Steve Riley was very disappointed the classic L.A. Guns line-up didn’t continue after ‘Hollywood Vampires’
Long-time L.A. Guns drummer Steve Riley, who is spearheading his own version of L.A. Guns along with bassist Kelly Nickels, was recently interviewed by media journalist Mark Dean for Antihero Magazine.
Riley joined L.A. Guns just as they were mixing their self-titled debut album. He was part of L.A. Guns‘ classic line-up that also featured Nickels on bass, Phil Lewis on lead vocals, and Tracii Guns and Mick Cripps on guitar. That line-up played together on the L.A. Guns albums Cocked And Loaded (1989) and Hollywood Vampires (1991). Riley was allegedly fired from that band in 1992 and asked to rejoin the band in 1995 after the release of the record Vicious Circle in 1994. Lewis, Cripps and Nickels eventually left the band with Riley and Guns forging ahead with a new line-up. Riley has been in L.A. Guns ever since rejoining in 1995.
During his interview with Antihero Magazine, Riley was asked whether he feels that L.A. Guns‘ brand has been damaged a bit since the “original” line-up broke up. Riley replied (with slight edits):
“I tell you what, again, I’m like really true to the original line-ups of bands which is why I was so disappointed in W.A.S.P. being disbanded by Blackie [Lawless] and the same thing with L.A Guns. We just put out some really great music, we were really riding high on Hollywood Vampires and out on tour with Skid Row while they were at the top of their musical game too. I’m so into original line-ups and never wanting them to break up. And it’s a disappointment because I’m still friends with Mick and Kelly obviously, Kelly’s playing with me again, but Mick is a great friend of ours. And I was just so disappointed in that band, also breaking up and you know what, it’s something you kind of you have to deal with if you’re going to get in this business, you better be able to take a punch to the face, bro, and be able to get right back up and not let it knock you out.
And I kind of pride myself on that when something shitty happens in a band and it breaks up or something happens to the original lineup, I kind of don’t know what I’m going to do next, but I know that I will do something again. So, you got to be able to roll with the punches. And again, I was very disappointed that the five original members of L.A Guns didn’t continue on after Hollywood Vampires. It was scattered, they did one more album together, but everybody flew in their parts and then it pretty much eventually broke up until Tracii and I continued on without the other three guys. And, it’s just something that happens.”