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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.


2008.06.23 - Music Radar - Velvet Revolver's Matt Sorum Talks Guns N' Roses Reunion

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2008.06.23 - Music Radar - Velvet Revolver's Matt Sorum Talks Guns N' Roses Reunion Empty 2008.06.23 - Music Radar - Velvet Revolver's Matt Sorum Talks Guns N' Roses Reunion

Post by Blackstar Fri May 14, 2021 9:51 am

Velvet Revolver's Matt Sorum talks Guns N' Roses reunion

Matt: "I'm sure it'll happen"

By Joe Bosso

Matt Sorum thinks Guns N' Roses will get back together. "I'm sure it'll happen eventually," he says.

The one-time GN'R drummer and current member of the singer-less Velvet Revolver isn't so sure about his involvement in a reunion, however. "They could be having meetings about it right now. They could be in a bomb shelter, with Axl and Slash and Duff. And Izzy! Maybe Steven Adler - I don't know. I'd probably be the very, very, very last guy to get the call."

Still, Sorum insists he isn't sitting around waiting for the phone to ring. He's got his mind on Velvet Revolver and their search for a new frontman. During the recent summer NAMM show, MusicRadar sat down with Sorum in the crowded bar of his hotel to talk about the states of VR and GN'R, the rumor of his involvement with Oasis, and how he handles the vicissitudes of lead singers. The engaging and candid skin basher was happy to opine away. And when it comes to Scott Weiland, he doesn't hold back.


The audio interview and transcript:

Joe Bosso: This is Joe Bosso with Music Radar, the place for music makers. I'm speaking with drummer Matt Sorum. Matt, how are you doing?

Matt: I'm all right!

Bosso: A little rumor’s going around that you might join Oasis? What is this?

Matt: Really?

Bosso: I saw it on the internet.

Matt: I wasn't asked. And I really like that drummer they have. I think it's Ringo's kid, right?

Bosso: Well, it was Ringo's kid.

Matt: Zak Starkey.

Bosso: He just left.

Matt: Where did he go? Back to the Who?

Bosso: We went back to the Who.

Matt: Oooh!

Bosso: So…

Matt: Well, they haven't called me. Maybe they don't have my number (laughs).

Bosso: If you were asked, what would you do?

Matt: I really love that band. I don't know. Maybe I could go out on tour for a little while, who knows!  Call me, my number is… (laughs).

Bosso: What is the status of Velvet Revolver? What progress are you guys having with the new lead singer?

Matt: We are looking.  You know, we are actively looking. We rehearsed for a couple of weeks, we tried out a couple of guys. We have a guy right now that we're still… let me see, what would be the correct word… massaging, as you will, or, you know, sort of checking it out, feeling it out, letting him work with us…

Bosso: Nobody you can say, of course, right?

Matt: I'd rather not, just because I don't want it to get out that he might be the guy. I mean, we like him, he's an awesome… It's really weird, because Slash and Duff and myself – especially the three of us – we were kind of like, “Wow, this guy shows up to rehearsal on time, he's really nice, he's easy to get along with” (laughs). And it actually kind of scared us, because we thought, “Is this possible?” (laughs) We were like-

Bosso: It's not Sammy Hagar.

Matt: Oh god, he's a nice guy, isn't he?

Bosso: (Laughs).

Matt: I mean, probably one of the nicest guys in rock ‘n’ roll and a great singer. And, god, I was worried for a minute that it was almost like, you know, when you get in a relationship with a girl, or a guy gets in a relationship with a girl, or a girl gets in a relationship with a guy, and maybe they're really, really, really nice, but for some reason you don't like them? (laughs)

Bosso: Right.

Matt: Well, I'm kind of worried that we might be so used to the drama that… you know? (laughs)

Bosso: Meaning that the drama fuels the creativity of the band?

Matt: I don't know! I'm a little concerned, because I kind of looked around at the guys and I said “Man, this guy's a super nice dude, man. Do you think we can go with that or what?” (laughs)

Bosso: Well, whenever a lead singer does join a band, an established band, inevitably there is a change.

Matt: Yeah. I think so.

Bosso: If you could wish for any musical changes in the band, say, what would they be?

