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Welcome to Appetite for Discussion -- a Guns N' Roses fan forum!

Please feel free to look around the forum as a guest, I hope you will find something of interest. If you want to join the discussions or contribute in other ways then you need to become a member. We especially welcome anyone who wants to share documents for our archive or would be interested in translating or transcribing articles and interviews.

Registering is free and easy.


2005.06.DD - Classic Rock Magazine - Guest Editors: Velvet Revolver

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Post by Blackstar Mon Aug 26, 2019 11:37 am

Thanks to @Surge for sending us this article!

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Transcript :

[The interviews with Duff and Dave Kushner are incomplete, as parts of the pages are missing. From the "50 Greatest Drummers" feature I transcribed only the list and Matt's comments]

The stories we wanna read!


Warning: you are about to enter the danger zone. The following 38 pages feature stories hand-picked by each member of Velvet Revolver...

When we asked Velvet Revolver to Guest Edit this issue of Classic Rock, we never knew it would be like this. They never made one cup of tea, their spelling was atrocious, and they never worked late once (something about "a tour" or somethin’). Lightweights.

What they did contribute, however, was a bunch of articles on rock at its west and most exciting, plus a few words from each of them on why they asked for the feature we've published. First up is singer Scott Weiland. Weiland dedicated our photo section Access All Areas (p36) to his hero, David Bowie. Read what Bowie means to Weiland over the page...

Slash wanted to read something on the early days of the first band to mean anything to him, Aerosmith. Find out why on p42, read the feature on p44.

Drummer Matt Sorum wanted something on rock's greatest drummers: read the entire feature, plus his contributions, from p49.

Guitarist Dave Kushner suggested an article on tensions between LA punks and metalheads: read it on p60. Finally, Duff McKagan wanted something on The Clash. See p66 for the tale of their final days...

Catch Velvet Revolver live on June 9 at the Glasgow SECC and at the Download Festival on Sat June 11.



The Velvet Revolver frontman explains why Bowie is his all-time biggest inspiration.


When did you first become aware of David Bowie?

I was introduced to him by my natural father. My mum and dad split when I was a kid, and I'd spend the summers with my real dad. He was pretty hip. He had a great record collection. I used to listen to his copy of Hunky Dory when I was about 11. I remember really connecting with that record. Then years later when I was a freshman in high school, I rediscovered Bowie. I'd moved out to Southern California. I was about 15 at this point. This was at the height of punk rock, early 80s. There was a real hardcore scene in Southern California. But I was listening to Ziggy Stardust.

What was the attraction initially?

I loved his lyrics. What I think is amazing about Bowie is that his lyrics sound poetic but not too intentionally so. The words make sense. It’s not overly stream-of-consciousness. And his melodies... you can hear the influence of vaudeville and Tin Ban Alley. You don't hear that a lot in rock 'n’ roll. That's one of the things that attracted me to him. I tried to pull a hit of that out when I made my solo record.

What's your favourite era of Bowie?

Actually my favourite is the Thin White Duke period: post-Ziggy Stardust. There was that famous show in Hammersmith, the final show of the Spiders From Mars tour, where he announced that it was all over. Then he moved to L.A. That was around the time I believe John Lennon had separated from Yoko and had moved there as well. I think some of the Stones were there also. There was a real drug thing happening in LA at that time.

Most people would probably have you down as a Ziggy Stardust kind of guy.

I do love that album. But what fascinates me the most is the 'plastic soul' period, after the raunch 'n' roll of Ziggy. That was a real cool period for me. Young Americans is one of my favourite records.

There was such a mythology surrounding Bowie at that time.

Exactly. He went through that period of living on cocaine and milk, and being so paranoid that he wouldn’t fly on airplanes; he would travel in the back of a limousine, strung out on coke. He evolved into that authoritarian character, the Thin White Duke. Almost like a fascist icon in a sense. I can really relate to that. You know, you’re playing in front of all these people, and your mind’s getting twisted by the paranoia from the cocaine.

