Hear Former Guns N' Roses Drummer Matt Sorum Detail Drug-Smuggling Past in New Interview | Revolver

Hear Former Guns N' Roses Drummer Matt Sorum Detail Drug-Smuggling Past in New Interview

"Imagine the movie 'Blow,' and then think about coming up in rock & roll"
Matt Sorum 1992 Getty, Peter Still/Redferns
Matt Sorum performing with Guns N' Roses in 1992
photograph by Peter Still/Redferns

Former Guns N' Roses drummer Matt Sorum appeared as a guest on the latest episode of the "2 Hours with Matt Pinfield" podcast, giving an in-depth, two-hour interview on his history of sex, drugs, rock & roll, and most intriguingly, his in-the-works autobiography — which the percussionist has preemptively named as "the juiciest of the juiciest of the G N' R books." Sorum estimates he's written a thousand pages so far for the tell-all memoir — "We're going to edit it down," he notes — and promises plenty of debauched revelations. To tease the tome further, the drummer let listeners in on one of its bombshells: prior to his rise to fame as an all-star drummer, Sorum smuggled cocaine for an international drug ring.

"I used to smuggle cocaine across borders," Sorum revealed. "I'd fly on airplanes with two kilos strapped around my waist. Most of my deliveries were [to] Hawaii, because I had a big connection there, but I would smuggle." He says his dark past will feature into "at least a chapter or two" of the book, which he considered titling Rock N' Roll Drug Smuggler. "Imagine the movie Blow, and then think about coming up in rock & roll, before I got in the bands that I was in," he explained. "My way to pay my way was smuggling, and that's what I did."

"The last time I smuggled two kilos to Hawaii," he recalls, "I remember thinking I was being followed, and it wasn't because I was paranoid on cocaine; I really felt that I was being followed. So, I told the guy that I flew this stuff for — I was the mule; and I got, like, a couple grand every time I went) — 'I can't do this. I'm being followed.' He's like, 'Oh, man, you're just high.' I'm like, 'No, man. I'm being followed. I'm not doing it. I'm going back to L.A.' I was living in Long Beach ... the guy that took my place [as smuggler] got arrested: twenty years in a federal penitentiary [for] international drug smuggling. That would have been me."

Elsewhere in the interview, Sorum shared stories about his days on the road with Metallica, including his unwitting participation in the hazing of Jason Newsted (he was goaded by Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield to eat the bassist's crab legs when he wasn't looking), his exclusion from Guns N' Roses' 2016 reunion tour ("I was there at the height of everything. And I did it."), his stints with Tori Amos and the Cult, and much, much more. Listen to the entire episode below.