Real Rock News

Ex-GN’R drummer Matt Sorum explains how The Rollling Stones’ Charlie Watts influenced him

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Mark Maryanovich; Chris McKay/Getty Images

Former Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver drummer Matt Sorum counts himself among the many musicians who were influenced and inspired by late Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, who died a week ago today at age 80.

Sorum is known for his powerful, hard-hitting style, while Watts’ drumming had more of a jazz swing to it, but Matt tells ABC Audio that he aspired to the way Charlie and The BeatlesRingo Starr played so well with their respective band mates.

“I looked up to Charlie and Ringo as band guys, song drummers, and I always wanted to place myself in there,” Sorum explains. “I just want to play what’s right for the song. You know, I got some chops and stuff, and I could do stuff, but the most important thing is figuring out what’s gonna make the song sound great. So, Charlie was a really huge influence in that.”

Reflecting on what Watts brought to The Stones, Matt notes, “[He was] such a pivotal guy, like a guy that’s so important in the foundation and the heartbeat.”

Sorum says fans can get an idea of what Watts contributed to The Stones by watching the 1968 film Sympathy for the Devil, which documents how the band’s famous song of the same name came together in the studio.

“[I]t takes him nine days to find the groove,” Matt points out. “And you watch that and you understand why The Stones’ groove and sound is so great.”

As previously reported, Sorum is preparing to release a candid memoir titled Double Talkin’ Jive: True Rock ‘n’ Roll Stories in the coming weeks. You can pre-order the book now at RareBirdLit.com.

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