Steve Riley reveals that Phil Lewis was opposed to bassist Kelly Nickels rejoining L.A. Guns in 2012
L.A. Guns and ex-W.A.S.P. drummer Steve Riley was recently interviewed by Blabbermouth and spoke about original L.A. Guns bassist Kelly Nickels‘ return to the band as the latter will be rejoining Riley‘s version of the band at the M3 Rock Festival in Columbia, Maryland, USA in May 2019.
Back in September 2018, singer Phil Lewis declared that Nickels and original L.A. Guns guitarist Mick Cripps were offered to take part in the recently reunited L.A. Guns version of Lewis and Guns. Nickels shot down those news declaring that he was never asked to rejoin the band.
During his interview with Sleaze Roxx at the end of December 2018, Riley was asked whether he was disappointed with the comments from Lewis and Guns following his announcement that he would be playing the M3 Rock Festival as L.A. Guns with band alumni. Riley advised: “I’ve been so disappointed with the comments that they have made even before while I was playing with them. They have a knack for saying the wrong things to the press that makes them look really like goof balls. I can’t play. Kelly can’t play. Well, we’re the original rhythm section that played on every one of the songs that people like from L.A. Guns. It’s me and Kelly playing and for somebody to turn around and say that we cannot play now, it sounds so goofy and I think the fans are way smarter than that and can see that it’s just a high school [level] comment to make. It baffles me because you’ll never hear me putting down a former member. If I played with a former member in any of the bands that I was with — W.A.S.P., L.A. Guns, Keel, Steppenwolf — any of those bands, I will never put a former member down and say that they can’t play because the question is, why did I play with them?”
Riley was asked by Blabbermouth whether he thinks that Nickels agreed to play with him as L.A. Guns at the M3 Rock Festival this year because he had a chip on his shoulder about Lewis‘ insults towards him.
Riley replied: “The last album that we did, [2012’s] ‘Hollywood Forever’, we flew Kelly out from New York to sing backgrounds and play bass on one of the songs. We were just going to hang with him, and while he was out there, he indicated to both me and Phil [that] he’s ready to come back — he wants to come back and start playing. I was really into it, and I said, ‘We should consider this, Phil. He really wants to do it, and he’s one of the OGs.’ Phil was just totally against it — he didn’t want to do it. But Kelly indicated that he wanted to get back to playing; he wanted to come back to L.A. Guns. Phil bashed him on the Internet, but I don’t think that had any [effect on his decision]. He wanted to come back before that, but I think that sure, when you read something like that and you get bashed on the Internet for no reason, you’re, like, ‘Wow, forget this guy. I don’t really care what he thinks about what I’m going to do.’ That’s where he’s at — it’s like, ‘Forget it. If he’s going go that low and, just like a high school guy, write all this stuff on the Internet…’ He said something about our playing, and it makes us laugh, that I can’t play and Kelly never could play. It’s like, really? We’re the rhythm section that played on all of the [classic] records. We’re the ones that co-wrote the songs and played the rhythms. We powered all of the L.A. Guns stuff. We know what we can do. We don’t have to get in a pissing war on the Internet and go back and forth with them.”