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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Guns: “Get out of the 80s alive is happiness”


The founder of this well-known glam metal team Tracy Hans at the time was the guitarist for Guns N ‘ Roses, and that his name is perpetuated in the name. In 1985 he left the supergroup and is fully focused on activities of L. A. Guns, the debut and self-titled album which was released in 1988. Two weeks without concerts in support and any publicity the band has sold 100 000 copies and hit the hit parade of Billboard magazine, the second album “Cocked & Loaded” was certified platinum and the third “Hollywood Vampires” – Golden.

Author photo – Otto Puhakka

The history of the group, despite the love of the public was not simple. Phil Lewis and Tracy Hans has long struggled for her name, there was even a period when the team existed in two “versions” – the leader of one was Phil and the second Tracy. Hans left the band after the album “Waking The Dead” in 2002, but went down in history as a member of the “Golden” part, as drummer Steve Riley, to L. A. Guns played no less well-known metal band W. A. S. P. With him “MK” was able to meet in the Finnish town of Lahti, before the concert in the framework of the world tour teams. In an interview with the musician told how the group managed to survive in the roaring 80s, why he could easily play pop music and the secret of creative longevity.

Steve, now you are in round, regular movements. The road has ceased to be something romantic?

Oh no! We like to travel, and it is an important part of our lives. Sometimes it’s good, of course, a little rest, but then again, there’s this Gypsy urge to move, it’s back on the road.

It’s great that despite the long years on the stage, you still have so much energy. And what are your impressions of the past in the United States, Europe and England’s performances this tour?

Once again we have seen that the hard rock movement in Europe and in the Midwest in the United States is very developed, and the audience is grateful, but of course our dream is to come to Russia. We’ve never been, but if there was a promoter who invited us will be very happy.

…And your fans in Russia L. A. Guns is known since the 1990-ies. When you arrive in a new place, stay there to see the sights?

We’ve managed to visit, I always visited cultural sites in each city, but now, rather, are trying to save energy for the show. We have five concerts in a row, plus the effort spent on the road. We needed rest, so no sightseeing and partying (laughs).

Surely they were an integral attribute of your life in the 80s…


Author photo – Otto Puhakka

Of course! Los Angeles was a crazy city. Still, when you recall what happened in those vrmeni, it seems to be something indescribable and unreal — the jam sessions, the girls, the madness. Just incredible.

That is, you miss those times?

No, besides coin has a flip side: you are lucky if you got out of this thing alive, and I think it was a pledge that can play “forever.”

However, the characters go. This year many teams give farewell concerts — Motley Crue, Black Sabbath. Can you imagine your life without music?

Never. I’m almost 60 and I play a 54. I lived in Boston, and when I was 6 years old, the first time I gave up the drum sticks, and then my uncle bought me the album Buddy Rich – away we go. I took lessons, taught myself and since then never stopped. Music is a part of me, I did it always and I think I’ll die playing drums.

If you dream, you imagine yourself playing not metal or rock, but music is a different style, say, pop?

Easy. I would like to play in a jazz band, I also like country music and many other areas.

What can now be called mainstream in the US? What genres are most popular?

I think today, not only the US but worldwide very popular hip-hop, pop and dance music. True, America still love rock and even twist it on TV. In addition, people are very active at various rock festivals.

How important to you scenic image?

We’ve never tried specifically to look cool on the court and wear what would wear in everyday life on the street. We can apply a bit of makeup to emphasize the eyes, but this is not so important. Number one priority is the quality of the game, the sound, the ability to go the extra mile.

Unfortunately, many bands from the 80s look tired, played as if by inertia, can not be said about you. And are you in the Studio or limited concert activity?

Of course, it is always good to create new music, but on some disks will not get far — their production has long ceased to “feed” the artists. I think that since the beginning of 2000-ies, we have released more albums than many other bands from the 80’s and it’s a serious backlog. We can play their hits forever, however, despite a tight schedule of performances, still trying to update the material.

You played with Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Def Leppard. Is there still any musicians would like to perform on the same stage?

We are friends with many artists 69 Eyes, Michael Monroe from Hanoi Rocks, and gladly went with them on tour, but it’s all about money. Now we stand alone the truth in England, a few days after the festival Sweden Rock will play Lita Ford.

Are you satisfied with your concerts here in Finland?

Yeah, but we’ve been here many times. Our biggest dream is to play in Ross. We never were you and don’t know how to do it better. Therefore, if a promoter and a band L. A. Guns, we with great pleasure will give concerts in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

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