While that implosion held off while Guns were packing stadiums, tensions came to a head once they ended their gruelling worldwide jaunt.
“When we got off tour was when we got in trouble,” Sorum sighs. “Axl’s thing was to outdo the last thing and we’d just done a three-year tour in massive stadiums and done epic videos and there was a lot of pressure on us.
“Me and Slash wrote a bunch of songs and gave them to Axl and he didn’t like them. Those songs turned into Slash’s Snakepit. We recorded that album together.
“In retrospect that was probably the beginning of the end. We should have rallied as a band and figured out how to get the songs better instead of jumping out on our own. In Axl’s defence he was probably right. We should have stuck together, it wasn’t the time for solo records. You don’t see Metallica running around doing solo records. Has Bono or the Edge made a solo record? No.”
With cracks quickly appearing, Slash decided to tour his Snakepit album, although Sorum turned down the offer to join him.
“Axl said if I went on tour with Slash I’d be fired. So I said, ‘Okay, I’ll stay at home with you, Axl.’ And that’s what I did. Slash was gone for quite a long time. Me, Duff and Axl continued to write. Axl was getting pretty fired up about Slash and that’s how that [Slash leaving the band] got started. Soon after that I left and then Duff left.”
All of which ended Adler and Sorum's involvement with Guns N’ Roses - until this year's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame show. The glitzy event saw the pair share the stage as the band were inducted into the hallowed hall, a move which reignited talk of whether the Appetite… or Use Your Illusion era line-ups could ever launch a full-scale reunion.
Asked about the chances of getting back into the GN’R saddle, Sorum says: “Why not? I’d have to talk about the situation because I like to be in bed by midnight, I don’t want to go on stage at midnight! I get tired man, I don’t know how Axl keeps that up!”
Adler is even more enthusiastic, saying: “I would love more than anything to play the songs with the guys I wrote them with. One day maybe that’ll happen. I throw prayers in every day.
“I wouldn’t mind if we did do a reunion if Matt came up and played a couple of songs that he played on. As long as I opened and closed the show. I still think if we got together in one room there would be hugs, tears and making magic.”
It seems that with plenty of water under the bridge Adler and Sorum can now finally be seen as two hugely important parts to the Guns N’ Roses history rather than rivals.
“I held a grudge against Matt Sorum,” Adler admits. “The grudge was I was just jealous. Those guys were my brothers and they took me out and brought in a stranger into our family. I was with them from the beginning, they threw me out on the streets like I never existed and brought some stranger to take over my life.
“I thought, ‘You don’t even know this guy, I’ve had your back, I fought for you a**holes.’ So I held a grudge. But if it wasn’t Matt, it would have been somebody else.”
Sorum takes the final word on whether the Guns N’ Roses story could have one more incredible twist. Asked if we would consider sharing drum duties with Adler on a reunion jaunt, he says: “Yeah. Anybody in their right mind would definitely look at the offer. We’ve talked about Velvet Revolver too. I have a lot of irons in the fire. I’m never not working.”
Surely that is a leap of imagination too far, right? Well, don’t rule it out just yet. If history has taught us anything it’s that, when it comes to Guns N’ Roses, ‘Anything Goes’.
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