PHIL LEWIS Wants To See If 'The Magic Is Still There' Between Him And TRACII GUNS
September 22, 2016
L.A. GUNS singer Phil Lewis and the band's co-founding guitarist Tracii Guns have inked a deal with Frontiers Music Srl for the release of a new L.A. GUNS album, tentatively due in June 2017.
After a nearly 15-year break, Lewis and Guns are back together for another chapter in their partnership that began in 1986, four years after Tracii formed L.A. GUNS in 1982.
Their writing partnership spawned classic L.A. GUNS songs such as "Sex Action", "Never Enough", "Electric Gypsy", "The Ballad Of Jayne" and countless more in an impressive catalog of fan favorites.
The last time Lewis and Guns joined forces was back in 2000 with legendary producer Andy Johns for the making of what would become "Waking The Dead" — an album that went on to receive tremendous critical acclaim and proved that their musical partnership was every bit as strong as the early days with all-killer-no-filler songs, including "Don't Look At Me That Way", "Hellraisers Ball" and "The Ballad".
"I think we owe it to our fans who have stuck with us during the many ups and downs of the band's long and checkered career," says Lewis. "Tracii and I have written the songs to the soundtrack of many people's lives, and I think it's definitely worth investigating to see if the magic is still there."
As for Guns, he's been compiling song ideas over the last year and promises this one will be one of the band's heaviest records, simply stating, "It's good to be home."
Guns and Lewis began working on new music together again after playing periodic dates together — billed as "L.A. GUNS' Phil Lewis and Tracii Guns" — around the tour schedule of the other long-running incarnation of L.A. GUNS, which Lewis continues to front.
The band has already confirmed a bunch of U.K. dates in early 2017 and two shows at the legendary Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood, California, with more surprises to be announced soon.
Regarding the decision to use the L.A. GUNS moniker for the new album, Guns told LA Weekly: "When you put Phil and I together, that's the sound of L.A. GUNS. There's no way around that. As much as I love certain other [former] members of the band, it's hard to say what their contribution to the overall sound of the band was — but Phil Lewis and Tracii Guns, the band's gotta be L.A. GUNS. It can't be anything else."
Tracii told radio personality Eddie Trunk last month that he has no intention of ever again playing with drummer Steve Riley, who continues to sit behind the kit for Phil's other version of L.A. GUNS.
"Without going into details, it's just…You're supposed to be brothers in a band like that, and we were in that last crew of… A band of brothers; you fight it out together. You've got each other's back. And when the trust is broken, that's it, man," he said. "Later, dude."
Guns did not elaborate on what caused the relationship between him and the drummer to break down, but added: "Phil and I are like Cain and Abel; we can go at each other day in and day out and still be able to function as brothers and still have each other's back. We're that close. Steve Riley is a hired drummer. And since the awe of him being in W.A.S.P. has worn off, I've played with drummers that are just like so much… a billion times better musicians and more interested in being musicians that I have no reason to ever [play with him again]. He's not a defining factor in a musical unit; he's just a solid drummer. And he would argue that point, but I know. I've played with Brian Tichy and Shane Fitzgibbon and Vinny Appice, and they're in a different league."
Tracii said that the only way he would be willing to reunite with Riley is if he was offered enough money. He explained: "Believe me, I'd love someone to come up to me and say, 'Hey, we can set your kid up and your great grandchildren up for the rest of their lives by getting Steve Riley back with all the original guys of L.A. GUNS, I'm not stupid; I'd be, like, 'Yeah, okay.' But that's in no way a reality in any universe."
Guns also spoke about the musical direction of the next L.A. GUNS album. He said: "We are nostalgia. The fact that we're making a record is killer, and I know that L.A. GUNS fans and people that like our kind of heavier music are gonna love it."
Tracii reiterated his desire to make the strongest L.A. GUNS album possible, explaining: "L.A. GUNS I never looked at as a hobby, so I'm certainly not going to now. If I'm gonna write music with Phil Lewis with the L.A. GUNS name on it, it's gonna be taken very seriously by me personally, and I will strive to make those shows and this record and whatever the future is, you know, what I feel is the best thing for the band and the audience. And this is really the only band I've ever felt that way about — that I've gotta take care of it; I've gotta do what I think is right for it. Especially at this point, because if this is the last record that Phil and I ever do, well, that would be pretty damn good, because it would suck to leave it on a mediocre note."