Author Topic: When Youíre Younger You Can Get Away with Murder  (Read 976 times)

Offline Velvet Revolver

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When Youíre Younger You Can Get Away with Murder: A Conversation with Matt Sorum

Matt Sorum: Iíve got to say that first time I played here was with the Cult, in í88 or í89. I remember staying at the Four Seasons.

Ovrld: Do you remember where you played?

MS: I want to say it was at Stubbís BBQ, or one of those. You know what, it might have bigger in those days. We were pretty big then. Probably whatever arena was around.

Ovrld: Cityís changed a bit.

MS: Oh my God. I remember going out to Lake Travis; I was going to buy a house out there. I called my guy, and in retrospect Ė it was like a hundred and fifty grand, on the water, with docks Ė nothing. Now, that came out probably $2-3 million. But that was a long time ago. I remember it being really beautiful then. I liked it, and I gravitated toward it. And since then, a lot of friends of mine have moved down here.

It comes up in conversation all the time when people from L.A. go, ďHey man, I really dig Austin.Ē

Ovrld: What is it with rockíníroll and motorcycles? Why do they go hand in hand, especially your brand of rock?

MS: Oh, man. I think rockíníroll, itís an energry, itís a rebellion, itís freedom, itís being yourself, itís all the same statements as being a biker. Rockíníroll is a lifestyle, rockíníroll is an energy. Everything you feel on a motorcycle is rockíníroll.

Ovrld: Youíve said before that you wanted to ďrelive your youthĒ with Kings of Chaos. Thinking back to that time, have the shows indeed felt that way, or is the experience of being onstage very different now?

MS: Well, you know, Iíve been really fortunate to be in a bunch of great bands. But a lot of the guys that I invite along on this thing, theyíre heroes of mine. Thereís a few decades of rockíníroll represented here. I still Ė in my opinion Ė think some of the greatest rockíníroll bands came out of the í70ís. And the í80ís were a little bit of a weird time for rockíníroll, and then we had a bit of grunge in the í90ís, which was some good stuff. And a few good bands came out of the í80ís. But in general, most of the great rockíníroll bands came from the í70ís. So Iíve got Robin Zander from Cheap Trick, probably one of the most underrated American rockíníroll bands. And then Iíve got Glenn Hughes on this trip, from one of my favorite bands growing up as a kid, Deep Purple. I was more of a Deep Purple fan than a Led Zeppelin fan when I was in high school. You know, everyone was into Led Zeppelin. But I was into Deep Purple, mainly because of the drummer. Everyone loves John Bonham, and that was obvious, but Ian Paice was one of my favorite drummers, because he was a little faster, he had a lot of chops. I was really into that band. So I got Glenn. And then Iíve been doing gigs with Steven Tyler, and obviously that band came out of the í70ís.

Ovrld: And you had Gene Simmons in there for a minute, right?
MS: Yeah, we were doing a gig in South America, and thatís the first time Geneís ever done a gig outside of KISS.

Ovrld: Is that so?

MS: Yeah, heís never really gone out and joined another band. I somehow talked him into it. With a big fat check! Ha ha ha!

Ovrld: Well, let me ask you about that. For you, is running this band like playing booking agent, or casting director?

MS: Yeah, I cast the band, I cast the roles. Iíve been in so many bands as a drummer Ė after Velvet Revolver, that was so much energy being put into building a new band. People donít seem to realize the amount of time and energy that goes into making that happen, but it was years and years and years of us, just getting the record together to be able to then hope to have success. You know, to have radio and all the publicity. We spent probably three months just doing publicity on this record before it came out. Thatís not even playing music, thatís doing interviews, photo shoots. I donít think that people think that we work for a living, but we definitely do. They think that itís all fun and games, but the reality is itís a lot of work.

So when I came up with Kings of Chaos, after the Velvet Revolver experience, I was just not ready to go through the whole process of trying to do a new album, original material. I just wanted to go out and play.

People want to hear the hits. They want to hear shit they know. They come to a show to be entertained. They want to see a great show, and they want to hear great songs. So Iím like, ďFuck it, Iím going to put together a band of superstars, and chock full of hits.Ē
Ovrld: You were once in a scene loaded with hard rock bands, not yet famous and playing small clubs and maybe house shows. Is it weird to see bands with an arena-ready sound, playing small venues?
MS: Well, for instance, I just went to see Metallica in Philadelphia. And I saw them at a theater in L.A. before they started this big stadium tour. Lars [Ulrich] called me up and invited me, it was like ďfriends and family.Ē Tiny gig. Like, 1800 people maybe, tops, and thatís tiny for Metallica, right? We went in there, and I was like, this band is way too big for this venue! Because the volume of Metallica and the power of Metallica, right? I told Lars afterward, ďHoly shit, dude, you guys about blew that building up.Ē It was almost too much, right?

And then I went to see them in Philadelphia, and they were playing a sold out stadium there, 52,000 people. I went to the gig, and I sat out at the board with my wife and watched the show,  and I went, ďThereís a fucking stage for Metallica.Ē Theyíre a stadium band! That band, the bigger the better. Itís like, ďHoly shit, look at that.Ē And I went backstage and I told Lars, ďThat was fucking awesome.Ē Thatís the kind of stage they need to be on.

I think the problem with a lot of these young bands that are coming out, is theyíll never be able to represent a stage that size. You have to be a real entertainer to keep an audience in a venue that big. Somebody like Billy Joel can do a stadium, Elton John. AC/DC, bands at that level. They happen to have that person thatís going to be able to captivate that audience.

Ovrld: How did you join this band, Y Kant Tori Read?

MS: Youíve got to remember, itís Hollywood in the mid-80ís, right? If you werenít in a certain demographic, you werenít going to get a gig, you werenít going to get work, and you werenít going to eat. New Wave music was happening at the time. Early í80ís in Hollywood, there was no rockíníroll. It was bands like the Knack, and Plimsouls. Punk was around, but it wasnít commercial. The New Wave music was commercial; the Knack was commercial. [So was] Blondie, who actually came out of punk rock, and became a new wave band.

I was that guy who was trying to work. I met this girl, Tori Amos, whoís now a huge singer-songwriter in her own right. And we started a band. I found her Ė I was playing in a little club, and I introduced myself, we started a band, and we decided to call it Y Kant Tori Read. I had a fucked-up hairdo; Flock of Seagulls was big. Duran Duran, there was that whole New Romantics thing going on in England entering over to America. So I cut my hair, kind of like a rockabilly hairdo gone bad.

Ovrld: Iím looking at this press photo now. Which one are you? The curly blond one?

MS: The frilly blond in the back.

Ovrld: Thatís a great photo, man.

MS: My hairís really fucking curly. I figured out how to get it a little straighter, but Iíve got really curly hair. Obviously, in the GíníR era, I had really curly hair.

Ovrld: You and him on the right both look about as white as a sheet, too.

MS: Thatís probably because I was doing a lot of drugs.

Ovrld: Well, let me ask you  Ė with Kings of Chaos, what kind of partying are yíall doing these days? Is it like old times, or is it a bit different?

MS: A lot different, but we definitely party on stage.

I donít want to die. When youíre younger, you can get away with murder.