At last, after the long 2 weeks of waiting we finally can post the entire interview with Stacey Blades – a guitarist, most known for playing in Roxx Gang and now – in L.A. Guns! To be honest, we didn’t even expect that Stacey would agree and answer all the questions so fast, and we’re very happy to reveal the chat we’ve made with Stacey Blades.
Stacey Blades, born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, started his music career in some local bands as Blind Desire, Heaven Sennt and Fraidy Katt. In 1992 he joins glam/hard rock band Roxx Gang and records with them 5 cool albums. After 8 years of being in Roxx Gang, Blades decides to leave the band in 2000 due to personal differences, as stated in some bios. After his departure he forms Supercool with Eric Stacy (Faster Pussycat) and Vik Foxx (Enuff Z'nuff, Vince Neil Band, Warrant). This band was active not for so long so Stacey Blades and Supercool’s vocalist decide to form a new band called S.M.A.C.K. that featured Junkyard drummer Patrick Muzingo. However, S.M.A.C.K. lasted only for 2 years from 2002 to 2004 and then Stacey joins L.A. Guns. Since 2004 tha band has recorded with Blades 4 albums – featuring the studio album «Tales From The Strip» (2005), 2 cover albums («Rips the Covers Off» (2004) & «Covered in Guns» (2010)), and also live album «Loud and Dangerous: Live from Hollywood» in 2006. Besides it all, in 2009 Blades publishes his autobiographic book «Snake Eyes: Confessions of a Replacement Rockstar» and in 2010 Stacey’s first solo album entitled «Symphonic Slam» see the light of day via Cleopatra Records.
All about Stacey Blades’ career, his years in Roxx Gang and L.A. Guns, the latest Guns’ news and more interesting things you will know out if you read this interview! Welcome!=)
It was instant chemistry between me and the guys from the first power chord!!!
- Hello, Stacey!! Very nice to speak to you!
- Hello Aexis! I leave tomorrow for 2 shows but now I have a big window of oppurtunity this afternoon. here we go!!!
Q: Tell us about your first bands (Blind Desire, Heaven Sennt, Fraidy Katt) that you played in when you were in Toronto!
A: Blind Desire was my first real BAND IN 1987. We were really good and had some amazing originals however we were so young and naïve, lol. Heaven Sennt was terrible, lol. And Fraidy was a world class band that should have been signed but just 2 years too late. We really had some amazing songs in the vein of Aerosmith and LAG.
Q: What about your times in Roxx Gang, how was that? There’s not so much information at the internet about it.
A: I joined Roxx Gang in 92’. I really liked that band and I thought their debut “Things You’ve Never Done Before” was an amazing record! Unfortunately Kevin the singer ran that band like a warship and that got old very quickly! His brother also managed the band which put those two at the helm which further created tension in the band. We released 5 albums in the 8 years I spent with them —«Voodoo You Love», «Mojo Gurus», «Drinkin’ TNT & Smokin’ Dynamite», «Old, New, Borrowed & Blue» (unreleased material) and a Greatest Hits album.
Q: What kind of personal differences led to your departure from the band? What happened to Roxx Gang when you went out?
A: Kevin and I weren’t really getting along and I was tired off getting ripped off with pay. Kevin also was turning the band into this hillbilly rockabilly bluegrass blues band. I was soooo sick and tired of being told how to play, how to dress and playing cover songs which he decided that we have a cover set we do and actually open up for ourselves at a Roxx Gang show (Blades is reffering to Mojo Gurus here - annot. by A.Coma). It was fuckin ridiculous!!! I just plain out hated being in that band the last 2 years of 99’ and 2000
Q: I think now you see the differences between playing in Roxx Gang and playing in L.A. Guns?))
A: Yes huge differences, lol!!! There is a great chemistry between Phil, Steve and Scotty. We get along like brothers and it’s a family with no egos. I love being in this band!!!
Q: Any thoughts on the Roxx Gang reunion?
A: I would love to do a reunion but there is too much bad blood. The songs were great and I really miss playing No Easy Way Out, Scratch my Back, Time Bomb, etc. Hey if Kevin and Steele Management give me all the money they owe me and a apology I’ll consider it, lol
Q: Were there any bands you played at in tine between you quit Roxx Gang and joined Guns?
A: Yes, when I moved to L.A. I had a band together with Vikk Foxx and Eric Stacy called Supercool. That was in 2001. That band only lasted 8 months but we did a Japanese tour which was cool. Then the singer and I formed an awesome street pop punk band called S.M.A.C.K.
