Chuck Shute Podcast

Steve Riley (L.A. Guns drummer)

December 02, 2020 Steve Riley Season 2 Episode 80
Chuck Shute Podcast
Steve Riley (L.A. Guns drummer)
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Chuck Shute Podcast
Steve Riley (L.A. Guns drummer)
Dec 02, 2020 Season 2 Episode 80
Steve Riley

Episode 80 - Steve Riley! Steve has played the drums for Steppenwolf, Keel and W.A.S.P. Of course he is most well known for being the drummer of L.A. Guns for over 30 years. In this episode we do a deep dive into Steve’s whole amazing career with all his bands. We’ll also talk about the new album he has out called “Renegades” with founding LA Guns member Kelly Nickels. He also explains why there are two versions of the band. He discusses some exciting movie projects he has coming out as well. And I get his reactions to the comments his ex bandmate Phil Lewis recently made in the press about Vince Neil. All this and more! 

00:00 - Intro
01:00 - Early Days with Frank DiMino
02:40 - Early Musical Inspiration 
03:45 - Todd Rungren & Roadmaster
06:35 - Touring with Steppenwolf 
07:20 - The B'zz, Keel & W.A.S.P. 
11:58 - P.M.R.C. & Censorship
15:15 - Wishing W.A.S.P. Stayed Together Longer
16:50 - Guns 'n Roses & L.A. Guns 
20:25 - Peak of Popularity of L.A. Guns
21:55 - Break from L.A. Guns & Session Work (92-94)
24:40 - Classic L.A. Guns Lineup Breaks Up & Two L.A. Guns 
28:38 - Phil Lewis & Tracii Guns Not Getting Along 
29:53 - Changing the Name "L.A. Guns" 
32:48 - Steve's Reaction to Phil & Tracii's Mud Slinging 
35:12 - Phil Badmouths Vince Neil 
37:05 - Forming Steve's Version of L.A. Guns
40:04 - Mick Cripps, Jizzy Pearl, Michael Grant, Stacey Blades 
41:35 - New Album as a Promotional Item 
43:10 - "Renegades" New Album & Songs 
45:14 - Kelly Nickels Singing & Pissing Off Phil 
48:45 - Horror Movie "Rightful" 
50:00- Documentary on 90s Grunge Singers 
52:05 - Possible W.A.S.P.  Reunion? 
53:35 - Promotional Items & Autographed Drumhead 
55:35 - Future Live Shows 
56:35 - City of Hope Charity 
57:20 - Wrap Up 

L.A. Guns Website:
https://www.laguns.net

City of Hope
https://www.cityofhope.org

Chuck Shute Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/chuck_shute/

Support the show (https://venmo.com/Chuck-Shute)

Show Notes Transcript

Episode 80 - Steve Riley! Steve has played the drums for Steppenwolf, Keel and W.A.S.P. Of course he is most well known for being the drummer of L.A. Guns for over 30 years. In this episode we do a deep dive into Steve’s whole amazing career with all his bands. We’ll also talk about the new album he has out called “Renegades” with founding LA Guns member Kelly Nickels. He also explains why there are two versions of the band. He discusses some exciting movie projects he has coming out as well. And I get his reactions to the comments his ex bandmate Phil Lewis recently made in the press about Vince Neil. All this and more! 

00:00 - Intro
01:00 - Early Days with Frank DiMino
02:40 - Early Musical Inspiration 
03:45 - Todd Rungren & Roadmaster
06:35 - Touring with Steppenwolf 
07:20 - The B'zz, Keel & W.A.S.P. 
11:58 - P.M.R.C. & Censorship
15:15 - Wishing W.A.S.P. Stayed Together Longer
16:50 - Guns 'n Roses & L.A. Guns 
20:25 - Peak of Popularity of L.A. Guns
21:55 - Break from L.A. Guns & Session Work (92-94)
24:40 - Classic L.A. Guns Lineup Breaks Up & Two L.A. Guns 
28:38 - Phil Lewis & Tracii Guns Not Getting Along 
29:53 - Changing the Name "L.A. Guns" 
32:48 - Steve's Reaction to Phil & Tracii's Mud Slinging 
35:12 - Phil Badmouths Vince Neil 
37:05 - Forming Steve's Version of L.A. Guns
40:04 - Mick Cripps, Jizzy Pearl, Michael Grant, Stacey Blades 
41:35 - New Album as a Promotional Item 
43:10 - "Renegades" New Album & Songs 
45:14 - Kelly Nickels Singing & Pissing Off Phil 
48:45 - Horror Movie "Rightful" 
50:00- Documentary on 90s Grunge Singers 
52:05 - Possible W.A.S.P.  Reunion? 
53:35 - Promotional Items & Autographed Drumhead 
55:35 - Future Live Shows 
56:35 - City of Hope Charity 
57:20 - Wrap Up 

