Author Topic: Interview on Blistering.com Matt Sorum – No Rest for the Wicked  (Read 3214 times)

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Matt Sorum – No Rest for the Wicked

Not one sit around and twiddle his thumbs, Velvet Revolver/ex-Guns N Roses drummer Matt Sorum is currently pounding the sticks on Motorhead’s North American tour as a fill-in for Mikkey Dee. A tall order indeed (Dee took time off to film a Swedish reality TV show), but for a veteran like Sorum, it’s business as usual. We caught up with Sorum in Orlando and prodded him on his stint with Motorhead, the status of Velvet Revolver and his extra-curricular activities, which include lots ‘o film scores, apparently…

Blistering.com: How did you get on this tour with Motorhead?

Matt Sorum: I have no idea…[laughs] No, I just happened to be at the Rainbow, [laughs]. No, I have played with Lemmy a few times out in L.A. guess he liked the way I played “Ace of Spades.” So he figured I could play the rest of the stuff [laughs]. He called me up, well he texted me first cause he does not do email, and he asked would I be up to coming out and playing. I thought that was a real honor you know, so I called him back right away, asked when can we get together and rehearse.

Blistering.com: Lemmy rehearses?

Sorum:We don’t have time to do that. So I flew out, met the band on the road, watched some of the shows and I joined the band in Washington DC and started the tour with them.

Blistering.com: What were you doing before the tour?

Sorum: Not much…waiting to get Velvet Revolver back, doing some film scores, producing my girlfriends band, Darling Stilettos, and playing in my band Camp Freddy. It was really cool to get the phone call. I was very happy to get the call!

Blistering.com: How’s the tour been for you so far?

Sorum: Great man, it’s been fun.

Blistering.com: So how did this tour happen between Motorhead and Reverend Horton Heat?

Sorum: Well you would have to ask Phil.

Blistering.com: Why is Reverend on tour with Motorhead?

Phil Campbell [Motorhead guitarist]: I don’t know, Lemmy did a recoding with them. So I think they are friends. I have grown to like the band, great musicians; they are great at what they do. I don’t really care for the rockabilly scene, but I think Lemmy likes it so it is a good thing.

Blistering.com: So are you a fan of Reverend Horton Heat?

Sorum: Of course! Yeah man they are great! I really like them.

Blistering.com: Do you think Velvet Revolver will get back together?

Sorum: I think it will. We have been emailing back and forth, in search of a singer, so we have high expectations. We want to make sure this singer will work and be a better thing. We looked a long time before we got Scott [Weiland] and I don’t know if we got Scott because it seemed like an easy way to fill the bill. I know we want to take it up a notch and make it better. When we got Scott, we jumped into it pretty quick. Even though Me, Slash, Duff [McKagen] and Dave [Kushner] have been working together on the first record before Scott came on, then Scott jumped on and we went on the road and did the record pretty quick. The second album I think we fell prey to more of what Scott wanted to do and we wanted to straight up rock-n-roll. I think this time around we would like to make a real strong rock album and stick with more of our roots.

Blistering.com: I know you, Slash and Duff had your own chemistry, was it hard to mesh with Scott when he came in?

Sorum: No not really, the first record he picked the songs. We had about fifty songs written. We just started to sing on them, that album happened real organically and really quickly. When we went to write the second album it seemed to take different road, which I always wanted to make a harder record, but I think we went a little lighter and the fans didn’t really care for that much. I think the second record is a good one but we did what we did. I think it was a weird chemistry between us.

Blistering.com: How did you get into playing drums what was your drive to do it?

Sorum: Well, great bands growing up as a kid, Sabbath, Zeppelin, Deep Purple… I just loved drumming. All these bands would come up to Hollywood and play the circuit. I grew up in California, got my first tour in 78-79. It was just in my blood you know. I didn’t have any other talents [laughs] you know. I have played in a lot of bands before; I mean it was all about personality, all about whom you knew. I mean if you ask Lemmy he would say maybe I wasn’t his first choice, I think he wanted to use Dave Grohl [Foo Fighters], but he knows Dave real well and he knows me a bit less than Dave but he knows me, he figures he can hang out with me and that is what a band is. It’s a lot of what we do together.

Blistering.com: I mean if you guys don’t mesh well with each other outside of playing then it won’t really work.

Sorum: I think if you were to ask Lemmy he would say, “I like Matt, his drumming, he is a good person.”

Blistering.com: What other bands did you like as a kid and go see when they came to your town?

Sorum: UFO, Deep Purple, early Genesis, early Gentle Giant. I was always into checking out the English bands, it was the 70’s so I would go find records in the English import section. I always wanted to be the cool kid in class and go “Look what I found!” They could be bands like Gong, Gentle Giant. I also got into progressive jazz as well like Return to Forever, Lenny White. Then I started to play in bands - I have lived in Hollywood for 30 years.

Blistering.com: Do you love to live in Hollywood?

Sorum: For me it has been a creative outlet! It was my workplace, all the different projects I have done. I have done things that a lot of people don’t even know about. Like film scores, indie films, I have a solo record; I’m doing the Darling Stilettos stuff.

Blistering.com: Do you find that sometimes when creating music you start off in this place and then go and listen to it and say, “I think this is where I want to go?”

Sorum: Well I mean you can start here and end up in a completely different place. I mean if you listen to great bands sometimes like The Stones, Beatles, Queen they went way outside the box and they got away with it. I think Guns N Roses to an extent got away with some stuff. I mean a lot of fans still hold onto Appetite for Destruction as the GNR best album. But when you listen to the Use Your Illusions they were a departure from that. But it had to be done.

Blistering.com: When you guys go into write/record, who writes the music and lyrics? Is it mainly one person or collaboration?

Sorum: The way that VR and also GNR did it was that most of the music came first and then lyrics. Then we would just go from there and set up the tracks.

Blistering.com: When doing film scores how do you figure out where the music will sync up with the image?

Sorum: Film stuff is very fun. Because when you first start the film it is flat, I don’t know if you have ever seen a film without music, but it is a weird thing. So the stuff that I worked on the director has an idea of how he wants the music to go. A lot of the time we will temp in music ‘cause we don’t have the money to buy music like Santana, Nine Inch Nails or what ever they want. So they have an idea of how they want the music to sound. So I find this part to be a challenge to bring the emotion out, it is really fun and it is interesting when you synch the music with the scene. When it is done it is so unreal how much change you bring to the film.

I was watching Pulp Fiction and I think I counted 13 cues of music, which means it’s a great film. It means you don’t have to fill it with background music. Now on some of the films I worked on, I have done 35-40 pieces of music for a film, that film or films needed it I mean when I do music for a film I work with a composer, but I play guitar, drums… a lot of musical instruments for the films. When I play stuff like this it is for me not really so much for other people, by that I mean, it is another creative outlet and means to create music.