STACEY BLADES INTERVIEW:
April 28, 2011
Websites: www.laguns.net – www.myspace.com/purexstacey
Despite being a member of sleaze legends L.A. Guns since 2004, guitarist Stacey Blades is still considered the ‘new’ guy. Proving he could fill Tracii Guns’ shoes on the excellent ‘Tales From The Strip’ album, Blades has also broadened his horizons by writing an autobiography and releasing an instrumental solo album that featured tracks from classical music’s biggest names. Gearing up for their first Australian tour in years, Blades sat down to talk about the future of the band, the difficulty in landing a record deal, the state of affairs in today’s music business and even answered some questions submitted by Sleaze Roxx forum members.
Sleaze Roxx: Hey Stacey, how are things and what is in the works for you guys at the moment?
Stacey Blades: We are still touring heavily and we’ll be celebrating the 20th Anniversary of ‘Hollywood Vampires’.
Sleaze Roxx: You released a book not so long ago, how has the reaction been to that?
Stacey Blades: Yes, ‘Snake Eyes — Confessions of a Replacement Rock Star’ was published in early 2009. The book has done pretty good and gotten a lot of great press. It can be purchased directly through Amazon.com.
Sleaze Roxx (submitted by ‘James Walsh’): In your book, you credited the review of the ‘Tales From The Strip’ album as being written by the Sleaze Roxx Magazine. When did Sleaze Roxx get a magazine?
Stacey Blades: Oops (laughs). Yeah, the review was so good I had to use it!
Sleaze Roxx: You are heading back down to Australia again, are you excited about the tour?
Stacey Blades: Yes, we are ready to rock ‘Down Under’ (laughs)! It’s been three years since we have been to Australia and we are stoked to be rockin’ down there again.
Sleaze Roxx: There has been some drama with the bookings, tell me you’re still coming!
Stacey Blades: (Laughs) Yeah, Quiet Riot pulled out, but we are coming! Yeah, the whole thing turned into a mess, but I’ll see ya in Melbourne bro! Perth and Adelaide were cancelled, which started the whole thing into a mess. The same five shows are on now though, except those two, at the same venues. Not sure who’s headlining. This whole tour has already burned me out!
Sleaze Roxx: What can fans expect from the show? What kind of setlist are you guys looking at?
Stacey Blades: The band is on fire right now and we are playing some really cool numbers and a song from ‘Hollywood Vampires’ we have never done!
Sleaze Roxx: Can we expect something from ‘Tales From The Strip’?
Stacey Blades: Yes, we just started doing “Vampire” again and Phil Lewis is also playing guitar on that! It really sounds amazing!
Sleaze Roxx: You have been slotting in some acoustic shows here and there, any plans to do some more and any chance of an Australian set?
Stacey Blades: Well not on this run. Phil and I do a full acoustic set that features a lot of L.A. Guns stuff — covers and some of Phil’s solo songs. It’s a really cool night and a chance to hear the songs really stripped down.
Sleaze Roxx: You and Phil recently did one for the Japan cause.
Stacey Blades: We were brought to the attention of some artists doing impromptu acoustic performances for an organization that is headed up by Alan Niven (music producer and manager). We have been just floored by the devastation in Japan. So we have been doing everything we can to help those poor people.
Sleaze Roxx: The biggest question from fans is of course a new album. I know you guys were talking about never doing another full LP, but now you are talking about doing one. Tell us what is going on.
Stacey Blades: That is the question of the century (laughs)! Unfortunately, there are hardly any good record deals out there anymore. For us to do a new record it’s gotta be done right and have the proper means of doing it with Andy Johns again. We are looking into a few things right now to make that happen. We really want to do a new record but the industry for that is just shit right now.
Sleaze Roxx (submitted by ‘dudemetal’): Are you close to signing a new record deal with a label? I recommend you should talk to Frontiers Records as they have recently signed bands like Warrant, Black N’ Blue, Whitesnake, Mr. Big, House Of Lords etc. It’s been waaay too long since ‘Tales From The Strip’!
Stacey Blades: Yeah, the guy at Frontiers is a little spooked by the whole two-band thing, which is really sad. We just reached out to him recently actually.
Sleaze Roxx: What can we expect from a new L.A. Guns album when is does happen? You guys must have a lot of songs in the back pocket from the last five or six years?
