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Guns still blazing, playing the music he loves with a new band

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Guns still blazing, playing the music he loves with a new band Empty Guns still blazing, playing the music he loves with a new band

Post by Soulmonster on Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:16 am

Guns still blazing, playing the music he loves with a new band
Intelligencer Journal
Lancaster New Era
Sep 13, 2012 16:32
Staff Writer

The history of L.A. Guns, a California hard-rock band, is beyond confusing.

Members have come and gone at a dizzying pace ever since the band got its start in 1983. For the past few years, fans have been flummoxed by two competing bands touring as L.A. Guns.

And both had legitimate claims to the name. Tracii Guns, the guitarist who founded the band, led one of the versions and singer Phil Lewis, whose voice helped shaped its sound, fronted the other.

Guns, however, has decided to try and put the band that bears his name behind him, as he has formed a new band called Tracii Guns' League of Gentlemen, which will play Thursday night at the Village nightclub.

The guitarist says during a telephone interview from a tour stop in Iowa that he understands having two versions of L.A. Guns traipsing around the country had to be difficult for fans and band members alike.

"That wasn't probably fun for them," Guns says of the Lewis-led band, "and me, I'm kind of a free-spirited guy. I don't really care. From a business sense, that wasn't the optimum business model if you were in the corporate world."

Guns, 46, says he still loves the songs L.A. Guns made famous, but he tired of trying to live up to the sleazy glam-rock image that the band fostered in its early days.

"People expect you to still wear leather pants and look like Nikki Sixx," Guns says. "I'm not a guy that can do that. I don't have the interest. But I love playing the songs."

Guns says his new band will likely play five favorites by his old band, including "Sex Action," "Electric Gypsy," "Rip and Tear," "Never Enough" and "The Ballad of Jayne."

The League of Gentlemen, however, will be concentrating on playing new music.

Guns said the band -- which includes singer Scott Foster Harris, multi-instrumentalist John Bird, drummer Doni Gray and bassist Craig McCloskey -- is returning to the classic-rock sound that held sway from 1968 to 1973. He says it's using bands such as Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, the Beatles, Aerosmith and the Rolling Stones as touchstones.

Guns, who counts Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page as his biggest influence, says classic rock is what he heard in his house while growing up.

"I just feel I'm at the age, personally, where I just want to play the music I love," he says.

As evidence of his devotion, Guns named his 3-year-old son Jagger James.

"He's really a good kid and he loves the Rolling Stones, thank God, because I called him Jagger," Guns says

The band has recorded an album of original songs that is scheduled to be released on Shrapnel Records in January. Guns says the curious can listen to demos of the songs at

Classic rock certainly influenced Guns when he was getting started in the music business as a teenager growing up in Los Angeles in the 1980s.

Bands like L.A. Guns and Guns N' Roses were leaning on hard rock that borrowed from heavy metal and the blues. Hair-metal bands like Motley Crue soon followed.

Guns briefly was a member of Guns N' Roses, which he formed with singer Axl Rose, who was fronting a band called Hollywood Rose. Slash ended up replacing him.

"I was 19 when Guns N' Roses was over for me," Guns says. "By that time, I kind of already knew that the most important thing was to be in a band I was going to have fun with.

"Guns N' Roses, man, it got pretty serious, a lot of emotion flying around. A great band, obviously, but it was a little too much for everybody, and I think that kind of proved itself over time. Guns N' Roses is a tough place to be."

About 25 years later, Guns believes he's landed in the right place with his League of Gentlemen.
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