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Guns N’ Roses Drummer Matt Sorum Defends Repetitive ‘November Rain’ Tom Fill

Matt Sorum
David Livingston, Getty Images

Perhaps ex-Dream Theatre drummer Mike Portnoy was being sincere with his curiosity when he questioned the drumming on one of Guns N’ Roses most famous songs. Last weekend Portnoy asked his 175K followers a question that GNR drummer Matt Sorum gets often.

“November Rain is an all-time classic song…but why on Earth did Matt Sorum play the SAME EXACT fill every 4 bars? (23 times to be exact!),” he tweeted on Saturday. It took two days, but Sorum defended the fill on Twitter, saying essentially “Scoreboard bro!”

“@MikePortnoy that fill was Axls idea As a musical phrase that carried on through the trilogy , ‘Don’t Cry’ and ‘Estranged.’ Those albums UYI 1 n 2 Have sold 20 million combined.”

Blabbermouth points out that Sorum defended the musical drumming during a 2009 interview with Music Radar. They got the idea from an Elton John song called ‘Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me.’

“Axl goes, ‘Do you hear that?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, I love Nigel Olsson, man,’” Sorum said referring to Elton John’s drummer. “He says, ‘Do that on the song we’re going to record tomorrow!’ We’d rehearsed it but I didn’t have all the fills and stuff, it was just a groove.”

Sorum closed his response by reminding fans that sturdy is often better than flashy. “@MikePortnoy remember kids drumming isn’t all about fancy drum fills and splash cymbals ask Charlie Watts, Ringo and Phil Rudd,” he tweeted.

Next: 25 Most Destructive Guns N' Roses Moments

Watch Guns N’ Roses Perform ‘November Rain’

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