Phil Lewis: "Hitler would be easier to work with after Tracii Guns."
“You’re a lying motherfucker. You quit and you left us in deep shit.”
Phil Lewis on Tracii Guns leaving LA Guns
LA Guns singer Phil Lewis "Hitler would be easier to work with after Tracii Guns."
Posted By: Metal Sludge
Sunday August 12th 2012
Phil Lewis recently did an in depth interview with our friends over at Metal Rules. Some of the highlights of that interview are posted below. Phil pulls no punches and talks about everything from his jealousy of Michael Monroe to his thoughts on the worst band he’s ever heard in his life (Pretty Boy Floyd). He even claims that working with Adolf Hitler would be easier than Tracii Guns. Read on and enjoy.
ON THE EARLY DAYS LIVING IN LONDON ENGLAND
Metal-Rules.com: There was one well known Finnish band which did move from Finland to London at the early 80’s. How well did you know the band Hanoi Rocks back then?
Phil Lewis: I did and I remember them really, really well and I know that they were going through the same thing that we were going through too just because they wanted to be original and have their own identity. They just… l loved them and I loved their attitude and they were such nice guys. Mike and I have stayed friends and I tried to do something with Andy but it was impossible but yeah I love Hanoi Rocks and I’m glad that when Guns N’ Roses hit it big they gave credit to Hanoi for being a huge well “Welcome to the Jungle". I mean that’s… Mike Monroe came up with that line you know and Axel admits that. So yeah I’m glad for Michael. I’m glad that he’s back on his feet. I’ve seen a couple of his shows and they were incredible. I’m jealous of his energy.
ON THE CHANGE IN THE INDUSTRY
Metal-Rules.com: You’ve said it in many interviews that the time around the first two albums was a great time both creatively and within the band but then something changed in early 90’s?
Phil Lewis: Just you know there were too many fluffy… the genre, the 80s rock got stupid you know like bands like Nelson and at the time… I’m good friends with them now but Warrant and Slaughter. It was stupid you know with the big hair and the big teeth. It was just you know… the music… there was no edge. There was no danger to it. There was no and I always felt like L.A. Guns was just a little bit scarier than those guys. I’m glad that the people that know the difference accepted that we were different from that and I think that those guys, the fluffy, were the ones that brought it down. And it needed to come down because it was weak and then something good came along like a good songwriter. Seattle came out with some great, a little depressing but you know after the big party of the 80s it was obvious something was going to change.
Metal-Rules.com: At one point it did seem that the only thing that mattered was how you looked, not how good you were with your music, right?
Phil Lewis: Exactly. It didn’t matter. Pretty Boy Floyd, the worst band you’ve ever heard in your life got like a… they’re spending a half a million dollars on an album and $100,000 on videos and they stank. You know, it was really time for a change.
ON LA GUNS CONTINUING WITH HIM
Metal-Rules.com: Remember the time when you were out of L.A. GUNS and the other guys decided to continue under the name.
Phil Lewis: Yes of course.
Metal-Rules.com: So how do you like the albums they put out at that time?
Phil Lewis: I think they’re absolute shit.
Metal-Rules.com: Especially AMERICAN HARDCORE…
Phil Lewis: That’s absolute terrible shit because that was Tracii trying to be Pantera. And for him to steal the name L.A. Guns, put something out and confuse the fans, confuse the industry and it’s incredibly disrespectful. I just… I hated it.
Metal-Rules.com: How do you like SHRINKING VIOLET, the album he did with Jizzy Pearl on vocals?
Phil Lewis: It’s terrible. I mean not just because they called it L.A. Guns. If they called it Blue Sky I still think it sounded terrible because Tracii doesn’t know how to write songs.
THE BANDS STATUS AROUND "WAKING THE DEAD"
Metal-Rules.com: The bands future looked really bright after the album (Waking the Dead) came out but then things started to go wrong…
Phil Lewis: Very, very quickly it went bad. We had a good album. People were saying like what you said this band is back from the dead and then Tracii quit. He quit the band during the photo shoot while we were doing the photo shoot for the cover. He said “I’m leaving. I’m going to do a side project with Nikki Sixx” and we’re like “Really, why? Why do you have to like…” We were like, we gave him our blessing. “Of course go play with Nikki. That’s great. Don’t quit your own band to do that, why?” He says “Oh fuck you guys. You’d never understand. You’re holding me back. I’m going to move on.”
