Rocker Slash has spoken about his decision to oust Scott Weiland from supergroup Velvet Revolver, insisting "chemical issues" led to the split.
Weiland was fired in April 2008 after a series of public bust-ups and the band has failed to find a replacement - but Slash doesn't regret getting rid of his former frontman.
In a candid exclusive with Spinner.com, the guitarist says, "Velvet Revolver was intended to be a lot of fun and we started off having a great time, but I think that we all had a lot of chemical issues as that thing wore on.
"I definitely went way down the f**king drain for a minute there after the Contraband record came out and we went on tour for two years.
"I started drinking heavily and revisited my opiate passion, then had to come out of it, so eventually I had to say, 'That's it!' Certainly Scott had his issues, even (bandmates) Duff (MCKagan) and Matt (Sorum) went down the same road. The only one that stayed sober during the whole thing was f**king Dave Kushner.
"We all eventually came out of it and made the Libertad record, which I thought, musically, was a good record, but we lost Scott and we never regained that. I thought the overall spirit of everything was declining at that point... The Australian tour was the final blow."
Slash insists he and Weiland have now been able to put the past behind them - and he's on good terms with the Stone Temple Pilots frontman: "I'm sort of happy for him.... I still love the guy and there's not really any hard feelings about the whole thing. I even hung out with him recently."
And Slash insists Velvet Revolver isn't over: "We're going to reconvene next year, look at the singers again, and try to find the right guy to make the most bitchin' Velvet Revolver record... Velvet Revolver still exists."