Matt: You know, I would really like to see our band, Velvet Revolver, which is something that we've been talking about. We don't like to talk about the music too much in a general term of kind of like, “What kind of music should we play?” I mean we aren’t those kind of guys, we just get in there and jam. But I would like to see us open up and get back to a little bit of our riff-oriented stuff, which I have talked to Slash enough about and said, “Hey man, let's throw down some of those heavy riff rock grooves again. Let's get back to our roots…” You know, we've talked about that. I think initially when we went into Velvet Revolver we - not were concerned, because, as I said, we don't really talk about those things - but we did try to make a forward rock ‘n’ roll album, a modern rock ‘n’ roll album.  You know, we brought in Andy Wallace to mix it, and the way we mixed the album, vs. how we used to mix records, was a little bit more radio friendly, compressed - you know, an Andy Wallace mix.  But now I think we're gonna… you know, after Libertad we dabbled in tones, and did some things, and pulled back maybe a little bit too much. I feel that record wasn't quite as heavy as, maybe, we were on the first album. So I think I'd like to see the band get a little heavier, a little bit more riff rock, and… yeah, more heavy rock ‘n’ roll on this next album, I hope.

Bosso: This unnamed singer that you're trying out and feel pretty good about, do you think he might bring that change about?

Matt: Yeah, I mean, it's funny looking for a singer now for guys from where we come from, and you know, we've been around a while. The choice of singers is very interesting, because we don't really want to come off… I don't want to say dated, but if we get a certain type of rock singer, it can very easily fall into sort of a retro rock ‘n’ roll bluesy thing, which isn't a bad thing, but we're very much concerned with the fact that we don't want to come off like an older rock ‘n’ roll band, even if we are older guys. We want to create a modern thing, you know? We want to move forward, so we don't want to try to, like, rest on our laurels. Yeah, we were in Guns N’ Roses and we had Axl Rose. We're not trying to go for that kind of sound, you know what I mean? We're trying to do something fresh and different. So, I guess it's just we're gonna have to hear it when we hear it. You know, when we hear the guy, we'll all look at each other and go, “That's it!”

Bosso: So have you all just gotten together in studios and jammed, or have you actually done demos…?

Matt: Yeah, we have. What we did do is, when we got singers contacted us, and people that we were recommended, and people that came through different sources, we'd send them a couple tracks - instrumental tracks. And what we did initially was have them sing on the music and then send back the tracks, so we could really weed out a lot of people on that right away.

Bosso: Right.

Matt: You know, just like, “No-yeah-no.” So that's kind of what happened there. And then we would bring the guys from that point into the rehearsal room, and then you kind of get a feel for who the guy is as a person, you know, what's his demeanor, all that.

Bosso: Right, right.

Matt: Pretty initially, fairly quick. I mean, we're all human beings, we all kind of can intuitively pick a person's vibe out, you know, pretty quickly. So one particular guy came in and he didn't last much more than a couple of songs.

Bosso: Oh, wow. Okay.

Matt: But I want to say that is because, you know, he's great for what he does, he's made some records…

Bosso: Sammy Hagar.

Matt: Yeah (laughs).

Bosso: (Laughs).

Matt: You know, it's funny, when we jammed with Steven Tyler – me and Slash were doing this thing for the MAP Awards, and Steven got up. I looked to Slash and I said, “God, wouldn't it be great if we could find a guy like him? He's pretty good.” (laughs) And Steven Tyler looked at me and he said, “That's not a bad idea!”


Matt: I said, “Come on, man, you’re not going anywhere from Aerosmith.”

Bosso: Well, at least you wouldn't have to worry about being the old guys in the band then.

Matt: Yeah. Fuck, he's still good, though. I tell you that guy can sing.

Bosso: On your website there’s a message that you wrote in March, and I guess it was right when Scott left the band.

Matt: Right.

Bosso: And you were very polite, and you wished him all the best. But since that time there'd been a bit of a war of words in the press between the two of you. What happened there?

Matt: I think actually before we got into a little wordy thing. But initially, what I'd said before is, when we were in Glasgow, Scotland, and he got on stage and made a rant about "Velvet Revolver is over," well, I took that very personally, because me and Slash and Duff had that band two years before he came along, and he claims that it was his name and all that kind of stuff. Well, you know, we came up with the name “Revolver” and he added “Velvet” to it – well, it's half of ours and half his. Whatever, but…

Bosso: But then you were originals.

