Tracii Guns Interview
Less than a year ago, the members of this band were scattered across the
world. Today they're considered one of the hottest groups around. We're talking
of course about Ploygram recording artists - L.A. Guns.
Guitarist Tracii Guns Spoke with us about the meteoric success of L.A. Guns.
Q - I saw you in town a few months ago at a small club, and I have to wonder,
how does it pay the group to get out on the road and play in a small venue?
A - You don't really do it for money at first. You're doing it 'cause you
need the exposure. When the album first came out, there were no major tours
going on. So, we had to do a headlining tour of small clubs. So, like we did
a whole sting. The clubs pay good money, 'cause they make money off booze and
stuff. You definitely lose money on it. We probably lost 50 grand, for the
first month and a half we were out, but you make it back. The record Co. springs
for all that stuff anyway. We did pretty well 'cause we sold a lot of merchandise,
t-shirts and stuff. So, the money isn't really a big issue.
Q - The record co. bio. contains very little information about the group.
What's your background?
A - I've been playing guitar since I was 5. I grew up in the 70's. My parents
were both hippies. I was born in the baby boom. I was influenced by most of
the groups of the late 60's and early 70's. A lot of black artists. I started
getting a band together when I was 12 or 13, playing around. I got the original
L.A. Guns together about 3 years ago. It was me and Axel. He's still in Guns
'n Roses. We did Guns 'n Roses together too, but we started L.A. Guns first.
When we made the split from Guns 'n Roses, then I just went back to doing L.A.
Guns again. I just got together with all those guys. I've known Steve and Kelly
from the east coast 'cause I was out here for awhile. And Mick the rhythm guitar
player, used to originally play bass in the band. I met him at a party in L.A.
Q - And everybody’s partyin' in L.A., right?
A - Oh. I guess so!
Q - Especially rock musicians, or that's what they'd like you to believe.
A - Right. That's what I gotta tell the press anyway. (Laughs). So, that’s
where we met. We met through some different line-ups, but this line-up has
been together for about a year now.
Q – So, why did you leave Guns 'n Roses?
A - At the time when I left, it was a heavy drug scene. I couldn't deal with
it. It was weird. I was out of place at that point. It was like everybody was
straight, then all of a sudden everybody wasn't straight. That was it. I split.
There was nothing I could do. I couldn't deal with it. We were fighting for
a couple of weeks, because I couldn't get it together. And they did, and we're
friends again. So, it doesn’t really matter, after that point. So, everything’s
Q - Is it enough to be talented in L.A.? What do you have to have to get
A - If you have talent, you definitely stand out like a sore thumb. There's
so many groups out there. You know it's not fair to say they don't have talent;
it's just there's so many new groups, people that haven't been playing very
long. Why people get noticed in L.A. is there's so many bands, if somebody’s
doing something different, they get noticed real fast. We weren't trying to
do anything different. We were just doing what we do, and it just turned out
it was different from what everybody else was doing. That's why we stood out.
Q- If someone has never seen or heard L.A. Guns, give them a reason to buy
A - The reason to buy the album is there's good songs on it. Good music sounds
good no matter how it's done. The 'Live' thing that sets us apart is we're
just very young, probably one of the youngest bands out there. A lot of energy.
We're very hungry. We will take on anybody’s audience and we'll try to
slay whoever we're opening for. We're real hungry. It's just the attitude at
this point. We mean what we're doing. We're not going through the motions.
We're very real.
Q - With all the groups coming up, do you find yourself looking over your
shoulder, to check out the competition?
A - Nah. There really isn't any competition now. What happens in L.A. is
every 4 years there's a big boom. Like about 8, 9 years ago the Van Halen thing
came out. Then there was Quiet Riot. Then there was Ratt and Motley Crue. Then
there was Great White, and it took them awhile longer to actually explode.
This time it's us and Guns 'n Roses, and Faster Pussycat. Everybody in L.A.
now for the next 4 years will try to copy what we're doing.
Q - L.A. Guns has earned the reputation as being the next 'Big Thing'. Does
it seem to you, that at times you've got too much pressure on you?
A - Yeah, we do.
Q - And how do you adjust to that?
A - We do have a tremendous reputation for being like the godly thing. The
reputation is one thing. We didn't really pay much attention. It should be
a big stressful thing, but we really don't worry about it. We figure we got
the reputation, because that's how we are. I gotta be honest, we don't even
think about it. We just go up there and do what we do. Sometimes we're horrible.
The people can't tell but we know. But, we haven't had bad shows in months.
Q - When you write a song like "SEX ACTION",
are you writing it to get attention from say the P.M.R.C., or is it something
you would write regardless?
A - I gotta be honest, we just do what we do. If people get bugged by it,
that's their problem. We didn't go to companies and say, 'Look, sign us'! We
weren't in it for that. We're in it, ‘cause we got off in being in a
band. It's a good band. We don't really write songs for the public, we write
songs to make ourselves happy. We figure if we're happy, it's gonna make other
people happy. That's really what we try to do. We do it for us, and people
like us. If somebody gets offended or doesn't like it, it doesn't bother us.
That bothers them. We're sorry. They don't have to listen to it.
Q - Sales wise, how is the album doing?
A - Right now, we're about 100,000 away from being Gold (500,000 albums need
to be sold to qualify as Gold). We've already done a lot better than we thought
we would. We're way ahead of schedule.
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