Phil Lewis recalls being scared of Tracii Guns’ personality & terrible decisions prior to reuniting with him

Phil Lewis recalls being scared of Tracii Guns’ personality & terrible decisions prior to reuniting with him

L.A. Guns frontman Phil Lewis was recently interviewed by Andrew Daly for Metal Edge Mag. Lewis was promoting L.A. Guns‘ latest studio album Black Diamonds, which was released via Frontiers Music Srl on April 14, 2023 and which represents the fourth studio record from the band since Lewis reunited with guitarist Tracii Guns as L.A. Guns back in late 2016.

With respect to almost not speaking to Guns for more than a decade, to reuniting with him and coming up with some of the best songs of their career, Lewis stated: “It’s amazing, isn’t it? I honestly thought at the beginning of our estrangement that we’d never work together again. Tracii went his way, and I went mine, and that was it for a very long time. It’s not like I held a grudge or wished him any ill will; I just didn’t want to work with the guy. I didn’t want to see him. I didn’t wish him any harm. I didn’t wish him any evil. I just didn’t want him in my life.”

In terms of how the duo rebuilt their relationship, Lewis indicated: “If I’m being honest, I was a bit scared of him at that point. Not physically scared, but scared of his personality and of the terrible decisions he was making. So, those really scared me a lot, leading to us needing to go our separate ways. And then, before I knew it, 10 or 11 years had rolled by, and I hadn’t heard from Tracii at all. And then, one morning, a guy in Vegas called me asking if I’d be interested in doing a charity gig for Toys for Tots. Of course, I was happy to do it, but then he told me, “Hey, you should also know that Tracii has agreed to do it.” And I was just like, “Oh… okay.”

At that point, there was no way I would pull out because it was an important gig for a damn good cause. So, I said, “Fuck it. Let’s just do it.” And so, I get to the venue to do the soundcheck, walk into the dressing room, and there’s Tracii, who I hadn’t seen in 11 years. And it was the funniest thing; he was sitting there drinking a White Russian, but he seemed so unassuming. He just looked like an innocent little boy drinking a glass of milk. It was just me and him, and I was completely disarmed.”

On whether Guns had noticed him by that point, Lewis recalled: “No, not yet. I was behind him, and he hadn’t seen me just yet. But I remember thinking, “God… how can I be so scared of him? How can I let this continue? This is so wrong.” So, I went up to Tracii, we started talking, and we got along great, like no time had passed. We didn’t make any big plans at that point, but we felt good about doing a couple of songs together for the show. We ended up doing “Over the Edge” and “Sex Action,” and of course, even after all those years, we crushed it. We crushed it in a way that nobody else does. I’ve played that song with dozens of other guitar players, but not once has it ever been the same as with Tracii Guns. And it’s the same for him; he’s had other guys sing with him, but it’s not the same without me.”

You can read the rest of the interview with Phil Lewis via Metal Edge Mag‘s website.

Phil Lewis and Tracii Guns playing “Electric Gypsy” live at Toys For Tots charity gig on December 19, 2013 (video footage from Danny Goldstein‘s YouTube Page):

The YouTube caption for the video indicates (with slight edits): “This was a classic hard rock moment at Vamp’d in Vegas!! 12-19-13 at the Toys for Tots charity, Phil Lewis & Tracii Guns shared the stage for the first time in years!! Awesome set including “Over The Edge”, “Sex Action”, “Crystal Eyes”, “One More Reason”, “Rip & Tear”, “The Ballad of Jayne”, “Never Enough”, “Electric Gypsy”, “No Mercy”, “Kiss My Love Goodbye”, it was an absolute treat for any L.A Guns and reminded everyone of what a great band they are!! I’ll post more clips from this show soon!”

L.A. Guns‘ “Diamonds” video (from Black Diamonds album):