Guns N' Roses drummer Matt Sorum recalls the first time he showed Slash a guitar riff

Publish Date
Tuesday, 12 May 2020, 9:55AM

Velvet Revolver was for Matt Sorum not just a reunion with some of his old Guns N' Roses bandmates, it was also an opportunity to come into his own as a songwriter.

But measuring up to the standards of bandmates like Slash, Duff McKagan, Dave Kushner and Scott Weiland was always going to be a tall task.

In a recent conversation with the Appetite for Distortion podcast, Sorum recalled the first time he showed Slash a guitar riff, which ended up being a song on Velvet Revolver's debut album, Contraband.

"I didn't come up with chords and stuff for any GNR stuff," Sorum explained. "But Velvet Revolver came around, I started writing more. I wrote the riff for a song called 'Set Me Free' on the first album, that was my riff. I remember playing that for Slash and him kinda looking at me and going, 'Oh! That's pretty good!' That really opened up my songwriting. The fact that I had acknowledgement from this great guitarist."

Sorum produced former Runaways singer Cherie Currie's recent Blvds of Splendor album.

The lead track of the album is a song called "Mr. X," which was written years ago for Velvet Revolver.

When Sorum told Slash and McKagan that he was giving the song to Currie, the two redid their parts.

Listen to the full episode in the player above.

This article was first published on and is republished here with permission