VELVET REVOLVER spoke to MTV this week about the group's just-completed second album, "Libertad".
"He has really helped the guys challenge themselves on a musical level," Weiland said. "['Libertad'] definitely still rocks, but it's incredibly more musical. There's a lot more textures, and Slash and Duff [McKagan] have really sort of risen the bar. It just goes places that the first album didn't go."
"He is the best musician in the room," guitarist Dave Kushner added. "I talked to Tom Morello because he has done records with Brendan, and he said the same thing. And to have a producer who is so musical, you can't just skate by. He'll say, 'Why don't you try this chord?' And I'm like, 'I've never heard of that chord!' "
The second factor is that, unlike with their debut, VELVET REVOLVER actually feel like a band now.
"We toured for two years," Weiland said. "And [because of that] we've really gotten close during the making of this record."
While he admits the bandmembers got a bit sick of each other touring behind 2004's "Contraband", Weiland says the guys are now looking forward to returning to the road.
"We're actually going to do a short American tour of some intimate clubs and small theaters, just to warm up," Weiland said. "Then we're going to South America and Europe, then back for a big American tour at the end of the summer."