DVD Review – Matt Sorum: Licks and Tricks from the Rock & Roll Jungle
If there’s any drummer who can claim they’ve come from the rock and roll jungle it’s Matt Sorum. With seven years under his belt, he’s the longest sitting Guns N’ Roses drummer ever. Matt Sorum was ejected from the band by Axl Rose after he defended Slash’s decision to leave. So along with Slash and former Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan they formed Velvet Revolver… which is now on hiatus because their lead singer left the band. Lead singer issues aside, Matt Sorum is a road tested rock drummer and well qualified to speak on the topic of rock drumming.
The video starts out with Matt and his prize drum tech Mike Fasano talking about tuning, mic placement, and choosing your snare drum. Now, Matt says that he used at least 25 snare drums on the use your illusions albums (there were two of them incase you didn’t know) so obviously his concept of snare drum choice is very different from our concept of snare drum choice. Mike talks about which kind of drums he would use for what kind of song so there is something to learn here.
The tuning section is fine except they advocate tuning both sides of every drum the same as each-other. The snare drum and bass drum are both unique from toms in that they often have radically different types of heads on each side of the drum. So shooting for equal tension on both heads may not be the best idea. Even on toms sometimes you don’t want the super resonate tone that having the two heads in harmony with each-other brings. They do teach the cross tuning method though, so that’s a plus. They also talk a bit about mic which is great because that’s something that’s usually neglected in drum instructional. The entire section isn’t very long and it’s not really in-depth but I kinda expected that.
After that there’s a lot of FAQ sections and interviews of people he’s played with and eventually a bunch of really really cool rock fills. Yes I am very impressed with the licks section of the video, very cool. Really though, too much of the dvd is performances and interviews with people talking about Matt. Simply put, style came before substance in this DVD. I know Matt wanted to answer his fans questions and make sure the video was fun. It was but wasn’t very educational. The only real exception to that was the fills section which was excellent.
You can’t have a ton of musical perfomances/interviews AND have lots of instructional sections AND keep it 55 minutes long.
Other than being in full screen this is a pretty well made video. Matt’s actually a good host and manages to keep the whole thing entertaining as you go through it. He’s very comfortable in-front of a camera and usually has someone to bounce off of so he can keep a nice natural pace and setting.
All and all… It’s not my bag. I wouldn’t have it high on my priorities list because the only really good section was the drum fills section. If your on the fence of wether or not to rent this one then I suggest that you don’t.