L.A. Guns udgav den 12. november albummet Checkered Past, som bød på en masse gode udtryk i hardrockens univers. Det var deres 14. album siden deres selvbetitlede debut i 1988. Bandets stifter, guitaristen Tracii Guns, bor en stor del af tiden i Aarhus med sin hustru. RockZeit var så heldige at få et mail interview med Tracii, som har haft en god oplevelse ved denne gang at indspille musik i Aarhus.
RZ: Hey Tracii. Thanks for taking the time for this interview and thanks for making a new hard rock album for the fans. “Checkered Past” has a lot of different types of musical expressions. Do you have a personal favorite track on the album?
TG: For me the album was really fun to write and record in these different styles. It’s very difficult to pick favorite tracks because they are so different from one another. I do think “Let You Down” is the most interesting track because of the dynamics and efficient use of the layers of sounds .
RZ: How do you find new inspiration for the lyrics and the music?
TG: Finding inspiration musically seems to come quite easily. I never sit down and think – ok, now I’m going to write a song. It always starts with a riff or guitar melody that magically appears while practicing playing.
When something comes out is the point where I think; ok, let me turn this into an arrangement of music and normally one riff will inspire the next musical changes until it becomes a musical arrangement.
Once I feel confident I have a complete arrangement I do a full demo of the music only and I send it to Phil and Mitch Davis who is Phil’s writing partner and they will complete the song. I don’t write lyrics at all.
RZ: Do you have an example of quick songwriting and a song that takes a lot of time?
TG: Every song goes through a few developmental changes until it is done, so while I might put an arrangement together in 30 minutes at times, the song normally takes a couple of weeks to become ready for final recording.
Composition during corona
RZ: Has there been changes in the way you guys practice together and how you shape the music?
TG: As far as Corona is concerned it did not alter too much the way we currently compose and record. It offers the luxury of time of course. Also, I was in Aarhus writing and recording, Phil was recording in his home for the first time ever. Of course writing in Aarhus and Hvide Sande was a huge change in environment and that was very positive mentally.
RZ: There has been some different information in the media about who is actually playing drums on this album. Can you tell us the real story?
TG: Drums were recorded by Adam Hamilton in his home studio in Los Angeles and Johnny and Ace added their tracks at our friend Sam Bam Koltons studio.
RZ: Do you as a guitarist practice technique anymore or does the practice come with playing new material?
TG: As far as practice comes it’s just sitting in a room most days and playing whatever wants to come out. I do still try to play everyday at least one hour.
RZ: Can you mention 3 albums in rock history that mean a lot to you, both as a person as well as a professional?
TG: Led Zeppelin “The Song Remains The Same”, Ozzy Osbourne: Randy Rhoads Tribute and “UFO” (first UFO album) are probably the three most essential albums for me as a player.
RZ: Thanks for giving us a little insight of your daily life as a professional musician and songwriter. We are looking forward to the next L.A. Guns record or perhaps a live performance in Denmark.