Metal-Rules.com: It’s interesting to hear since Tracii has claimed that he actually never quit with the band…
Phil Lewis: Oh that’s absolute bullshit. That is complete and utter bullshit. He says he didn’t and in other interviews he says he admits that he did and he’s a little fucking liar. If he were sitting here I would look him right in the eye and I’d say “You’re a lying motherfucker. You quit and you left us in deep shit.” We lost our record deal. We lost the Alice Cooper tour and we went right back to square one but we got our shit together and we wrote TALES FROM THE STRIP and that was a big “fuck you” to Tracii Guns. There were some great songs. We had Stacey in the band at that point who is a far better musician then Tracii and we came out with an album that we could never have made with Tracii.
Metal-Rules.com: Did Tracii ever say anything in public about TALES FROM THE STRIP?
Phil Lewis: He said that we took no chances. He said it was a very safe album but this is coming from a guy that hasn’t released one song since he left the band. We’re on like our fifth album now. He hasn’t released one song so I don’t give a fuck what he thinks.
ON STACEY BLADES REPLACING TRACII GUNS
Metal-Rules.com: How did Stacey Blades actually ended up in the band? I know that he had played with Roxx Gang before but don’t know not much more about him overall?
Phil Lewis: It was a mutual friend suggested that we give Stacey a call and we were doing a covers record at the time and my plan was to have a different guitar player on each song like Brent Muscat, Keri Kelly and Stacey came in. I wanted him to play some slide on “I Just Want to Make Love to You” and he came. He played it great and then I was like “We’ve got these other songs. Would you be interested in learning them?” He goes “I already know them” and so he convinced us that he was the guy.
Metal-Rules.com: So he was really easy person to work with?
Phil Lewis: Oh compared after Tracii yeah. I mean Hitler would be easier to work with after Tracii.
ON TWO VERSIONS OF LA GUNS
Metal-Rules.com: For years there were two versions of L.A. Guns touring but recently Tracii announced he’s done with his version. Do you believe that he’s completely finished with that thing?
Phil Lewis: Not really, not 100%. I think that he realized once this album came out he would be foolish to continue. So he’s doing another project and I wish him good luck but I would be naïve to think that this isn’t going to come again, especially if we get successful with this record. Of course he has the legal right to do it so there is no dirty trick that I would put past him.
Metal-Rules.com: When you heard about his statement, was it a kind of relief for you?
Phil Lewis: You know I’ve been in fighting mode for a long time so as far as I’m concerned we’d been in a long time ago and this is just like official surrender but yeah I’m glad. I’m glad he had the guts to come up and do something else. I think he got a lot of pressure from the fans, people who’ve become friends of people like that were running his Spanish fan club, just… they defected and said “Phil, can we be friends? I know we’re with Tracii’s fan club but we really love you and we love what you’re doing in the new music and we’re really sorry. Can we come on your side?” So I was like “Yes of course. Come on. I need all the help we can get.” So yeah, it’s an official surrender and I appreciate that and that’s why I wish him luck and I don’t hate him. I don’t hate him anymore. I’m not going to carry this big hatred on my back for the rest of my life. I hope he does well with what with his own name because it should be his own name. To go through four singers in one year and one of them to be a girl is ridiculous.
To read the full interview go to METAL RULES
Wasting no time, Pretty Boy Floyd frontman Steve "Sex" Summers has already shot back with some of his own comments on the very popular GOSSIP BOARDS
"Who’s this Phil guy and who’s La Guns. Are they those dudes who had like 5 Nikki Sixx look a likes.Very original. I believe they fucked the scene up. Well at least the guitarist still wears the blond streaks and head band like Traci the founder of Guns. Wanker." Steve Summers