In an interview with “Big Will” and “Metal Mike” from Rock Assault Radio, Phil Lewis was asked how his 2014 reunion with Guns came about, leading to the creation of their 2017 studio album, “The Missing Peace”.
“Tracii and I fell out in around 2003,” Phil said: “It’s so long ago and it’s so unimportant, I don’t know what it was about and I don’t really care. We spent almost 15 years apart from each other. We didn’t even run into each other. We were never in the same venue — anything — we went completely separate ways. Of course, it was a terrible time when he had his version. We had two versions of the same band out touring at the same time. It’s definitely the lowest point of L.A. GUNS‘ history. Just embarrassing. We’re working musicians. That’s how we make our money, that’s what we do. We were just at war. It was something you just had to deal with. It was a very, very long time. I never thought I would even run into him, let alone play in a band with him again. Then I got a call around this time, 2014, from Jason Green, a local promoter in Vegas, who was doing Toys For Tots for a Christmas show. He told me Traciihad agreed to do it with his band and if I’d be interested in getting up and raising some money for the event and doing some proper songs. I could see no reason why I couldn’t and shouldn’t do it.”
He continued: “It was weird, believe me. We played at [Count’s] Vamp’d. We didn’t rehearse. We didn’t even soundcheck. All we did was ‘Over The Edge’ and ‘Sex Action’ and ‘Never Enough’ — stuff we knew in our sleep. I just showed up 10, 15 minutes before he was supposed to go on. Tracii is sitting in the dressing room by himself and he was drinking a glass of milk. It wasn’t milk. It was a White Russian, actually. Honestly, he looked like he was nine year old. He looked like a kid. It was so weird. And to think this guy had been my nemesis. [We were] feuding. He was the person that would wind me up the most. There he was, in the corner, drinking a glass of milk. So we sit down and say, ‘How are you doing?’ We didn’t peel the onion or anything. We just got up and played our couple of songs. It went well. People were blown away. It felt good, I got to say.”
Lewis added: “Playing with him — we have that chemistry. We’ve got that Keith Richards/Mick Jagger [THE ROLLING STONES], Steven Tyler/Joe Perry[AEROSMITH] vibe. We have that dichotomy. Just because we’re partners and brothers doesn’t mean we always get along. [Laughs] It’s real. It felt like my brother.
“All the fighting and feuding and everything, I have to say, if it wasn’t for Tracii, I wouldn’t be here. We wouldn’t be having this conversation. I have to remind myself of that a lot. It just struck me: ‘We haven’t communicated, done nothing in over 15 years.’ I felt that was kind of an insult to the fans. It was vain of us because we should be working. We should be making music. It’s not expected. We started playing each other ideas and songs and before you know it, we were making ‘The Missing Peace’.”