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Matt Sorum talks Guns N' Roses, Dec. 18 gig at The Paramount, The Hamptons & more

Matt Sorum talks Guns N' Roses, Dec. 18 gig at The Paramount, The Hamptons & more

Matt Sorum has credits that would make almost any rock drummer jealous. He was in Guns N’ Roses when the band was arguably in peak form. The same can be said about the time he spent in The Cult, which led to GNR hiring him. His years with Velvet Revolver weren’t too bad, of course. As if that weren’t enough, he did fill in for Mikkey Dee for a month with Motorhead a few years back.

Somehow, Matt has also become one of the go-to drummers for all-star ensembles. He was involved with Camp Freddy — a Los Angeles-based cover band with a revolving lineup — alongside core members of Jane’s Addiction and The Cult from 2002 to 2014. He toured last summer as part of the Hollywood Vampires, as led by Alice Cooper, Johnny Depp and Aerosmith’s Joe Perry. He was also an instructor and coach for an entire season of Rock & Roll Fantasy Camp, which ran on VH1.

Now, Matt is the leader of Kings Of Chaos, all-star group featuring members of ZZ Top, Cheap Trick, Slipknot, Linkin Park, Stone Temple Pilots and Billy Idol’s band. Kings Of Chaos are making three stops in our area, including a Dec. 18 show at The Paramount in Huntington; Franky Perez will be on support for these shows.

No Place Like Long Island caught up with Matt via phone to talk more about the past, present and future of one Matt Sorum. Part 1 of the chat ran on the website of Downtown Magazine.

Do you remember the first gig that you ever played live in New York? From what I understand, you've lived in California your whole life.

Matt Sorum: Yeah, trying to think of the first gig…It's probably with The Cult, big gig, I want to say. When I joined The Cult we were a pretty big band. Nassau Coliseum was the closest and then probably the Meadowlands, which isn’t officially in New York.

It's the same market…

MS: Meadowlands with Metallica in 1989…

Before touring, had you been to New York before?

MS: I want to say no…I was in my 20s, I didn't really have money to get on an airplane, so I've gotta say that I'd never been to New York until I came there with The Cult.

Have you been to Long Island besides touring? Have you ever come here on vacation?

MS: Can’t say I have, no, I've never been there for vacation… I tend to go to Mexico, Hawaii, Palm Springs…on the West Coast. I have been invited upstate New York by John Varvatos, the clothing designer…He invited me like three times. I’d like to get to experience summer out there, upstate. I've never been to the Hamptons.

I'm surprised you've never done a corporate gig or event in the Hamptons

MS: Never done it…That’s weird. There’s a lot of places I have been in the world. The Hamptons is not one if them. I just don't know why I've never gone there.

Well, The Paramount, where you’re playing is only about a 30-minute drive from there, but unfortunately it's the cold time of the year. Another thing I'm curious about is as somebody that tours the world regularly and plays music — two things that most people would do as hobbies — what do you like to do when you have downtime?

MS: Well, you know I have my things I do during the downtime. Like right now I'm in Palm Springs. I've got a place out here and I just relax and I'm with my wife [Ace] and I got two dogs and we just hang out. We ride bikes and do like healthy stuff now. You know in the olden days, I never even thought that way, “You know I’m just like rock and roll all the time, 24/7”…I had my dad here for a few days and did normal stuff. I gotta say the first 25 years of my career wasn't normal…but I was able to finally figure out that it's okay to relax. I got married three years ago and I'm really enjoying that a lot. We have a lot of fun together, we travel…I do a lot of charity work. I like doing that, it's fun. We do like to travel a little bit…

Your life path sounds similar to that of your bandmate Steve Stevens in terms of cleaning up your act, liking to travel, enjoying downtime… 

MS: I was worse off the road than I was on the road. My rock and roll lifestyle kind of got the best of me and I stopped drinking about nine years ago, so that's changed a lot of things. In the old days, it was a little bit more like we were a gang. I used to run the streets of Hollywood with a lot of rock and roll guys. It was fun…

Brimstone on life as a multi-faceted L.I.-based entrepreneur

Brimstone on life as a multi-faceted L.I.-based entrepreneur

Steve Stevens to play The Paramount on Dec. 18 with Kings Of Chaos, talks Long Island & more

Steve Stevens to play The Paramount on Dec. 18 with Kings Of Chaos, talks Long Island & more