Singer Phil Lewis has rejoined guitarist Tracii Guns – founder of LA Guns – in a new LA Guns line-up touring the UK this month.
The pair last recorded and released an album together as LA Guns 15 years ago, with Waking The Dead.
Tracii and his band merged with Axl Rose’s Hollywood Rose to form Guns N’Roses, before a change of line-up saw Tracii depart and create the classic line-up of LA Guns with Phil Lewis as lead singer.
There have been more than a dozen LA Guns albums since its inception in 1983, but the magic on stage between Tracii and Phil has not been seen for some time – Tracii left the band in 2002, shortly after Waking the Dead.
Now Phil has left, to join Tracii in a new line-up, called LA Guns (Tracii Guns & Phil Lewis)
Tracii said: “Phil and I have a certain chemistry that’s undeniable. And when you’re at your loneliest you know, you wanna go home, right? We both felt it was time to go home and be comfortable with that undeniable relationship we have musically.
“It’s a good band. It’s powerful. I wouldn’t want to go on after us. That’s how I always judge the band, you know, if it’s firing on all cylinders, I wouldn’t want to have to go on after the band and that’s where the band’s at right now, the energy is really high. Of course, the songs are good, they are LA Guns songs, so very good right now at the moment.”
The band play Sheffields’s O2 Academy 2 on Wednesday, March 22.
For tickets, visit www.sheffieldacademy.co.uk
Q) Is the new album close to being finished? Could we see a release date this year?
Tracii: Oh definitely, yeah, I mean we’re just about done, a couple more things to sing, and then it goes off to the mixer and as long as I can get it in by mid-March, it’ll come out June.
Q) Where’s the inspiration coming from with the songs that you’re in the process of writing.
Tracii: A lot of the things I work on, because typically with LA Guns, Phil and I, I’ll bring in a giant amount of music and then we kind of pick and choose what inspires Phil to write to.
“We’re not really singer-songwriter, type of song writing, you know, guys. We have a big blues influence and some atmospheric influences and stuff like that, so, generally on this record, we looked toward our last record which was Waking The Dead and the goal was always to, you know, look at the things we did in the past and how to make them stronger, more meaningful, more powerful, without landing in brutal metal land which sometimes we do land in, that really heavy, heavy, heavy, kind of thing.”
Q. What do you think about the Guns N’ Roses Reunion Tour, considering you were involved in the roots of that band?
Tracii: I think it’s fantastic. I wish they would have done it sooner and I would like for them to put out new music.
“To go out and only play live to make a lot of money is great, but I think it’s important for Guns N’ Roses to put out new music because I’m sure it will be received very well.
“It’s not about just money, it’s about giving your fans something new to latch on to. I think that the soil is very fertile for this kind of music right now.”
Q. Can egos get in the way of musicians speaking to each other, I mean, would you like to speak to Axl Rose ever again, or is it a case of not in this lifetime?
Tracii: “Of course I would, We don’t have a bad relationship or anything. We haven’t talked in 25 years, but we don’t have a bad relationship, we just have kind of a non-existent relationship for all these years, but he says wonderful things about me, I say wonderful things about him, that are mutual, it’s not high school at all.
Q. Music’s the perfect example of combining the material and spiritual aspects of life. The world wouldn’t be the same without the spirit of music touching us. Is it for you about a spiritual experience?
Tracii: It is. 100 per cent, that’s the only reason I really play music because there’s a certain soul tickling thing in the creation of music and there’s another soul tickle when you record the music, particularly
when you’re in control of creating that audio palette in the studio.
“Then, of course, you get to perform it, and I’ve been really fortunate to be able to express emotionally through the guitar, live, my whole life and for me that’s where the addiction lies, it’s really in the live
performance, having great nights out, pretty off nights, never playing the same thing.
“But music leads back to why do we create new music? And you create new music because you have force to create new music. If you’re a musician you know you’re forever creating,”