MATT SORUM On Demise Of DEADLAND RITUAL: 'It Wasn't Something That We Could Really Push Through'

May 28, 2024

In a new interview with Chasta and Baby Huey of San Francisco Bay Area's 107.7 The Bone radio station, Matt Sorum spoke about the demise of DEADLAND RITUAL, the supergroup he started a few years ago with guitarist Steve Stevens (BILLY IDOL, VINCE NEIL),bassist Geezer Butler (BLACK SABBATH) and singer Franky Perez (APOCALYPTICA). The 63-year-old former GUNS N' ROSES and VELVET REVOLVER drummer said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "When you're trying to start a new band, it is a new band. And even VELVET REVOLVER, we came out banging, but there was a couple of years setting that up. We came out with 'Slither' and boom, the train was rolling. But DEADLAND was a different situation, with the way the music industry has gone and stuff, as far as signing rock and roll and how do you get the music out there and all that stuff. So when we finally started to go out and do some tours, we were going on during the day. And I go to Geezer: 'When was the last time you went on stage during the day?' He goes, 'I don't remember.' And then me and Geezer, we were on a bus — we shared a bus in Europe. He asked me if we wanted to get our own bus, 'cause when you do a tour like that, you have a budget and you've gotta get the crew. And we weren't getting BLACK SABBATH money or VELVET REVOLVER money or GUNS N' ROSES money — we were getting the money that a band that opens during the day gets. So you have a budget. It's very expensive to tour Europe. So we get a bus — me and Geezer get a bus. And even then. I said, 'Geezer, when was the last time you were on a bus?' 'I don't remember.' And he didn't even really like the bus that much. And I've gotta say, it was like that kind of thing."

Matt continued: "When you've toured that many years, as far as Geezer and even myself, you have to have sort of creature comforts to be able to survive a tour — at our age. [Laughs] When you're a kid, when you're 20, 25, you don't care. You're in a van. I remember my first tour, I was in a station wagon and, and I drove the Ford Econoline van and I was a kid in a candy store. I was, like, 'What are we eating? Who cares? Whoa.' And then you're, like, 'Oh, we don't have a hotel tonight? We sleep in the bus? Really.'

"So, I think DEADLAND was kind of that — it was a couple of guys, three guys that have been in really big bands and traveled at the highest level and played the biggest shows," Sorum explained. "And then Franky Perez, who [was a] great singer. But it just wasn't something that we could really push through, if that makes sense."

Last June, Geezer, who was promoting his autobiography "Into The Void: From Birth To Black Sabbath - And Beyond" at the time, spoke about the status of DEADLAND RITUAL during an appearance on the "Appetite For Distortion" podcast. Geezer said: "Matt and the singer fell out. It was right before we were gonna go into the studio and record the album. We'd written 12 songs for an album, and everything was going fine. Then the pandemic hit, and all the studios closed down. And that was it. You couldn't leave your house for three months, or whatever it was. So we were all restricted to our various homes everywhere. And nothing ever came of it. That's when I started writing the book instead."

Asked if fans will ever see those DEADLAND RITUAL songs come out, Butler replied: "I think Matt's gonna do one or two on his new [KINGS OF CHAOS] album that should be out sometime this year… I was in Steve Stevens's studio and we both did a song for Matt."

Stevens discussed DEADLAND RITUAL's split during a January 2022 appearance on SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk". At the time, he said about the project: "I think it's done, although there was a lot of material that was written that I hope will see the light of day in some form or another. I'm still friendly with all those guys."

As for what caused DEADLAND RITUAL to come to an end after only releasing two songs, Stevens said: "It was really difficult. We were about to sign a deal. We went out and toured Europe. We're all seasoned musicians and we're used to a certain lifestyle, and here we were having to open. We did a number of festival dates and small club dates. Initially, everyone said they were willing to do that, willing to get in the trenches. When reality hit and there was crappy food and crappy hotels and all that kind of stuff, I think people lost interest."

Steve went on to praise the musical chemistry between the members of DEADLAND RITUAL, saying: "From the first day of rehearsal, to walk in there and play against the sound of Geezer Butler, man, I would have paid just to be there. Incredible. For bass players to have such a unique and profound influence on music, those records and that sound that I grew up with, and there I am playing against it, the hair stood up on my fucking arms. I mean, it was incredible. And [he's] such a gentleman. And the rhythm section of him and Matt was undeniable."

In March 2021, Butler told "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk" that DEADLAND RITUAL was "dead." He explained: "The virus put the final nail in the coffin. We had 12 or 13 songs written. We were about to go into the studio [in] March [2020], and everything closed down. Matt left the band. And Steve has got, I think, a lung condition or something, so he couldn't leave the house 'cause of the virus. And we just didn't revive it. You never know — we might do it next year or something. I don't know."

A few hours after BLABBERMOUTH.NET published Geezer's comments, he took to his Twitter to write: "I would like to clarify a recent interview remark I made, concerning DEADLAND RITUAL, and Steve Stevens. I was referring to the start of the pandemic, how it stopped us from going into the studio to record. I said Steve wouldn't leave his house because of a lung condition." He continued: "I was told Steve had a respiratory problem & didn't want to risk getting Covid. I totally agreed. Anyway, I want you all to know that Steve is up and about and has no 'lung condition'. In fact he played at this past Super Bowl. #lockdown #COVID19 @Stevestevens #clarification".

DEADLAND RITUAL released two songs, "Down In Flames" and "Broken And Bruised" in late 2018 and early 2019. Both tracks, which were produced by Greg Fidelman (METALLICA, SLIPKNOT),were made available via Sonik Riot Records/AWAL powered by Kobalt.

For its live performances, DEADLAND RITUAL's setlist consisted of several original tracks alongside classic songs from the members' previous bands, including BLACK SABBATH's "Symptom Of The Universe", "Neon Knights" and "Sweet Leaf", VELVET REVOLVER's "Slither" and BILLY IDOL's "Rebel Yell".

Geezer previously said that he initially had no plans to join another band after SABBATH completed its "The End" farewell tour.

"Well, I retired after the last SABBATH show," he said. "I just traveled and did everything that I wanted to do when I was retired for a year. And then I got fed up watching the TV every day. And I started writing stuff again, 'cause that's what you do. I've been doing it for 50 years, so it's in your blood. You can't just stop, especially when it's your hobby as well. And I just got back into writing stuff. I was planning on doing another solo album, a GZR thing. And I got a few songs together for that. And then Matt got in touch with me about DEADLAND RITUAL."

Asked what appealed to him about being in a band again, Geezer said: "It's what I've known since I started when I was 16; I was in a band. When you're doing solo stuff, it's just you writing stuff. There's nobody to bounce off, and I really missed that. It's good to have people saying, 'That's good. That'll work.' Or, 'That's not so good.' And I missed having that. The guitarist that I worked with in GZR, he's just moved to the East Coast and he's got other things on his plate at the moment. With DEADLAND RITUAL, everybody's local, so it's easy to get together. And you don't have to plan months in advance to do an album or write songs. If I feel like writing a song today, I call up Steve, go around to Steve's house, and we try something."

DEADLAND RITUAL made its live debut in May 2019 at the Troubadour in West Hollywood, California.

Find more on Black sabbath
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).