Iconic drummer and producer Matt Sorum (formerly of Guns N’ Roses) chatted with Powerjournalist Markos Papadatos about being an artist in the digital age and producing Cherie Currie’s upcoming solo album “Blvds of Splendor.”
Sorum had nothing but the kindest words about working with Cherie Currie (Runaways fame) on her forthcoming album, Blvds of Splendor. “I love Cherie,” he said. “We played a show and I told Cherie she had to do a record. It was time to hear Cherie Currie again. I missed her voice and the world needed a great rock album from her. The album has a lot of cool guests on it.”
“We had a really good time,” Sorum admitted. “It was a fun record to make. Cherie can sing anything: she can sing a rock song and then she can jump into ‘The Air That I Breathe.’ We worked on this for six months, it wasn’t easy. We worked hard but it was a labor of love. I am really proud of this album, and I am happy that it is seeing the light of day. It has a fresh sound and it has a good classic sound to it.”
“The fans should check out Blvds of Splendor. I put my heart and soul in this record. We were so passionate with what we were doing. I feel the love in this record, so I hope the fans feel it too. We tracked a lot of the music live, which was recorded as a band and I hope they dig it,” he added.
With the song “Queens of Noise,” Currie and Sorum paid homage to the late but great Runaways drummer Sandy West. “Being a drummer and everything, they are the unsung heroes of the band. Sandy was a really important part of The Runaways, and not a lot of people remember that we lost her,” he said. “We wanted to pay tribute to Sandy and we wanted to play it as close to the original as possible.”
From Blvds of Splendor, he listed Black Magic as his personal favorite track. “When that song came along, it just fell into place. Cherie sang it in the perfect key and it feels modern,” he said.
On being an artist in the digital age, Sorum said, “Now more than ever, things are virtual. It’s fascinating really. You have to learn the new rules: you need to go with the flow, especially with what is going on in the world right now. Thank God for the digital world and virtual expression. I think we are going to learn a lot from this experience. The only thing that will be tough is that there won’t be any live music for a while but we will get back to it.”
Sorum continued, “I always have my vinyl collection. It all depends on what kind of mood I’m in. If I want a quick fix, I listen to digital music, and if I want to relax, I put my vinyl on.”
He also revealed that he has a new company called Experience Vinyl. “We will be releasing a lot of new vinyl. It is worth checking out and we will probably do a vinyl version of Cherie’s new album,” he shared.
On the key to longevity in the music business, Sorum said, “Music is in my blood and I don’t think there will ever be a time when I won’t want to be a musician. My career has advanced that, and it just continues and I end up traveling the world doing different things based on the career that I’ve had. Music will always be a part of my life. I just want to make good music and when the time is right, I am going to do it again, hopefully, this summer.”
For young and aspiring musicians, he recommended that they “work hard.” “I’ve always said ‘to work hard.’ It’s not easy,” he admitted. “Once live music comes back, people need to get out and play as much as possible. Young musicians need to know everything about everything in this business: how to promote yourself and how to do social media. You need to know the whole game.”
“If you really want something in your life, you need to believe it and you need to do it and manifest it. That’s what I did,” he added. “Ever since I was a little kid, I would envision myself on stage performing, and then, I went for it.”
Regarding his songwriting inspirations, he noted that “it all depends on what kind of mood he is in.” “With the digital age, the one thing that I don’t have to worry about these days is being commercial. In the old days, I had to make music for the record company. We needed to have a single and a hit record,” he explained.
In 2012, he was inducted into the coveted Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Guns N’ Roses. “It was an interesting time when I got the call,” he said. “Obviously, that band is going to be my legacy. I am very proud of what I did at that particular time with the band, so to get that accolade was the top of the notch,” he added.
“I also won a Grammy for ‘Slither’ with Velvet Revolver, so I earned the top of the heap, and I am very grateful for that because I worked really hard, and it was a good feeling,” he said.
The acclaimed rocker acknowledged that the one thing he would re-do if he were afforded the opportunity, would be his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction speech. “To be honest with you, when I was up there I didn’t have a speech prepared. Everything was happening so fast so it was really an out-of-body experience. When you are up there, it is just crazy,” he elaborated.
“If I were to do my Rock and Roll Hall of Fame acceptance speech over, I would thank my brother for my first drum set, which I forgot, and I would thank my wife, Ace, for just being my best friend,” he said, effusively.
Sorum praised Myles Kennedy of Alter Bridge for singing lead vocals during Guns N’ Roses’ induction ceremony. “Myles is a good dude,” he said.
In the future, Sorum shared that he would love to do more work with his band Kings of Chaos. “I love working with those guys. It’s my ultimate supergroup,” he said.
He defined the word success as “doing things and having a vision.” “Success is family, doing things that make you feel good, and being happy,” he said.
Blvds of Splendor by Cherie Currie is available for pre-order by clicking here.
To learn more about veteran drummer and producer Matt Sorum, check out his official website.