Matt Sorum Explains Why Guns N’ Roses Was More Successful Than Metallica

In an interview with Desert Sun, former Guns N’ Roses drummer Matt Sorum talked about why Guns N’ Roses was more successful than Metallica and stated that it is because of their audience.

Matt Sorum was fired from the band in 1997 because of an argument he had with Axl Rose. He continued his musical career with other bands, including joining Velvet Revolver and Slash, after reestablishing their friendship.

Metallica was founded in 1981, and Guns N’ Roses in 1985. Even though there was a four-year gap, according to Sorum, they constantly competed with Axl Rose. When Axl stated that he wanted to rule the world, Lars Ulrich came up after him to say that he wanted to rule the world as well.

Here is how Sorum addressed Metallica being competitive with Guns N’ Roses:

“Axl’s intention was to rule the world and wasn’t afraid to say it. Then Lars Ulrich came along, and he wanted to rule the world. We were like, ‘You’re going to have to open for us because we rule the world.’ They were very competitive with us.” 

However, Sorum didn’t seem bothered by this competitiveness, and his attitude was neutral towards Metallica. This is because he knew that Metallica was not as successful as Guns N’ Roses. After all, Metallica’s audience consisted of men and just a few women. 

Here is what he said about Metallica’s audience:

Girls can’t dance to Metallica’s ‘And Justice For All,’ girls need to like the music, too. Bands like Def Leppard have an audience that’s 90% girls. When I went to see Metallica in the old days, it was 99% guys. When they made the ‘Black Album,’ the rest is history, and they’re still here.” 

Sorum stated that this changed with the ‘Black Album’ because it was a switch from thrash metal to a more refined sound with a cleaner beat. That was apparently more interesting for the female audience and thanks to this album Metallica still exists until this day.