Steven Adler speaks out on Matt Sorum & GnR history.
Early era Guns N’ Roese.
Ultimate-Guitar.com: When you heard what Matt Sorum ended up playing on the "Use Your Illusion" records, were you thinking, "Oh, shit, I should have been playing on those songs"?
Adler: Oh, yeah. His were just half-assed, crappy versions. Nothing personal against the guy, but he’s like a goddamn drum machine. He’s got no heart; he’s got no soul; he’s got no feel. And as life and the years have shown obviously I’m not the easiest drummer to replace. All I know is, "Use Your Illusion" would have been bigger than "Appetite".
Ultimate-Guitar.com: Do you really think so?
Adler: I know so and that’s hard to come by. "Appetite" sold like 85 million records around the world; "Use Your Illusion" would have been bigger.
Ultimate-Guitar.com: But you’ve finally been able to come to terms with being thrown out of GUNS N’ ROSES?
Adler: I started getting sober which is a growing and learning process everyday. Once I started working with Dr. Drew [Pinsky] on "Celebrity Rehab", I told Dr. Drew, "I don’t think I can do this to the best of my ability if I don’t talk with Slash." So he hooked up a meeting for me to talk to Slash and Slash came down to meet me and I apologized to him. See, I blamed him for 20 years for my misfortune and my downfall and it wasn’t his fault; I did all of this to myself. But I kept it built up inside of me as we were talking about keeping things built up. I apologized to him and said, "I’m sorry that I blamed you for everything."
Ultimate-Guitar.com: How did that feel after you said those things to Slash?
Adler: The next day I woke up and my whole chest, my arms, my whole body hurt like when you don’t workout for a long time and then you workout too much. That pain? I let this big, huge weight off my shoulder and I was able to do my recovery to the best of my ability and I’m still workin’ on it. It’s been two years now, two-and-a-half years. And I’ve relapsed a few times. Shit, that’s part of recovery. You can’t expect somebody who’s done such damage and lived a certain way for so many years, for so many decades [to just change.] It was like going to the bathroom. "I’ve gotta go pee. Oh, I gotta go smoke drugs." It was kind of like that and it takes time to learn a new way of thinking. And being able to get that off my chest and out of my system and apologizing to Slash made everything so much easier and I was a much more likeable person [laughs.]
Ultimate-Guitar.com: In "My Appetite For Destruction", you talked about suing the band after they tried to take away your royalties.
Adler: I sued them because they wanted to give me $2,000 and just throw me out on the street as if I never existed. So then my accountant got me a lawyer and I sued the band and that was devastating because then I had to go to fuckin’ court everyday and I had to look at their faces. Every day. And "I’m more fucked up than they are; they’re more fucked up [than I am."] It was just terrible; it was very devastating. I went even farther off the deep end. All I know is the last 20 years I’ve tried to kill myself and I obviously keep failing because there’s something more important and special for myself and a lot more happiness in my life to go through. And I’m going through that; I’m going through the positive part. I’ve gotta think positive.
Ultimate-Guitar.com: Is there any chance for the original GUNS N’ ROSES to get back together?
Adler: I would love that more than anything, but it’s an Axl thing; it’s up to him if he wants to do it. Put it this way, it’s the stupidest thing in the world for us not to do it. If any band is wanted by the fans to do a tour, that the rock fans want to see? It would be GN’R. Shit, I would buy the ticket for my own show.
Sludge N’ Roses