VELVET REVOLVER Drummer Discusses His Clothing Line

August 15, 2008

VELVET REVOLVER drummer Matt Sorum and fashion designer and longtime friend Max Noce were recently interviewed by Rick Florino of ARTISTdirect about their new line of clothing Sorum Noce. An excerpt from the chat follows.

ARTISTdirect: What inspired you guys to start Sorum Noce?

Max: It was out of necessity really. You can't find a lot of good clothing out there for guys. Most things are way too extravagant. There's never something that's just clean, nice and well-made. I never found what I wanted to wear, so I just decided to start making it myself.

Matt: Yeah, I agree [Laughs].

Max: Sometimes simplicity is actually the most difficult thing to achieve.

Matt: In the music world, it seems like when people think of "Rock n' Roll Attire," they think of skulls, daggers and dragons.

Max: Dragons are cool [Laughs].

Matt: They are, but if you look at the rock n' roll bands that Max and I grew up with, they had a certain classic style. Look around the shop at the photos we have. There's THE ROLLING STONES, THE WHO, THE BEATLES and LED ZEPPELIN.

Max: Were you more of a STONES guy or a BEATLES guy?

Matt: I thought THE BEATLES were a little fluffy in the early days, but then, in the late '60s and the early '70s, they started getting stoned, growing beards and writing groundbreaking songs. When they originally came out they were more of a pop group, but they definitely were really cool.

Max: The second phase of THE BEATLES is probably my favorite.

Matt: The style that we like is that basic rock n' roll flare that's not overdone. The '80s took rock fashion to a place that was more hair metal. It actually was mixed with glam. If you look at the early glam bands like T. REX and DAVID BOWIE, they were very cool in the way they dressed. They didn't overdo it. When it got into the '80s hair metal phase, that's when the true glam got taken out.

Max: That whole '80s style was almost like a fantasy world. In a way, it was like a fantastic vision from their minds.

Matt: They were trying to mix it up, but it was just a fashion gone awry. The early glam stuff from T. REX and BOWIE was great — English bands again. There's a lot of English influence in our store as far as the suits go. They have that English-tailored style, and they're more fitted. The leather probably comes from a bit of a punk rock background — classic punk like THE RAMONES and IGGY POP. The clothes we carry are real, rugged and rock n' roll. Any guy can wear our stuff though. It's like a guy with a good jacket. Think of Marlon Brando or Steve McQueen. All of those classic dudes just had it. It wasn't about much. They didn't have to wear a bunch of shit. They had a t-shirt and a good fucking jacket.

Max: You can have one good piece that's your main piece, and you can do a lot with it.

ARTISTdirect: Sometimes all you need is that one great jacket to tie it all together.

Matt: You could even go further back. Look at guys like Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. Look at the classic Rat Pack movies. When those guys got dressed, they had their certain thing. When they picked up their accessories before they left the house, they had the same things all the time. They'd have a ring, a watch, a cigarette case and maybe some mints. That was it. Then they went out. They were ready, and they had everything they needed.

ARTISTdirect: It was easy. It was something that didn't require much thought, and the style was more utilitarian.

Max: Well it was the standard of those times. Style is also the way you carry yourself as well. That's an important side of it too obviously.

Matt: We have a lot to offer in the store, but it's about the personality of the guy that's wearing it. Everybody's different, and everybody should have the option to be different. When I was growing up, I used to steal shirts out of my mom's closet because I was a skinny little kid. That was the '70s though. If you look at Robert Plant, he'd wear shirts that were three sizes too small for him [Laughs]. His pants were so tight that it looked like he was suffocating. It's all about the personality and how you want to wear the clothes.

Max: Sometimes, if you wear a well-done, well-fitting piece, it does transform the way you carry yourself. You act more confidently in whatever group you're in. I think clothes can add confidence. If you do feel stronger and more confident in yourself, then that transpires with other people.

Matt: Some people think I'm completely fucking weird for doing Sorum Noce.

Read the entire interview at ARTISTdirect.

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