L.A. Guns Website:
https://www.laguns.net

City of Hope
https://www.cityofhope.org

Chuck Shute Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/chuck_shute/

Support the show (https://venmo.com/Chuck-Shute)

Chuck Shute:

Welcome to the chuck shoe podcast and thank you for checking out my show. We have a very well established musician today on the show drummer Steve Riley. So he's played with many very well known bands bands including Steppenwolf keel and wasp. Of course, he's most well known for being the drummer of La guns. And despite his impressive resume, he's a very down to earth guy. Very nice. It was a pleasure to chat with him. We discuss his whole career plus the new album, he's got out with la guns called renegades, also some movie stuff. And I'll get his thoughts on some of the recent stuff in the press that his ex bandmate Phil said, I think you'll really enjoy this interview. And whether you're a diehard la guns fan or you thought la guns was a firearm store. I think you're really gonna like this, check it out. Welcome to the check, shoot podcast, Steve Riley, drummer of La guns and some other bands that we'll talk about too. But let's, let's start. I'm gonna go through your whole musical career. You've had quite a career. So if we could start at the beginning, you grew up in revere, Massachusetts, which I guess Glenn Danzig is also from that town. I don't know if you knew that. And you've been all over the world with la guns and stuff. But tell me about growing up near Boston.

Steve Riley:

It's a funny thing, because, you know, I grew up and lived there. It's just like, right outside of Boston. It's North Boston. And, you know, I grew up with it was a small music community there. One of the guys I grew up with was Frank dimino. From Angel. Hmm. Yeah, we both grew up in the van. We're both in a marching band. He played clarinet, I play snare john. And he was like the first guy in revere to break out of that scene, and started his career, you know. And growing up in Louisville, I kind of knew that once I graduated high school, that I was going to have to kind of move on into whatever city I was going to go to, but I knew the music scene in Boston was kind of

Chuck Shute:

