Published on March 3rd, 2017 | by Churna List
Interview: Tracii Guns from LA Guns ahead of their gig at The Brook
Singer Phil Lewis rejoins guitarist Tracii Guns (founder of L.A. Guns) in the new L.A Guns line up that will tour the UK this March. Phil and Tracii last recorded an album together 15 years ago (Waking The Dead) and will be releasing a new album this year in June. Isabel Ewen caught up with Tracii who was on tour in Houston, Texas at the time. Their UK tour comes to The Brook in Southampton on Monday 13th March 2017 (tickets here).
Q) Is the new album close to being finished? Could we see a release date this year?
Tracii: Oh definitely, yeah, I mean we’re just about done, a couple more things to sing, and then it goes off to the mixer and as long as I can get it in by mid-March, it’ll come out June.
Q) Good! Fantastic, I’m looking forward to seeing you at The Brook in Southampton myself.
Tracii: Oh it’s a good band. It’s powerful. I wouldn’t want to go on after us. That’s how I always judge the band, you know, if it’s firing on all cylinders, I wouldn’t want to have to go on after the band and that’s where the band’s at right now, the energy is really high. Of course, the songs are good, they are L.A Guns songs.
Q) Where’s the inspiration coming from with the songs that you’re in the process of writing.
Tracii: I’ll bring in a giant amount of music, and then we kind of pick and choose what inspires Phil to write to. We’re not really singer-songwriter, type of song writing, you know, guys. We have a very big blues influence and kind of some atmospheric influences and stuff like that, so, generally on this record, we looked toward our last record that we did which was Waking The Dead and the goal was always to, you know, look at the things that we did in the past and how to make them stronger, more meaningful, more powerful, without really landing in brutal metal land which sometimes we do land in, that really heavy, heavy, heavy, kind of thing.
And generally, 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, you know, 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, kind of sloppy New Orleans, kind of sweaty, you know, kind of blues-ier stuff too. it’s a big record. It’s going to be a double vinyl record so it’s coming close to being, you know, 80 minutes long, something like that, with two in particular things that are called, if I can wake up I can remember, anyway, two big pieces that kind of fit together at the end of the record which are kind of inspired by that show, you know, Vikings, so you can imagine, you know, if you were to set the music to that TV show, it’s very epic, you know, a lot of death and gore.
It’s about a man who lost his faith. It’s called Heart Turned Black and then the second part is called Earth Turns Black, those words were chosen because they have they’re the same letters and I didn’t want to put something like ‘something’ part 1, ‘something’ part 2. Heart and earth have the same letters, so it’s the same as 1 and 2. That’s particularly different from most of the record and there’s a song called Sticky Fingers that kind of goes along the same lines as those two songs. And then the rest of stuff is pretty much what L.A. Guns fans would expect and what they would want, a little bit, in a new refreshed way, so it’s what we’re particularly happy with, where we are today, this record that’s going to come out.
Q) Although L.A. Guns was formed in 86 with the first album out the following year, you’ve joined other groups over the past couple of decades, including a couple of supergroups. But L.A. Guns is the band you come back to. Do you think this is often the path of a musician, to keep what they started going?
Tracii: I think the thing is, is that, 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? You know, so, we both felt like it was time to go home and be comfortable with that undeniable, you know, relationship that we have musically and, you know, 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.
Q) Do you see your personal style causing a ripple effect in the pool of Rock N’ Roll.
Tracii: yeah, I mean, especially being outside of L.A. Guns for sort of like fifteen years, always questioning, like, why do people like that so much? why do people like that so much? My style, my popular style is a style in which I play guitar when Phil Lewis is singing. That’s when it’s something special, that’s when it’s not basic, that’s when it’s not common, and those are the elements, you know, that’s why we’re doing this, you know, because, that’s where it’s at for me personally and that’s where it’s at for Phil personally. I would like liken it a lot I guess to Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy, certain things they do and they shine best when they do that together. It’s just a realisation, that’s definitely my style, playing guitar with Phil Lewis singing.
Q) Is there any message you’d like to put out to your audience here?
Tracii: Keep it cool man, keep it cool.
|03.10.17||Belfast, Ireland||Limelight 2|
|03.11.17||Pwllheli, Wales||Hard Rock Hell Festival @ Mor Holiday Park|
|03.13.17||SOUTHAMPTON, UK||THE BROOK|
|03.14.17||Norwich, UK||The Waterfront|
|03.15.17||Buckley/Flintshire, Wales||The Tivoli Venue|
|03.17.17||Bristol, UK||Bristol Bierkeller|
|03.18.17||West Midlands, UK||Wolverhampton Civic Hall|
|03.19.17||Chester, UK||Live Rooms|
|03.21.17||ABERDEEN, UK||The Assembly Aberdeen|
|03.22.17||Sheffield, UK||02 Academy Sheffield|
|03.24.17||Glasgow, UK||02 ABC Glasgow|
|03.25.17||London, UK||02 Academy Islington|
Main Photo: Ronnie Lyon