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Axl Rose's chaotic time-keeping produced great rock'n'roll, says Matt Sorum

Axl Rose and Matt Sorum onstage in 1992
Axl Rose and Matt Sorum onstage in 1992 (Image credit: Pete Still/Getty Images )

Guns N' Roses were famously, frustratingly and frequently late onstage during the Use Your Illusion tour, but then-drummer Matt Sorum thinks there was an upside the Axl Rose's tardy behaviour.

Interviewed by Billboard to mark the upcoming publication of his memoir, Double Talkin’ Jive: True Rock ‘n’ Roll Stories From the Drummer of Guns N’ Roses, The Cult, and Velvet Revolver, Sorum says the delays often set the shows up for greatness. 

“When I talk about being backstage and we’re two hours late and I’m frustrated, once we got up there, it was just all-out rock’n’roll,” he says. “We were just throwing down because there was a lot of frustration, anger, anxiety - but it brought the show to a whole other level. 

"The crowd was fired up because they were angry that we were late. But once we got out there, some nights were just absolutely on fire. I take great pride in that period in my life. It’s just a great gift that I was there at that time with that particular lineup." 

Elsewhere in the interview, Sorum ponders what his children think of his past excessive behaviour, reveals how much he misses Scott Weiland, and pays tribute to Ringo Starr. 

Double Talkin’ Jive relates the story of Sorum's career with The Cult, Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver, Motorhead, the Hollywood Vampires and Kings of Chaos, and features an ensemble cast that includes Billy Idol, Steven Tyler, Billy Gibbons, Alice Cooper and more.

“Matt lights up rooms, corridors, clubs, theatres, arenas, and stadiums with the kind of infectious rock’n’roll energy that is increasingly becoming obsolete," exclaims Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich. "His dedication to his craft remains virtually peerless, and when the sticks are resting, you’ll have to go a long way to find someone cooler in rock’n’roll. Dive into these shenanigan-saturated pages immediately and find out for yourself!"

Double Talkin’ Jive: True Rock ‘n’ Roll Stories From the Drummer of Guns N’ Roses, The Cult, and Velvet Revolver is available for pre-order now (opens in new tab)


Fraser Lewry
Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 36 years in music industry, online for 23. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.