When Axl Rose Tried To Cause A Bad Blood Between Scott Weiland And Slash

In 1987, Guns N’ Roses released their debut album ‘Appetite For Destruction’ and began topping charts with the top-10 singles’ Welcome To The Jungle,’ ‘Paradise City,’ and ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine.’ Following that, they continued their musical career with several more albums, including 1988’s ‘GN’R Lies’ and 1991’s ‘Use Your Illusion I & II’ albums. Three years after the release of the covers album ‘The Spaghetti Incident?’ in 1993, Slash left the band due to the creative differences and personal conflicts between him and Rose.

Before returning to the band in 2016, Slash focused mainly on his solo career. He regrouped his band Slash’s Snakepit in 1999, released one album with them, and embarked on a tour. In 2002, he disbanded Snakepit and formed Velvet Revolver alongside his former bandmates Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum. After a while, they recruited Stone Temple Pilots’ Scott Weiland as their lead vocalist.

While Slash was working with Velvet Revolver, things got heated between Rose and Slash, especially after Slash and McKagan sued Rose over publishing rights in 2006. In the same year, Axl Rose issued a statement targeting Slash. With this statement, the iconic frontman seems to have tried to drive a wedge between Slash and his Velvet Revolver bandmate Scott Weiland.

Axl Rose Alleged That Slash Insulted Scott Weiland And Talked Behind His Bandmates’ Back

Back in 2006, Slash and Duff McKagan sued Axl Rose over publishing and songwriting credits, accusing him of changing the publishers of GN’R songs without their consent and pocketing the royalties. Rose then countersued Slash and fueled the tension between them with the statement he issued with his management.

In the statement, Howard Weitzman, Rose’s attorney, alleged that Slash showed up at Rose’s house to bury the hatchet and then talked behind his Velvet Revolver bandmates’ back. According to the statement, Slash told Rose McKagan was ‘spineless,’ that he ‘hates Sorum,’ and ‘Weiland was a fraud.’ The guitarist then allegedly said that Rose has proven ‘himself the stronger.’

As reported by MTV, the statement read:

“Slash came to inform Axl that: ‘Duff was spineless,’ ‘Scott Weiland was a fraud,’ that he ‘hates Matt Sorum’ and that in this ongoing war, contest or whatever anyone wants to call it that Slash has waged against Axl for the better part of 20 years, that Axl has proven himself ‘the stronger.’ Axl regrets having to spend time and energy on these distractions, but he has a responsibility to protect the Guns N’ Roses legacy and expose the truth.”

Although Slash denied the accusations, he admitted in his 2007 autobiography that he visited Rose’s home to make peace with him, but he didn’t get a chance to speak with the singer. Unlike Slash, Scott Weiland gave a rather sharp response to these accusations. In an open letter he issued on Velvet Revolver’s website, Weiland slammed Rose. Calling the GN’R frontman a ‘fat, botox-faced, and wing wearing f*ck,’ the singer claimed Rose is the one who has to rely on his bandmates to write melodies and lyrics.

Weiland then argued he toured with Velvet Revolver for over a year and a half, but Rose’s accomplishments are less than a few. Moreover, the singer questioned how Rose dared to call their bass player spineless and described the frontman as ‘a frightened little man who once thought he was king.’

As reported by Ultimate Guitar, Scott Weiland’s open letter read:

“Get in the ring or go to the gym motherf*cker, or if you prefer, get a new wig motherf*cker. I think I’ll resist the urge to stoop to your level. Oh shit, here it comes, you fat, botox-faced, wig wearin’ f*ck! O.K. I feel better now. Don’t think for a second we don’t know where those words came from. Your unoriginal, uncreative little mind, the same mind that had to rely on its bandmates to write melodies and lyrics. Who’s the fraud now b*tch?

Damn, I couldn’t imagine people writing for me. How many albums have you put out man, and how long did it take the current configuration of this so-called band to make this album? How long? And without the only guys that validated the name. How dare you! Shame on you! How dare you call our bass player spineless?”

He went on to say:

“We toured our album for over a year and a half. How many shows have you played over the last ten years? Oh, that’s right – you bailed out on your long-awaited comeback tour, leaving your remaining fans feeling, shall we say, a trifle miffed?! I won’t even list what I’ve accomplished because I don’t need to.

What we’re talking about here is a frightened little man who once thought he was king, but unfortunately, this king without his court is nothing but a memory of the a**hole he once was.”

At that time, Guns N’ Roses were working on their long-delayed album ‘Chinese Democracy.’ Reportedly, the band began working on the album in 1994, and although they announced they were recording the songs by August 1999, they managed to release it on November 22, 2008. Considering the long time it took for GN’R to release the album, it seems Weiland was right about the inactivity of the band with Slash and McKagan’s absence.

What Was Slash Really Thinking About Scott Weiland?

In July 2007, Velvet Revolver released their second album ‘Libertad’ and embarked on a tour with Alice In Chains. In April 2008, Weiland announced his departure from the band and rejoined Stone Temple Pilots the following month. The band then put on an indefinite hiatus and reunited with Weiland on January 12, 2012, at a benefit concert. However, this was their last performance with the singer as he died on December 3, 2015.

Throughout his career in Velvet Revolver, Scott Weiland struggled with his heavy use of drugs and alcohol. So, inevitably, this affected the band’s creative process. Speaking about these issues, Slash told Howard Stern in 2012 that he and Duff McKagan thought they could fix the musician as he was a mess in the beginning. Following that, Slash claimed Weiland had an uncontrollable diva behavior, as he sometimes wouldn’t show up until they had five minutes until the show.

According to Loudwire, Slash told about Scott Weiland the following:

“Duff and I were like fresh out of detox right, and we thought, ‘We can fix this guy.’ You know what happened was, with all fairness to Scott, he was a mess when we got going, but we wrote a couple of good songs.”

The guitarist then continued:

“There was a lot of uncontrollable diva stuff. Serious rock star stuff… You’ve got this one guy that has decided he’s going to dictate to everybody what’s going to happen and not even show up. I can’t find my shoes in my hotel room. I’m going to go get some coffee and wander down the street, and then you can’t find him, and it’s five minutes until showtime, it’s classic stuff.”

Following Weiland’s tragic death, the possibility of a reunion for Velvet Revolver got out of sight. In 2015, Slash and Rose reconciled, and the guitarist rejoined Guns N’ Roses in 2016.