small, and there wasn't a lot of opportunity. So I knew once I graduated in 73, that I was going to eventually move. And that's what I did. I ended up moving out everywhere with Frank dimino. And we both went down to Washington, DC. And we were in a band in DC together called max. And that's where angel came out of one of those bands. Oh, I didn't even know that part. But so you were inspired, musically by Jeff Beck. And you actually got to meet him once. But what about who are your favorite favorite drummers or drummers that you were inspired by? I started playing john so young that my dad turned me on to a bunch of jazz guys. And I really got hooked on Jean Cooper and Buddy, which I just they were like very, very influential in everything that I did. And that buddy, listen, Gene Krupa, are like gods to me. And you know, I started playing when I was about five or six years old. Wow. I yes, no, no, I played my whole life. And I actually started playing before I discovered the Beatles with my oldest sister. And so rock kind of came after me. Starting to play drums and so you know, Ringo was a big influence and Charlie Watts and Ginger Baker, but that really came after me really being hooked on Jean Cooper and Buddy Rich. Okay, very cool. So 75 ish, or 74. You actually ended up moving to LA right? And then is that when you work with Todd Rundgren with a band called Roadmaster, which I listened to have this on Spotify. I listen to some of it. It holds up pretty well. I mean, it sounds like 70s rock, but it's good 70s rock very melodic. Did you think at that time, even being in that band and working with Todd Rundgren? Did you feel like you had made it? I mean, you guys were opened up for some pretty big artists. Yeah, you know, I the thing with that with the Roadmaster was when I was in DC, there were three bands, there was Max, Sherry people and daddy warbucks. Those three bands formed Angel, and they actually broke up three bands when they formed Angel because key members left each of those bands. When that happened. That was like in about late 74, early 75. I got a call from a band in Indianapolis called Roadmaster. And they were getting ready to do an album and they asked me to come out I my connection was somebody from DC had already gone out there a friend of mine, a guitar player. He had already gone out there and join Roadmaster and he called me and said that they were going to let their trauma go and they will get rid of to record an album, and it was an independent album, it was done with an independent label in Indianapolis. And Todd Rundgren came in and brought the band out to be azumi to do the songs, and we did a couple more songs with a producer in Indianapolis, but Todd did most of the album. And yeah, you know, that was the first album I did shock. And that was a high point in my career. I mean, I thought that, wow, this is it. Yes, I'm on my way right now, you know. And little did I know, there was going to be a lot more to come after I did. I did the one album with Roadmaster. And I asked them, because I knew I needed to end up in Los Angeles, I knew that was my final destination, because that's where everything was happening. And Angel had already been out here telling me how good it was with all the machinery, management, record labels, everything. So I had asked the guys in Roadmaster if they were going to relocate now that we have things going, because Indianapolis is kind of like a high place to get things going. Sure. And I did a bunch of shows with Roadmaster in the Midwest. And we opened up a rash on that big big tour in Italy. So we got a nice date, but they didn't want to relocate. So I ended up leaving loadmaster and coming to our way to play with Nicki Jones on Angel. And didn't you briefly join a version of Steppenwolf? I did. Once I was out here with Mickey Jones, we had started a band called Empire and tried to get it off the ground. It was very difficult. We just didn't for some reason be able to get it off the ground. And during that period, I got a call from Steppenwolf to see if I wanted to go out and tour with them. And it wasn't any recording. It was just they were touring a lot. And I was young. I was like 20 years old. And I took up right away. I said yes. And I went out with them for a couple years. And I toured with Steppenwolf and get that whole great catalog of material. Yeah. That's a great cause. Great. Yeah, that's cool. So then you did some other bands, the lawyers, the bees. And then this is interesting. This is like one of the reasons that I wanted to interview because I had Ron keel on here a few episodes ago. And and you know, obviously you were in Kiel for a little bit. And he told me, I was asking him I was like, What is the secret to this guy success? Because you've been in so many big bands. I mean, most people would have killed just to be in Roadmaster or wasp or like you're in all these things. And he said, Well, you're definitely driven. So that was like, in addition, you record that first album with keel but then you left to join wasp. Like, how did you know that wasp would be bigger because keel was a pretty big band too. I mean, you kind of hedge your bet with wasp like, in hindsight, I mean, I think you made the right call. But how did you know that? Were you taking just taking a chance, basically. Yeah, you know, why did the album with the bees, I had done a bunch of one off albums with people. And for some reason or another, they didn't get going, or they didn't go on to a second album. When I did the album with the bees. Tom woman produced it. It was another high point because we want Epic Records a major label. Again, they didn't take off for one reason. It was a great man. Great guys. We had a great situation, but it didn't take off. So when