During their ‘80s and ‘90s heyday, Guns N’ Roses were notorious for starting shows hours after their scheduled set time. According to Matt Sorum, the performances were actually better because of it.
“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,” the drummer explained to Billboard.
Sorum noted that the pent-up aggression among himself and his bandmates – often due to backstage arguments – actually fueled their concerts.
“We were just throwing down because there was a lot of frustration, anger, anxiety – but it brought the show to a whole other level,” he explained. “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.”
Sorum was a member of GNR from 1990-97, playing on albums Use Your Illusion I and II and “The Spaghetti Incident?” “I take great pride in that period in my life,” he admitted, looking back at his tenure. “It’s just a great gift that I was there at that time with that particular lineup.”
In 2016, Slash and Duff McKagan announced they were reuniting with Axl Rose in Guns N’ Roses. The ensuing Not in This Lifetime … Tour resulted in sold-out shows across the globe and became one of the highest-grossing tours of all time. Even though he was at one point rumored to be part of the reunion, Sorum has no regrets about remaining out of GNR.
“People will ask me, ‘Don’t you want to be out on the road with those guys? Why aren’t you on the tour?’” the drummer said. “And I’m like, ‘Well, something else is in store. I had a baby. I’m doing different projects. I’m doing my own thing.’ That’s what the universe has intended for me. I’ve never tried to put a square peg into a round hole.”