As the vocalist of one of Los Angeles’ sleaziest bands from the debut self-titled album in 1988 through today, Phil Lewis has seen just about everything involving L.A. Guns. But while many fans and media members may focus on L.A. Guns formation’s connection with Guns N’ Roses back in the day, Lewis’ story is unique from a different perspective.
The voice behind hair metal classics “Sex Action,” “Electric Gypsy,” “Never Enough,” “One More Reason,” “Bitch is Back,” “Rip and Tear” and “The Ballad of Jayne,” Lewis started in a band called Girl, whose guitarist was Phil Collen of Def Leppard. After enjoying popularity with L.A. Guns during the MTV and Sunset Strip heyday, the band broke into two halves, with Lewis and drummer Steve Riley going one way and guitarist Tracii Guns utilizing various singers for his rendition.
But in 2017, Lewis and Guns found themselves working and playing live together on the strength of stellar album The Missing Peace, which included a December 2017 performance at Vibes Event Center as part of the “Hair Metal Holiday” that featured headliner Ace Frehley, L.A. Guns, Dokken, Graham Bonnet Band and Enuff Z’Nuff (coverage here).
Refusing to rest on their laurels, L.A. Guns on Friday will release 12th album The Devil You Know via Frontiers Records. Buoyed by opening track and latest single “Rage,” the sleaze L.A. Guns is known for is apparent along with some punk influences that weren’t on the previous album.
A candid and no-holds-barred Lewis discussed these topics and more while going Into the Pit with ATM on Thursday. Click below to hear our entire conversation.
(Editor’s note: On Saturday, two days after this interview, L.A. Guns released a statement that drummer Shane Fitzgibbon, who played on the forthcoming album, has quit the band and is being replaced by Ace Frehley and Lita Ford drummer Scot Coogan).