by Mike Huberty
Tracii Guns of the L.A. Guns
Tracii Guns is most famous for his work with L.A. Guns and, prior to that, his involvement with Guns N’ Roses. He most recently put together Brides of Destruction with Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe fame, recording two albums before the group disbanded. With Sixx’s return to the Crüe camp, Tracii Guns has opted to tour and record as a solo act The Tracii Guns Band revisiting material from all the acts mentioned above. The group plays Milwaukee May 12 at Vnuk’s, Madison at The Annex May13, and in Minneapolis at Station4 May 14.
MAXIMUM INK: What material will you be playing as a solo artist?
TRACII GUNS: You know, I never wanted to be a solo artist guy, but my managers suggested that I use my own name and play whatever songs I want from whatever projects I’ve been involved with. It gives me musical freedom. So I’ll be playing stuff from the L.A. Guns, Brides of Destruction, and some rootsy, riff-oriented stuff of my own.
MI: How long will you be on the road?
TG: Initially, five weeks in the U.S., but I’ll be going through the summer either continuing in the U.S. or going to Europe. That’s not confirmed yet.
MI: What’s the status of Brides of Destruction?
TG: It’s on permanent vacation. Unless Nikki Sixx wants to do it again, I won’t do it. The chemistry really matters. Nikki is such a presence and such a great pre-show cheerleader. He really gets you up for every show. It’s not the same band without him.
MI: Will you, or would you, return to the L.A. Guns?
TG: Now that I’ve committed myself to me, so to speak, I don’t think there’s a reason. I don’t want to prolong the death of my music career. The guys in L.A. Guns are, like, 50-years-old now, and they’ll tour doing the same old thing until they’re 60, I guess. I want to explore new things.
MI: What is the lineup of your current band?
TG: Paul Black of the original L.A. Guns on vocals, Nickey Beat on drums (he played on the first L.A. Guns album) and Jeremy Guns on bass, who played some shows in Europe with Brides of Destruction.
MI: Whatever happened to L.A. Guns’ other guitarist, Mick Cripps?
TG: He wanted a more stable life, less touring. No touring! He has a kid who is almost 18 now. I talk to him all the time. That guy loves music and he’s been very influential on me. He’s one of my closest friends.
MI: Are you still involved in the West Hollywood/Sunset Strip scene?
TG: Not really. I live by the beach now. I only go there to see bands or to play. I don’t really hang out there anymore.
MI: Do you miss it?
TG: It was fun then, but what was going on in the ‘80s hasn’t been going on there since the early ‘90s. It’s not the same thing, and I’m not the same person.
MI: What are you listening to these days?
TG: Let me look at my I-Pod, it’s right here… Let’s see, Wolf’s Mother, Coolio, Turbo Negro, Audioslave, Aerosmith, New York Dolls, UFO, early Iron Maiden, I could go on…
MI: You’re on a desert island with electricity. One guitar. One amp. What would they be?
TG: That’s easy: My 1954 Les Paul going into a 1969 Marshall Plexi, with the bass turned all the way down. On ten, fuck yeah!