Rock And Roll Hall Of Famer and legendary drummer of GUNS N' ROSES, VELVET REVOLVER and THE CULT, Matt Sorum will release his new album, "Stratosphere", under the moniker MATT SORUM'S FIERCE JOY on March 11 on Rok Dok Recordings via Kobalt Label Services.
"Stratosphere" is major departure from the hard-hitting rock Sorum is best known for. His intense passion for animal and human rights, and need to give back heavily influenced the narrative and acoustic orchestration of the album.
"Over the years, I've been influenced by my surroundings and sometimes that hasn't always been for the better," says Sorum. "But after years of soul searching, I organically fell into a different state of mind.
"With many lessons learned along the way, it seemed like the perfect time to do a record in my own voice, if you will. It's as real and exposed as anything I've ever offered my in my career, and I hope you enjoy it."
Besides stepping behind the mic for lead vocals, Sorum wrote the entire album, and plays acoustic guitar and piano.
"I've always played acoustic, so I wanted to use that as the feel of the record," Matt says.
"I chose the musicians I wanted by records they had played on, and diverse instruments such as mellotron, slide guitar and ethnic percussion.
"I always wanted orchestration, so this album was the canvas for that as well."
Pre-order "Stratosphere" now on iTunes and get an instant download of "The Sea".
Check out the first webisode (in a series of 5) about of the making of "Stratosphere" below.
MATT SORUM'S FIERCE JOY - "Stratosphere" track listing:
01. Intro - Stratosphere Part 1
02. The Sea
03. What Ziggy Says
04. For the Wild Ones
05. Goodbye To You
07. Lady of the Stone
08. Ode to Nick Drake
11. Land of the Pure
12. Killers N Lovers
13. The Lonely Teardrop
14. Outro - Stratosphere Part 2
Speaking to The Street, Sorum stated about his inspiration for the "Stratosphere" CD: "I'm known as a rock guy, but I've always loved so many diverse artists. I was a huge Joni Mitchell fan; I remember listening to a lot of her records back to back. Neil Young, Tom Petty, THE BEATLES, of course, and I was a huge Bowie fan. I was also into progressive stuff, like early GENESIS, Peter Gabriel era. You can hear that influence on the new album; there are a couple of songs that have some interesting time changes.
"I've always dabbled on the acoustic guitar, and I wrote a couple songs for VELVET REVOLVER. In GUNS N' ROSES, Axl [Rose] and Slash looked to me for arrangements. I wasn't the predominant songwriter, but I've always been involved in the process.
"When I put 'Stratosphere' together, I actually had a lot of it on cassette. I'd been writing the songs over the years, and I wanted to do an album that was just coming from me, regardless of anyone's expectations."
Asked if MATT SORUM'S FIERCE JOY will go out on tour, Sorum said: "We're going to tour, but it isn't going to be a typical rock show. If I'm going to front a band, I can't see myself, at my age, jumping up and playing rock and roll the way Dave Grohl does. Dave pulls it off, running around the stage with an electric guitar. But would that feel right for me? How can I make this feel natural, a natural progression, growing into the man that I finally feel that I am, and saying what I want to say now?"
Sorum played a brand new solo song entitled "The Sea" on November 18, 2013 at Avalon Hollywood in Los Angeles. Fan-filmed video footage of performance — featuring Sorum on guitar and vocals — can be seen below.
Sorum told The Street about the track: "I wrote that song on acoustic, then piano.
"I always heard the desert was a cool place to write, so I headed out to Joshua Tree. Then in my hometown, we used to go to a little beach getaway called the Surf and Sand, and I wrote the lyric to 'The Sea' there. I was sitting on a balcony, overlooking the ocean, thinking about life. I started thinking about the sea as a metaphor for spiritual awakening."
Making of "Stratosphere" webisode 1:
"The Sea" performance footage: