It's official: Velvet Revolver and RCA Records have agreed to sever ties. This comes after a week of industry speculation as to the fate of the singerless band.
Early reports that RCA 'dropped' Velvet Revolver, however, are being flatly denied on all fronts. According to the band, they initiated the move to allow "complete freedom to go through whatever process it would take to accomplish" replacing former frontman Scott Weiland.
Slash took to his official fansite to elaborate on the situation: "While it is true that VR is no longer with RCA, the truth is not as negative as the rumor. The band owed RCA money for a third album which at this time they are unable to produce (no singer). The band and RCA parted amicably. When they are recording the new album, it most likely will be for a new label."
The label weighs in
From RCA Records comes this statement: "Finding the new lead singer for Velvet Revolver is a formidable task, and the remaining members knew this would be the case when they dismissed their former singer, Scott Weiland.
"So in June 2008, Slash, Duff McKagan, Matt Sorum and Dave Kushner approached RCA Records and asked to be released from their recording contract, as they felt they needed...freedom from any timelines, pressures, influences or interests other than finding the best guy. RCA Records honored the band's request."
"Band is thankful," says manager
Carl Stubner, the band's manager, says, "The band is thankful that RCA understood the task at hand and has allowed the band to continue on their own. This band is comprised of some of the greatest rock musicians of the past three decades. They have built a brand with a solid foundation on a global level. And their sole focus has been, and continues to be, finding the singer/songwriter who will stand alongside them."
Of all the comments, it is Slash's words that have us at MusicRadar a tad curious: If the group owes RCA money, wouldn't it make sense for the label to hold on to the band and try to recoup on a third record? Of course, that might be old-school thinking - these days, labels are more apt to cut ties and move on whenever there's a disruption to the flow.
Meanwhile, Slash continues work on his solo record, and McKagan busies himself with his other band, Loaded.
Check out MusicRadar's podcast interview with Duff McKagan for more on the search for a new singer.