Tracii Guns Talks New Band Devil City Angels
You may not know the name Devil City Angels yet, but you likely know the players. The raucous new band features Brandon Gibbs on vocals, L.A. Guns' Tracii Guns on guitar, Quiet Riot's Rudy Sarzo on bass and Poison's Rikki Rockett on drums. Sarzo just joined the band after Cinderella's Eric Brittingham, who appears on their upcoming album, bowed out. The group just inked a record deal with Century Media and will be releasing their debut disc on Sept. 18. Loudwire recently had a chance to speak with Tracii Guns about the new project and you can check out the chat below:
Tracii, congrats on Devil City Angels. The combination of these talents definitely has me intrigued. Can you tell me a little bit about how the band came together? Who got the ball rolling and how did you come to be part of the group?
Rikki and I were a part of of The Ox and The Loon tribute concert in Los Angeles and we were put together in the same band to perform a couple of Who songs and we liked playing together so much that we decided to put a band together under the working name Guns N Rocketts.
Rikki knew Brandon Gibbs and suggested we contact him for frontman duties and we were off to the races. Kenny Kweens was the first bass player we talked to and eventually it was Eric Brittingham that was playing with Brandon at the time in a band called Cheap Thrill that became our bass player. We recorded "All My People" and decided that we had a good chemistry and decided to move forward.
The careers of each member of this band have been impressive, but there's no guarantee that putting individual parts of successful acts is necessarily going to work. How soon into joining this band did you realize that the chemistry and playing was going to pan out and what were those first experiences like playing with the band?
As I said before, after we recorded the first song we decided the chemistry was good and we then proceeded to record three more songs and then hit the road to see how we worked together as an actual band and the results were positive.
Rikki stated in the bio that he thinks people are just ready for some "pure fun rock." Did you talk about the type of music you wanted to do for Devil City Angels? Is there a litmus test for what passes for a Devil City Angels song?
We knew that we wanted to write simple great songs on the more light hearted side because we felt that was something that rock music has been missing lately.
The first song to record for the band was "All My People." I know it's something that Rikki and Brandon had for some time before the band. What was your first reaction upon hearing the track and was it an immediate "yes" for this band?
When I heard the original recording I instantly heard it a different way then it was originally recorded it and we proceeded to ad more funk and strut to it. We also adjusted the lyrics and melody a bit to give it a more traditional bluesy rock feel. It was fun to work on this song as the template was already mapped out.
I know the band just shot a video for a song called "Boneyard" that you're looking at for the first single. First, tell us a little about the song and if you're able to tease anything about the video, feel free.
That's another Gibbs brothers song that I instantly heard being played a different way. It was just screaming for a classic Stonesy feel but slightly ballsier. It's basically about conjugal visits (laughs). There is a sexy lady in the video doing her thing in a jail cell.
Since the recording of the album, Eric Brittingham has stepped down, but you've got Rudy Sarzo coming in to fill the void. First, can you discuss what Eric brought to the album and then what it means to be able to continue the Devil City Angels voyage with Rudy stepping in.
Eric has incredible sense of how the bass guitar can walk around rock music. He’s truly a bass player meaning that he isn’t a guitar player that defaulted to bass nor is he a simpleton. He has deep roots in Motown, Garage and '70s rock. He does most recordings in a few takes and always sounds great. And Rudy Sarzo is simply Rudy Sarzo. He is a commanding presence AND MY MUSICAL SOULMATE.
You've been playing shows out over the past year, and I'm guessing you've had a chance to test some of the songs on the debut album out live. Is there a song that you really love that has become a live favorite for you and why?
"All My People" really sticks out as a live number. It is very easy to deliver that nice funky sexy feel with that one. People responded very well to the four new songs we played on those two short tours.
Now that you've signed a record deal and have the release date planned, what do the next few months look like for Devil City Angels?
Honestly we are looking into any opportunity to hop on a tour with a bigger established band so, we have our fingers crossed for that.
Also wanted to give you a chance to discuss League of Gentlemen or any other projects you would like to promote. What's up with League of Gentlemen at the moment?
LOG is a complete vanity project for me which includes very authentic late '60s style musicians and recording methods. We have two records out and critics love those records so thats a good indication that it will never be a commercial success (laughs). I made those records so I could have new music that I can listen to that sounds like old music.
Stay tuned for Devil City Angels album pre-order info. In the meanwhile, you can get their "All My People" single on iTunes here. Keep an eye out for Devil City Angels coming soon.