Matt Sorum is getting acclimated to his new life.
His wife, Ace Harper, gave birth to their first child, Lou Ellington Sorum, in June. The former Guns N’ Roses drummer also wrapped up his book, “Double Talkin’ Jive: True Rock ‘n’ Roll Stories from the Drummer of Guns N’ Roses, The Cult and Velvet Revolver,” which hits stores on September 7 via Rare Bird Books.
“It’s been interesting through this pandemic,” Sorum says. “We’ve been staying really busy. We made a baby. We got this book to drop, finally, and did a vinyl record of a sampler that’s coming with the book.
“It’s a soundtrack and a voiceover of 10 chapters.”
In “Double Talkin’ Jive,” Sorum recounts his childhood years idolizing Ringo Starr and surviving an abusive stepfather. After leaving high school, Sorum sold marijuana to get by.
Over time, his drug dealing escalated to smuggling large quantities of cocaine, a career that came to a halt following a dramatic shoot out. Sorum fled his old life and settled in Hollywood, where he caught his big break drumming for the Cult. A year later, he was invited to join Guns N’ Roses, with whom he’d record “Use Your Illusion 1 and 2.”
Sorum, who replaced Steven Adler in Guns N’ Roses, supported the band on the “Use Your Illusion” tour. Sorum was inducted as a Guns N’ Roses member at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2012.
“The one thing about me is I’ve always been pretty open about my feelings — sometimes to my detriment,” he says. “I’m an off-the-cuff kind of guy. Some people hold things in and don’t really express themselves.
“My feeling is I’m a bit of a storyteller. I’ve had such a colorful life — especially in rock ‘n’ roll. I’m not going to be this narcissistic guy telling my rock ‘n’ roll adventure.”
He shared his stories with Swedish writers Leif Eriksson and Martin Svensson as they sat around a table.
“We ran down the list of everything from my childhood to now, moving to Palm Springs in the desert,” Sorum recalls. “It’s the ups and downs of the rock ‘n’ roll business, and the trials and tribulations of everything everybody else deals with. It’s just kind of a life story — don’t give up. Keep moving and rocking.”
The foreword is by ZZ Top’s Billy F. Gibbons, for whom he produced the bearded one’s third solo record.
“The Billy Gibbons record, the whole process was fun. It was just us making a record in the desert. There was really no management; no pressure to do whatever they wanted.”
In between music projects, Sorum is a successful entrepreneur. He’s the founder of six companies and sits on the Global Blockchain Business Council at UCLA. He also gathers each year with top global leaders in business, government and academia at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
“I’m really into my entrepreneurial phase,” he says. “I’m trying new ideas and being creative that way. On my music side of things, I don’t force myself into the business. It just organically comes to me.
“I like challenging myself as an entrepreneur. It’s no different than being in a band and trying to make a great record that’s going to be successful.”
The move to Palm Springs marked the first time in 40 years that Sorum lived outside of LA. He calls it a “pretty big move.”
“I’m always going to be connected to a lot of people there,” he says. “This is a different phase of my life. I have a kid now. I’m 60 years old. That’s a big one—probably the biggest. I look over at her (Lou) and I can’t believe this. This is my little human.
“I waited all this time to have a kid. The timing is good for me. I couldn’t imagine being in the throes of it (music) and trying to navigate a family. I wouldn’t want that.”
“Double Talkin’ Jive: True Rock ‘n’ Roll Stories from the Drummer of Guns N’ Roses, The Cult and Velvet Revolver”
Out September 7 via Rare Bird Books