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APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
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.

Cheers!
SoulMonster

2024.06.04 - Palm Springs Tribune - Interview With Former Guns N’ Roses Drummer Matt Sorum and Jason Mendelson, Founders Of GoodNoise Studio In Palm Springs

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2024.06.04 - Palm Springs Tribune - Interview With Former Guns N’ Roses Drummer Matt Sorum and Jason Mendelson, Founders Of GoodNoise Studio In Palm Springs Empty 2024.06.04 - Palm Springs Tribune - Interview With Former Guns N’ Roses Drummer Matt Sorum and Jason Mendelson, Founders Of GoodNoise Studio In Palm Springs

Post by Blackstar Wed Jun 05, 2024 12:44 pm

Interview With Former Guns N’ Roses Drummer Matt Sorum and Jason Mendelson, Founders Of GoodNoise Studio In Palm Springs

By Eric Gray

Palm Springs, CA

Greater Palm Springs has long been a magnet for legendary creatives seeking solace and inspiration. Icons like Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe and Jim Morrison all found refuge in our community, infusing it with their timeless talent.

Today, the Coachella Valley continues to be a haven for musical artistry, counting among its residents famous contemporary artists such as Sia, new resident Justin Bieber, and the reason for today’s interview Matt Sorum, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, former drummer with Guns N’ Roses, and Grammy-winning drummer for Velvet Revolver. Sorum was with Guns N Roses from 1990-1997 and recorded three albums with Axl Rose (vocals), Slash, (guitar), and Duff McKagan (bass) including the famous albums, Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II.

Matt Sorum, along with his partner Jason Mendelson, a former venture capitalist who spends his time as a musician, producer, (under the name Jace Allen), author, and criminal justice reform participant, founded GoodNoise Studio in Palm Springs.

Designed as a haven for artists and a hub of creative energy, the studio spans over 4,000 square feet, offering musicians a space filled with meticulously chosen top-tier equipment designed to ignite creativity. Picture yourself surrounded by a selection of 35 iconic guitars, a dozen vintage amplifiers, and a Yamaha baby grand piano, all awaiting your touch. Then, picture yourself recording your masterpiece on the revered 1981 Trident 80c console, a prized possession transported from Nashville’s renowned Treasure Isle Studios. This very console has been utilized by famous country music icons Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson, as well as rock luminaries Billy Idol and Billy F Gibbons.

I recently got to interview Matt Sorum and Jason Mendelson, both who are bonafide Palm Springs residents about their business venture GoodNoise Studio.

Here is the interview:

What inspired you both to establish GoodNoise Studio in Palm Springs?

Matt Sorum: We love to record music, we love making songs. I had all of this equipment in Los Angeles that was in storage. Jason and I knew each other for about 5 years and we decided to do a music studio together.

Jason Mendelson: There was no other downtown recording studio and we noticed how many musicians were coming out to the desert that didn’t have a place to record. We also use the space for charity events.

Can you share some of the key challenges you encountered while building GoodNoise Studio?

Jason Mendelson: Well the biggest challenge was actually finding the right building in the right location. It wasn’t easy, there’s lots of airplanes flying above. We looked at a lot of buildings before we found ours.

Matt Sorum: I remember we looked at one building and there were a bunch of airplanes going overhead. Since we use tube microphones from Germany that are very sensitive and pick up sounds like airplane noise, we had to find the right location and that was tough. We finally found the spot in a great area.

How do you see GoodNoise Studio contributing to the music industry landscape, particularly in Palm Springs?

Matt Sorum: Like Jason said, we have a lot of musicians gravitating towards the desert. It’s always been that way. The desert has been an allure for artist and writers. It’s a place to go, to get away to have quiet and to get in touch with what you are feeling and what you want to do. We are drawing people out to Good Noise Studio from Hollywood and LA. We had a session last night with two young guys who got a deal with Warner Brothers. Usually, people come to the studio by word of mouth. Jason and I are growing and curating that. More people are going to let other people know. Also, the community that we are building around philantrophy is going to be great. We had a massive drum circle recently with Rick Állen of Def Leppard and The Chief of Police Andy Mills came out along with members of the Fire Department and the Mayor. I love Andy Mills and we want to help the community anyway we can. That being said, the studio is organically building. Palm Springs has always been a mecca from the big city. Built it and they will come.

Jason Mendelson: It’s not enough to have a computer in the bedroom. Matt was adamant about having a massive engineering room. We built a huge engineering room over 1000 square feet and that’s where the creativity happens, where someone can say, “what if we did this and what if we did that?” We are providing a musical space for creativity that did not exist in the Coachella Valley before.

With Coachella in town, do musicians stop by the studio afterwards?

Matt Sorum: We do have people coming around to the studio. (He laughs) I’m a little bit out of the Coachella demographic,” but yeah the Coachella Valley is becoming a festival destination especially with Coachella, Stage Coach, and the Acrisure Arena. The Plaza Theatre also has the same management as Acrisure. I played the “Save The Plaza Theatre” event. This is where we can have cool intimate gigs that have great impact.