Is that why you often wear Nazi headgear on stage - to allude to the fascistic nature of rock stardom?

I guess I allude to it. It's interesting to play with ideas. To young people, in a positive way and a negative way, you become an icon. You can put across positive notions, but you can also misuse that power.

Is it a good thing to become a hero? I'm not totally sure. Sometimes I think that our culture has become so obsessed with celebrity that that's all young people aspire to. It’s just hero worship, like lambs being led to the slaughter. They'll do anything they're told. Human beings are becoming like army ants - they'll follow their icons into oblivion.

I guess that's why I started wearing that hat. It's interesting to see what gets a rise out of people. There’s sincerity in what I do, but you can have fun too. You can get points across without having your heart on your sleeve all the time.

With the megaphone and the military gear, you're obviously trying to create an on-stage persona, a character distinct from your private self. Is that something you got from Bowie?

Completely. I really don’t like to let anyone into my private world. That’s why I really don’t like to do interviews. I don’t go out into the public ail that often. I'm not a night clubber. The idea of playing with characters... though I should say that what I do is not on the level of Marilyn Manson. Or Alice Cooper, or GG Allin. That's something different.

So it's not about shock value?

No. But I am interested in shock. The shock is what's great about rock'n'roll. But is there such a thing any more? There are brief moments of it. Can you continuously conic up with things to shock people? And should that be what your musical mission is about? If so, you've lost your way completely. What made Elvis Presley great was that he shocked, but he was also musically fantastic. Same with The Beatles, the Stones. Chuck Berry. If your sole purpose is to shock then you’re fucked.

Bowie used to worry that he'd lose himself in the characters he created. He found himself doing interviews as Ziggy, for example.

Well, that's the danger. When I was in the depths of my narcotic misadventures I really didn’t know who I was. It’s really easy to get confused about a lot of things. Later on, when I came out of this two-year-long acid trip - which is what it seemed like -after this very very long binge. I looked back and read some of the things I'd said and I thought: "How the hell did I ever get on that path? What was motivating me at that time?" Some of the things I look back on and they're pretty marvellous, but there are others that I can’t figure out what was making me tick.

Did being a Bowie fan make hard drugs appealing to you in some way? Was there an allure to addiction, because you knew that he'd been through it?

No. that wasn't it. My reason for getting into drugs was that it quietened something in me that I couldn't figure out any other way to quieten.

Ever since I was a young boy I always had problems with Attention Deficit Disorder. As I grew older it morphed into something else. In high school I started getting very depressed and very manic. My mood swings went up and down constantly. I found that if I took certain chemicals I could modulate how I felt. At first it was alcohol, but I couldn't really get a handle on it. It didn't work very well, and it wasn't something that really interested me all that much.

But heroin did the trick?

Heroin was the great equaliser for me. I always refer to it as a medicine. Once I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Therapist after therapist put me on anti-depressants and this, that and the other. But when I’d get off the dope it'd he right back to the mood swings. Because trying to find the right balance of psychiatric meds is like closing your eyes and throwing a dart at a dart board. It takes a long time. Certainly, I was intrigued by drugs because of my musical heroes. But they weren't the real reason. I did them because they made me feel normal. Once I decided to bite the hook it was just: "Woah, this works for me." After that I was smitten.

How about now? Have you found a way to medicate yourself without heroin?

Yes. Now my life is the way I always wanted it to be. I look back at the time before as a whole other life. It was cool to have lived that life. I wouldn’t trade it for any other.

Would you say you're lucky to be alive?

I guess I have a pretty staunch constitution. I believe that what probably should have, could have, would have killed me just didn’t. I’m built from strong stock, I guess. Unfortunately there were others along the way who weren’t so lucky. But I learned everything I know now from that experience.

So you're totally clean now?

I'm not a saint. I don’t try to put on Mother Theresa’s head-dress. I still have one foot dangling over the precipice.



