Blasting-Zone.com recently conducted an in-depth interview with L.A. GUNS vocalist Phil Lewis. Several excerpts follow:
Blasting-Zone.com: What can you tell us about "Tales from the Strip"?
Phil Lewis: "It's been out now for a few months. It was something that took us about six months to write and about a month to record. We're really happy with it."
Blasting-Zone.com: It's an album I think most true L.A. GUNS fans will be proud of…
Phil: "And they should be…that's who it was written for. We weren't trying to appeal to LIMP BIZKIT or EVANESCENCE fans, ya know? …We pretty much decided that with this record, we were going to stick with what we know the best, which is the whole sex, booze and tattoos mantra. We wrote the album in West Hollywood, we recorded the album in West Hollywood and the album is about West Hollywood. We pretty much kept it local."
Blasting-Zone.com: What ultimately led to Tracii [Guns] leaving the group?
Phil: "He left the band to join a band with (MÖTLEY CRÜE bassist) Nikki Sixx called BRIDES OF DESTRUCTION. They recorded an album together and then Nikki went back to MÖTLEY CRÜE. Tracii had made it clear that he was leaving and didn't want to come back. We've moved on…we've got our new guy Stacey Blades, who has been with us for about three years. We've made a couple of records together and we're not budging…we like the way we sound. We're real happy with this line-up. We wish Tracii all the best and good luck…but we've moved on."
Blasting-Zone.com: I have to admit I had always wondered what L.A. GUNS would sound like without Tracii Guns…
Phil: "It was a big challenge for us and a huge challenge for Stacey…he stepped up tremendously. Even on an Internet level, Tracii has given props to our boys for stepping in and doin' a man's job, which I find very cool. There's nothing personal between Tracii and myself. I've been through so much with that guy. I joined his band…that will never, ever be in dispute. It's just a professional and musical thing. It's definitely not personal. Tracii saw what he thought was a great opportunity, and I guess it was. I could never understand why he couldn't do both. When he made the decision that he was going to do that and that was what he was sticking with, he basically just suggested that we split up, which I didn't think was a very good idea at all."
Blasting-Zone.com: Do you feel as if you're better off without Tracii?
Phil: "It has its pluses and minuses. It pretty much evens out. There are still a few pockets of resistance out there that refuse to accept L.A. GUNS without Tracii, and I can understand why they think like that. But Tracii didn't want to be in the band. There was no reason for us to deny our lives something that we love or deny the fans and the people that are interested in the band. With that in mind, we made a decision we were either gonna pack it in or scramble, get it together and carry on with being amazing, something we already were with Tracii, of course. It was a challenge to see if we could do it without him… There are still some people that aren't ever going to accept it and I can understand it, but they're missing out on a really good band. And it wasn't like Tracii had a problem and we had to fire him. It was really something that he wanted to consciously do. He's in a great band that he's really into that he can pretty much control and drive. I think that someone who has such a forceful and strong personality needs to be in a position like that. If he was still with us, he might not have that same type of control."
Read the entire interview at Blasting-Zone.com.