Stacey Blades: We’ve got some KILLER tunes in the works! It will be like classic L.A. Guns stuff similar to ‘Tales From The Strip’ but a little different — sleazier and dirtier.
Sleaze Roxx: It was always going to be hard to top ‘Waking The Dead’, but many believe you did. It will be even harder to top ‘Tales From The Strip’.
Stacey Blades: I don’t think so. We have written some really great stuff! When this happens I think we’ll match ‘Tales’ for sure.
Sleaze Roxx: Actually, a tune from ‘Waking The Dead’ would be awesome in the set — I love “Revolution”!
Stacey Blades: We’ll be playing one — “Hellraiser’s Ball”.
Sleaze Roxx: Any chance of getting a taste in concert of something new?
Stacey Blades: No, not till we have a new product to go along with it.
Sleaze Roxx (submitted by ‘live_wire234’): What inspired “Can’t Give You Anything Better Than Love” from ‘Tales From The Strip’, cuz it is one of my favorite ballads.
Stacey Blades: That’s a riff Adam Hamilton and I had worked on for a few weeks. We wanted this bi, boomy, gothic-type of love song. Phil really shaped that song with the melody and lyrics that he came up with.
Sleaze Roxx: Will Adam Hamilton be involved in the production of the album?
Stacey Blades: When we do a new record we’ll probably use Andy Johns again. Adam produced my solo CD which is a guitar instrumental album that features all classical music. Adam produced, played bass and drums on it and did all the orchestration — he’s just amazing!
Sleaze Roxx: Tell me about your solo album then.
Stacey Blades: Yes, I released ‘Symphonic Slam’ in the summer of 2010. It’s an instrumental album that features tracks from Beethoven, Strauss, Bach and Handel — just to name a few! It’s on iTunes and available in hard copy CD on Amazon.com. It came out fuckin’ brilliant and really rips! This album really showcases my playing and influences.
Sleaze Roxx (submitted by ‘larocks21’): With new digital methods of distributing music and declining physical record sales, what is your take on the music business today? Will record companies and music stores ever become obsolete? Will artists like L.A. Guns just release their material digitally only?
Stacey Blades: Looks like that is the way things have gone, huh? Crazy to think that it has come to that but that is the reality of it, isn’t it?
Sleaze Roxx: You have been in L.A. Guns for a long time now, how does it feel to still be cited by some as ‘the new guy’?
Stacey Blades: Well, I don’t feel like that anymore since it’s been almost eight years now! I really feel part of the band now.
Sleaze Roxx: Are you guys surprised how long the second version of L.A. Guns has managed to stay out there?
Stacey Blades: Yes! Especially with three different line-ups and three different singers. Man, I can’t even be bothered talking about it.
Sleaze Roxx (submitted by ‘James Walsh’): If a perfect world ever came about and Tracii Guns was back in the fold, could we possibly ever see a dual gunslinger group of Tracii and Stacey on guitar? For me, that would be epic. I think that would be a sleazier version of Reb Beach/Doug Aldrich that Whitesnake have.
Stacey Blades: That could work for sure. But you know, Tracii Guns has done so much damage and directed so much hatred towards us I don’t see that happening. I think Tracii and I would be a fantastic guitar duo though.
Sleaze Roxx (submitted by ‘James Walsh’): What brought about the ‘Covered In Guns’ CD? Was this something you intended for commercial release or are using as a demo for labels?
Stacey Blades: No! It was definitely not intentional at all! It was just something that Cleopatra Records released from a bunch of different sessions and compilations we had done over the last few years. It was never meant to be an album.
Sleaze Roxx(submitted by ‘Mojo’): What is your favorite L.A. Guns song, and why?
Stacey Blades: “Wheels Of Fire”, “Vampire” and “Sex Action” — the list goes on! They are just great rockers and so much fun to play live.
Sleaze Roxx (submitted by ‘larocks21’): L.A. Guns haven’t toured your home country of Canada, nor played near Toronto, in a long time!
Stacey Blades: Fuckin’ tell me about it! Man, I am dying to play in TO again — I grew up there! That’s gonna happen soon for sure — I promise!
Sleaze Roxx: What are your long term plans? What are you hoping to achieve in your career and in L.A. Guns?
Stacey Blades: I really want to do another great record with the guys. I’m 10 times the guitar player I was five years ago when we released ‘Tales From The Strip’. We have such a great chemistry between us and I love these guys like my own family. We are really just enjoying playing and touring together!