L.A. GUNS - Nasty and Funked-Up in '01
by Martin Popoff

L.A. Guns have completed their reunion Man In The Moon album, produced by Gilby Clarke, due for an April release through Spitfire. The album is a solid Aerosmith-inspired throwback to the straight-ahead hard rock of the first two albums and features four out of five of the original members, most significantly finding Tracii Guns and Phil Lewis working together for the first time in seven years.

"We went into this album knowing we wanted to make a straight-ahead rock 'n' roll album," offers drummer Steve Riley. "We didn't want to sway to any side from that. It's the original line-up, which is Tracii Guns on guitar, Phil Lewis on vocals, I'm playing drums, Mick Cripps is on keyboards and rhythm guitar and there's one change: we have a bass player named Muddy, and he has replaced Kelly Nickels. Kelly is really out of the game altogether. He's doing a whole different thing with computers and he's having a kid and he's really dropped out. We're still best friends with him and we moved ahead and Muddy moved right in and he's been playing with us for the last year and a half now."

"When we came back after the 1998 tour, Cleopatra Records in Los Angeles here, an independent, approached us about doing a Greatest Hits album with the original guys," begins Riley when asked about how the reunion took shape. "And when I made those calls, because I usually end up making the initial call to everybody (laughs), everybody was into doing it, the five original guys, with Kelly. And when we got back into the studio, that's when we knew, because we hadn't been together for a while. But when we got into doing but the pre-production for four or five new songs we were going to write for that Greatest Hits album, that's when we knew. We were really happy to be in the studio together. We all had separate records going on at the same time too, so it was kind of touchy. If we were going to do anything together, we would have to let a lot of other people down, because we were working on stuff with them."

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