the band rehashed it. It started out with this Middle Eastern vibe, but it took on a different light when Scott started singing it, so we changed some things around. In the end we took out all those Middle Eastern-sound-ing bits and left the hard rocking parts. My tone on it is totally straight Les Paul into Marshall. Even the solo is with my regular rhythm sound. It's a fast solo, but it's real clean, with no distortion or gain. It's my regular everyday sound."

Big Machine: "This is one of Duff's songs. This recording was the first time I used a Vox AC30. I've been using Marshalls for so long, I've never really fucked around with anything else, buti had this idea of mixing a Voox with a Marshall and seeing what happened. It's a real simple song, but it needed to have a huge sound. Dave helps out with that a lot by playing with a lot of low end."

Illegal I Song: "This is from one of Dave's riffs. I love this song, too. In the midsection I use a harmonizer/octave unit - it's an older harmonizer pedal with an EQ built into it. I think the big sustain bends in the solo are my new thing. When we were doing the Pink Floyd song, I discovered a pedal, an old beat-up Vox wah distortion. It was the most insane-sounding thing, and i fell in love with it. When we recorded this song, we managed to get that crazy , out-of-control guitar sound. I'm trying to incorporate that to my live sound. It's exciting."

Spectacle: "This is Matt's song. It was written pretty quickly - Scott wrote the lyrics after we recorded the music. I used the tiny Fender Champ and an Ibanez Tube Screamer for the solo. I made it up on the spot."

Fall To Pieces: "Before Scott joined, we tried out a lot of different singers, and a lot of them sang this song. No matter who sang it, it always sounded like a Top 40 song, but when Scott came in and sang it, he was going through all this shit and trying to get his life back together. He wrote the lyrics, and the way they fit the music was chilling. The night he sang it was the same night he got arrested, so it's a poignant timepiece for us. My tone is Les Paul and Marshall, the guitar solo is tone turned off on the bass pick up. I think i used an old 1956 Goldtop for the clean parts, and there's a Gibson 12-string on there in the bridge."

Headspace: "This is the recording where we first tried out Josh Abraham. We never rerecorded it. I think Duff actually came up with the first riff."

Superhuman: "This one was inspired by my guitar riff and Duff's bass line. I used my Les Paul, but i put chorus on the riff to keep it from sounding too flat. It's pretty unique, but it's hard to play. It's a quirky kind of riff, and you just have to get used to it. The other day in rehersal, the guys just didn't feel like playing it, and i was like, 'Can we play it a couple of more times so i can get the riff down?'."

Set Me Free: "This is Matt's song, I think it sounds great, but there's a version of it on the soundtrack for The Hulk that doesn't sound as good. It was mixed on the fly, and it doesn't sound exactly how we wanted it. Andy Wallace mixed Contraband, and his version of the track sounds a million times better. Matt came up with the song's bass line, and it inspired me to come up with what I consider to be one of my cooler riffs. I love it."

You Got No Right: "The acoustic guitar in this track is a Takamine electro acoustic. It's the first electro acoustic I've owned. For the song, the guitar was miked and its signal was also sent directly to the board. I've never recorded direct with an acoustic; very rarely do I record acoustic anyway. On GN'R Lies I played a Guild, and for the Use Your Illusion albums I played Martins and Gibsons, because I could afford to by then. I hate to get too serious about the acoustic guitar, but at the same time it's got to have good tone to it. The rest of the guitar tone on this song is Les Paul and Marshall, and a Vox, I think. For the guitar solo, I played my regular recording guitar with just one Marshall head, the Slash model Marshall. It ended up being one of those cool first take things."

Slither: "This one's in drop-D tuning. I just knew it was a cool riff, but sometimes its tougher presenting a riff to a bunch of guys. You've got to convince them its good. We jammed on it, and then it sat in the tape player for a while. Then we went back to it and I said, 'This sounds really fuckin' cool.' When Scott came into the group, it just clicked."

Dirty Little Thing: "Of all the songs, this one is the oldest, musically. It's something that we wrote with Keith Nelson. We always liked the riff, and Duff and I both had cool parts that we'd come up with, so we kept it around. At one point we had forgotten that Keith had written it, since it had been around so long! I think I'm playing straight into Marshalls. It's the most STP/GN'R-style song on the album."

Loving The Alien: "This one was pieced together in a way that reminds me of Queen. I remember sitting with Scott and Duff playing acoustics. Then Dave come in and put something down. One day, I came to the studio and heard a piano part, which game me the idea for the guitar line that goes throughout the whole song. There's a 1967 ES-335 on there. For some reason, whenever I get into songs that have a clean/dirty vibe to them, I like to use the 335. Rhythmically, it has a great raspy sound to it. I also played my regular Les Paul, and Duff played a jumbo Guild acoustic."

Taken from Guitar World September 2004 issue.




Velvet Revolver
From the album Contraband
Released: May 2004
Label: RCA
Tracklist: 1. Slither / 2. Money / 3. Bodies (live) / 4. Set Me Free (live)
>> Official music video
Fall To Pieces

Fall To Pieces

Velvet Revolver
From the album Contraband
Released: September 2004
Label: RCA
Tracklist: 1. Fall To Pieces / 2. Surrender
>> Official music video
Dirty Little Thing

Dirty Little Thing

Velvet Revolver
From the album Contraband
Released: September 2005
Label: RCA
Tracklist: 1. Dirty Little Thing
>> Official music video
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We all were pretty positive that that would never happen, so it's still sort of blowing our minds. (Slash)
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