Matt Sorum revealed in a new Rolling Stone interview that Scott Weiland was clean during the touring for Velvet Revolver’s Contraband, with Weiland and his Velvet Revolver bandmates drawing inspiration from Aerosmith to clean themselves up, though sadly it wasn’t permanent for Weiland.
Sorum said about trying to replace Weiland, “If we could have found someone as great as Scott Weiland. That was the issue. We spent two years looking for a great singer.
“And when Scott walked in the room, it sealed the deal. I talk about it in my book. We had a big licensing deal for a movie called ‘The Hulk.’
“Scott showed up almost an hour late. Everyone was there. I look at Duff [McKagan, bass] and go, ‘Can we start like this?’
“This documentary called ‘The Rise of Velvet Revolver’ shows everything that went down. I remember going, ‘This is going to be dangerous.’ But at the same time, we put out great rock ‘n’ roll.
“That first album [‘Contraband’], Scott really got his life together. He was in great shape. It wasn’t easy. We worked really hard to clean up.
“We all cleaned up our act a lot. We used Aerosmith as our model. We were like, ‘If those guys can do this, we can do this. Let’s clean up.’
“We got our stuff together. We all got in really good shape. We were in our forties competing against younger bands.
“And we still had to come up with great songs. In my opinion, we were an aggressive rock & roll band. We nailed it with the first one.
“And we fell back into some of our old habits with the second record [‘Libertad’]. A lot of drugs and alcohol reappeared in all our lives, and the money came again in a big way.
“That caused problems. Things just weren’t in sync. I felt it when we were in the studio on that second record.
“There are some good songs on that second record, but it just didn’t have the angst and hunger of the first record.”
Weiland sadly relapsed in 2007, leading to tension that led to his eventual dismissal from Velvet Revolver in 2008, as he went back to Stone Temple Pilots. Weiland died by drug overdose in December 2015.