When Slash Admitted Velvet Revolver’s Stolen Riff
Velvet Revolver was established by the lead guitarist Slash, bassist Duff McKagan, drummer Matt Sorum, rhythm guitarist Dave Kushner, and lead vocalist Scott Weiland in 2002. The band gained success with the first album ‘Contraband’ by debuting at number one on the Billboard 200 chart. The song ‘Slither’ brought them a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance in 2005.
The debut studio album of Velvet Revolver entitled ‘Contraband’ became one of the building stones of their successful career. The band had a solid place in the rock scene from the beginning with this record. They became an inspiration for the musicians by embracing a distinctive style. However, the band, who always tried to reflect their original and unique style, had a stolen riff on their debut album, as Slash confessed in the previous years.
Slash Admitted That Velvet Revolver’s Debut Album Had A Stolen Riff
Velvet Revolver gained an initial commercial success with the debut album ‘Contraband,’ released on June 8, 2004. The record included impactful tracks like ‘Slither’ and ‘Fall to Pieces.’ ‘Dirty Little Thing’ was one of these pieces as a top ten hit; however, there was also a controversial issue about the stolen riff it involved. Josh Todd and Keith Nelson contributed to this track along with the other members during its writing process. Although they did not continue with the group, as Slash decided Scott Weiland and Dave Kushner to attend the Velvet Revolver, the band kept the riffs and released the song without making any changes.
During a 2017 conversation with Mötley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx, Slash stated that he, Duff McKagan, and Matt Sorum were writing a song. He mentioned that there were two other musicians who worked with them during the creation process of the track. After the pair left the band, Velvet Revolver members released the song as it was created. However, they found out that the two former members of the group, Josh Todd and Keith Nelson, stole the riffs from another band. Slash revealed that Buckcherry later realized Velvet Revolver was playing the riffs they created, which belonged to the band’s piece ‘Cyber Babe.’ Both sides were very shocked by the situation, as the guitarist noted.
Slash explained in his words:
“Before Velvet Revolver really became Velvet Revolver, we had written these two parts of one song, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum and I. And we were working with some other guys – who will remain nameless – who brought in the other two parts of that song. So when Velvet Revolver came together, we kept the song as it was.
And it turned out that the other two guys had lifted their parts from a band that they were rehearsing next door. So that band heard that song and said, ‘Those are our riffs!’ We didn’t know what the f*ck they were talking about. And then we heard who it was, that there was a band who was rehearsing next door. So when we heard the record, the song, I heard where those parts were, and it was like, ‘Oh, fuck!'”
When Sixx asked whether the band got credit for their songwriting, Slash stated that the original band did not get credit for the track. As the guitarist indicated, Josh Todd and Keith Nelson were given credit for their contributions to the hit track. However, Velvet Revolver members were getting sued by the original band due to plagiarism.
Slash responded when asked if they gave credit to the group for the song:
“Not the original band, but the guys we were working with. But the only thing is we were getting sued by the original band for that song.”
You can listen to the song below.