This month's guitar-toting Guest Editor on Aerosmith's glory years.


If you picked up a copy of Classic Rock, what would you want to read about in it?

I haven’t seen a good history of early Aerosmith, particularly 73-76. That’s the period that interests me most.

Were they the first rock band you loved?

Not the first, no. When I was a kid living in England I was raised on the Stones and The Who - those were my dad’s bands. They were the closest thing I had to anarchy at the time. You know, The Beatles were cute and lovable, but The Who were so loud and brash, in-your-face, fucking slamming power chords!

How did you discover Aerosmith?

When I moved to the States, aged 13 or 14, I started rediscovering music for myself. I was chasing this girl who was twice my age. When I finally got into her apartment, she played me Rocks for the first time. And that record just fucking transformed my whole life. It almost felt like it was written for me. Once I heard that, all of a sudden I understood what life was about. It was this loud, riff-heavy, screaming thing with this really sexy groove. That record just fucking spoke to me so directly.

Is that the record that inspired you to start playing guitar?

I’m not sure if l started playing because of that record, but it was certainly around that time. Certainly one of the first riffs I wanted to learn was Back In The Saddle. I think I was 15 when I started playing guitar, and I first heard Rocks a year or so before that.

What was so exciting about Aerosmith back then?

For me it was all about the music, not their image or lifestyle. I really didn’t start to look at bands from an image point of view until later on. I used to meet a lot of rock stars as a kid, because my parents were part of that scene, so it wasn’t a big deal to me. It was only later, when I started seeing rock ’n' roll magazines, that I really paid any attention to image. But I knew they looked great. They just looked fucking nasty. Joe Perry was the coolest looking guitar player, Steve Tyler looked completely manic. You know, the Stones were cool, but they were my dad's band. Aerosmith were my band.

Describe the first time you ever heard them.

I remember hearing Walk This Way on the radio. I vaguely remember liking that song but I wasn't aware of who Aerosmith were. Then the Rocks album turned me upside down. I got hold of that - this was at a time when I didn’t have any money at all, so to buy a whole record was a big thing. Next I got Live! Bootleg because it had all their big songs. I love that record. That to me is the quintessential live rock ’n' roll album of all time. It's amazing. From there I got every single Aerosmith record.

When did you first see them live?

In 1978 at the World Music Festival - two days, 15 to 20 bands a day. Ted Nugent and Cheap Trick were headlining the first day, Aerosmith and Van Halen the second day. And Aerosmith were fucking horrible! There was only one song in the set that I actually recognised! It was just a huge barrage of noise. It was disappointing for me - I was expecting them to be more professional.

They were probably on drugs.

Oh, I'm sure they were. But back then I had no idea about what the band was about. I didn’t know that, at that point, a good Aerosmith show was a rare occurrence. Van Halen totally blew them away! But I was so innocent. I remember watching Steve Tyler fall over on stage and thinking: “Wow, the guy must be really clumsy". I had no idea drugs were involved. It was only when Joe Perry left the band [in 1979] that I realised. There was a lot of talk at that point about their drug problems.

And it really bummed me out. I couldn't fathom the concept of a band like that breaking up over something so stupid. When Keith Moon died, I understood why The Who split up. When John Bonham died Jimmy Page said: "We cannot continue as Led Zep without John". That I could understand. But when Aerosmith broke up it broke my heart.

But surely the drug thing was part of the allure, part of the glamour?

Well, the thing is, I’d come from that kind of background anyway. I was exposed to a lot of drugs and all that malarkey from a young age. So it was really their music and their attitude that appealed to me. Later on when I started my own bands they were always whisky-drinking, pot-smoking, acid-taking kind of bands. All that kind of shit. But I don’t think I fully grasped the problems Aerosmith had until I started doing heroin myself.

They ended up making some pretty awful records, didn’t they?