Q: If I get it right, Supercool hasn’t released anything for these 8 months of existence?
A: Yes we did a 6 song EP called «Live at the Wilcox hotel». Yes we did only about 12 shows and the band brokeup. There was alot of dysfuction in the band.
Q: So S.M.A.C.K. haven’t done anything at all?)
A: Just demos for record companies.
Q: Ok. How were you invited to join L.A. Guns? What were your thoughts about it, how the audition was going?
A: Around the time S.M.A.C.K. broke up I got a call from a mutual friend of mine and Phil’s. He said don’t know if you’re interested but LA Guns is looking for a permanent guitar player since Tracii isn’t coming back to the band. I was like Hell ya!!!! Had lunch with Phil and Steve and hit it off. The following week we jammed and it was instant chemistry from the first power chord!!! Phil actually came over and hugged me after 5 minutes hahahaa!!!
Q: Tell us about your first days in the band. How fast did you make friends with each member, maybe you’ve already knew someone before joining the band? Were you listening to any L.A. Guns albums before they asked you to join the band?
A: We all hit it off great!!! We did a ton of touring that first year I was in the band so I think we did about 9 months on the road and we also did the cover Record “Rips the covers Off” with Andy Johns. So we really cemented things that first year. I wasn’t really listening to anything 80’s at all the year before I joined. I was really into this punk phase but I was a huge LAG fan for sure!!
Q: What L.A. Guns albums that were released before 2005 do you like most and why?
A: The first 3 of course and I thought «Waking the Dead» was great. Gotta hand it to us though coz «Rips the Covers off» is fantastic and of course I thought 2005’s «Tales from the Strip» came out bloody brilliant!!
Q: Was it hard for you to become a replacement for Tracii Guns? Have you meet him, did you speak?
A: No not at all! I have a similar style and that’s why I fit in so good, lol. I did meet him once when he first started Brides Of Destruction. He was very nice to me actually but now is a completely different story. He’s been trashing me in the press over the last year, lol
Hey whatever makes himself feel better. I get a kick out of it coz obviously I’m getting to him, lol
Q: What do you think about the Tracii’s version of L.A. Guns, were there any lawsuits from him or from Phil about the bandname? I think some fans confuse when they come to see Phil and then they see Jizzy Pearl or whoever is doing the vox there…
A: Not even worth mentioning. I think it’s embarrassing!!! I think TG is truly out to ruin the name!! It’s sad coz he is a talented musician and should be doing a lot better if he would just do something else.
Q: Phil, you and other guys from L.A. Guns – are you more friends or just band-players? I mean do you meet at your free from the concerts time, do you still hang out together or something? Or it’s just for playing music and you live your own separate lives?
A: No were all great friends and we do get together off the road from time to time.
Q: Ok, got it. What was the aim of releasing «Covered in Guns», it’s already the third cover album from L.A. Guns and it’s not even listed in your discography at the band’s official site! Why did you decide to do a cover version of Buckcherry that is younger than yours?) Some people say some of the songs you’ve chosen to cover are really surprising! My favorites are «Cry Little Sister» & «Don’t Fear The Reaper» - sounds brilliant with Phil’s voice!
A: It wasn’t really planned. It’s actually a compilation of songs we covered for various sessions we did for different compilations. Cleopatra Records decided to package it up and we could then have a product to use at our shows. Yes some of the songs are very different and of course Phil does sound great on it!!
>Q: Do some of the bands you covered already heard their songs in L.A. Guns’ representaion? What did they say? I mean, of course KISS don’t give a fuck about one thousandth cover version of «Rock & Roll All Nite» but maybe at least guys of Buckcherry said something?
A: Don’t know?? lol
Q: Let’s talk about the «Tales From The Strip» album. How do you explain L.A. Guns recording an album that is in many ways superior to any that the band created even during the height of its popularity and without Tracii Guns?
A: We worked our asses off on that record for that very reason and we delivered Big Time. I’m sooo proud of that record. We wrote about 40 songs for that and demoed about 25 of them. Everyone really stepped up on that album and brought their magic!!!
