Former L.A. GUNS guitarist Michael Grant says that he was “fired out of nowhere and given absolutely no reason” for his exit from the band.
L.A. GUNS released a statement on March 7 saying that Grant was leaving the group “to pursue other interests, including his solo project, MICHAEL GRANT & THE ASSASSINS.” A short time later, L.A. GUNS guitarist Tracii Guns revealed in an Instagram post that he “wasn’t involved in [Grant‘s] departure from the band.” He added: “People come and go, and I’ll miss him badly in the band.”
During an appearance on Eddie Trunk‘s SiriusXM show on Monday (March 19), Grant said that the stated reason for his L.A. GUNS exit in the press release was “not true at all. I was actually fired out of nowhere and given absolutely no reason. So I pieced together my own conclusions [as to why I was let go] — with those kinds of details, that’s all you can do. And I’ll let the crowd, the audience do some basic emotional math. If Tracii Guns is sad about my departure, if [drummer] Shane Fitzgibbon is sad about my departure, if [bassist] Johnny Martin is sad about my departure, that only leaves one person who’s not,” apparently referring to singer Phil Lewis.
According to Grant, he found out that he was being kicked out of L.A. GUNS via a phone call from the band’s manager. “The only reason that I was given was, ‘It’s time. It’s time,'” he said. ‘And I was just, like, ‘Okay.’ I wasn’t resistant. I didn’t fight. I wasn’t like a crying little girl. I was just, like, ‘All right. If that’s how you guys want it.’ And then I proceeded to text the rest of the members in the band, like, ‘Did you know anything about it?’ And no one knew too much about it. Tracii said he had fought for me for about an hour.”
Grant said that L.A. GUNS tried to appease him by making “it seem like I left just to make it seem like it was my decision and that things didn’t get dragged in the mud.” He added: “When you’ve invested five years in something and not even given the respect of, ‘Hey, man…’ If the real reason was to support MICHAEL GRANT & THE ASSASSINS, it should have been, like, ‘Hey, man, giving you a call. You should go off on your own. We’re gonna support you.’ But it wasn’t like that at all. I was fired for absolutely no reason. I was given zero reason, no courtesy call, nothing.”
Last October, Lewis told Love Is Pop that the “chemistry” between Grant and Guns was “fantastic.” He added: “Michael has so much respect for Tracii‘s playing. You could just see it when they play together. And Tracii is one of these guys; he’s not like a Rick Derringer, who refuses to let anybody else solo. He lets Michael fly. There’s a few times in the set and Tracii just steps back and he goes, ‘Go.’ And he’s smiling from ear to ear. And it’s just amazing. These impromptu jams the two of them strike up in the middle of a song. It’s fun for me and it’s fun for them. And, actually, believe it or not, fun for the crowd. There are no self-indulgent solos. It’s [not] just a guitar player going widdly, widdly, widdly. It’s not. Everything we do showcases the virtuoso abilities of those guys in the jam context. So, it’s cool. It’s never boring. It’s got a groove to it. Who knows how long they can go on for? Sometimes a couple of minutes. Sometimes it can go on for ten. But it’s never dull.”
Tracii and Lewis reunited in 2016 under the L.A. GUNS banner and released arguably the most critically praised album of their catalog, “The Missing Peace”.
L.A. GUNS will release a new CD, DVD and Blu-ray, “Made In Milan”, on March 23 via Frontiers Music Srl.