Matt: Yeah, well, we worked for a long time before we got Scott. We weren't going to just say, “Hey, Scott is leaving; we're going to break up.” You know, no. Uh-uh.

Bosso: Yeah, yeah.

Matt: So, when he said that on stage, I was pretty upset. I went back to my hotel, I sat down and I wrote a blog on my website. You know, I just really felt at that time that I wanted to do damage control and I felt bad for the crowd. And, to be honest with you, I was really sick of dealing with it, that kind of attitude, and I've been doing it my whole career, just kind of sitting back and letting these guys get away with fucking murder. And I just said, you know, “Fuck this shit, man. I'm gonna get on the internet and I'm gonna write some stuff to my fans that are my fans, too; they're not just his.

Bosso: Yeah, yeah.

Matt: And I said, “Look, I apologize for some people's behavior,” you know, “it's not the band.” I didn't want them to think - you know, not that we ever really took blame for it, but I didn't want the fans to think that we were just going to lay down and play dead.

Bosso: Right.

Matt: And I said, you know, “Everyone knows whose fault it was.” It was very apparent who was up on stage being an asshole and I'm just not going to be the guy that's going to take responsibility for that. So I kind of said something and then that got grabbed all over the internet.

Bosso: Now, did it totally take you by surprise?

Matt: It did. I woke up the next morning and it was on and all those other sites.

Bosso: No, I mean what he said on stage. I mean, were you guys prepared for this?

Matt: No, uh-uh. We weren't prepared at all, you know, and we didn't think it was okay. We hadn't been okay for a little while with him, and, to be honest, at that point we were all thinking about, “Man, we need to make a change” anyway, and at the end of that tour we ended up letting Scott go. We had feelings about that before, we'd already discussed it. We thought, you know, “We've got to move on, because this is really tying us down.” And we heard rumors that STP was going out, and one day he nonchalantly said, “Yeah, I'm going to go on tour with STP,” just like it was nothing.

Bosso: But that he would still stay in Velvet Revolver.

Matt: He claimed that, but...

Bosso: Right.

Matt: And he said, “Look, I'm going to be on the road until next year.” We're like, “Okay we're going to wait for a year for you to come back in Velvet Revolver?” And we're like, you know, “What do you think we are?” Like, we always felt like we just got treated disrespectfully from him.

Bosso: Yeah.

Matt: For the amount of places we've been, and what we've done in our career and, you know, the level of bands that we were in, we actually couldn't believe the way we were being treated. We were like, “Is this guy actually treating us like this?”

Bosso: So he quit before he could get fired.

Matt: I think he probably felt that he was gonna get fired, because we weren't speaking to him on that entire tour, the rest of us. We rode on a separate bus. We weren't getting along. And I think it was a real drag for the audience, but we didn't want to cancel the tour, because we'd already canceled Australia and we felt horrible about that, Slash, Duff, and myself, and Dave. We were like, “Let's just finish this, let's go up and rock as hard as we can and do our best, and then let him go.” And then, when I did say that on the blog, you know, the very next day it was all over the internet, and then Scott retaliated very harshly.

Bosso: Yeah.

Matt: It got to a point where he got into some personal business of mine and started to sort of talk about some things that were going on personally with me. You know, I opened up to him one day and told him some stuff that happened to me in my life personally, and he threw me under the bus on worldwide internet - he got ready to, and he didn't, luckily for him. It's not somebody I ever want to be in a band with again. I don't ever want to be in a band with a guy like that again. It's like, the point of playing music, and I said this to Slash and Duff and Dave – I said, “Do you remember when you first got in a band and why you played music in the first place?” You know, and then somehow it became a business.

Bosso: Yeah.

Matt: It's like, when the fuck did that happen? You know it just gets to be, like, this thing that becomes kind of a drag sometimes. So in this this run, the next Velvet Revolver, we're going to be very, very careful about who we pick as a frontman, you know, because the rest of us get along like gangbusters, we get along great. We have our little squabbles here and there, but it's nothing.

Bosso: So the rest of the band is tight?

Matt: Yeah. We have little brotherly squabbles about stupid little shit, but we brush it off and we go back to being men, you know? It's not something we drag into anything or, like, anybody else.