Q: What’s the story behind making of the «Vampire» song? I know it’s Johh Neilson who wrote the song, how did it come to your Tales From The Strip album? This guy is acoustic singer or something? Here’s the video where he talks about it:
A: John had the song in its rarest form, just vocals and an acoustic guitar. We liked it and completely reworked it and put our magic on it and you have what you hear on the record. We really turned it into our own song but I give John Neilson credit for the floor print, lol
Q: There is also a song named «Skin» on the band's last album. Do you know the story behind it? I know the same song is presented on the Quireboys’ Spike’s last solo album.
A: That came out way cooler than I ever thought. Spike had sent this whacky recording of the song that was barely audible, lol. I give Adam and Phil huge credit for turning that one into a masterpiece!!! I do really love my guitar parts on that tune and Andy Johns really fuckin made some magic on that tune. I have fond memories of laying that track down with Andy!!
Q: I know you were asked this question a hundred times before but all the way – when are you planning to release the brand new L.A. Guns album? it’s been 6 years after the «Tales from the Strip» saw the light of day… What makes Phil not to release the new material you guys have? I’ve read long ago that he was looking for the good contract cos he wasn’t so happy with the way you recorded "the Tales"? What the hell happened there in the studio? I heard Phil didn’t like the way this album sounded, especially songs like «Skin» and something more.
A: I think he was referring to the way we really had only a month to record this great album due to budget restraints. The album sounds great but I know what he means. Unfortunately there are hardly any record deals out there and ones that will give a proper recoding budget. It doesn’t help that there are 2 bands out there with the same name which deters some labels (Thanks Tracii > :/) We would really love to do a new record so we are gonna keep looking for a label to work with.
Q: How much of new material L.A. Guns already have to put it on the new album? What is it like, maybe some songtitles?
A: We haven’t worked on that much new stuff but what we have written kicks ass in the vein of early Aerosmith.
Q: I read Phil said that there he would never record another such cool album as «Waking the Dead» or «Tales from the Strip». Do you think the same way or maybe you can say that the best L.A. Guns album is still in works?))
A: Well when we do a new record we’ll deliver an album just as good as «Tales» if not better!
Q: Who’s the main songwriter in the band? I think it’s Phil Lewis but maybe it’s not only him?
A: All of us work together and it always works great with us that way. Phil writes all the lyrics.
Q: Why L.A. Guns don’t release any videos ? I know some bands don’t see any sense in it and think that it’s only a waste of money…
A: Who is gonna play them and whose is gonna pay for em, lol
Q: Why do you guys play so few songs from your 2-3 last albums at your concerts although many fans all over the world say that «Walking The Dead» and «Tales From The Strip» are the best albums you ever done? You should start playing «Lost in the City of Angels» (fuck, it’s just an anthem of glam!), «Revolution», «Vampire» (my favorite song of the band), «Resurrection» and some others. Otherwise L.A. Guns seem to be just another band from 80’s who plays only for their old fans who come to the live shows just to hear «Ballad of Jayne» & «Rip and Tear». Looking at the other bands who does the same thing like W.A.S.P., Motley Crue, etc. I think it sucks, so you guys just gotta play your new songs too or just make your setlist bigger!)
A: Well we have to play all the Nuggets so to speak. We have added Vampire on the set this year and Phil is also playing guitar on it. It sounds fuckin amazing. We also have added My Koo Ka Choo to the set off «Hollywood Vampires» so people are really digging that.
Q: I was at Cinderella сoncert two weeks ago and they played before 4,000 people here. Not so bad, I think, especially for our country. How many fans are attending your shows at the other countries? Are there any big differences between how the fans meet you at your live shows in the States and other countries? Seen your DVD «Hellraiser’s Ball» and I think the fans are really sleepy there, and the whole feedback from the auditorium is fucking weak.
A: The fans are really great everywhere especially over the last few years. We just played to 10,000 people at the M3 fest in Baltimore with Kix, Warrant and Jetboy. We also just played with the one and only Ted Nugent to 5000 people. We played last year in Kavarna Bulgaria for the first time and we headlined to 3000 people. Man they just went NUTS!!!! It was awesome!!
Q: I know you were going to come to Russia not so long ago with Skid Row, at least it was listed at some concert sites but then the things have changed and it was only Skid Row who came to Moscow. Why did it happen that way and do you have any plans on visiting Russia in not-so-distant future?
A: Ya don't know anything about that, lol. We'll hook it up!
Q: Name your 5 favorite L.A. Guns songs)
A: SLAP IN THE FACE
WHEELS OF FIRE
OVER THE EDGE
Q: Do L.A. Guns have any plans on releasing some DVD with all of their promo videos? It would be really great, many bands already done that (Cinderella, Poison, Motley Crue, etc), I think the time for that is right.
