L.A. GUNS Drummer: 'We Are Really Gypsies'

Deb Rao of Glam-Metal.com recently conducted an interview with L.A. GUNS drummer Steve Riley. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:

Glam-Metal.com: What do you attribute to L.A. GUNS' longevity? You guys have been together almost 20 years now.

Steve Riley: "I really believe Phil Lewis and myself, we are lifers. Before we joined L.A. GUNS, Phil and I had done a lot of stuff other than him just being in GIRL, and me being in W.A.S.P. We are a little bit older than the crowd. We have been playing since the mid-'70s. We are really gypsies; there is no doubt about it. We have to be on the move, we have family lives, and personal lives in L.A., but we are two gypsies. I think our families are gypsies now too. (Laughter) That is the secret to L.A. GUNS. It doesn't matter if we are playing a small club, or on a big tour. We have to play, and we have to record new music. I think that is the difference between us and other bands. We must record for ourselves. If we don't do new material there is no point. We love our old repertoire. We have to play a lot of it every night. We just love it all, but we can't live off that. We have to be writing new songs all the time."

Glam-Metal.com: Steve, how does it feel to be touring on the same bill with your former band W.A.S.P.? How long were you in W.A.S.P.?

Steve Riley: "I was in W.A.S.P. for the first four years, '84 through late '87. It was a real exciting time for W.A.S.P., their peak years. W.A.S.P. was really making a lot of noise then. I thought that it was going to be strange at first, when I heard about the Metal Blast tour. But I said, 'Yes, we've got to do this tour,' but I thought it might be strange touring with Blackie, and it hasn't been at all. Me and him have gotten along great. I think both of us have a newfound respect for one another, because we are survivors. We are still doing it and having a blast out there. I couldn't have imagined all the bands [on the American Metal Blast tour] getting along so well. No drama, Debby — we are like brothers out here."

Glam-Metal.com: Steve, do you have advice for drummers just getting started in the music business?

Steve Riley: "Practice, Practice, Practice! (Laughs). I ran into some kids the other night. We are getting a lot of younger people coming to our shows lately. I think a lot of the bands that came out of the '80s are getting found by a younger generation right now. They like the stuff today, plus all of the great stuff from the '80s. I told the kids you have to lock yourself in a room and you have to practice every day."

Read the entire interview at Glam-Metal.com.

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