Bosso: Yeah, yeah. Persistent rumors are that Guns N’ Roses could get back together again. Is this just internet hype?

Matt: Well, I'm sure it'll happen eventually, you know? I mean, I think that those-

Bosso: Because Axl is finally putting the record out soon, right?

Matt: Well, we’ll see how that goes. And, you know, I've always said that I thought it would be in his best interest to just put it out under the name Axl Rose. I mean, why not?

Bosso: Yeah.

Matt: Then he doesn't kill the brand. Let's say the record fails, the brand doesn't get killed with it, the name Guns N’ Roses.

Bosso: But it's been so long now. If he would have put out a solo album two years after the last record-

Matt: He could have done it.

Bosso: He could have done it. Now the expectation is so huge.

Matt: I think it's so silly (laughs).

Bosso: Well, you know…

Matt: It's about the silliest thing that's ever happened in rock ‘n’ roll, I think.

Bosso: It's…

Matt: I mean, god bless him, I love the guy and I can't wait to hear it. It's just like, he's so talented that I know that he has in his mind the right thing to do. Just like he had the right intention when he did Use Your Illusion I and II; he came to the band and said, “Look, I want to put out a double album.” But, you know, for this record it's gotten way, way over the top. I mean, now it's going on what, freaking 15 years?

Bosso: Something like that. Okay, so let's say Slash's phone rang, or Duff’s phone rang. Or your phone rang. From Axl. Would that be the domino effect?

Matt: I think it would be way up above me. I probably would be the very, very, very last guy to get the call (laughs).

Bosso: Well…

Matt: You know, they’ve been probably… for all I know, they’re probably already having meetings about it. Who knows. They could be in a, like... they could be in a bomb shelter right now with, like, Axl and Slash and Duff, for all I know. And Izzy. And maybe Steven Adler (laughs). I don't know. I don't know! It's so secretive and weird, and just like… And you know what? I can't sit around and think that I’m even gonna get the call. You know, I don't know, I don't know my position. Like, there's fans out there that love Guns N’ Roses, who still love Steven Adler in the band.

Bosso: Right.

Matt: For myself, I thought that first album is the record. It will always be the record. I played all those songs live pretty much nightly for three years on the road, you know? I mean, was I an original member? No. Was I an integral member of the band? Yes. You know, would Brain be the drummer? Probably not. I don't know, maybe Axl would just say, “Look, it's Slash, Duff, Izzy and Brain.”

Bosso: Well…

Matt: You know, I don't know what they would say.

Bosso:  Yeah.  

Matt: But I don't really have a voting right in that band. You know, I can't be the guy to go, “Okay, on…” (laughs).

Bosso: (Laughs)

Matt: “Okay, Duff, it's you and me, Slash, Izzy…” Now hey, you know what? Maybe I could be the guy to get the band back together. Who knows. I could go right up to Axl’s house, and knock on the door and say, “Look dude, come on!”

Bosso: You're the Ringo, you're the peacemaker.

Matt: I kind of…  well, I've either been the peacemaker or the guy that says, “Look, you're fuckin’ up.” But I could be the peacemaker.

Bosso: You could be.

Matt: I have been.

Bosso: This could be your moment, right now.

Matt: (Laughs).

Bosso: You could do it right here.

Matt: Look, I told Axl on the internet - because he doesn't talk to me. I've told him before, I said, “Look, I said some shit, everybody said some shit.” I'm not gonna sit around and kiss his ass or anything, but I'm gonna tell you this: I've said some shit a couple times, I was drunk when I said it, a couple of times I was maybe… they caught me at the wrong time. People say shit. Scott Weiland, everything I said about him is true (laughs).

Bosso: (Laughs).

Matt: I said this on the internet the other day - not recently. I said, the one difference between Scott Weiland and Axl Rose is it that the fucking place was sold out every night (laughs).

Bosso: There you go.

Matt: Even if he was a little late, he sang in key.

Bosso: Thank you very much for spending some time with me.

Matt: Yeah.

Bosso: This is Joe Bosso for Music Radar, the place for music makers. I've been speaking with Matt Sorum.

Matt: Nice. Thanks for having me.

Bosso: Matt, thank you very much.

Matt: Okay.

Bosso: Take care.

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