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LA Guns Frontman Says All GN'R Albums Except 'Appetite' Are 'Pretty Average'

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During an appearance on Thorn of Rock, LA Guns singer Phil Lewis was asked if he ever felt overshadowed by Guns N' Roses' success during the '80s and '90s.

As you may or may not know, GN'R was co-founded in 1985 by LA Guns guitarist Tracii Guns, who left the fold within months to focus on his own group.

Phil replied (via Blabbermouth):

"Well, yeah, of course. Guns N' Roses were a phenomenon, and they were a band that were in the same place at the same time. We shared personnel. Tracii had been involved with both bands.

"We did good. LA Guns did really, really good. We got gold records. We did incredibly well. But it was never enough. Compared to Guns N' Roses, it was one percent, and that's a little bit frustrating, of course.

"The difference between us and Guns N' Roses is they had one album. And people are gonna be mad at me for saying this. [GN'R's 1987 debut] 'Appetite for Destruction' is a masterpiece, but everything else isn't - everything else is pretty average.

"Now, we just carried on. We just went one album after another, interesting albums.

"And now with this reunion [between me and Tracii], we've been together for three years and we've already put out three records - we've put two studio albums and one live record. Guns N' Roses hasn't written one song."

Back in 2017, Tracii told UG when asked on what he thought GN'R would've sounded like had he stayed in the band:

"Everything happened so fast. I haven't thought about 'What if I had stayed in the band?' 'cause my immediate reaction is, 'If I had stayed in the band then Guns N' Roses would have sounded more like LA Guns,' you know what I mean?

"I think the way Slash plays, and his tonality with Axl's voice is way more compatible. When Axl and I play together unless we're playing a straight up rock and roll ballad that's one thing but when I write heavy stuff, it's heavy.

"It's very heavy and the thing Guns N' Roses has always been able to straddle is not falling into the uber-heavy thing. Which I think has really worked out for them and kept them more within the classic rock kind of vibe."

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"I think the way Slash plays, and his tonality with Axl's voice is way more compatible. When Axl and I play together unless we're playing a straight up rock and roll ballad that's one thing but when I write heavy stuff, it's heavy.

"It's very heavy and the thing Guns N' Roses has always been able to straddle is not falling into the uber-heavy thing. Which I think has really worked out for them and kept them more within the classic rock kind of vibe."

This is actually a pretty astute observation, particularly the last bit.  And they benefit from it cuz the heavier they get the shitter they get.  Izzys importance in this regard is key.

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5 minutes ago, Len Cnut said:

This is actually a pretty astute observation, particularly the last bit.  And they benefit from it cuz the heavier they get the shitter they get.  Izzys importance in this regard is key.

You'll find any excuse to slag off Coma (one of their best songs)!!!

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15 minutes ago, Towelie said:

You'll find any excuse to slag off Coma (one of their best songs)!!!

I swear to God you're a fuckin' mind reader :lol:

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12 minutes ago, WhazUp said:

Lol although I'd take Scraped and Shotgun Blues over the entire LA Guns discog so I'll gladly be a fan of the "average" Use Your Illusions over LA Guns' "interesting albums"

 

I know there a lot of CD haters on this site. But quite honestly that album alone is greater than anything LA Guns ever produced or ever will produce -- let alone the Lies and UYI material.

Hell, most of SLASH's solo career is greater, as was VR as is SMKC. Same goes for Izzy's Ju Ju Hounds record.

Edited by thunderram
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1 hour ago, WhazUp said:

Lol although I'd take Scraped and Shotgun Blues over the entire LA Guns discog so I'll gladly be a fan of the "average" Use Your Illusions over LA Guns' "interesting albums"

nah. LA Guns have some cool tunes too, it's way too simple to dismiss all their stuff. do yourself a favor and check that ;) 

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3 hours ago, Len Cnut said:

This is actually a pretty astute observation, particularly the last bit.  And they benefit from it cuz the heavier they get the shitter they get.  Izzys importance in this regard is key.

