Posts Tagged ‘The Cult’

Gretsch Greatest Hits…and Hitters

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

Matt Sorum: The Quintessential Rocker

by Fred Gretsch

Look in the dictionary under “rock drummer” and you’re likely to see a picture of Matt Sorum. With a long and stellar career playing with a “who’s who” of bands and artists, Matt literally defines the genre.

Born in Orange County, California in 1960, Matt gravitated to the drums early. By the age of fourteen he was playing with his own band at The Whisky-A-Go-Go and Crazy Horse West in Los Angeles, alongside the likes of Van Halen and Devo. He went on to develop his skills, supporting artists like Belinda Carlisle (of the Go-Gos), Shaun Cassidy, and Solomon Burke. This earned him a reputation as a first-call drummer for virtually any gig…which, in turn, brought him in contact with singer/songwriter Tori Amos. Matt and Tori formed a synthpop group humorously dubbed Y Kant Tori Read. Two years later the group signed with Atlantic records. Tori went solo shortly thereafter, but the effort brought Matt into the world of recording…and he hasn’t looked back since.

In 1989 Matt joined The Cult to tour in support of their fourth studio album, Sonic Temple. On the final show of that tour, Matt was spotted by Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash and bassist Duff McKagan. He was invited to join GN’R in 1990, forming what subsequently became one of the most powerful and enduring rhythm sections in rock.

Matt’s tenure with GN’R lasted seven years, during which he recorded the massively successful albums Use Your Illusion I and II (1991) and The Spaghetti Incident? (1993). He also was part of two side projects: Slash’s Snakepit and Neurotic Outsiders. (Matt’s work with Guns N’ Roses earned him induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2012.)

In 2001, Matt rejoined The Cult to perform on their reunion album, Beyond Good and Evil (2001) and on the tour that followed. Then in 2002 he re-united with Slash and Duff in the hard rock Grammy Award-winning supergroup Velvet Revolver (which also included guitarist Dave Kushner and former Stone Temple Pilots vocalist Scott Weiland.) The band released two successful studio albums: Contraband (2004) and Libertad (2007) and became a sensation at music festivals around the world.

Even with all the craziness of touring with Velvet Revolver, Matt found the time to record his first solo record, Hollywood Zen—which featured him singing lead as well as playing guitar and drums. On the live drumming front, he joined what critics dubbed “LA’s coolest cover band”: Camp Freddy, with Jane’s Addiction’s Dave Navarro. That band’s shows became famous for guest appearances including Ozzy Osbourne, Corey Taylor of Slipknot, Juliette Lewis, and Chester Bennington of Linkin Park.

Matt enjoyed the “band with guests” format so much that in 2012 he founded a project initially dubbed the Rock N Roll All-Stars, but ultimately named Kings of Chaos. The group’s core lineup includes Matt’s former GN’R bandmates Duff McKagan on bass and Gilby Clarke on guitar, then features a revolving lineup of members of Def Leppard, Deep Purple, Aerosmith, Extreme, ZZ Top, and more. Since 2012 the band has played shows in Australia, South Africa, and Central America as well as the US.

Most recently Matt has been touring as part of the Hollywood Vampires—yet another supergroup, this time featuring Alice Cooper (vocals), Joe Perry (of Aerosmith; lead guitar), Tommy Henricksen and Johnny Depp (rhythm guitar/vocals), Robert DeLeo (of Stone Temple Pilots; bass), and Bruce Witkin (keyboards/vocals).

In addition to all of his musical endeavors, Matt is an active supporter of animal-rights causes, including the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), AnimalsAsia, and The Dolphin Project. In a recent YouTube post Matt said, “My main stance is against [animal] abuse and wildlife in captivity. I care for all animals, but I focus on things I can bring attention to and hopefully help solve some of the issues. I can’t preach my particular beliefs, but what I can do is stand [against] certain situations that are blatantly barbaric practices, like circuses, whale and dolphin entertainment, and poaching.”

Matt is also a co-founder of Adopt the Arts whose mission is to bring together well-known artists, public figures, entrepreneurs, policy makers, and the general public to save the arts in America’s public schools.

Matt is a relatively new member of the Gretsch roster of drum artists. But considering his talent, his impressive musical credits, and his involvement in so many worthy social causes, we’re proud to welcome him into the family!

Video Clips

Matt’s trademark hard-rock groove is displayed on the Rolling Stones classic “Brown Sugar,” performed with the Hollywood Vampires at the Rock In Rio festival in 2015.

Playing with Velvet Revolver at a huge outdoor music festival in Germany in 2007.

Matt shows a slightly different side of his playing—but still with his trademark rock drive—playing in the studio with the Buddy Rich Big Band for the Burnin’ For Buddy album. The song is “Beulah Witch.”

Matt discusses his drumkit setups over the years.

Stay connected with Matt via his various social media channels:







Introducing the Gretsch Billy Duffy G7593T Falcon

Thursday, January 10th, 2013


Several Unique Differences Separate it from the “Falcon” Flock…

Namely its period-correct ’70s Baldwin-era shape and styling, pure White gloss nitrocellulose lacquer finish, V-shaped Falcon headstock, Silver Sparkle binding, custom wound hot “Black Top” Filter’Tron pickups with three-point adjustable ’70s-style metal bezels and Duffy’s preferred ’70s-style Bigsby tailpiece.

In addition, Duffy’s signature bird of prey features a 17” wide, 2 ¾” deep single cut-away three-ply maple body with a three-ply maple arched top and back and two spruce parallel tone bars and sound post, a three-piece maple neck with ebony fingerboard, a chrome-plated truss rod cover with Duffy’s signature emblazoned on it, a chrome-plated output jack plate, pearloid wide-block fretboard inlays, ’70s-style aluminum “G” arrow knobs and a premium gray speckled “Billy Duffy” case.

Billy Duffy is Not Afraid to Make a Statement.

And few things make a bolder statement than Duffy wielding his Gretsch White Falcon under the stage lights with British rock legends The Cult. Duffy burst out of London’s early ’80s post-punk scene in Theatre of Hate before meeting Ian Astbury and forming one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most powerful, unique and long-lasting duos as what would become The Cult. Duffy’s combination of thick power chords steeped in rich chorused delay, melodic Morricone-inspired lead phrases and filthy feedback-laden solos created an unparalleled sound larger than most venues could contain.

The Cult’s first two albums, Dreamtime and Love, solidified their place among the pre-“alternative” elite, with the latter album featuring what would become their most popular single, “She Sells Sanctuary,” which remains a global staple on rock radio twenty years on and was even featured on a 2012 Super Bowl advertisement in the States.

Every track on those iconic albums featured his Gretsch White Falcon exclusively, and Duffy has made a point to include it on every subsequent album, most notably the chart-topping Electric and Sonic Temple, and their most recent critically acclaimed release Choice of Weapon.

For more information, photos, videos, and specs, visit