PHIL LEWIS On There Previously Being Two Versions Of L.A. GUNS: 'It Was A Terrible Time For The Band'
November 14, 2017
Anthony Morgan of Metal Forces recently conducted an interview with L.A. GUNS vocalist Phil Lewis. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
On reuniting with guitarist Tracii Guns:
"It was around Christmas time of 2013. A charity event takes place in Las Vegas every year called Toys For Tots, and it's to raise money for underprivileged kids. It's toys for Christmas — you get in for free if you bring an unopened toy. You can donate. All of the money goes to this charity, and Tracii [Guns, L.A. GUNS guitarist] signed up to do it — for nothing, of course. The event organizer gave me a call, and said 'Look, Tracii's doing this. Would you be interested in getting up and doing a few songs?' Just the nature of the event seemed like a nice thing, a good thing to do. We got together, and we didn't rehearse. We didn't even soundcheck — I just showed up an hour or so before. I played; it was just four songs, and we just got on great. We got on like a house on fire. We hadn't seen each other at all in over a decade, not even by accident. We hadn't run into each other in a club, or a music store, or anywhere. It was very nice, great, just talking with him briefly. When we played, I got the vibe, of course. There's that magic that we have when we play together, and that was the beginning of [the new L.A. GUNS album] 'The Missing Peace'."
On two versions of L.A. GUNS existing for a number of years:
"It was a terrible time for the band. It's definitely our lowest point. As many as 47 — and it might be up to 50 now… I don't know — people out there lay claim to having been a member of L.A. GUNS, and if that's not SPINAL TAP, then I don't know what is. None of that matters, though. Me and him are back together back working, and all of that other stuff is history."
On the musical style of new L.A. GUNS album, "The Missing Peace":
"When we started recording, we didn't wanna make a nostalgic record, but a lot of people have said that it sounds like it could've been released after 'Cocked & Loaded' . It's just something I've heard from fans and from journalists, and alike. It does have that vibe; even though we didn't set out to do something like 'Cocked & Loaded', it just has that vibe. I don't know if it sounds like it that. Songs like 'Fever' and 'Speed' do sound like they could have been on 'Cocked & Loaded', but musical pieces like 'Gave It All Away' and 'The Missing Peace' are musically way beyond anything we would've done back then, so it's like we've evolved. I mean, 'Speed' and 'Fever' could be on 'Cocked & Loaded', but 'The Missing Peace' and 'Gave It All Away'? There's no way, so it's quite a wide spectrum on this one. Wider than perhaps we've ever done in the past. We've gotten better, and with better musicians. We're better people. It's like a fine wine, and it really shows on this record."
On the title of the album:
"You'd have to explain the spelling of the word 'peace' in 'The Missing Peace'. It's not like a piece; it's just a double entendre on me and Tracii's relationship. We have both been fine playing without each other and doing alright, but there was always something missing — for me, anyway. When we play, I feel that there's a certain completeness that we have. It was missing and we missed it, and it's an absolutely perfect title for the record."
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