The band released Libertad in 2007, driven by the release of the single "She Builds Quick Machines", and embarked on a tour with Alice in Chains. The following year, frontman Scott Weiland was fired from the band, for erratic behavior on and off stage and allegedly not being committed to the fans or the music. They are currently auditioning potential singers, and while certain names have been circulated as potential suitors for Weiland's old job, nothing has been confirmed by the members of Velvet Revolver or its management.
The quartet then set about auditioning a lead singer, with VH1 filming the recruitment process. The resulting documentary was aired as VH1 Inside Out: The Rise of Velvet Revolver. A number of lead singers auditioned, including Canadian Todd Kerns (formerly of Age of Electric), Josh Todd (of Buckcherry), Michael Matijevic (of Steelheart), Sebastian Bach (formerly of Skid Row), Kelly Shaefer (of Atheist/Neurotica) and Travis Meeks (of Days of the New). Myles Kennedy (of Alter Bridge) declined an invitation to audition. Reportedly, ex-Faith No More singer Mike Patton was also approached early in the process, but he declined the offer. Scott Weiland had become friends with McKagan and had once played on the same bill as Kushner. Originally Weiland was wanted by the band but due to STP still touring he declined. After the band heard about STP's split in 2003, they were quick to hire the services of Weiland. Once he heard the material and offered his services as the lead singer, the band was formed.
According to Slash's autobiography, Scott Weiland suggested the name "Black Velvet Revolver", combining something intimate with something violent, after Slash suggested Revolver. He liked the word Revolution, which he saw in the credits of a movie. From Black Velvet Revolver, Slash thought it was a mouthful and suggested "Velvet Revolver." This was done while walking to the viewing room, at Universal Studios, to see The Hulk. They were considering lending a song to the soundtrack.
The marketing campaign for Velvet Revolver in the run-up to the release of the first album was profiled as part of the Frontline (PBS) program The Way the Music Died, which included interviews with the band members and producers.
As of August 2005, Contraband had sold more than 2 million copies in the United States, and the rigorous touring in support of the album reached global scales. The band toured both the United States and Europe twice, while also performing in Australia, New Zealand and Japan. The CD had SunnComm's MediaMax DRM rootkit on it, exposing users to a computer security vulnerability. Velvet Revolver performed at Live 8, playing "Do It For the Kids", "Fall to Pieces" and "Slither." However, only "Fall to Pieces" appears on the Live 8 DVD. In 2005, a part of Contraband's "Dirty Little Thing" was inserted in xXx: State Of The Union. The band also recorded a new song entitled "Come On, Come In" for the 2005 movie Fantastic Four.
In October 2006, Scott Weiland announced that Libertad would most likely be released early to late Spring in 2007, while a few months later Slash gave May 2007 as the expected release date. The group recorded in Los Angeles with producer Brendan O'Brien, who stepped in for the band's original choice, Rick Rubin, after that arrangement "did not work out", frontman Scott Weiland told Billboard.com. "All of our hopes have even been elevated over the past three weeks", he said. "We were really excited about six months ago, when we first began writing. Then we really kind of flat-lined for a while."
"We thought we'd just kind of give it a shot and see if Brendan was available, and just by chance, the artist he was supposed to be working with didn't pan out," Weiland offered. "So he was available during the exact timing. He flew out within a week and it has been amazing. Bassist Duff McKagan came up to me and said, 'You know, I didn't know what it was like to really have a producer before.'" And though Weiland told Billboard.com last year he intended to weave an overall concept throughout the album, he had since "thrown that idea out the window. In my opinion, there are so many schlock concept albums that have come out in the past year," he says, without naming names. "The ground is way too over-fertile with concept records. I prefer to write a lean and rather vicious rock n' roll record. I think that would be a better contribution to rock'n'roll at this moment."
After scrapping the original May 29 release date, Velvet Revolver settled on July 3rd to unveil its second RCA album, "Libertad." It was announced on May 11, 2007 that as a precursor to Libertad, the band would release an EP in June titled Melody and the Tyranny. As cover art, Libertad, which debuted at #5 with 92,000 copies sold in its first week, features the 10 pesos coin used during Pinochet's regime in Chile. Compared to Contraband, it was a disappointment, with its first week sales being less than half of Contraband's. On June 21, 2007, Velvet Revolver performed in a concert at the 9:30 Club in Washington D.C., that was streamed live via MSN Music. On June 23, 2007, four songs off the album were available in full stream audio onto the internet ten days before retail on BestBuy's website. It was announced by WWE that "Let It Roll" would be the official theme song for the 2007 Diva quest Search. "Slither" "She Builds Quick Machines," and "Messages" appear in a downloadable Velvet Revolver pack in the videogame Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock.. "She Builds Quick Machines" was on the game NASCAR 08.
On their official website, Velvet Revolver gave a chance for fans to vote in a poll for the third single off of Libertad. "Get Out the Door" won with 53% of the votes, winning over "Let It Roll" and "She Mine". "Get Out the Door" was released for airplay on January 28, 2008. MTV has recently reported that Slash told Illinois' Northwest Herald that the band will begin working on its next LP in April 2008. Slash is also planning to record a solo album sometime in the next year or two. They began a tour of Australia, Europe and the United States, starting with a concert in Chicago on January 24, 2008. According to BlabberMouth.net on February 7, Scott Weiland voluntarily entered a rehab facility. This led to Velvet Revolver cancelling their Australian tour which had already been postponed for 2 months. They returned to the stage on March 8, 2008 in Dubai for the Desert Rock Festival.
Recently, Slash hinted in an interview with Classic Rock magazine that, contrary to Weiland's assertions, Velvet Revolver will continue beyond its current tour. When asked "With Scott singing?", Slash replied "I have no comment on that", and laughed.
On Tuesday, April 1st, it was announced by a number of media outlets that Scott Weiland would no longer be in Velvet Revolver. This was confirmed by Slash. The following day, Scott responded to Slash's announcement by stating that "it is a blatant and tired excuse to cover up the truth." Weiland also made comments regarding STP's reunion, stating, "Personally speaking, I choose to look forward to the future and performing with a group of friends I have known my entire life, people who have always had my back," Weiland continued. "This also speaks to my commitment to my music and my fellow bandmates in Stone Temple Pilots and to the fans who I feel would much rather watch a group of musicians who enjoy being together as opposed to a handful of discontents who at one time used to call themselves a gang."
Bassist Duff McKagan has recently stated that the band has been working on new material. It has been inspired by the recent drama by former vocalist Scott Weiland.
Since Weiland's departure, the band has been searching for a new lead singer. In a recent online interview Matt Sorum revealed that the band is in negotiations with a "Big Name Singer", no names were released yet on who the singer might be. In a recent phone interview that has been posted on the internet, McKagan denied heavy rumors that singers Chris Cornell, Lenny Kravitz, and Royston Langdon are being considered for the frontman position at this time. Duff McKagan unloads about Loaded, Velvet Revolver. thenewstribune.com. Retrieved on 2008-09-30..