In an interview with Gretsch Generations, ex-Guns N’ Roses drummer Matt Sorum talked about how the musicians of the 1970s inspired his music and praised Van Halen icon, Alex Van Halen, by calling him a game-changer for drumming.

As you may recall, the famous drummer Matt Sorum joined the legendary hard rock band Guns N’ Roses back in 1990 to replace Steven Adler. However, later in 1997, the lead singer Axl Rose fired Sorum from the band following an intense argument.

Recently, Matt Sorum joined an interview with Gretsch Generations and talked about the musicians who inspired him and his music back in the 1970s. During the conversation, Sorum mentioned how lucky he was to witness one of the greatest eras of the rock music scene by referring to the jam sessions of the bands like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath.

“All that great interaction – that’s what’s missing, I feel, for me. I was lucky to come up in it; I grew up in the 70s, that was my upbringing, and I got to see bands that would jam, just jam, go on for…

I remember seeing Zeppelin and man, the jams were like 20 minutes long. If you go back and watch ‘Dazed and Confused‘ there was never one similar version of those. Cream, even Sabbath! If you listen to a lot of that early stuff, like, ‘OK cool…’

And it’s funny because I wrote something this morning about Van Halen, and I remember coming to Hollywood in the ’70s and seeing Van Halen when they were a band called Mammoth, and how exciting of a time it was for rock ‘n’ roll.

Furthermore, Sorum talked about Van Halen’s iconic drummer Alex Van Halen and praised his work by recalling how he inspired his music as well.

“And when Van Halen got signed in like ’78, and they took off, and Alex Van Halen had all those drums, four bass drums, and gong – he had a gong!

Not only did he have a gong but he had a gong that lit on fire, and I was like, ‘Oh my God, how does he do that?!’ And it was so exciting for an American kid because they were our band.’ So when Van Halen broke in ’78, they got signed, the Whiskey a Go-Go, I used to play with them in the ’70s, they played four nights a week, and when they made it, I’m like, ‘Oh my God, I can make it too!’

Because for me, at my time coming up, it was pretty much the band that set the path for guys from California claiming they were going to be a rock ‘n’ roller.

We did, it was a little bit untouchable with the Brit thing, and Queen! And so I hand it to those guys, I hand it to Alex Van Halen and a very underrated drummer.”

Click here to read the entire interview with Matt Sorum.