No! Just one. They made an album without Joe or Brad [Whitford, guitarist]: Rock In A Hard Place. It had some good songs, but it didn't sound right. And that was it. After that they were finished for a long time.

When GN’R toured with Aerosmith did you get a chance to express your devotion?

Not really. It wasn't like that. Guns was a pretty rowdy bunch of guys, and Aerosmith kept their distance. We didn't really hang out, because they had this no-alcohol, no-chemical rule: if you were near them you weren't allowed to have any booze on you, you couldn't be all fucked up. But I did get to know the guys. They became really good friends.

They had an amazing comeback in the 90s. Were you still a fan at that point?

From that point on, nothing they did interested me. I would wait for the record to come out and listen to it, but it never had the edge that Rocks did. Not even Draw The Line was quite the same.

There’s something about Rocks. The way it sounds, the way it was recorded. It was perfect timing. They were taking just the right drugs. They had a certain kind of swagger - they'd just started tasting success from Toys In The Attic, and they made this really intense hard rock record.

Which are the ’right’ drugs?

A combination of coke and heroin. I think they'd found a really nice, comfortable chemical balance. When you start doing a lot of drugs, until it becomes a crutch you're having a good lime and you're feeling creative.

But heroin is a 'slow' drug. Can you make a driving rock ’n' roll record on heroin?

Yeah! Everybody’s done it. It just doesn’t last forever. It gets you eventually.



You were a punk rock fan in LA when Guns N' Roses started out. Weren't bands like that 'the enemy'?

There was a bit of rivalry, but the weird thing was, Guns N’ Roses were totally accepted by the punk rock community. Because they weren’t like Poison, they didn't seem part of that hair metal scene. You know, Warrant and stuff. Guns N’ Roses were kind of in the middle, between metal and punk. When they started out they played punk rock shows - they supported Iggy Pop back in the day. And I'd known Slash since day one and I was a fan of his playing since high school. To me they were just a cool band. It's weird. They were the one metal band that was accepted by punk rock fans.

People think of 80s LA as the home of hairspray and spandex, but it was also a hotspot for punk, wasn't it?

God. there were so many amazing bands. Black Flag, Bad Brains, Fear, Circle Jerks, Minor Threat. I was about 16 when the scene was at its peak. The cool thing was that none of those bands ever made any serious money. As long as they had enough to play music and eat and do drugs. That was all it was about.

People go on about bands like Minor Threat being straight-edge, but there was a lot of excess too, wasn't there?

Totally. Drugs were an incredibly important part of the punk rock thing. That's when I was the most fucked-up. Every Tuesday and Saturday at the Starwood were the punk rock nights, and you could get any drug you wanted. I used to take acid every time. The first time I ever shot dope, I got it from some punk rock chick outside a club. It was rampant. I remember the first time I did acid, it was at a Circle Jerks show. Someone gave it to me and I was so drunk I didn't question it. I had to leave - it got too heavy. But from that point I would do acid in school, at shows. [cut]

[Missing part]

But you must have crossed paths with the metal guys occasionally.

Oh yeah. Actually the Whisky would occasionally have punk rock shows and that would be really weird. Because Sunset Strip was the metal guys' turf, you know ? But then some nights all these punk rock kids would be at the Whisky.

Were there fights?

Yes, because so many of the punk rock guys were so hardcore about it. I still listened to Sabbath and The Who. I didn't care, but a lot of people were very militant, and hated anyone with long hair or whatever. There was this one guy X-Head - he's in [1981 documentary] The Decline Of Western Civilization actually. The traffic was so thick on Saturday nights, cars would just be sitting there. One night this X-Head guy was talking shit to some long-haired guy in a car. like, "You fucking hippy!" He reaches in, pulls him out and starts beating the shit out of him in the middle of Sunset Boulevard. And that's how a lot of people were. The metal guys didn't really care, they were more laid-back, but the punk guys were so hardcore sometimes, like, "Fuck you! Fucking hippies!"

Then of course thrash happened, and the distinction wasn't so clear any more.

