Jizzy Pearl breaks his silence about LA Guns!
"I kept my mouth shut out of respect for the Brand Name L.A. Guns"
I guess I have to explain things. I kept silent about leaving LAG because I didn’t want any drama to influence the sales of the acoustic gypsy record. But in light of the recent goings-on I guess it doesn’t matter. Apparently the disc that was amazing now sucks.
There are a few reasons why I left, the primary reason being I was over the long drives, the empty shows and living off truck stop food. I’m not financially strapped at this moment so I was able to walk away from a paying gig. This band travels in a van and although it never gets worse it never gets any better two years running. I didn’t ruin a tour, there were no gigs damaged and from what I hear most people are accepting of the ‘new’ LAG.
The story goes that LAG wasn’t writing any new material and that I was the impediment to a new album; this is totally true. But the dirty little secret not said is that Favored Nations doesn’t give the artists any sort of cash advance. I didn’t receive a nickel for Acoustic Gypsy and nothing for Shrinking Violet other than a $200 royalty split a year after. The dialogue was always “Steve Vai wants an original record, Steve Vai wants an original record” –well I’m sure he does but he wants it for NOTHING. I didn’t feel then and I don’t feel now that my time and energy and songwriting is worth nothing. If those guys want to write, record and tour behind a record and not get paid then…that’s OK by me. Hell, they probably don’t even know…
So a compromise was made; do a live acoustic record. I knew it would be for no money but it was a way for us to go on, maybe until we could find a label that actually pays their artists.
Traci OK’d the record, he thought it was really good until just recently. I got an advance copy and didn’t think the mix was great. I’m drowned out in certain songs like Electric Gypsy and there’s a shitty snare sample in the Otis Redding song that sounds like a trash can lid. It sounds like someone set up the levels in Pro-tools and just let the songs play without doing any vocal rides. Do I think the vocals are good? Does it matter, really? “Love Hurts” comes to mind as being pretty killer. We all did our best and I’ll stand by that. As for the record being bad or good I never had any contact with the record company so it wasn’t my place to say. This is Traci’s band and Traci’s ultimate decision.
It’s cool not to have to deal with the two L.A. Guns thing anymore, I can tell you that. Me sitting on the sidelines while Traci and Phil sniped away at each other. It reminded me of the old Mad magazine “Spy vs. Spy”. Who’s right, Who’s ‘real’…who cares. Two small bands full of old guys scratching away in bars in this bad economy should count their blessings anyone gives a shit at all. It got old, after two years very old indeed. However If I were Phil and Steve right now I’d be saying “DILANA—DO MORE INTERVIEWS!!”
I left and I kept my mouth shut out of respect for the Brand Name L.A. Guns, whose music and general vibe is still cool to me twenty-plus years later. That in itself is an accomplishment. This is a case of LAG circling the wagons and fending off the Indian horde. I get it. I’m bummed that it came to this and I still do wish everyone luck…. Thanks buddy, that’s all I’ve got to say. Thanks a heap.
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