Tuesday, December 13, 2011

VIDEO: Matt Sorum shares his final days with Guns N’ Roses

Matt Sorum is sharing the inside story of his final days with Guns N’ Roses.

As the replacement for original drummer Steven Adler, Sorum joined GNR in 1990, recording and touring the “Use Your Illusion” albums. By ’93, Matt had teamed up with Slash and Gilby Clarke to form Slash’s Snakepit, whose debut was released in ’95.

The original remnants of GNR fell apart when Slash left in ’96, and Sorum, along with bassist Duff McKagan, were gone within the following year.

Sorum recounted his tale of the original GNR’s demise in an interview last week with Sydney, Australia’s Triple M, when the drummer was in the city to play at the opening of a new Hard Rock Café.

"The very, very end of it was us trying to make this record [what would go on to become 'Chinese Democracy'] that came out 15, 16, 17 years later,” began Sorum. “There was a certain style of music that… Axl was always trying to push the envelope. Even with 'Use Your Illusion I' and 'II', we moved forward and people always go back to 'Appetite For Destruction'. But if you look at 'Use Your Illusion', it was more of an epic kind of undertaking. Axl, in his mind, would want it to be this epic, stadium, worldwide-renowned supergroup, and he looked at bands like Queen and Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones as, sort of, the benchmark for that. So we created these opuses, these epic numbers like 'November Rain', to really, sort of, become this bigger thing.”

“When we went into the next particular record,”
he continued, “Axl really wanted to take it to another level, he wanted to experiment with electronics and stuff like that, and we were like, 'Oooh… Now we're getting into a little bit of a grey area.' He was really into Nine Inch Nails, and we were starting to get a little bit uncomfortable with the musical direction. And at that point, we had written a bunch of songs that were more like 'Appetite For Destruction' — stripped down, raw rock and roll; we almost wanted to go back to our roots. But Axl was really pushing to go someplace else. [He] was so obsessed with where the music was going.”

“And I remember it was [after] about four or five years of rehearsals,”
Matt explained, “and Axl came in and said, 'I think we've got one good verse.' [Laughs] And we all looked at each other. And at that point, me and Slash had written a bunch of songs together, which became the first Slash’s Snakepit album. Slash said, 'Matt, let's just go do a tour and make a record.' 'Cause Slash said, 'Axl doesn't like the songs.' So we made a record, we put it out, and Slash went on tour. And that was the straw that broke the camel's back.”

"In retrospect, Slash was out doing a bunch of stuff. If the band would have stepped closer together, maybe we could have figured out what to do, but we were starting to divide; there were solo projects going on, me and Duff did Neurotic Outsiders. But we were all sort of frustrated; we couldn't get moving again. They had a bit of a blowout, and I was there, sitting right there on the couch, and I listened to them going through this whole shenanigans. And that was it. And it was over. It was horrible.”

“And then after Slash left, I was in rehearsals — me and Duff were sticking around, trying to figure out how to do it — and I just said, 'We need to get Slash back,' and Axl said, 'No, I don't think so.' And at that point I was out. And then I went home and I drank heavily with this band called Candlebox who was living at my house at the time. I remember I came home, I stopped by a liquor store and I walked in and I said, 'Axl just fired me, and I think this time it's for real.' [Laughs] 'Cause he had fired me many times before, and he used to call me, too, and say it like this: [imitating Axl's screeching voice] 'You're fired' in that classic voice. It was awesome. I wish I had it on tape. It was killer. But he would call back and go, 'See you at rehearsal tomorrow?' [Laughs]"

See also:

Duff McKagan opening for Guns N’ Roses this weekend
Guns N’ Roses: Former drummer predicts Rock Hall induction will be a train wreck
VIDEO: Zakk Wylde joins Guns N’ Roses for AC/DC classic
Guns N’ Roses keyboardist discusses Axl Rose
VIDEO: Guns N’ Roses - Matt Sorum comments on Rock Hall induction
Guns N’ Roses: Duff McKagan comments on Rock Hall induction
Guns N’ Roses: Axl Rose comments on Rock Hall induction
Guns N’ Roses: Steven Adler comments on Rock Hall induction
Guns N’ Roses: Slash comments on Rock Hall induction
Guns N’ Roses, Chili Peppers enter Rock Hall Of Fame
VIDEO: Guns N’ Roses play Civil War for first time in 18 years
Matt Sorum talks Guns N’ Roses reunion
Guns N’ Roses: TONIGHT's Southaven concert canceled
Guns N’ Roses add second Las Vegas date
Guns N’ Roses announce Phoenix date
Guns N’ Roses: Wednesday’s Albany concert canceled
Guns N’ Roses confirm L.A. and Las Vegas dates
Gene Simmons says ‘a good beating’ would have helped Axl Rose
VIDEO: Watch Axl Rose That Metal Show interview
VIDEO: Axl Rose on Welcome To The Jungle
VIDEO: Axl Rose felt pressure to release Chinese Democracy
VIDEO: Axl Rose explains Guns N’ Roses' late starts
VIDEO: Guns N’ Roses visits Children’s Hospital in Dallas
VIDEO: Axl Rose That Metal Show preview clip
Sebastian Bach to open 3 shows for Guns N’ Roses
Guns N’ Roses: That Metal Show’s Axl Rose interview preview
Guns N’ Roses: Slash talks Rock Hall Of Fame
Guns N’ Roses keyboardist defends band’s disrespect of fans
Guns N’ Roses: Duff McKagan talks Rock Hall Of Fame
Duff McKagan to open for Guns N’ Roses
Axl Rose tapes hour-long interview with VH1’s That Metal Show
VIDEO: Duff McKagan NYC bookstore Q&A session
Duff McKagan’s book hits New York Times Best Sellers List
VIDEO: Duff McKagan on his early years with Guns N’ Roses
Guns N’ Roses: Axl Rose plans on being late for shows
Guns N’ Roses reunion: Gilby Clarke is in if Slash is
VIDEO: Duff McKagan on Lou Dobbs Tonight
VIDEO: Duff McKagan’s NYC book signing
Duff McKagan ponders Guns N’ Roses Rock Hall nomination
Guns N’ Roses lead 2012 Rock Hall nominations
VIDEO: Watch full Guns N’ Roses set from Rock In Rio 4
VIDEO: Guns N’ Roses close out Rock In Rio 4
Guns N’ Roses top the hennemusic Hot 10
Guns N’ Roses confirm fall US tour
Guns N’ Roses: Four more US dates announced
Guns N’ Roses: Slash talks Use Your Illusion on its 20th anniversary
Preview Duff McKagan’s autobiography