Exactly. When Metallica and Slayer came along, that was when the punk rock thing in LA started to dissipate. Certain bands started to cross over. Bands like DRI, Wasted Youth did as well, the band I was in. It used to be this really noisy punk rock band but it gradually became a little bit more metal. Same with Suicidal Tendencies. They were hardcore punk rock, but then Lights... Camera... Revolution was more like a thrash metal record. But it was awesome! Some bands made that transition really well.

So punk rock fans embraced bands like Slayer?

Yes, because they were so heavy. I was a huge Slayer fan. Still am. Even Iron Maiden. When I first heard Killers I was like, “This is fucking awesome!" In fact those metal bands sort of kept the scene going, because there simply weren't as many punk rock bands to go see any more. For whatever reason.

[The rest of the interview is missing]



How seeing The Clash changed his life...

Why did you want an article about The Clash?

"I think The Clash's first American tour was a really important tour for America and for The Clash. I saw them on it - I was about 13. This was in Seattle at the Paramount. They were doing a small theatre tour to promote their first record. There was maybe only 200 punk rockers in Seattle, so this place wasn’t even sold out. But it’s a gig that’s stayed static in my head. It was a formative experience.’’

Why was that show so memorable?

“There was a wooden barrier between the fans and the stage. At that point in time if you liked punk rock you were looked down upon. People would call you a faggot. Some security guy punched a friend of mine and broke his nose, for no reason. Paul Simonon saw that and went to the side of the stage to get an axe - like a fire safety thing - and he chopped down the wooden barrier shouting, ‘We’re all in this together! Fuck the security, everybody come up front!’ It wasn’t about the band being rock stars. He was screaming, ’Don’t hurt our audience!' [cut]

[Missing part]

They ended up becoming huge in America. On the Combat Rock tour they played Shea Stadium.

“Yeah, but it had got fratboy at that point. When I first saw them, punk rock was truly alternative music. It was a minority thing -a tiny fraction of people were into it. Nowadays the term 'alternative' is used as a huge marketing tool. ‘Alternative’ stations are often owned by Clear Channel and they're huge money-makers. I remember when the first Seattle alternative station came on and you’d hear everything from Siouxsie & The Banshees to Ian Dury to Stiff Little Fingers, you could leave it on all day, it was great. Rockabilly from the 50s, reggae, all kinds of things."

Did you miss that punk rock scene when you moved from Seattle to LA?

“A little, but you gotta remember that the punk scene really didn’t last so long. There was this cool, quirky punk scene where everybody was accepted and it was open for all. Then things in America turned hardcore. [cut]

[The rest of the interview is missing]



They're so often the butt of vicious jokes (you know the type: what do you call someone who hangs around with musicians? Answer: a drummer etc etc) but where on earth would the world of rock be without these beat-crazed noise-monkeys providing the backbone of those anthems that we all know and love.

Guest Editor Matt Sorum wanted a feature on the best 50 drummers in rock, so that's exactly what we've done. To get our definitive rundown, we went to the experts: Classic Rock polled the staff and students of the UK's leading drum schools: the Academy Of Contemporary Music in Guildford, the Brighton Institute Of Modern Music, and London's Drumtech. On top of that, we consulted our sister magazines Metal Hammer, Total Guitar and Rhythm (Britain's top drumming mag, so they should know what they're talking about), as well as picking the brains of our own writers, some top-notch drum technicians and a whole host of professional drummers (including Chili Pepper Chad Smith).

The rules were simple: they had to nominate their Top 10 rock drummers - so please remember that before complaining about why some of those shit-hot jazz cats aren't in our list. The results were compiled from those votes.

Oh, and if you're wondering why Mr Matt Sorum didn't make our Top 50 - well, seeing as he instigated it, he was automatically disqualified. He does, however, dish the dirt on his Magnificent Seven...

Band: The Clash
Defining moment: The powerhouse of drumming that backs I Fought The Law [...]

