Express & Star

Tracii Guns of LA Guns (Tracii Guns and Phil Lewis) speaks ahead of Wolverhampton show

There have been a few changes to the line-up of L.A. Guns since its inception back in 1983, when Tracii Guns and his band merged with Axl Rose’s ‘Hollywood Rose’ to form Guns N’ Roses, before a change of that line-up saw Guns depart and create the classic line-up of L.A. Guns with Phil Lewis as lead singer.

LA Guns at an LA signing. Tracii Guns centre. Picture by: Ronnie Lyon

There have been sixteen studio albums in total released by L.A. Guns, but the magic on stage between Guns and Lewis hasn’t been seen for some time.

Singer Phil Lewis rejoins guitarist Tracii Guns in the new L.A. Guns line up that will tour the UK this March with a stop at Wolverhampton Civic Hall on March 18.

Guns and Lewis last recorded and released an album together as L.A. Guns 15 years ago entitled Waking the Dead, and will be releasing their collaboration and follow up to this album in June 2017.

Speaking with Tracii during his and Phil’s current Reloaded Tour of L.A. Guns stateside, he said

“With Phil and I in particular we have a certain chemistry that’s undeniable. And, you know, when you’re at your loneliest you know, you wanna go home right? So, we both felt like it was time to go home and be comfortable with that undeniable relationship that we have musically.

"I mean right away, the first time we got back together and played, you know, it’s so obvious, you know, you can’t deny it, at some point in your life, you can’t deny what’s real.”

L.A. Guns are mostly known as a glam metal band but it sounds like the new album steers clear of landing in “brutal metal land” as Tracii states

“Phil’s vocal style and his way of writing kind of off-sets that balance of the heavy music, that’s something that’s possibly more mainstream or identifiable, so there’s a lot of classical music on this record.

"there’s a lot of, you know, kind of typical sleazy L.A. Guns, high energy, riff rock. There’s a little bit of sloppy New Orleans, kind of sweaty, kind of blues-ier stuff too. it’s a big record.”

Despite not having a relationship with former bandmate Axl Rose, Tracii has only positive things to say about Guns N’ Roses and their current tour with original members Axl, Slash and Duff McKagan,

“I think it’s fantastic, you know. I wish they would have done it sooner and I would like for them to put out new music.”

Guns expressed the importance of bands putting out new music because “it validates rock n roll.”

For Tracii, music is the perfect example of combining the material and spiritual aspects of life making his process of writing a spiritual experience:

"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, kind of scratching your soul.

"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, you know, having great nights out, pretty off nights, things like that, 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."

LA Guns will play Wolverhampton Civic Hall on March 18