"Stratosphere", the new solo album from former GUNS N' ROSES drummer Matt Sorum, will be released in March via Rok Dok Recordings under the MATT SORUM'S FIERCE JOY banner.
Speaking to The Street, Sorum stated about his inspiration for the "Stratosphere" CD: "I'm known as a rock guy, but I've always loved so many diverse artists. I was a huge Joni Mitchell fan; I remember listening to a lot of her records back to back. Neil Young, Tom Petty, THE BEATLES, of course, and I was a huge Bowie fan. I was also into progressive stuff, like early GENESIS, Peter Gabriel era. You can hear that influence on the new album; there are a couple of songs that have some interesting time changes.
"I've always dabbled on the acoustic guitar, and I wrote a couple songs for VELVET REVOLVER. In GUNS N' ROSES, Axl [Rose] and Slash looked to me for arrangements. I wasn't the predominant songwriter, but I've always been involved in the process.
"When I put 'Stratosphere' together, I actually had a lot of it on cassette. I'd been writing the songs over the years, and I wanted to do an album that was just coming from me, regardless of anyone's expectations."
Asked if MATT SORUM'S FIERCE JOY will go out on tour, Sorum said: "We're going to tour, but it isn't going to be a typical rock show. If I'm going to front a band, I can't see myself, at my age, jumping up and playing rock and roll the way Dave Grohl does. Dave pulls it off, running around the stage with an electric guitar. But would that feel right for me? How can I make this feel natural, a natural progression, growing into the man that I finally feel that I am, and saying what I want to say now?"
Sorum played a brand new solo song entitled "The Sea" on November 18, 2013 at Avalon Hollywood in Los Angeles. Fan-filmed video footage of performance — featuring Sorum on guitar and vocals — can be seen below.
Sorum told The Street about the track: "I wrote that song on acoustic, then piano.
"I always heard the desert was a cool place to write, so I headed out to Joshua Tree. Then in my hometown, we used to go to a little beach getaway called the Surf and Sand, and I wrote the lyric to 'The Sea' there. I was sitting on a balcony, overlooking the ocean, thinking about life. I started thinking about the sea as a metaphor for spiritual awakening."