I came, when I when I got out of the Bs, I started doing like small session work, just anything to work. It could be like a really small session for like 100 bucks to play with some lawyer that wanted to record a call. Because I was trying to find a record of all the session work you've done, I can't find it. So it was nothing major, but it was enough to pay money. That's all. Okay, no need to pay girls. And what I did was I did that for a couple of years here in LA. On one of those sessions, Greg Chase and the bass player who went on to be in Badlands. He was in Badlands at the time, but he was just doing that session with me. He told me to call kill. And he said we're getting ready to go into the studio with Gene Simmons. There are eight in markets. And I called keto I asked him if I could come down and play for them. I did play for them and everything worked out cool. And they wanted me to do the album. And so I ended up doing the album. In another great situation. Here I am in the Record Plant in New York. I mean in LA the old Record Plant. I'm with Gene Simmons producing a&m records for guising kill crate, and they were really making noise around la Kill. And so after I finished doing all of my drum tracks, we were doing the background vocals for keel and I'm in the Record Plant and I got a call from Blackie from last when he said I hear that you came in And you were able to do the kill album real quick because it was a quick channel. I sure came up to two weeks of reproduction and went right in and recorded with them. And so he said, I heard how that situation went down. Will you come by my apartment and give me a talk? So after one of the sessions that would change during the background vocals for kill. I went over to Mikey's apartment, and he played me was around. Now care was doing the right to walk while was was doing their first album. And so I went over to black his apartment, and he played me the first album, I was blown away. I thought it was great. And he told me what kind of machine they had built around them. They had the Iron Maiden management. They were on Capitol Records. They had this big world tour already booked. Okay. And he said to me, would you be interested in doing this? And it was a really hard decision, because I knew I had something great girl would kill. Yeah. But Blackie was describing to me and what they had with Iron Maiden's people, I had to take it, it was just too good to pass up. And so it's very difficult to tell Ron and the guys in Quito, because there was so great to me, and I still am friends with all of them, that I'm going to leave and do this thing with kid or with wants. Yeah. Yeah, in hindsight, it was the best decision. But the reason why is because I was always looking for a bigger and better situation. And it sounds kind of like, you know, a hard case, to force somebody to say, I'm not going to do this, I'm going to do that. But in this business, you have to make that kind of a hard decision. And so I did and I left kale, and I joined was, and I stayed with wasp about for four and a half years. Yeah, so you did three albums with them to studio and then one live. And this was interesting, though, like looking at the research. The band was a target of the pmrc, which for people know what that is, it's the parents music Resource Center. They called your band wass sexual perverts, and they put you on the filthy 15. Like, I remember this as a kid, even, like censorship was was a big thing in the 80s with music, like, I feel like there was a lot of like, religious people or whatever you call them. They were tat they would call music, you know, like sexual perverts or Satanism or you know, all these they look for all these themes. I feel like people were looking for that in the 80s. Do you feel like that's kind of come full circle, again, where censorship, maybe not necessarily with the saint and stuff, but a lot of more censorship seems to be popping its head back with movies and music and social media and talk about that. What do you What's your thoughts on that? I gotta tell you, Chuck, you know, it's the funniest thing. When I look back on that the whole la scene was during Reagan and Bush presidency. It's so ironic, you would think that I seem like what we had wouldn't be able to thrive in a Reagan Bush era, because of how conservative they are sure, when pmrc came out, they thought they were going to hurt us by putting a label on our records. It turned out to be just the opposite is everybody seals were going through the has, you know, kids are going to want to listen to something that parents don't want them to listen to. So it turned out to be an ironic situation. But sales went through the roof. Everybody was doing great. And I do agree with you that today, the conservative look on everything entertainment, is really the thumbprint is everywhere right now. And it is very difficult to get anything like what we were doing especially was I don't know when the wasp could thrive today because of how over the top it was. I mean, we had a girl on the rack and we were cutting her throat and we were throwing meat out at the audience. And we had tormentor songs and F like a beast. And yeah, we were like, you know, I mean, I don't know if that could go over today, because of the way the censorship is, is thriving right now. In the end, it's really good. People are scared to do that kind of stuff. I mean, the you know, the, the feminist movement has really, I mean, they've really cracked down on a lot of those things as inappropriate. Maybe some of them obviously, rightfully so. But, I mean, I feel like in that case, it was more for entertainment, but I don't know it's an interesting discussion, at least. It was definitely for entertainment, but I can't see the meat