Phil Lewis feels bassist Johnny Martin is the “glue” and “musical director” in L.A. Guns
L.A. Guns frontman Phil Lewis was recently interviewed by Andrew Daly for Metal Edge Mag. Lewis was promoting L.A. Guns‘ latest studio album Black Diamonds, which was released via Frontiers Music Srl on April 14, 2023. L.A. Guns‘ current line-up consists of Lewis on lead vocals, Tracii Guns and Ace Von Johnson on guitars, Johnny Martin on bass and Shawn Duncan on drums. Martin has been in the band with Lewis and Guns ever since the latter two formally reunited as L.A. Guns in late 2016.
With respect to continuing with guitarist Tracii Guns in what has essentially become their second act together, Lewis indicated: “Continuing to do this over the years has allowed us to get to a place where we’re better than ever. I have to say, I’m very proud of the L.A. Guns team. Everyone who is a part of this has done their part to make this second act amazing. Each member of this band plays a role and contributes to the sounds you hear. You’ve got Johnny Martin on bass, Ace Von Johnson on guitar along with Tracii, and Shawn Duncan on drums, who has come in and fits the vibe of this band so well.”
In terms of why he thinks the current L.A. Guns line-up has gelled the way it has, Lewis opined: “It starts with Tracii and me, but truthfully, Johnny‘s the glue. I’ve got to give him that. When I agreed to do the reunion, this was Johnny‘s band, along with Tracii. Those two had been playing together and had great chemistry. But I quickly learned how amazing Johnny is, and I’m very thankful for him. He’s way more than a bass player; he’s very much the musical director of this band. His energy, work ethic and attitude are so crucial to what we do.”
On whether a lot of credit also has to go to Von Johnson whom Daly described as “incredibly talented”, Lewis stated: “You’ve got that right. We’ve had a few guitar players, and I always wanted Ace, but I couldn’t have him right away for various scheduling reasons. But I knew that if Ace joined us just for a month, he’d love it. And he does. And I love having him in. So, yeah, this version of L.A. Guns is every bit as intense as the original. We’re great live; we’ve got a chemistry where once we get cooking, we’re unstoppable. And thankfully, we’ve been able to bottle that energy from the live setting, bring it into the studio, and lay it to record.”
You can read the rest of the interview with Phil Lewis via Metal Edge Mag‘s website.
L.A. Guns‘ “Shattered Glass” video (from Black Diamonds album):