vocalist Phil Lewis
INTERVIEW AND LIVE PICS BY MARKO SYRJALA
L.A. Guns are one of the true originals of the 80’s Sunset Strip’s hair metal scene. The band was formed in 1983 by guitarist Tracii Guns but it took several years and line-up changes before the classic line up of Guns, vocalist Phil Lewis, drummer Steve Riley, bassist Kelly Nickels and guitarist Mick Cripps was born. The albums: L.A. GUNS, COCKED AND LOADED and HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES were highly successful but the 90’s proved to be a difficult time for L.A. Guns. Riley left the band in 1992 and Lewis, Cripps and Nickels departures followed in 1995 after the unsuccessful VICIOUS CIRCLE album. Guns then continued to tour and record under L.A. Guns names whereas Lewis focused on other things like a solo album and various band projects including Filthy Lucre and Liberators. The classic line-up was put together again in 1999. The band released re-recorded versions of the first two L.A. Guns albums and a new studio album MAN ON THE MOON was released in 2001. WAKING THE DEAD followed in 2002 and although the album was a critical success, Tracii Guns decided to quit with the band and concentrate on his new band project titled Brides of Destruction. Despite all the difficulties, the band lost their record deal and a tour with Alice Cooper; they decided to carry on with a new guitar player Stacey Blades (ex –Roxx Gang). The new line-up released album TALES FROM THE STRIP in 2005. Since then the band has remained active and a touring act, they have released a pair of covers albums and a live album LOUD AND DANGEROUS. Tracii Guns in turn formed his own version of L.A. Guns and for years there were confusingly two bands touring under the same name. However, last July Tracii announced that he’s done with his version and will start a new project instead. L.A. Guns which now consists of Lewis, Riley, Blades and bassist Scotty Griffin released its new studio album HOLLYWOOD FOREVER on last June. The band returned in Finland for a four date tour in late July (their first time here since 1991). In Helsinki, we had the pleasure to sit down with Mr. Lewis and discuss about various topics including HOLLYWOOD FOREVER, L.A. Guns history, Lewis’s other projects and also about his current relationship with some of his old band mates… Read on!!