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2004.07.DD - Modern Drummer - Welcome To The Rumble (Matt)

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Post by Blackstar on Sun 23 Aug 2020 - 20:02

Welcome To The Rumble

“I wanted to get back that spirit we used to have when we were doing G N’ R stuff.” That’s drummer Matt Sorum talking about the session for his latest project, a three-fifths Guns N’ Roses reunion of sorts, dubbed Velvet Revolver. The act features Sorum along with G N’ R guitarist Slash and bassist Duff McKagan, ex-Wasted Youth guitarist Dave Kushner, and Stone Temple Pilots vocalist Scott Weiland. “On the records I played with G N’ R,” Matt says, “most of those sessions were cut live, no click, just going in there and rockin’.”

Sorum nailed the Velvet Revolver session in just shy of a week’s time. While most of the debut album sports the signature Sorum sonics and performance we’ve come to expect from him – large room sounds with long decays and full-bodied snares coupled with unwavering, straightforward slammin’ rock beats – there are a couple of detours from the otherwise massive rock production. “Loving The Alien,” for example, finds Sorum reaching back in time for a retro touch.

“I ran into Eddie Kramer (legendary Jimi Hendrix/Led Zeppelin engineer) in the hallway at NRG studios, and I asked him to mike up my kit old-school style,” Sorum explains. “I used a vintage Ludwig kit and had Eddie mike it with three mic’s to get a trippy, Ringo Starr kind of vibe.”

On “Big Machine,” Sorum tracked using a click track (which otherwise was used sparingly throughout the session) and a couple of different kits. “I re-cut the intro drums and breakdown drums with a different drumkit,” Matt explains. “In the break-down, I went down to more of a padded, muted, lower snare drum with a 20” kick. But when the chorus kicked back in, I busted in with the big kit.”

Sorum’s typical “big kit” on the Velvet Revolver session consisted of an 18x24 kick teamed with 13”, 16”, and 18” toms. The snare arsenal included a Ludwig Black Beauty, a Tama Bell Brass, and an old Noble & Cooley/Zildjian metal snare.

“I wanted this really aggro, almost ugly sound, so I tuned that drum up high,” Sorum notes. “I used it on a track called ‘Dirty Little Thing,’ and it gave the track a lot of angst and attitude. I find that snare drums give tracks such character, so I get into picking the right drum for the tune.”

Of course, retention of the original G N’ R spirit came via his insistence that the drums were cut straight to 2” tape. “Not a lot of editing was involved,” he notes. “It was pretty much like, ‘That’s the track, let’s use it!’ What you hear is what you get.”
Blackstar
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