Jason Mendelson: The Plaza Theatre is less than a mile from Good Noise Studios. We’ve had Paul Rodgers of Bad Company rehearse at our studio with Brian Ray who plays with Paul McCartney and Queen’s keyboardist Spike Edney among others. All residents of Palm Springs as well.

Can you share any memorable experiences or projects that have taken place at GoodNoise Studio?

Jason Mendelson: Rick Allen (drummer of Def Leppard) and his wife Lauren Monroe tented the entire parking lot of GoodNoise Studio and raised money and awareness for first responders and veterans. That was a definite highlight along with Aloe Blacc at our studio, who was working on an album on socially conscious movements. A lot of great people coming through, although we tend not to name drop because we want to be a safe space for people to come and create. Recently I had to cut a drum track for a band that wanted a Guns N’ Roses drum sound. I loved the collaboration with Matt. There was no money involved, no agenda, it was just in the moment.

Matt Sorum: That was a great day for me too, putting Jason through the ringer was fun. Playing is something we love to do. We have incredible equipment. When you walk though Goodnoise Studio, there is a lot of history . I believe in Mojo I’m all about analog and cool mics and old drum kits. We have a 1963 drum kit, vintage guitars, and vintage amps. Our oldest amps are from the 50’s to the 70’s. We have every kind of pedal known to man. We have equipment used by Slash and Billy Gibbons. Other musicans like Kenny Wayne Shepard, and Jim Keltner legendary drummer have played our instruments. Jim Keltner even signed one of those drum kits. People who come to our studio can come and feel that energy. I am an energy guy, thats what we wanted in creating the space, to create a vibe.

Jason Mendelson: We take a lot of feedback and we do this out of love. We also have the latest greatest new stuff like a new Yamaha keyboard that different generations are gravitating to and the latest in computers and Protools. It’s been really exciting, you get the best of both worlds. It’s a soundscape factory, a laboratory. We should wear lab coats.

Matt, since your iconic years with Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver, what new musical ventures have you embarked upon lately?

Matt Sorum: I just did the last two Billy Gibbons records. and some tracks for the new one here at Goodnoise . Kings of Chaos is my band. It includes many of my musician friends over my 40 year career. I have shows coming up with Sammy Hagar and Billy Idol. Also I have a record coming out with Tak Matsumoto from The B’Z a Japanese band that has sold 85 million records along with Jack Blades of Nightranger and Eric Martin of Mr. Big. The band is called TMG2. We are going to tour Japan September through October this year.

Jason, which instrument do you find yourself gravitating towards the most in the studio, and what about it captivates you?

Jason Mendelson: I credit drums on why I am here. It’s the truth north my life. I can’t play as much as I used to but l get by when I need to. These days I spend most of my time producing Aloe Blacc’s next album as well as another artist who will soon be on The Voice. I like the animalistic part of the rhythm section. It’s the trance to put your mind at ease. It’s ironic where you hit things but you are completely calm and in control.

Matt Sorum: There are great producers who start off as drummers. David Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters) & Phil Collins are examples. Drummers are are listening outward. I think they are a natural fit for producers. I was talking to Steven Tyler (Aerosmith) who was originally a drummer. He understands the foundation of music. Everything starts with the rhythm. As a drummer, I love producing.

What drew you both to make Palm Springs your home, and how have you found the experience of living here in the Coachella Valley? What restaurants are some of your favorites?

Matt Sorum: My wife and I love Palm Springs. We got married here at Colony Palms Hotel. Then, my wife and I were riding bikes and discovered the neighborhood that we are living in now. We love the calm life. There is a deep sense of connection, spirituality, and serenity here. I am able to feel like i can do things at a pace that is easier to exude here. I lived in Hollywood for 40 years and I still drive back to LA but you can get a lot of stuff done here in Palm Springs. For restaurants, I love Bar Cecil, Workshop Kitchen, Birba’s cauliflower pizza.

Jason Mendelson: I love all those restaurants Matt mentioned. I also love Heydey Burger. They are a wonderful husband and wife. And I love Bootlegger Tiki and Mister Parker’s. Coming from Boulder, CO and the venture capitalist world, you always wonder if people like you or that you write checks. There are no startup venture capitalists here. Anyone who talks to me has to like me. I have these legitimate relationships here in Palm springs and Matt is on the list. I’m feeling really fortunate. People who live in Palm Springs are interesting people. Most of us made the choice to come to the island. I can create another career after being a venture capitalist as a musician and producer. That’s insane and it’s in the Coachella Valley.

Matt Sorum: With the people you meet here, there is no front. They’ve been successful and do their own thing. It’s always interesting, the Palm Springs Vibe.

Looking ahead, what are your future plans and aspirations for GoodNoise Studio?

Jason Mendelson: We are lining things up for next year, Our studio is dark and moody. It’s Palm Springs meets Miami Art Deco in the 40’s. There’s going to be lot of stuff happening. We want to make the studio available to the community.

Matt Sorum: We are really trying to expand. First we are looking for people doing interesting things. We want to increase a like minded creative network. A place where people can do their thing.

https://pstribune.com/2024/06/04/interview-with-former-guns-n-roses-drummer-matt-sorum-and-jason-mendelson-founders-of-goodnoise-studio-in-palm-springs/
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