Former Guns N’ Roses drummer Matt Sorum was fired in 1997 and bassist Duff McKagan quit later that year, while guitarist Slash had left in 1996. This caused the band to split but it was never officially acknowledged. Sorum spoke about the split during a recent interview.
The 61-year-old musician had replaced Steven Adler in the band and recorded the highly successful 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 band 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.
Matt Sorum opens up on Guns N’ Roses split
Sorum joined in for a new interview with SPIN when he reflected on the misconceptions about the band which he wanted to clear up in his autobiography, “Double Talkin’ Jive: True Rock ‘N’ Roll Stories From The Drummer Of Guns N’ Roses, The Cult, And Velvet Revolver.” He said that he believes it was nobody’s fault that the Guns N’ Roses was disbanded back then.
Sorum said: “It’s nobody’s fault, really. The band was way too big at the time. There’s a lot of people with their paws in the pie, a lot of distractions, too much money, and too many drugs and alcohol. Young guys don’t make clear decisions. I look back and go, ‘If that was me now, I’d make a phone call and have a conversation,’ but it just didn’t seem that easy in those days to do that. To be able to explain things between each other, to help mediate a problem instead of being egotistical about it or being arrogant. It could have gone a different way if there was more communication. Once you’re out of a situation like that, you realize that, ‘Good God, that was a great fucking band, and I wish we could have kept it together.'”
He continued: “If you ask any band that stayed together, they have to go through those struggles, just like any other relationship. You gotta figure it out if you want to keep it together, like, how much is it worth to you? At the same time, when I talk about things that went down, I want to give accolades to people in the group. In the ‘Use Your Illusion’ era, we were at the height of our game. Axl [Rose, vocals], Slash and Duff — and even Izzy Stradlin [guitar] and Gilby [Clarke, guitar] — personalities that stand on their own, and sometimes those personalities mix and sometimes they don’t.”