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Stacey Blades and Scott Griffin (L.A. Guns)

Interview with Stacey Blades and Scott Griffin from L.A. Guns
by Erika Wallberg at 05 November 2008, 7:05 AM

This interview was not planned in the traditional way; it was an opportunity that showed up in the context of the band's recent concert. I had a real nice talk with Stacey Blades and Scott Griffin, so let me tell you what was said…

Decadence, hairspray and a Rock'n'Roll lifestyle have always been connected to West Hollywood and especially the Sunset Strip. There are millions of stories out there, about as many bands telling tales about crashed hotel-rooms, groupies, sex, drugs and in some cases music too. The history of L.A. GUNS started right there, 25 years ago and their debut album simply titled L.A. Guns was released in 1988.

We're going to do the interview in their hotel room manager Helena informed me when we're setling the details for it all. We thought that could be a fun idea since you're a girl and all… You know all those stories about rockstars and hotel rooms! Helena laughed, no really, we just made a joke about it, they're really nice guys. I just hope Stacey has cleaned up the room a bit.

Hey, how're you doing? Guitar player Stacey Blades greeted me with a polite handshake zipping on a bottle of mineral water. Have a seat, he showed me the couch on the other end of the room. The pL.A.ce looked at least half-tidy. Scott will be here any minute, lets wait for him! Scott to whom he was referring was bass-pL.A.yer Scott Griffin and those two were my date for 15 short minutes that Wednesday evening.  

The silence got awkward when Scott took some time before showing up, so there was nothing to do than start without him. Yeah, the tour has been great this far and we're really looking forward to do these gigs in Sweden too. The tour has stretched over Europe, starting in England going over Spain and Italy before ending up with 4 dates in Sweden. We did the gigs in England with LOVE/HATE and that went down really well Stacey informed me. We actually sold out JB's in Dudley, that's a quite big club, I think it takes 800 people.

Then we flew down to Spain for a few gigs and then Italy, then back to Spain before ending up here. It's really cold here! I'm not used to this at all. I'm used to California temperatures

Hi, I'm Scott! Scott strolled into the room and after the polite hello's and questions about who I am and whom I write for, he placed himself comfortably in a chair in the middle of the room and opened a beer. Yes, it's cold here! Not at all like at home.

Even if the early October weather in Sweden probably can be compared to mid-winter in California the climate for Hard Rock, Glam and Sleaze in Sweden is getting a lot hotter each day. There's been an explosion of bands copying the late 80's sound and style. Is that a phenomenon for Sweden or is it like that everywhere?, I asked Actually there were a lot of young people at our shows, especially in Italy so yes, I guess it is coming back everywhere. In Hollywood there's a lot o new bands too, the scene really starts to come to life again and that's good. If scene will reach the same level as it had 20 years ago is questionable since the world seem to turn quicker these days. But what happens here and now can't be denied, the scene 80's Hard Rock is growing day by day.

L.A. GUNS have been doing a lot of touring over the last couple of years and one story that caught my interest was about a shooting outside the Qwest Center-venue in Omaha, Nebraska. You know Stacey said, they have something there called the 'September-fest' and we were on playing when the security came in waving his arms screaming Stop, Stop, he has a gun! With the memory fresh in mind of Dimebag Darrel's fate a couple of years back this can't have been anything but horrifying. It was really scary! People kept running for the door. That the whole incident was about a gang-war outside where two rival gangs were shooting at each other from two moving cars that happened to be outside the venue the story didn't tell, it still could have had a devastating ending if the situation had gotten worse.

Speaking of L.A. GUNS and touring, reading on Blabbermouth the most buzz with the L.A. GUNS name was not about this line-up. Original guitar player Tracii Guns has his own set-up of the band and is touring under the same name. He's really a thorn in our side, Stacey said. He's out there under-doing it, for less money and dragging the name in the dirt. Yes Scott interrupted and continued, they're nothing more than a cover band. I think they do one or two L.A. GUNS songs and the rest are just covers. Commenting about this band's upcoming release Scott said; You know, there's another band out there planing to release an album called Chinese Democracy, do you think that one will be out? Ever? That comment brought laughter but Stacey took it to a little more serious level. Well, Paul is sewing the company now so I don't think that will happen but of course, nothing about that is good for us.

While turbulent winds blow in the other L.A. GUNS camp these guys are taking it easy. We have about 15 new songs written but we won't release them Stacey said. Of course we've gotten offers on record-deals but they mean we have to pay for the studio ourselves and that costs a lot. So, I guess we'll end up releasing them in I-Tunes or something similar. That the record industry slowly is dying sand this is not really fresh news, still it's horrifying when bands give up and stop producing new material. To make it a little worse, the few that still wants to have the real thing can't get it, not even the records that are already out there. Shouldn't that be a wake-up call for the industry? I've heard that Tales is sold out here Scott added (Tales From The Strip, released in 2005) He's absolutely right. That one isn't available anywhere in Sweden, not online at least and since the last record-stores are closing one by one online is the way to go.   

Helena knocked on the door and reminded us the interview was almost over. While setting up the guys for a few photos I had to ask if a band that's been around for 25 years and seen the ups and downs in the industry have some dreams left. To make money Scott said within a blink of an eye. Dead-serious or not money is a necessity to be able to keep going. I for one hope that dreams come true because the quality of L.A. GUNS's two latest albums (Tales and Waking The Dead) shows that this band has a lot more to offer!


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