Ex Guns N’ Roses Drummer Matt Sorum Recounts How Band Couldn’t ‘Get the Musical Thing Going Again’ in Mid 1990s

by Keeli Parkey
(Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for International Fund for Animal Welfare)

Guns N’ Roses was one of the most popular bands of the 1980s and early 1990s. Thanks to songs like “Welcome to the Jungle,” “Paradise City,” “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” and more, the band reached an incredible level of fame.

However, by the mid-1990s, the band’s star began to fade. During a recent interview with Tone Deaf, Matt Sorum, the band’s former drummer explained why he thought the group just wasn’t able to create new music and keep their star rising.

Sorum was on hand for much of the band’s rise to fame and decline from popularity. He was the drummer for Guns N’ Roses from 1990 until 1994. By the time he was about to leave the band, the drummer claimed they were wanting to make more new music. However, other things reportedly became more important to the members of Guns N’ Roses.

For reference, Matt Sorum named the time after the rock band released “The Spaghetti Incident?” album. This was also a point in the band’s history when they had been touring almost non-stop. And like most bands, the members of Guns N’ Roses had their share of fun while on the road.

“We came off the road and everyone was so burned out. We were out there for two and half years. It was doing five or six nights a week and partying hard. We got home and we could just never really get the musical thing going again,” Matt Sorum said during the interview.

He also said the band made an effort to create new music. However, there were too many distractions. It was around this time that he decided his time with Guns N’ Roses had come to an end.

“We went in the studio and tried to write, and everybody had too much money, everyone bought houses, and went separate ways in a lot of ways. I wish we could have sat down and talked it out, but we just didn’t. And then I left. It becomes this crazy rollercoaster ride that you really couldn’t get off. It almost felt uncontrollable,” Sorum said.

Matt Sorum Also Reflects on Why He Wasn’t Included in the 2016 Guns N’ Roses Reunion Tour

His statements about how Guns N’ Roses couldn’t “get the musical thing going again” aren’t the only comments Matt Sorum shared about the band during his interview with Tone Deaf. The drummer also talked about how – and why – he wasn’t asked to participate in the band’s 2016 reunion tour.

According to Sorum, he believes Axl Rose preferred having someone he was more familiar with play drums during the tour. That person was Frank Ferrer.

“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 Sorum also explained.