L.A. Guns’ Tracii Guns on the Secrets of Making a Live Album
"I learned guitar by playing along to my favorite live records when I was a young teenager," says Tracii Guns.
The L.A. Guns six-string hero is telling Noisecreep about some of the live albums that changed his life. Guns and his band are about to release one of their own with 'Acoustic Gypsy Live,' L.A. Guns' latest concert album. "I'm talking about UFO's 'Strangers in the Night,' 'The Song Remains the Same' from Led Zeppelin, Ted Nugent's 'Double Live Gonzo,' Peter Frampton's 'Frampton Comes Alive,' those classic live records were huge for me. Oh, I can't forget about 'Maiden Japan' from Iron Maiden which had Paul Di'Anno on it!
"Anyway, it was great to learn guitar off those records because they would improvise a lot and that was important for me when I was a younger player. I'm sure most of my peers were doing the same thing to the same albums," says Guns.
Then the L.A. Guns guitarist reveals something to Noisecreep a lot of other musicians wouldn't admit to.
"Years back I did a live record with Gilby Clarke (Guns N' Roses, Kill for Thrills) called 'Live 99' and I think the only thing truly live on it is the drums [laughs]. We went in and touched up the guitars and vocals and it sounds killer, but yeah, it's not a completely live album." Noisecreep asked Guns if he was OK letting us print that in this interview. "I don't have a problem admitting it. In the end, if people enjoy the album, then why should it matter? People in bands are scared to talk about it, but I don't care."
Guns told us he even suspected one of the hallowed live rock albums of all time of not being 100% live. "I'm a little suspicious of some of the stuff on 'The Song Remains the Same' and I'm a huge Jimmy Page head. Because of YouTube, I have access to so many Led Zeppelin video bootlegs of him playing the same set from that album. He didn't play that cleanly live on the other shows I've seen [laughs]. I mean, you listen to 'The Song Remains the Same' and it's perfection. But I don't care and I'm glad he went in and changed some parts. I stole most of my stuff from that album."
Listen to 'Little Soldier' From L.A. Guns
'Acoustic Gypsy Live' is the first acoustic album by L.A. Guns in their 29-year history and it was recorded at The Hotel Café in Hollywood. "Our manager at the time suggested we do an acoustic record and I was terrified. I'm the kind of player that sits around at home with an acoustic guitar on my lap. So we rehearsed a lot before we did the two shows that make up the album.
"We had a great support group of players to compliment the band and that made a big difference. I didn't want to have any overdubs on this record. We got really lucky on the second night and didn't have any big screw-ups or messed-up notes," laughs Guns.
L.A. Guns' 'Acoustic Gypsy Live' will be out on September 26th via Favored Nations Entertainment.
UPDATE: This interview was conducted on 09/20/11 and just today it was announced that L.A. Guns vocalist Jizzy Pearl was leaving the band. So far, they haven't announced a replacement.