Blasting-Zone.com recently conducted an in-depth interview with original L.A. GUNS frontman Paul Black. Several excerpts follow:
Blasting-Zone.com: What led to your departure from the group?
Paul: "When we first put the band together, we got off to really good strong start. This was around the same time that GUNS N' ROSES were getting off the ground. We were gonna play a really big show at the Troubadour. Right before we did the show, Tracii [Guns, guitar] took off and left the band. He went to New York to play with a Playboy playmate that was signed to Atlantic Records. …I guess he felt that was a better opportunity. After Tracii left, we had Robert Stoddard join the band so we could pick up and get going again, but we were always on the trail of GUNS N' ROSES after that because GUNS N' ROSES played our slot at the Troubadour and played in front of our audience. From there forward, they always had the edge. After Tracii rejoined, we started going in a heavy metal direction again. I didn't like the direction the band was going in. I think it was a mutual decision for me to leave the band. I felt it was better for me to go off on my own in my own direction with a new project. Right after Nickey did the drums for the first record, they got rid of him, too because they had an opportunity to get a big rock star in the band. I guess Tracii idolized W.A.S.P.. He had the chance to get the drummer from W.A.S.P. and he took it."
Blasting-Zone.com: What was your main motivations behind filing the lawsuit (against L.A. GUNS)? Was it purely over publishing rights?
Paul: "I didn't understand why they had taken my name off the songs and put the new members' names on them. I couldn't understand it. I had someone try to negotiate with them and we talked personally at a club. They were like 'Hey, this is just a big mistake…' They told me that Polygram had told them that it was standard policy that the songwriting credits stay with the band when a singer leaves… something ridiculous like that. I don't know how they bought that. There was so much shit going on behind my back that I didn't know who was telling the truth and who wasn't. …It turned into a big mess. I tried working something out with them, but the lawyers would never make anything that was ever remotely an offer to me to settle it. There were nine songs all together. Some of them were the hits and I simply couldn't let them go, as a artist. If the album had gone platinum, I would have been beating my head against the wall. It wasn't that I wanted to get into a lawsuit. In fact, it was the last thing that I ever wanted to do. It also turned out to be one of my biggest mistakes."
Blasting-Zone.com: What happened to the West Coast reunion tour that was rumored to have been in the works?
Paul: "I was in London on vacation when the ('Black List') record got printed up. When I got back here…Mick Cripps asked me if I'd be willing to do a few shows with them with the original line-up…Mick, Tracii and Nickey Alexander on drums. But they didn't want to get Robert Stoddard on guitar. I guess they wanted Kelly Nickels to play. I talked to Tracii and he sounded really up for it. There was a management and booking company that was going to set up the tour…for a West Coast tour. The whole purpose of the tour was to bury the hatchet, get back together with some old bandmates and revisit some songs we had written together twenty years ago. But I guess somehow in the time it took to put it all together, Nickey kinda lost interest. He just didn't want to do it. I didn't hear from Tracii. I guess he just ended up joining QUIET RIOT, which I guess isn't even happening now. Everything's up in the air right now."
Blasting-Zone.com: Considering all of the lead vocalist changes L.A. GUNS has gone through, have you ever considered attempting to rejoin the group?
Paul: "No. The direction of the music is so different from what I wanted to do, really. …To get together and do a reunion…to play those songs again after twenty years is one thing. To step back into being the singer for L.A. GUNS is not something that I wanted to do. I don't think I was ever really a heavy metal singer. I don' think I have that kind of voice. …I have a rock 'n' roll voice, definitely, but I'm no heavy metal screamer. I think that's what L.A. GUNS may have wanted, although they didn't have that with the new singer."
Read the entire interview at Blasting-Zone.com.