Tracii Guns says Phil Lewis almost quit L.A. GUNS at the end of 2022 after the departure of the band's most recent manager.
In a recent interview with BLABBERMOUTH.NET, Guns discussed some of his personal problems with Lewis stemming from the legal battle over the L.A. GUNS name with former drummer Steve Riley. "When Phil and I were younger, we had a go at each other on the internet, which was very cringeworthy," he said. "I don't even want to go back into it with each other. [Laughs] That stems from, now that I'm very therapized, it stems from a lot of pain that each one of us has. We always had a great relationship, but somebody else always seemed to muddy the water and drive the wedge between Phil and me. We had this conversation again because our manager quit at the end of the year. Phil almost left. I get on the phone and ask, 'What's the problem?' He's, like, 'Well, [the manager] was this buffer between you and me.' I go, 'Haven't you noticed that every time we get in this position, it's because of somebody else? Somebody else is there and being selfish about something that they don't feel they're being rewarded for, so they'll point the fingers at you or me.' He, very quickly, turned around and was like, 'Yeah. You're right.' The strength of L.A. GUNS lies with Phil and me."
Lewis touched upon the nature of his working relationship with Guns in a recent interview with Sonic Perspectives. He said: "The combination of the two of us, it's great chemistry. We do have a bit of friction there, and that's all right; I think the best of 'em do — [Pete] Townshend and Roger Daltrey, and Joe [Perry] and Steven [Tyler]. There's something about that Cain and Abel thing, slightly dysfunctional brother thing going that we have, and it certainly keeps things interesting."
During a separate appearance on the "Rockin' Interviews" podcast, Phil stated about his renewed collaboration with Tracii: "The reunion [between us happened] about five, six years ago. And the way we were [when we decided to work with each other again] was very similar to the early days when I first joined the band back then; it was about '87. And we'd spent a long time apart. We hadn't spoken to each other in 15 years. And that's so crazy. And our objective is to make up for lost time, which is why we've banged out four records in five years. And the dynamics there… L.A. GUNS is a band, we kind of have a reputation for getting through bandmembers like Kleenex. I think we're up to, like, 58 people who can say that they've been in L.A. GUNS. But at the end of the day, it just comes down to two, and that's me and [Tracii]."
L.A. GUNS' new album, "Black Diamonds", will be released on April 14 via Frontiers Music Srl. This will be the fourth studio LP since the much-welcome reunion of the band's core foundation of Lewis and Guns. It will follow the well-received studio albums "The Missing Peace", "The Devil You Know" and "Checkered Past", plus the live release "Made In Milan", and a covers EP "Another Xmas In Hell".
Written and recorded over the course of 2022, "Black Diamonds" sees Guns, Lewis and company continuing on the same successful and inspiring sonic journey that they've been taking on "The Missing Peace", "The Devil You Know" and "Checkered Past". The band doesn't shy away from flexing its hard rock influences as it always has but also incorporates more introspective acoustic tracks reflective of its classic rock influences from the '70s.