Matt Sorum – No Rest for the Wicked
Sorum with current Motorhead drummer Mikkey Dee
Blistering.com: How did you get into playing drums what was your drive to do it?
Sorum: Well, great bands growing up as a kid, Sabbath, Zeppelin, Deep Purple… I just loved drumming. All these bands would come up to Hollywood and play the circuit. I grew up in California, got my first tour in 78-79. It was just in my blood you know. I didn’t have any other talents [laughs] you know. I have played in a lot of bands before; I mean it was all about personality, all about whom you knew. I mean if you ask Lemmy he would say maybe I wasn’t his first choice, I think he wanted to use Dave Grohl [Foo Fighters], but he knows Dave real well and he knows me a bit less than Dave but he knows me, he figures he can hang out with me and that is what a band is. It’s a lot of what we do together.
Blistering.com: I mean if you guys don’t mesh well with each other outside of playing then it won’t really work.
Sorum: I think if you were to ask Lemmy he would say, “I like Matt, his drumming, he is a good person.”
Blistering.com: What other bands did you like as a kid and go see when they came to your town?
Sorum: UFO, Deep Purple, early Genesis, early Gentle Giant. I was always into checking out the English bands, it was the 70’s so I would go find records in the English import section. I always wanted to be the cool kid in class and go “Look what I found!” They could be bands like Gong, Gentle Giant. I also got into progressive jazz as well like Return to Forever, Lenny White. Then I started to play in bands - I have lived in Hollywood for 30 years.
Blistering.com: Do you love to live in Hollywood?
Sorum: For me it has been a creative outlet! It was my workplace, all the different projects I have done. I have done things that a lot of people don’t even know about. Like film scores, indie films, I have a solo record; I’m doing the Darling Stilettos stuff.
Blistering.com: Do you find that sometimes when creating music you start off in this place and then go and listen to it and say, “I think this is where I want to go?”
Sorum: Well I mean you can start here and end up in a completely different place. I mean if you listen to great bands sometimes like The Stones, Beatles, Queen they went way outside the box and they got away with it. I think Guns N Roses to an extent got away with some stuff. I mean a lot of fans still hold onto Appetite for Destruction as the GNR best album. But when you listen to the Use Your Illusions they were a departure from that. But it had to be done.
Blistering.com: When you guys go into write/record, who writes the music and lyrics? Is it mainly one person or collaboration?
Sorum: The way that VR and also GNR did it was that most of the music came first and then lyrics. Then we would just go from there and set up the tracks.
Blistering.com: When doing film scores how do you figure out where the music will sync up with the image?
Sorum: Film stuff is very fun. Because when you first start the film it is flat, I don’t know if you have ever seen a film without music, but it is a weird thing. So the stuff that I worked on the director has an idea of how he wants the music to go. A lot of the time we will temp in music ‘cause we don’t have the money to buy music like Santana, Nine Inch Nails or what ever they want. So they have an idea of how they want the music to sound. So I find this part to be a challenge to bring the emotion out, it is really fun and it is interesting when you synch the music with the scene. When it is done it is so unreal how much change you bring to the film.
I was watching Pulp Fiction and I think I counted 13 cues of music, which means it’s a great film. It means you don’t have to fill it with background music. Now on some of the films I worked on, I have done 35-40 pieces of music for a film, that film or films needed it I mean when I do music for a film I work with a composer, but I play guitar, drums… a lot of musical instruments for the films. When I play stuff like this it is for me not really so much for other people, by that I mean, it is another creative outlet and means to create music.