Band: Arch Enemy
Defining moment: The Burning Bridges album [...]

Band: Montrose, Heart, Coverdale/Page
Defining moment: Montrose’s Rock Candy [...]

Band: Pantera, Damageplan
Defining moment: Pantera’s Cowboys From Hell [...]

Band: Black Oak Arkansas, Whitesnake, Ozzy
Defining moment: His live solo, playing with his bare hands [...]

Band: Bon Jovi
Defining moment: King Of The Mountain [...]

Band: Lenny Kravitz
Defining moment: On stage with Lenny Kravitz [...]

SORUM SAYS... "Cindy Blackman used to drum for Lenny Kravitz. I went out with her for a while. It was great - we'd make out, then talk about paradiddles! She's a beautiful girl, and a great jazz drummer. We drifted apart unfortunately. I love jazz. I love John Coltrane, Mahavishnu Orchestra. I never understood punk rock. I always thought it was a load of crap. I'm a muso, I believe in studying my craft. When I joined Guns people said my style was more muso - less punk rock than Steven Adler. I liked that.”

Band: Mahavishnu Orchestra, Miles Davis
Defining moment: His Spectrum solo album [...]

Band: Pink Floyd
Defining moment: Summer Of ’68 [...]

Band: Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave
Defining moment: RATM’s Killing In The Name [...]

Band: Beck, Bogert & Appice, Vanilla Fudge, Cactus
Defining moment: Fudge’s You Keep Me Hanging On [...]

Band: Sepultura
Defining moment: Mass Hypnosis from the Beneath The Remains album [...]

Band: Thin Lizzy
Defining moment: The Live & Dangerous album [...]

Band: Queen
Defining moment: Radio Ga-Ga [...]

SORUM SAYS... "Roger Taylor inspired me In so many ways. He was actually the first rock star I ever saw in real life. I was 15. It was at the Bar & Grill in Hollywood and he pulled up in a Rolls-Royce, wearing this great suit, with a girl on each arm. He had such a sense of style, and I've always tried to emulate that. I played with him once at the Freddie Mercury tribute concert at Wembley and he was dressed totally in white denim. I told him, 'You can sing like a motherfucker!' He encouraged me to sing too. I have stood up front in covers bands and stuff, but it's a very different animal. I can understand why singers get so crazy: they have nothing to shield them."

Band: Samson, Thunderstick
Defining moment: His cage. No, really. [...]

Band: The Damned
Defining moment: Machine Gun Etiquette - the album and especially the title track [...]

Band: Soundgarden, Pearl Jam
Defining moment: Soundgarden’s Spoonman [...]

Band: Frank Zappa, Missing Persons, The Knack
Defining moment: Black Page, written for him by Zappa as a challenge [...]

Band: Blink 182/Transplants/Box Car Racer
Defining moment: The Box Car Racer album [...]

Band: Smashing Pumpkins/Zwan
Defining moment: Pumpkins' Siamese Dream album [...]

Band: Free, Bad Company
Defining moment: The song Bad Company [...]

Band: Aerosmith
Defining moment: Sweet Emotion [...]

Band: The Stooges
Defining moment: I Wanna Be Your Dog [...]

Band: AC/DC
Defining moment: Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap [...]

SORUM SAYS... "I love records with a sense of space, and Phil Rudd was a big part of that spacious sound you hear on Back In Black. An amazing drummer. I want to fight for that on the next Velvet Revolver album actually. Everyone always wants to  lift every space with guitars. I just want to let things breathe."

Band: Metallica  
Defining moment: Being the man who pushed Metallica into the major league [...]

Band: Frank Zappa
Defining moment: His self-titled solo album in ’94 [...]

Band: Toto
Defining moment: Unfortunately, his unusual garden-related death [...]

Band: Foo Fighters
Defining moment: All My Life [...]

Band: The Beatles
Defining moment: Come Together [...]

