Michael Grant calls Tracii Guns “a lovely human being” but would never play music with Phil Lewis again
In a recent interview with Rock N Roll Experience, former L.A. Guns guitarist and current Michael Grant & The Assassins frontman Michael Grant spoke about the reasons why he left L.A. Guns and his thoughts on singer Phil Lewis and guitarist Tracii Guns.
On why he left L.A. Guns, Grant indicated: “Technically I was fired by Phil Lewis and uh, you know, it’s…I think that people who were around could kind of piece it together why and to me it’s kind of old news and I’m trying to move past that and pave my own way. I don’t even want to be mentioned in the same article as them.”
During L.A. Guns‘ tour stop at the Fish Head Cantina in Halethorpe, Maryland back on April 22, 2016, Phil Lewis made some comments that many perceived as racist towards the black race. Lewis stated: “I don’t wanna bum you out. You know who just died, and I don’t wanna make a big… I don’t wanna bring it down or anything. I remember when we were working on Cocked And Loaded, we were on tour, and they said there was a venue that we could play in Minnesota. It was called First Avenue. And I didn’t know too much about it at the time. But after I saw the movie, and I got it. I was with the program. We were all into that Prince, right? Purple Rain. It was so cool, because, you know, you had all your heavy shit, and then you had the pop shit, and there was Prince doing his own fucking thing. The problem is, right now and I’m not gonna be a racist about it but black people are all one-dimensional. We need more Princes, man. We need less fucking rappers and more people like Prince. There, I said it.”
Grant was asked whether Lewis‘ comment at that show shocked him or whether he agreed with it to which the former replied: “Are you kidding me?? I was incredibly incredibly pissed at him and disappointed at him (Phil Lewis) as a human being for that. For one, whatever he said onstage did not represent anyone else’s opinion in the band. Those were soly his (opinions) and unfortunately we had the trickle down of that and it’s like, dude, none of us, we’re like dude what are you talking about, I mean I love hip hop, I love R&B, I love Soul, I love Jazz, some of the best music on the planet, and he was just, what he (Phil Lewis) said was unbelievable and especially the young cats in the band like me & Shane, we were just like incredibly not down with that shit, we were just, we were like, can you believe this fucking guy? So yeah, that had nothing to do with my opinion at all, I would hate Prince then (laughs).”
Of note, it appears that the L.A. Guns line-up when Lewis made that comment consisted of Lewis, Grant, drummer Steve Riley and bassist Kenny Kweens.
In terms of whether he would ever play music again with Phil Lewis, Grant opined: “I would never play with Phil again.”
With respect to whether he learned anything playing with former L.A. Guns bandmate Tracii Guns, Grant indicated: “Yeah, I learned alot from Tracii Guns. Tracii Guns is a sweetheart and he and I are still cool. He taught me some things, his style of playing, he taught me alot about blues, alot about some rock bands that I probably would have never listened to had he not kinda, and he’s also been very supportive of Michael Grant and the Assassin’s back then and now so I have nothing but great things to say about Tracii Guns. He’s a lovely human being.”
You can read the rest of the interview with Michael Grant at Rock N Roll Experience‘s website.
L.A. Guns performing “The Ballad of Jayne” at the Fish Head Cantina in Halethorpe, Maryland, USA on April 22, 2016 (with Phil Lewis making the comments about “black people” and Prince):