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MATT SORUM Recalls Trying Out For DAVID LEE ROTH’s Solo Band: ‘It Was Probably The Craziest Audition I Ever Did’

In a brand new interview with Trendy Drummer, former GUNS N’ ROSES member Matt Sorum recalled auditioning for the drummer slot in David Lee Roth‘s solo band in 1985, a gig that finally went to Greg Bissonette. He mentioned (as transcribed by Phoosi): “Actually after I got here out that door, there was Greg Bissonette and Mark Craney standing there. However nobody knew [the audition] was for David Lee Roth. All of us obtained referred to as by Steve Vai. And we had been, like, ‘Steve Vai? It is that man from [Frank] Zappa.’ So after I walked in… It was very medical. We had been taking part in loopy time signatures. It was very Zappa college. He was working me by way of the mill. Like, ‘Give me a 7/4. Play GENESIS‘s ‘The Cinema Present’.’ ‘I obtained that. Okay.’ After which he mentioned one thing, like, ‘Play 26 over 8.’ And I used to be sort of cocky, and I seemed up and I went, ‘Why?’ After which I noticed Billy Sheehan sitting on the sofa. I am going, ‘God, I would like to jam. Can we jam?’ We did not jam. I performed on my own. And it was in all probability the craziest audition I ever did. I by no means had a state of affairs the place I needed to stand there and Steve Vai was reciting all these notes and working me by way of this entire college of… At that time in my life, I prided myself on being a reasonably pure rock and roll man. However I checked out Greg Bissonette, and I knew he had all these different components of — he is schooled, at North Texas State [University], after which Craney, the identical factor.”

A few years in the past, Bissonette informed Rolling Stone that he landed the Roth gig after auditioning for a spot within the VINNIE VINCENT INVASION, unaware that Vincent had already selected Bobby Rock. “Afterwards he mentioned to me, ‘I have already got a drummer, however I actually loved jamming with you. You’d be nice for Dave Roth,'” he recalled. “I am going, ‘Dave Roth? Is not he in VAN HALEN?’ He goes, ‘Not anymore. He left VAN HALEN. He obtained Billy Sheehan from TALAS [on bass] and Steve Vai on guitar. They’re in search of a drummer. I feel you’d be nice. Name Steve Vai.'”

Previous to Gregg securing the Roth job, David had been working with Vai‘s drummer, Chris Frazier, however abruptly determined to audition different drummers somewhat than giving Frazier the gig. After inserting need advertisements within the native commerce papers, Vai and Sheehan arrange store at Hollywood’s S.I.R. Studios the place “this large line, simply down the block” of musicians turned as much as check out, in line with Gregg.

“So I stroll within the room, and it is Steve and Billy and this funky outdated drum set. I sat proper down they usually mentioned, ‘Hey, might you play a solo for us?'” he recalled to Guitar World. After Bissonette completed, Vai confirmed him a guitar half that might later seem Roth‘s 1988 album “Skyscraper”. “This piece would find yourself being ‘Sizzling Canine And A Shake’. Steve wished me to hit these breaks with him and Billy, and through all that, he would solo. In order Steve was speaking I reached into my backpack and took out a Sharpie. I would introduced my very own snare, so I began writing out these figures on my snare head. Steve goes, ‘Woah! So you possibly can learn and write music? That is wonderful!'” A day later, Vai referred to as him and informed him he must play for Roth. That was adopted by a 3rd audition, in entrance of producer Ted Templeman.

After being delayed a number of occasions as a result of coronavirus pandemic, former GUNS N’ ROSES drummer Matt Sorum‘s long-awaited autobiography, “Double Talkin’ Jive: True Rock ‘N’ Roll Tales From The Drummer Of Weapons N’ Roses, The Cult, And Velvet Revolver”, lastly arrived on Could 10 through Uncommon Hen Books.

Sorum, who changed Steven Adler in GUNS N’ ROSES, recorded “Use Your Phantasm I” and “Use Your Phantasm II” (each 1991) and “The Spaghetti Incident” (1994). He additionally supported the group on the “Use Your Phantasm” tour and might be heard on GUNS N’ ROSES“Reside Period: ’87-’93” (1999) and “Biggest Hits” (2004).

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