TRACII Guns - founding Guns Ní Roses guitarist and founder of glam metal group L.A Guns (Tracii Guns & Phil Lewis) is touring the UK this month with a date at The Brook, Southampton on Monday March 13.http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/leisure/news/15146943.Tracii_Guns___founding_Guns_N____Roses_guitarist_and_founder_of_L_A_Guns_talks_to_the_Daily_Echo_ahead_of_show_at_The_Brook/
Here Isabel Ewen speaks to him ahead of the show:
Q) Is the new album almost finished?
Tracii: Oh definitely, weíre 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, itíll come out June.
Itís a good band. Itís powerful. I wouldnít want to go on after us! Thatís how I always judge the band, if itís firing on all cylinders.The energy is really high. Of course, the songs are good too.
Q) Whereís the inspiration coming from with the song writing.
Tracii: A lot of the things that I work on, because typically with L.A. Guns, Iíll bring in a giant amount of music, and then we kind of pick and choose what inspires Phil to write to. Weíre not really singer-songwriter type of song writing 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 - Waking The Dead, and the goal was always to look at the things 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. Generally, Philís vocal style and his way of writing kind of off-sets that balance of the heavy music; thatís something thatís possibly more mainstream or identifiable, you know, so thereís a lot of classical music on this record, thereís a lot of typical sleazy L.A. Guns, high energy, riff rock. Thereís a little bit of, kind of sloppy New Orleans, kind of sweaty bluesier stuff too. Itís a big record. Itís going to be a double vinyl record so itís coming close to being 80 minutes long, with two big pieces that kind of fit together at the end of the record which are kind of inspired by that show Vikings. So you can imagine, if you were to set the music to that TV show, itís very epic, you know, a lot of death and gore.
Q) Although L.A. Guns formed in 86 youíve 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: The thing is, with Phil and I in particular, we have a certain chemistry thatís undeniable. And, you know, when youíre at your loneliest you know, you wanna go home right? So we both felt like it was time to go home and be comfortable with that undeniable relationship that we have musically. From the first time we got back together and played, you know, itís so obvious, you know, you canít deny it, at some point in your life, you canít deny whatís real.
Q) What do you think about the Guns Ní Roses Reunion Tour, considering you were involved in the roots of that band.
Tracii: I think itís fantastic. I wish they would have done it sooner and I would like for them to put out new music because, like Metallica and Deff Leppard and other bands, putting out new music validates Rock N Roll music. To go out and only play live to make a lot of money is great, but also to kind of shake up a very stagnant rock music scene itís important for Guns Ní Roses to put out new music. You have to have new music that people latch on to... I think that the soil is very fertile for this kind of music right now...I think everybodyís coming to the realisation that as we get more and more mortal, of how important it is to do what weíre supposed to do.
Q) Stay truthful to yourself?
Tracii: yeah. All musicians are fickle creatures. We always want to be better or we have to feed that ego somehow, and when the ego does the talking the immediate satisfaction goes away pretty quickly, so itís all lessons to be learned, and I think you can look at everybody from Elton John to Aerosmith, to The Who, even The Eagles, you know, you gotta get real eventually.
Q) Can egos get in the way of musicians speaking to each other, I mean. would you like to speak to Axl Rose ever again, or is it a case of not in this lifetime?
Tracii: Oh no, of course I would. I mean, we donít have a bad relationship or anything. We havenít talked in 25 years, but we donít have a bad relationship, we just have kind of a non-existent relationship for all these years. But you know, he says wonderful things about me; I say wonderful things about him, that are mutual, itís not high school at all.
Q) Is music for you about a spiritual experience?
Tracii: It is. 100 percent, thatís the only reason I really play music because thereís a certain soul tickling thing in the creation of music and thereís another soul tickle when you record the music, particularly when youíre in control of creating that audio palette in the studio, kind of scratching your soul. And then of course you get to perform it, and Iíve been really fortunate to be able to express emotionally through the guitar, live, my whole life and for me thatís where the addiction lies, itís really in the live performance.