to movement, accepting a girl on a rack being cut off and I mean, it's just it's Crazy and she's half dressed. Yeah, I mean, would not go over to Nananana. No, you could if it was a white male you could you could do whatever you want to, but no a girl I would not. I wouldn't mess with that. That's a gamble. So yeah, you got it. But you look back on your time and wasp and you say the only regret is that you had that you wish it had lasted longer. You wish that they hadn't disband. Because you guys thought, or you thought you had something special and you wish that lineup had stayed together for another Alberta, right? Oh, totally. And I think that the original lineup of me Blackie Chris Holmes and Randy Piper, I thought Not only will we be epically great on stage, and we had a great stage show, but sonically in song wise, we were really, really good. We were really making the headliners work hard to follow us. I mean, we got crowds going crazy. And we were doing really well. And Blackie, for some reason, slowly broke the band up, he fired Randy Piper, which changed the dynamics of the band completely because he went from bass to fake to guitar, Blackie. And that changed the dynamics of me immensely. And so then we get an album with Johnny rock, and I like the way electric circus came out. But I thought that the band had a lot longer legs with the original lineup. I just wish the original lineup could have stayed together longer, like motley. Did you know they did great. And they stayed together whether they had decent on, they stayed together. They knew they had a great man with great songs. And they made the right call. Sweet wash. Anaconda same thing. Yeah. Well, I mean, again, you kept going though you persevered. And this is I think a lot of people might you know, people were maybe casual rock fans or even casual la guns. fans may not know the story of La guns, how it was la guns, and there was a band called Hollywood rose. And when they combine the two bands, that's how they came up with Guns and Roses. But I think before you joined the band, there was a short time where I think was Axl Rose. He was the singer of La guns, right? Or was it Tracy guns? Because, you know, Chuck, I taught this in some other interviews that I was fortunate to be the LA scene lasted from 82 to 92. Probably longer than any city has ever had a thriving shirt. Yeah. Usually it's about a five year period. And then that city's main thing kind of breaks down la went for 10 years, I was really fortunate I was involved with this first wave of metal with was motley. dokin, rat, Great White, all of these bands. I was involved with that. We will also busy touring in recording that we didn't realize in 86 lady early 87, we didn't realize a second wave of rock was coming out of LA. And that was what kinds of roses la guns faster pussycat check. Boy, we didn't realize that this was happening because we were also busy. And we weren't really in the city a long time to see this happening. Sure, always. So I got to be involved with both waves of the LA scene. What I don't really know, I even after being in LA guns for so long, is that early, early history, I know Axl was involved. I know. They got the name, guns and Moses high, they got the name, and they meld the two bands together. But I think they were all really short periods of time. Where are these guys were involved with each other? Yeah. And in early 87, the classic lineup of La guns really started this whole scene with la guns. And I really know from that point on the early scene, I'm not quite sure. I just know Axl was involved with Yeah, a little bit. They were all mixed. Yeah, yeah, it was you think that people that must have helped the band get signed, right, the whole Guns and Roses connection? Yeah, but you know what, I really believe that. It boils down to the songs when I got out of La when I got out of Los, I was living still in a nice apartment in Hollywood. But I didn't have a place to play drums. And I went down to si studios rented a small one just to stay loose on my jobs. Because I knew I was going to do something. I didn't know what quite what I was going to do. And when I was at si studios, these guys from LA guns, they were big fans of the loss. They came in, and they said hi to me, and they could hear me plan and they said they handed me a tape with all scribbling on it. It was their first album that they had just recorded and it wasn't even pressure. When I listened to it, they said listen to it and see if you're interested in joining because we're going to let our drama go and it boils down to Songs Chuck, when I listened to LA guns first album, I heard great songs. And so I know that maybe the connection was all there. But remember G and I also hadn't taken off their first album, they were still doing clubs here in LA. So the connection might have been there. But I really believe it came down to both bands having really good songs. Absolutely. Yeah. So during that time, up until 91, I mean, that was those first few albums were the peak of popularity for the band, lot of success. Yeah, good record sales tours, videos on MTV, the whole thing. When you look back on that time, are those like some of your happiest years of your life? Or is there a lot of stress going on behind the scenes that we didn't see, I think that it was some of the happiest times of my life. Because I, you know, I always feel fortunate, I know that you have to have challenges to get going in this business. But you really have to have timing and luck on your side, in that timing is so important. So when I got out of loss, I knew I was going to do something, but I didn't know what I was going to do. So to be able to join something like la guns from the very beginning. And watch it take off and get