An Interview with
that took place on 12th September 2002 via Telephone (from LA to the UK).
Interviewed by Glenn Milligan.
Glenn: Hi Tracii, how you doin'?
T: Ok, been smokin' a few cigarettes by the pool.
G: The new album 'Waking The Dead' is cracking. Where did you get the idea of the cover from?
T: Well it was a case of 'There's no rock music business anymore' - well not like it used to be. We wanted a cover that would show the idea of 'Waking the Dead' - a sort of Iron Maiden cover.
G: Do you listen to much of the new music?
T: I actually do yeah, like 'System Of A Down' and bands like that. Other bands I may not like but I appreciate them.
G: Why did you change the title of the album from 'Hellraiser's Ball' to 'Waking the Dead'?
T: 'Hellraisers Ball' sounded too much like 'Headbangers Ball' - the rock show that used to be on MTV, so changed it to 'Waking the Dead' because we thought it was more relevant. We play the track 'Hellraiser's Ball' live though.
G: What's your favourite track on the album?
T: My favourite is 'City of Angels' - that's a real hard question to answer.
G: Do you plan to release 'Waking the Dead' as a single?
T: That'd be great. Maybe in Europe. That's where we seem to do best. There's no market in the USA.
G: Have you been playing the new album live?
T: Yeah, on the (Metal Edge) Tour with Ratt and Dokken. We only play for half an hour so we play 3 off the album and 3 of our old ones. We have so much to choose from that we change the set every night. It's hard to play new songs that nobody has heard - especially if they are slow and mellow.
G: Yeah, the last thing you want is for the audience to disappear to get a beer and come back just to hear the classics.
T: Ha, ha - yeah stuff like that.
G: Do you find it hard to get gigs?
T: That's a hard one as we appeal more to Europe - but it depends - it's a tough one.
G: What did you think to the last UK tour you did?
T: Well it was a lot better than I expected. We went over there to check it out. The audiences were incredible. Somehow we do real well (in the UK) - there's a fanbase there. I don't know how come, but the crowds were amazing. Maybe it's down to the guys at Eagle-Rock. The better the crowd, the better it makes us play. I mean, 'Man in the Moon' was the biggest seller we've ever had - over 100,000 copies. It's really strong. Before when we played here Polygram didn't do anything (with regard to promotion).
G: What's your opinion of bad reviews when critics say there's no change and your music is stuck in the 80's?
T: I think it's degrading.
G: It's a thing about the UK Rock Critics.
T: It's Weird.
G: I actually gave it 10/10 and placed it on our homepage for a while.
T: Thanks. You know, it's so obvious that some of them haven't even listened to the album.
G: Who produced 'Waking the Dead'?
T: It was Andy Johns who got it out of us. He was like, 'that's not good enough - do it again, do it again' and he really got the best out of us.
G: What happened to Muddy Stardust as he's not on the album?
T: Well Gilby (Clarke) brought Muddy in and promised him fortune and fame. I taught him 8 albums worth of stuff (for the tour) and he said he had other commitments - he wanted the fortune. It was Muddy's decision to leave.
Adam, our new player was actually a friend of Muddy's and I wasn't keen on having me in the band because of that. I'm a musician and I really can't stand flakey people. It turned out that Adam fit straight in and he feeds me with ideas and compliments me musically. He's easy to work with. Adam is the sort of guy who isn't afraid to say if something sounds 'Sh*t'. He'd go up to Jimmy Page and show him a new idea - he's just sort of guy.
So there you have it - the immortal words of Tracii Guns !!!
Check out the review of the album 'Waking the Dead' in the L section of CD Reviews.
Special thanks to Darren @ Eagle-Rock (UK) and John @ Spitfire (USA)