MATT SORUM Says He Looks At His Exclusion From GUNS N' ROSES Reunion Differently Now: 'I'm Not Supposed To Be There'

May 27, 2024

In a new interview with Chasta and Baby Huey of San Francisco Bay Area's 107.7 The Bone radio station, Matt Sorum reflected on his time as the drummer for GUNS N' ROSES. The 63-year-old musician, who replaced Steven Adler in the Axl Rose-fronted outfit, said in part (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "It was chaotic. It was crazy. Of course, Axl was late [going on stage] sometimes. Who cares? That was the energy. If people complained, by the time he came on stage, it was just on — game on.

"I say to people, what was going on backstage was causing a lot of emotional sort of angst in a punk rock way," Sorum continued. "Some of us were angry — I could say me included. We were like, 'Where is he?' Like, but once we got up there, we were, like, 'Ahhhh.' And talk about taking it all out — we did. And you asked me before, what would it be like to be in the same band? And that's something I thought about. And I always say to like Tré Cool from GREEN DAY or something. I said, 'Tré, man, it's like you got the same band and the same guys. And how does that feel? And it's only three guys, so you split the money three ways. That's cool.' [Laughs]"

Matt went on to say that he is thankful that he got an opportunity to play with GUNS N' ROSES when he did. "I had that moment with the band, and it's really shaped and formed my life and a lot of doors have opened because of it," he explained. "So I look at it with a lot of gratitude. When people ask me, 'Oh, you're not included in the new [GUNS N' ROSES] tour.' And I've said, in the beginning, it was a little weird. I was, like, I didn't even get a call [asking me to be a part of it]. But now I look at it different. I look at it like how I explained before: I'm not supposed to be there. I got a child. I got a beautiful wife. The old me, the old Matt, the old guy, if I got up there, I don't know what would happen to me. I don't know."

Sorum added that a lot of great opportunities have come his way as a result of his association with GUNS N' ROSES. "I still get a lot of accolades and I always get these weird fringe benefits — still, 30 years later," he said. "I have businesses because of it. I do other things philanthropically. I'm able to put the word out because I'm the guy from that band. 'Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame GUNS N' ROSES drummer has charity for kids,' it gets press because I'm the guy from that band, and played on the records and some of the songs — a lot of the songs. So, all that being said, I'm in a really good place. So. what's happening with me now is I've got a lot of businesses and philanthropic work and then I do [my all-star rock collective] KINGS OF CHAOS for fun."

Three years ago, Matt revealed in his book "Double Talkin' Jive: True Rock 'N' Roll Stories" that he learned of the 2016 partial reunion of GUNS N' ROSES' classic lineup via the rumor mill even though he was on a South American tour with Slash and Duff McKagan when the Internet chatter first reached him. After he confronted Duff, the bassist told him: "Axl [Rose, GUNS N' ROSES frontman] wants to use his drummer [Frank Ferrer]." "Go to Axl and tell him you want me on drums," Sorum responded. "Period. Now's the time." "Oh, man," Duff replied. "I already signed the deal."

Sorum told Rolling Stone in a 2021 interview that he had gotten over the fact that he will probably never play with GUNS N' ROSES again. "I've come to terms with the fact that they're doing their own thing, and I'm doing mine," he said. "I can't say that when it went down, I was completely happy with the circumstances. At the same time, I feel really good about my time in the band."

Asked why he thinks he wasn't invited on the reunion tour, Matt said: "I think Axl is a loyal guy. He likes his band he's had for a long time. He didn't look at it that way. … If anyone in that band is loyal, it's probably him. He was like, 'I'm going to bring my guy [Frank Ferrer]. If I get Slash, that's cool. If I get Duff, that's cool too. And that's enough.' That's how it went down, and that's what they're doing."

Matt also told Rolling Stone that he was invited to appear as a guest on the GUNS N' ROSES reunion tour but that he didn't do it because there was no money involved. Asked if he would show up and do it if he was approached about it again, he said: "I guess I'd have to wait until that call comes to make that decision. I have a lot of different things going on in my life… I'm a busy guy. It's gotta be what works with my life. I feel really good about my time in the band. And I always thank GUNS N' ROSES for my legacy going forward."

GN'R's hugely successful reunion features Rose, Slash and McKagan alongside Ferrer, keyboardist Dizzy Reed, guitarist Richard Fortus and second keyboardist Melissa Reese.

Sorum recorded the GUNS N' ROSES albums "Use Your Illusion I" and "Use Your Illusion II" (both 1991) and "The Spaghetti Incident" (1994). He also supported the group on the "Use Your Illusion" tour and can be heard on GUNS N' ROSES' "Live Era: '87-'93" (1999) and "Greatest Hits" (2004).

Matt was among the GUNS N' ROSES members who were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in April 2012. He, Adler, Slash and McKagan attended the ceremony, while Rose and founding guitarist Izzy Stradlin stayed home.

Sorum told The Pulse Of Radio in a 2009 interview that if the classic GUNS N' ROSES band reunited, they should perform with both him and Adler. "If it's me on drums or Steven or whatever, if it happened, it'd be great, you know," he said. "I would actually say to them, 'Hey, bring both of us back,' you know. Let me play the other stuff. We'll have two drum kits. I don't care. If 'Appetite [For Destruction]' [the band's debut] sounds better with Steven playing it, have both guys up there. They can afford it."

Back in 2018, Izzy blamed his non-involvement with the GUNS N' ROSES reunion tour on the fact that he and the other guys in the band were unable "to reach a happy middle ground through the negotiation process." He also previously claimed that he stepped away from the reunion because the band didn't want to "split the loot equally."

"Double Talkin' Jive: True Rock 'N' Roll Stories" came out in September 2021 via Rare Bird Books.

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