Jacob Bunton recalls how well Steve Riley handled news he was backing out as L.A. Guns’ singer for M3

Photo by Christopher Carroll ROCK Photography

Jacob Bunton recalls how well Steve Riley handled news he was backing out as L.A. Guns’ singer for M3

Former Adler and Lynam frontman Jacob Bunton was recently interviewed by Matt Wake for Alabama’s ALwebsite, and the singer spoke about being in L.A. Guns for about 24 hours.

Bunton was asked about what was L.A. Guns‘ strong suit among the crowd of rock bands back in the day to which he replied (with slight edits): “Honestly, I think it was a culmination of things. Those riffs were really cool. The songs were just straight ahead rock. There was no technicality or anything like that, it was just a sleazy rock band but more than anything [L.A. Guns singer Phil Lewis’] voice was just so freaking cool. To this day he still sounds the same as he always did and I’m such a fan of his voice.

And the L.A. Guns thing for me, the drummer Steve Riley and Tracii Guns, they co-own the name L.A. Guns so they’re 50/50 partners in L.A. Guns, so for years there would be two version of L.A. Guns touring. For a long time, it was Steve Riley and Phil Lewis, they had their band, and then Tracii Guns had a band with lots of different singers.

I just thought that was the way it was, so when Tracii and Phil rekindled their relationship, Steve Riley put together another version. I didn’t realize there was such bad blood between the guys. I was asked by Steve if I would come in and sing for his version of L.A. Guns at M3, the big rock fest every year in Maryland. It was like, “Yeah, that would be fun.

He did the press release and Eddie Trunk announced it on his show that I was going to be singing for (Riley’s) version and then I talked to Ace [Von Johnson] who is in Tracii and Phil’s version of L.A. Guns and also Johnny Martin, the bass player from Adler is in that band. I called them and was like, “Hey, I’m going to be at M3 playing with Steve’s version, ” and they’re like … ugh. And I’m like, “What?” And they’re like there’s really bad blood there and there’s a lot of drama and you might want to go to the Facebook page and read some of the stuff. It’s kind of putting us in a bad spot because you’re like our brother and Tracii and Phil are going to kind of have a come-apart or whatever. And I was like, uh oh. [Laughs]

I went to the Facebook page and looked and ended up not doing the gig. So, I was in L.A. Guns for only one day and never did a rehearsal nor a gig, but Steve was the coolest dude in the world. I called him and was like, “I’m so sorry. You just made the announcements, I told you I would do this. I’m in a really weird spot because two of my closest friends are in the other version …” And he goes, “Let me stop you right there, man. Loyalty is everything. I totally get it and no hard feelings at all.” That could have gone so wrong – he could have been like, “Man! ” and been so mad, but he was such a cool dude.”

You can read the rest of the interview with Jacob Bunton by Matt Wake at the AL website.

Riley ended up going with singer Kurt Frohlich for his version of L.A. Guns that made its live debut at the M3 Rock Festival in Columbia, Maryland, USA last year.