more and more popular. And we were all over MTV. We had songs all over the radio. We were doing great homies in ours. Huge. Yeah, right. Van Halen, it was just gigantic. But we also had a really good run with golden Platinum albums. And we will all have MTV and radio. And we were touring the world. And I just thought I was so fortunate. I was with a bunch of guys that were really into it. And it was a really happy time from 87. All the way up to 92 was just a great period. Yeah. So 92, you left the band, what not from night, you could rejoin the 94. But from 92 to 94. What did you do for that time? were you doing session work and stuff, or I did the same thing. You know, I had a falling out with Phil Lewis. But the falling out with Phil Lewis was coupled with Tracy not really wanting to continue on with the band, he wanted to do his new band called killing machine. And he wanted to do something different. So the band really splinted. At the same time, even though vicious circle was done. Everybody flew their pots, and nobody was really in the studio. At the same time. It was a very chaotic period for LA guns and the band was splintering. Okay, from what I did in 92 to 94, I had recorded probably like about three or four albums with people that were either looking for like a deal or going to get a record deal. happen. Okay, I went through that before earlier in the 80s. And I had done so much session work in that period, again, to pay the bills and to stay active. And it was a kind of a fun period. But you know, it was kind of chaotic, because I was all over the place. Yeah. So none of those albums that you recorded during saw the light of day or went or got major label success or anything? No, but you got paid, right? Yeah, I get a number of them. And in, I add them all on my computer, and I revisit them once. Some of them were really good, you can't understand why they didn't get signed. But again, you know, grunge was laying down big and heavy about wine. So you know, anything that wasn't in that mold suit was very difficult to get signed. So I understand. But I had been so much recording during that period that never made the light of day, but I have it still you know, do you? Do you cross paths with anyone that would later go on to do something big or? I you know what? Not really, I mean, I did the people that I played with are the people that really took off and made it and the people that I tried to do stuff with all I sat in on this sessions and help them record some material. It just didn't get up or grimy. Jimmy the keyboard player from Blondie, he recorded this whole album here in LA I play the drums on it, he produced it, and it was with this English guy. And the whole album was done. The the singer there was a bunch of people that guess sat on it. His thing would really take off and get signed, and it didn't. So you know, you never know. It's difficult. Yeah, that's crazy. So then you end up reuniting with la guns. And you guys did I mean, there was a bunch of different versions of the band and different lineup changes, but you stayed with them until about 2016. And then this is where it gets kind of hazy or messy because you guys kind of split off. So there's two versions of the band. Guess you call it now? How does that work? Like with a website and the social media? How do you guys divide that kind of thing up? Well, you know when Tracy decided to quit when the original lineup, the classic lineup broke up, the three guys, Phil, Mick Crips, and Kelly nickels, they all left the band in late 95, early 96. Uh huh. That's when Tracy and I decided to stay together. We were partners. We wanted to keep moving on with la guns. And we did we did three albums with three different singers with jizzy. Pearl Michael stuff on Steel Panther. Yes, yeah. And we did one with Kristin doll. He's really American hardcore. And so we didn't mean Tracy continued on. And then we eventually talked to Phil into coming back in to do a couple album with us the man on the moon, I think right? In the moment. Yes. And he came back to do Man in the Moon. And actually, we got him back into black beauties. The Greatest Hits five new songs for that. And then we did man in the morning. So it was me, Phil and Tracy continuing on from 2000 until about 2002. And in 2002, Tracy decided to leave to go do Brian's of destruction with Nikki Sure. And for Molly and that, me and Phil, we decided and I never really wavered. I was like, let's keep moving on. I was always trying to talk to classic members into stuff stay in shock. I was like I had a great thing going on. We had a great catalog. We could talk all the time, we could do a lot of stuff. And we had a great name all over the world. And so me and Phil decided to go on from 2000 to one to 2016. But in 2008 I 2006 to seven right in there. Bryce didn't take off by the destruction didn't take off. And a couple of other things Tracy had tried to do didn't take off. So he decided to start a secondary guns. That's when it really started the two array guns. It started in about 2007. And Phil and I were kind of irked at the time, because we were moving on we have recorded albums. We were in the studio with me John's doing albums. And when Tracy decided to stop that second la guns with a bunch of cast of characters, too. I mean, he had a bunch of singers come in and out. And that was really when I had to start dealing with knowing that we're going to be two bands, because both of us on the name Tracy and I own the name. We're partners, Are you 5/050 partners on the name? So Phil's not even a partner in the name? No, it was me and Tracii because Tracii and I had continued on with the band and you copyrighted or something or Okay, we Trade back the trademark. Yeah. And we were partners, me and