Right Next Door To Hell and Perfect Crime are Izzy co-writes that to my ears are very heavy. No?

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11 minutes ago, soon said:

Right Next Door To Hell and Perfect Crime are Izzy co-writes that to my ears are very heavy. No?

Thats different, they're fast and loose, like Eddie Feltson.  Frenetic.  These things are a saving grace.  Besides which my comment about Izzy wasn't to say that he wasn't capable of making a good dense racket but rather he has a rhythmically driven quality that offsets the more metallar-ish tendencies of Slash.

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13 minutes ago, Len Cnut said:

Thats different, they're fast and loose, like Eddie Feltson.  Frenetic.  These things are a saving grace.  Besides which my comment about Izzy wasn't to say that he wasn't capable of making a good dense racket but rather he has a rhythmically driven quality that offsets the more metallar-ish tendencies of Slash.

I see what you mean now. Im not convinced that Izzy is even on Coma and Garden of Eden, those are pure Slash and lacks the dual guitar interplay. 

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Hey Phil Lewis, go sing Ballad of Jayne at the local bar next week.  Meanwhile Axl, Slash, Duff will keep those stadiums full for ya'.

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5 hours ago, thunderram said:

Phil Lewis labeling GN'R's catalogue aside from AFD as 'average' is pretty hilarious. But to then double down and act as if LA Guns has done anything special is even more hilarious. A great many R&R or even Metal fans don't even know who LA Guns is. And most of the ones that do only know it because of the GN'R connection. So there's that.

I can understand the POV that none of the subsequent material was as 'classic' as AFD. But average?? GN'R Lies and both UYI's didn't sell like they did or receive continuous radio play like they did or spawn videos like they did because they were 'average'. If they were average, the sales and radio play would have drastically fallen off. As would the popularity of the band. But it didn't. Because most of the material was pretty darn good if not 'classic'.

Funny, but take away AFD and GN'R's supposed 'average' material still dwarfs anything LA Guns ever did, and a lot of other bands for that matter too.

What a joke.

Agree with all of this, plus the comment about VR and SMKC being greater than anything LA Guns put out. 

Have you heard the new LA Guns album? It's ok but nothing amazing or memorable.

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54 minutes ago, MaskingApathy said:

Agree with all of this, plus the comment about VR and SMKC being greater than anything LA Guns put out. 

Have you heard the new LA Guns album? It's ok but nothing amazing or memorable.

How ridiculous is this comment, please? The Missing Peace and The Devil You Know had more of the sleaze rock attitude than anything from SMKC

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4 minutes ago, Sosso said:

How ridiculous is this comment, please? The Missing Peace and The Devil You Know had more of the sleaze rock attitude than anything from SMKC

Ok whatever

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Just now, MaskingApathy said:

Ok whatever

I couldn't tell you one SMKC song that is as good or even better than 'Speed". 

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Phil who? 

Rite or not it's like amateur player bashing pro for not doing it's best. Phil, whoever you are, remember who and where you are man and stay there.

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What’s the fuss about. Everybody is entitled to their opinion, may they be successful musicians or not. All of us here are not and you dudebros do have opinions. lol

Also he didn’t say it was bad, he said it was average. To me that’s correct. Some songs were really good, others not. On Appetite everything is great, avandgarde, innovative, and influencial. That’s the difference, that’s why it’s a masterpiece.

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On Appetite everything is great, avandgarde, innovative, and influencial. That’s the difference, that’s why it’s a masterpiece.

I beg your pardon? :lol:

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5 hours ago, zombux said:

nah. LA Guns have some cool tunes too, it's way too simple to dismiss all their stuff. do yourself a favor and check that ;) 

I have heard Cocked & Loaded, the self titled and a few of their recent ones and even the biggest hits I wasn't that impressed with - although if there are any deep cuts you are willing to reccomend I am up for checking those out before further bashing them more :lol:

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