The oft-used cliche that music can make a difference is something that former Guns N' Roses drummer Matt Sorum takes to heart. This Sunday (Sept. 15), he is hosting a benefit event with Slash and Macy Gray, with proceeds going to his Adopt the Arts charity. At the event, Sorum will be showing off his guitar skills and musicianship that will be displayed in his upcoming solo album.

"It's much more introspective than my usual heavy rock stuff," said Sorum of his solo disc in an interview with Rolling Stone. "It's more of a singer-songwriter thing. I play acoustic guitar, and it's a little mellower kind of album."

The album's more reflective tone parallels Sorum's own decision to reach out and share his music and love for arts with kids, and he dreams of taking his Adopt the Arts program on an international level. Along with coordinating art programs and creating a curriculum in which children learn the history of music, from classical to blues, Sorum also raised money for one school that was facing drastic budget cuts.

"I came up with this idea -- why don't I adopt the school? I'll raise the money," said Sorum. "I'll be the figurehead of that music and art program. So I went downtown to a rally and I spoke to the superintendent of the school district and got up there and spoke in front of the board. Basically, they held the cuts. They didn't cut the program."

Sorum's storied runs with Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver have opened many a door, but with maturity comes a more measured attitude about all that fame and fortune. "I've been sober about six years now and my life's just changing," said Sorum, whose album comes out in January. "I'm getting married, getting a little older, and I just started feeling different -- not being so self absorbed in the rock and roll world. I changed quite a bit, for the better, I think."

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