SORUM SAYS... "Ringo's an underrated player. I met him while I was recording Guns N' Roses' Use Your Illusion albums and he gave me some great advice. I was having problems coming up with new fills and he said, 'If you can't think of one, don't do one!"'

Band: Motorhead
Defining moment: Overkill - the long version [...]

Band: Black Sabbath
Defining moment: War Pigs [...]

Band: Motley Crue, Methods Of Mayhem
Defining moment: His (literally) high flying solo [...]

Band: The Police
Defining moment: Don't Stand So Close To Me [...]

Band: Dream Theater
Defining moment: When Dream And Day Unite [...]

Band: King Crimson, Yes
Defining moment: King Crimson - all 25 years [...]

Band: Emerson Lake & Palmer, Asia
Defining moment: Fanfare For The Common Man [...]

Band: Genesis
Defining moment: The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway album [...]

Band: Slipknot
Defining moment: His performance with Metallica at the Download Festival in 2004 [...]

Band: Cream, Blind Faith, Masters Of Reality
Defining moment: 16-minute live version of Toad [...]

Band: Iron Maiden
Defining moment: The B-side, Mission From 'Arry [...]

Band: Rolling Stones
Defining moment: Sympathy For The Devil [...]

Band: Rainbow, Black Sabbath, MSG
Defining moment: His 1812 Overture live solo [...]

Band: Deep Purple
Defining moment: Listen to his performance on Child In Time - a real tour de force [...]

SORUM SAYS... "Ian Paice? I stole a lot of fills from that guy! He's an incredible drummer. I remember sitting in my room, listening to Burn over and over again, trying to work out how he did it. I was lucky enough to meet him recently and I told him how much of an influence he's had on my playing."

Band: Jimi Hendrix Experience
Defining moment: Fire, on which he burns out of the track like a distress flare [...]

Band: Slayer
Defining moment: Angel Of Death [...]

Band: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Glenn Hughes
Defining moment: The Chili’s Higher Ground [...]

Band: Rush
Defining moment: His astonishing live solo spot on last year’s tour [...]

Band: The Who
Defining moment: The Kids Are Alright movie [...]

SORUM SAYS... "The Who without Keith Moon just wouldn't sound the same. I only ever saw him on TV. but I loved every thing about him - the goldfish in the floor toms, the platform heels. I wish I could be as fluid in my playing as he was. He just swept across the drumkit like he was tossing salad."

Band: Nirvana/Tenacious D/Queens Of The Stone Age, Nine Inch Nails, Killing Joke
Defining moment: The Nevermind album [...]

Band: Led Zeppelin
Defining Moment: Moby Dick

SORUM SAYS... "The weird thing is, I was never into Led Zep at the time. At high school I was more interested in smoking pot and listening to prog rock, Genesis and stuff. Everyone else loved Led Zep, but not me. It was only later that I appreciated them.

“John Bonham took these simple R&B influences and he added all this complexity, odd meters and stuff. I love all that. You know, writing a song in 5/4 or 7/4 time. I've always tried to do that in the bands I've been in but no-one can ever count past four!

"I actually went on the road with Jason Bonham once and I got to see all the old family videos of John. It was fascinating. He's a hero of mine. I wanted to emulate his attitude, his hotrod cars, his drinking. I wanted to be that person. And I did become a heavy drinker - I managed that part! But I'll never be as good as him.

"I have a theory that all good drummers are crazy. You can’t be a regular quiet guy and be a great drummer. It's amazing how many great drummers have troubled upbringings. Drummers come from hard stock, I think. They often have twisted childhoods. My parents split up when I was a child and that's when I started playing drums. I was unhappy, angry, aggressive. A lot of drummers have similar stories. Singers lend to be sensitive, but drummers are troubled too, just in a different way. They're more aggressive with it. The drummer is the one who stands up to the singer and tells him to fuck off. John Bonham never took any shit. And I was always going after Axl. Drummers always play that role."

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