Steve Riley:

And you know, me and Phil continued on for Tracii and I'm really close to and there. We were totally

Chuck Shute:

Why didn't they get along though? What was the shoulder to shoulder on everything. But you know what, in 2007 when he started that second la guns while me and Phil were out as La guns, that's when I had to start dealing with it. And knowing that there's not much I can do. I just have to issue? deal with it. And so Tracy did that up till 2012. Me and Phil It was always an issue and we couldn't really figure it out is still recording with St. John's. We did four albums with them. And that's when Tracy decided he didn't want to do his la guns anymore. He was going to do something different. Sure. another four more years, until Phil decided he was going to do some shows with Tracii. That' all he said to me at this shows And I was like, I knew that yo guys didn't really get alon Chuck never really did. And th other classic members now thi two guys, so they never reall got along. They put up with eac other. And that was good enoug if you could put up with eac other, you know, you just dea with it Kelly Nichols, Mick Cripps and myself, we just knew that they did not really get along. They will they there was something there in between them that we could not figure out and then and we just never were able to figure it out. But we knew it was there. So when filled the side of the dish shows with Tracii, it came out of the blue. I was like really, and so I had accepted and they were just going to do shows and I was going to continue on with L.A. Guns are going to do what I have always done. Just keep moving forward. And Phil laid it down like he was just going to do about five, six months of shows with Tracii and then come back and do our guns with me. But that's not really what happened. sure how it came in and where we're at. Right So did you ever was there ever a thought with uh, you know, when in 2016 at that point when you're splitting it off to cheap changing the name or differentiating it, differentiating it from the other version, like call it Steve Riley's L.A. Guns or the LA guns or the new L.A. Guns or, or maybe just going a different route altogether and calling it Hollywood guns or LA Bans Guns or something totally different. Because it just seems confusing. Like even with Spotify, I'm listening to your new album, which is great by the way, we'll get to that in a minute. But you know, it's confusing on the new album, because you've got your version and Tracii's version, they're on the same Spotify. So it's like a little bit confusing for fans, I think sometimes, right? Well, yeah, I think people have to remember when these two started doing shows together in 2017, they went out as Tracii Guns and Phil Lewis, they didn't notice L.A. Guns. Sure, they made that decision later on down the line, if they wanted to call it L.A. Guns again, and stay together. So I continued L.A. Guns on while these guys were doing Tracii Guns and Phil Lewis shows, they were calling themselves L.A. Guns at all for a while. And then they decided down the line to call it L.A Guns. So I never really considered calling it anything different. Because I was continuing on with the same process that I had always continued on. I know it's confusing. It's something I wish that wasn't happening. But it's also something that I don't think I really created. I was just moving on. They will they will at the classic members will leaving and coming and leaving in common. And I was staying straight and keeping the band going. Getting record deals for the band, getting management, pretty much setting up everything I was doing all the business from 87 to now. And it's not something I really wanted to do. But I knew that I had to do it. Nobody else really wanted to do it. So I've always found the business to be and I just continued on. These guys were doing shows. It's Tracii and Phil, and, I never really wavered from LA Guns because Phil just left again. But he wasn't breaking up the band. He said I'll be back. So I was continuing on I got Kelly in. And I continued on is only kind of it is confusing. What we're trying to do on our end, is whatever we do, we're putting our names underneath what we're doing. Kelly does all of the artwork, he's putting Steve Riley, Kelly Nickels, Kurt Frohlich, Scott Griffin on everything we do. We're trying to make it as clear as possible. But it's also something that I feel really connected to. And I'm not just going to walk away from LA Guns, because a classic member has left. I'm one of the classic members and I haven't left. And I've always been making that band grow. So I really never wavered from that. Okay. So after you split off with Phil and Tracii, those guys have slung some mud your way they posted memes, they've said some mean comments in the press. I know you said you won't sling mud back and I haven't seen you do that. But you have to have seen some of these things that these guys have said. Now obviously there are fans slinging mud and press making comments too. But Phil and Tracii, I mean, they were your bandmates. For many I mean Phil longer than Tracii but Tracii too... Does it hurt you to hear those things? And if not, how do you not let that stuff bother you? You can't let it bother you. If you have that kind of a thin skin. You won't last in this business. Of course. These are former partners and bandmates of mine co songwriters. We've done so much together for them to say anything like Kelly can play bass. Steve can't play drums. They can't write. Well, Kelly wrote "Ballad of Jayne," he wrote our biggest hit. He played rhythm section on everything and co wrote everything from the early years, the five of us co-wroter everything. We're really connected to this band and we know what our worth was in the band. We know what we bring to the table. And we know how good we are as rythym section too. Kelly, like I said, wrote the biggest hit that we ever had. He brought that just to the song and "Ballad of Jayne", we finished it in the studio, but that's one of Kelly songs. And so to say that we can play our instruments... To me, I think I have a lot more faith in the fans to know that that sounds foolish. I don't think that I would get off with gigs and other bands I've been in if I couldn't play drums it's just ridiculous. Yeah, you know it How could I play all the double kick drums that Blackie wanted me to plan was the double kick terms and kill all the early stuff from LA Guns. If I couldn't play drums and the same with Kelly, he couldn't play bass. So to say childish things like that. Chili on it. We're not going to even go there. We're not going to try to swing it back and say you have a they can't pay to we wouldn't even think of saying that. Something like that, because we have a lot of respect for those guys. Sure. I think they do too, but they get carried away. Sure. And you know, you