A: We have shot a ton of footage on the road over the last 3 years so yeah we are gonna stockpile it and release a home DVD at some point, lol
Q: What inspired to write and record "Symphonic Slam"? How can you describe this record?
A: I was approached by Cleopatra Records to do this album Adam Hamilton who was our old bassist produced and did all the orchestral arrangements and played drums and bass on it. The album is Bloody Brilliant!!! I urge everyone to get it, it fuckin Rips man!! It’s so diverse coz of the classical pieces that I was able to use a lot of different styles on it from a lot of my influences i.e Randy Rhoads, Hendrix & Lynch.
Q: What music inspires to write songs these days. Maybe some there are some new bands that you’re listening to and you can recommend it to us.
A: Nothing really new that is inspiring me. I love all my old Bowie, Aerosmith, & Van Halen. I have been getting into some 80’s new wave like Duran Duran, The Fixx and Till Tuesday. There is a great alternative band from Detroit that I love called Sponge that came out in the mid 90’s they rock!!!
Q: What have been the most memorable moments or biggest highlights of your career so far?
A: Touring the world with LA Guns and having the greatest fans in the world! I really feel blessed.
Q: Do you have any plans on some side-projects besides playing in L.A. Guns? Can u share it with us?
A: I’m hoping to put a little allstar band together for this fall. Stay tuned…….lol
I’ll also be appearing in a new reality show with some famous ex rockstar wives, lol
Q: Not so long ago you released the "Snake Eyes - Confessions of a Replacement Rock Star", Tell us a little about what you’re talking about in this book, unfortunately, it’s impossible to find it in Russia. Advertise it so Russian readers will decide to buy this from Amazon and other sites)
A: It’s my autobiography and was released in 2009. I’m about to re-release it next year with a much bigger publisher and add a good amount more chapters to it. There has been so much that has happened in the last 2 years. Right now it is available on amazon.com
It’s a good read btw, lol
Q: You have more money from tours or selling CDs?
A: Definitely more money in touring now unless you’re Katy Perry or Lady Gaga, lol
Q: What is it like to be a part of the Sunset Strip scene, and what are your personal favorite venues to play at?
A: Man the strip back in the day was just fuckin awesome. I came out to L.A. back in 89’ and it was just on fire!! The Whisky is a cool venue and the Key Club is great which use to be the famous Gazzari’s back in the day
Q: Being a rock star gives an opportunity to see all your childhood’s idols. Who were the real rock stars for you when you were young, who you already meet with and whom would you like to meet and speak in the future?
A: The Stones, Aerosmith, Zeppelin, Ozzy, Van Halen, Alice Cooper. They were just bigger than life you know! I got to hang out with Jimmy Page at the Sunset marquis hotel at the pool in west Hollywood. He was so cool and knew who I was vaguely coz he asked me If I had talked to Andy Johns lately. I about shit myself!! That was a huge highlight! I also talked with and met Steven Tyler about 8 years ago at a strip joint in Hollywood called Crazy Girls. That was pretty cool too, lol
Q: Have you ever meet Axl Rose, Bret Michaels or Nikki Sixx, stars like this? What was it like?
A: I’ve played shows with Bret Michaels a bunch of times but never met him, lol. I hung out with Nikki for an afternoon back in 2004. He was way cool.
Q: Out of all the bands you got to share the stage with and or tour with over the years, which ones turned out to be the best experiences for you? Favorites?
A: Definitely Warrant. They are my best friends and a class act all the way. I love playing with those guys and we have a ball together!!! Dokken, Skid Row and Ratt are always great too!
Q: When you’re partying after the live show, what music do you like to hang out to? Name the best bands for the parties you know!
A: I’m usually back in my hotel room sleeping, lol
Q: What’s your ringtone on your mobile now?
A: Singing guitar music, lol
Q: What are the plans for L.A. Guns in 2012?
A: Hopefully a new record and more touring!!!! We also have shot tons of road footage, as I said before, that we need to sift through and put a Home DVD out!
Q: Any words to say to all the L.A. Guns fans in Russia?)
A: We really hope we get the chance to come over to Russia soon!!!
- We’ll be waiting for you, Stacey!! Thank u very much!
P.S.: Special thanks go to all users took a part in questions’ composition, especially to: Ally Rockford, Kramer и SAWYER!;)
This interview was made and taken by: Alexis Coma