Tracii Guns has commented on last week's out-of-court resolution of the legal dispute over the rights to the L.A. GUNS name. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, he and singer Phil Lewis will continue to operate under the L.A. GUNS trademark, while Steve Riley and his bandmates from the other version of L.A. GUNS will now operate under the new name RILEY'S L.A. GUNS.
Speaking to Dawn Osborne of TotalRock, the guitarist said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "We just settled this lawsuit a couple of days ago. And I'll let the press release explain how it's gonna work from here on out. But nobody can just be L.A. GUNS except me forever. And it worked out… I would have liked to have taken it further, but that motherfucker has no money.
"All this thing has been for 15 years is a complete negative waste of time and energy," Tracii continued. "But I ended up in a position where I could go after the guy. And it was the right thing to do. You can't let people take advantage of you. And that's kind of classic in my life. I'm really generous with people, and I wanna see everybody succeed. But if you take advantage of me, man… Sometimes I wish there were no laws. Because some people are so selfish."
Guns also talked about L.A. GUNS' upcoming album, "Checkered Past", which is tentatively due in November via Frontiers Music Srl. This will be the third 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" and "The Devil You Know", plus the live release "Made In Milan", and a covers EP "Another Xmas In Hell".
"It's a fucking another monster record," Tracii said. "I guess we're old and we give a shit about the records now. L.A. GUNS fans will love it. It's different than 'The Missing Peace' and it's different than 'The Devil You Know'. Well, people got a taste from [the previously released single] 'Let You Down'; that's on that record.
"We have what a core L.A. GUNS fan would be really excited about, like these fast, hard-hitting inventive riffs — stuff like that — which is great," he continued. "But L.A. GUNS fans are gonna buy the record; they're gonna ultimately hear those songs no matter what. But there's some other things on that record, like 'Let You Down', which are — I hate to use an overused term — but they're genuinely epic pieces of music. And they're great songs — they're not just epic musically; they're great songs — more '70s, I suppose."
Prior to the arrival of "Checkered Past", L.A. GUNS will release a live recording of its November 28, 2020 concert at the Fremont Country Club in Las Vegas, Nevada where the band performed its second album, 1989's "Cocked & Loaded", in its entirety. The event was livestreamed via Veeps.
"We played only 'Cocked & Loaded' and 'Speed' — one extra song — and the recording is fantastic," Tracii told TotalRock. "And it was a really meager kind of weird gig — it was weird — but the recording is great; it really turned out great. So Frontiers asked if we could put it out, and [we said], 'Yeah. Okay.' So the packaging is great. The album is great. And that comes out. So that's definitely for all the L.A. GUNS fans that wanna hear great versions of those songs live."
In May 2020, L.A. GUNS released a new single, "Let You Down". The song was written and recorded while the band was in the midst of working on its next studio album.
L.A. GUNS is:
Phil Lewis - vocals
Tracii Guns - guitars
Ace Von Johnson - guitars
Johnny Martin - bass
Scot Coogan - drums
Riley's version of L.A. GUNS, which made its live debut in May 2019 at the M3 Rock Festival, released its first album, "Renegades", last fall via Golden Robot Records. The drummer is joined in the group by Orlando, Florida-based guitarist/vocalist Kurt Frohlich, bassist Kelly Nickels (a member of L.A. GUNS' "classic" incarnation) and guitarist Scott Griffin (who played bass for the band from 2007 until 2009, and then again from 2011 to 2014).
In January 2020, Riley was sued by Lewis and Guns in California District Court. Joining Riley as defendants in the case were the three musicians who performed in his rival version of L.A. GUNS; that group's manager, booking agent and merchandiser; and Golden Robot Records. The complaint, which requested a trial by jury, alleged that Riley's version of L.A. GUNS (referred to in the case docket as "the infringing L.A. GUNS") was creating "unfair competition" through its unauthorized usage of the L.A. GUNS trademark. In addition, Guns and Lewis were seeking relief from and/or against false advertising, breach of contract and unauthorized usage of their likenesses.