In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, former Gun ‘N’ Roses drummer Matt Sorum talked about Axl Rose’s behaviour & problems he would face during the classic GnR days.
When the interviewer asked, A real theme of your book is that singers are just a real pain in the a*s. You had endless problems with Axl and Scott Weiland. Ian Astbury of The Cult sh*t on the floor of your hotel room, Matt said:
“Yeah, but I’ve been in these great bands with these great singers. I was there when they were at the height of their shenanigans. If you see The Cult today, Ian Astbury isn’t acting that way. He’s an older guy.
“But I’m really proud to say that I was in those bands at the height of the wild times.
“I was in The Cult when they were playing arenas. Ian was off the rails. It made for a great rock & roll show, and he was a great rock ‘n’ roll frontman.
“It’s the same for Axl [Rose]. Whatever Axl did going into those shows, whatever happened behind the scenes, it made for great rock ‘n’ roll.
“Anybody that saw the band back in those days, as much as they b*tched and moaned about us being late, they can say it was probably some of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll they’d ever seen.
“All that sh*t that was going on brought a lot of intensity onto the stage.
“I used to go on stage some nights so pissed off that I would just have to bash the sh*t out of the drums. It reminded me of being a kid. I was like, ‘Why did I play the drums in the first place?’
“Well, I had a lot of anxiety and anger over the divorce of my parents. It was an unstable household. We all came from the same background, everybody in that band.
“Axl came from Indiana and his upbringing was sh*t. Slash grew up in kind of a weird Hollywood family. That all sort of made for the fireworks.”
”You talk about Izzy Stradlin’s departure and what a problem that was since he wrote so many of the songs. Do you think his absence is a big reason why Guns N’ Roses have made just one album in the past 30 years?”
“I can’t say. Obviously, when I came into the band, there were four original guys. After we went out and became so big, the machine kind of took over. Obviously, we all made decisions that weren’t completely clear in our minds based on alcohol and drugs. If anyone was clean, it was Axl. He was always accused of being a worse drug addict than he was. He was actually just trying to steer the ship.
”Slash was very much the bandleader for the band guys. He was like, ‘If you’re going to party until 6 a.m., you have to be at rehearsal at noon. Don’t miss soundcheck.’ A couple of times, the wheels came off for me. I started f**king up too. It was just so much craziness going on. You just fell into it. It was part of the time. It was part of the makeup of the band and everything that was around it.
”As far as when Izzy left, I just don’t think he could be around it anymore at that level. It becomes this crazy rollercoaster ride that you really couldn’t get off. It almost felt uncontrollable. There was a Rolling Stone cover that just said, ‘Guns N’ Roses Outta Control.’ That’s kind of how it felt at the time. I wasn’t the decision-maker in that band. I was just sort of on this wild ride.”