said like, if you did get every reunite, you don't want to look back and say that you said a bunch of stuff. So one more thing before I want to get into the Renegades album and your new version of L.A. Guns... one more thing. Did you see the latest news that Phil recently said Vince Neil's a total hack who couldn't sing his own songs and murdered Razzle? Terrible, Chuck... that is such a bad thing to do in this business. You're talking about one of the biggest bands in the world, one of the most iconic hard rock metal bands in the world. I have nothing but respect. I know those guys, I have nothing but respect for Motley Crue - all the way through, it doesn't matter what they did, how they did it. When they did it. I have so much respect for those guys for what they did. They're immense in this scene, they're iconic. And to jump into a fray like that, and for no reason and say something like that. It's just another ridiculous thing to do. It's only going to work against you. They have millions of fans that love them. So if you're going to say something like that about Vince, who's a great guy, he's perfect for Motley Crue. He isn't Paul Rodgers, he never pretended to be Paul Rodgers. He is great for Motley.. perfect for Motley. His voice is perfect for them. To say something bad about Vince is just uncalled for. I don't know why he would do that. If it's just to try to get attention or to try to get press. It's not good press. It's only gonna work against you. I never believed in saying anything bad about anybody in this business. Even if it's somebody that isn't a favorite of mine. Yeah, I just didn't do that. That's smart, though. Because you've last you've obviously had a long career. So let's talk about now you're putting together you know, a different version of La guns. Now, that's interesting. I had Michael grant on, you know, he was in he was in both versions, la guns. And he's, this is another reason I want to interview you. He said that he goes, yeah. Steve Riley called me. And he goes, I didn't even answer the phone, because I know how convincing he can be. So that's pretty that's like a compliment, though, like, and that's another reason I was like, I gotta talk to this guy like, so were there other musicians that you reached out to that maybe didn't answer their phone or turned you down? Yeah, you know, when I was offered to do the MTV show, and I actually got offered to do it in 2018. And I turned it down. I was actually working on a bunch of other stuff. And I got called from the promoter of em three to see if I wanted to put an LA guns together a lineup to just do the show. He said, Hans would love to hear the material. And Phil in case you don't want to do it. And I said, No, I go, I don't really want to do that right now. He said, and so he called me in 2019. To, and he said, you know what you want to do em three said again, I want to tell you, the fans just want to hear all the gun songs. And so what I approached that as I had Kelly Nichols with me, I said, can't Let's do this. Let's just check it out and go have fun. We'll bring a guitar player and singer with us and, and Scotty Griffin came into the fold because we'd already known him he was sure of being for a number of years as the bass player. And he's a really elite guitar player. So I said, Scotty, why don't you play a lead? And then I was looking for a singer somebody in Vegas told me check out Kurt Froelich and I did. So we didn't have to go to an audition process with anybody in this lineup that's playing with me and Kelly Nichols. We found Kurt right away. He was the guy that we like, and squatting was a no brainer. We went into empty thinking, let's go have fun. And we'll do this show. See what happens. And you know what, no big expectation but see what goes on. And we did the show. It went over so good. And the reviews are so good. Somebody has filmed the whole thing, put it up on the internet. We saw the feedback from that. We got new breed management on here in LA they were primary wave their huge management company, and Eric Bakker and Bobby Kahn, and they wanted to sign us right away as a management deal. We went with them. They brought us the golden rule about making things so bald so quick for the M three show. We didn't even know it was going to happen. There was no master plan. It wasn't like, okay, we're going to do this and then go do that. It just happened. We got management. They bought us the golden robot records, golden robot, watch the show. They loved it and they said yes. Let's do a record with you guys. And four months later, we're in the studio recording renegades. So it happened so fast. Yeah, we, you know, did you reach out to MC Crips to try to see if you want to come in? Yeah, your initial question was when me and Kelly decided to do this I had reached out to Jeezy pro to see if he went to the same. Okay, I reached out to Michael grant in Miko was already I didn't realize what he had gone through with Sharon's face. They let him down big time they dropped him like a bomb. And Michael's a good guy. Yeah. Any brilliant guitarist and songwriter and singer, his new album is amazing if you've heard of him heavily. And he's a good guy, and I dropped him. And I didn't even realize that. But that's probably why he didn't take my call, he probably knew I was going to be persuasive, too and say, Come on Mike do this. He was probably already still hurt from what happened with him and Tracy and Phil, because from what I understand now, they really are and just let them go. And he was making an effort to make that work with that. And I also reached out to Stacey blades who had kind of punch around. Yeah. And he was doing something else too. So I had reached out to a number of people. And they all didn't want to do it. And now looking back, I love all those guys. And I wish them nothing but the best. But I'm so glad with the way this happened. And Kelly and Ronnie encouraged fell into place. Because you said the chemistry is really good.

Unknown:

Yes,

Chuck Shute:

yeah, yes. And so and you said the new album, I like this, you say it's kind of more of a promotional item to show that the band is fresh, like you're not really thinking that you're going to sell a lot of copies, or license a lot of this music, but it's kind of a promotional item to promote the band. Yeah, and I felt that way. years ago, I felt this way, like starting almost like in the early 2000s. Chuck, I always felt like I knew when the record stores shot in the big machinery was shutting down. Radio and MTV were gone. I knew that when you do an album now, you're not looking at doing major sales, it really is turning into a promotional item for touring, is what a classic rock band, we are touring more than recording. So our recording is really, you know, you're hoping that you sell a lot of copies. But you're not thinking on it because of the situation with radio and MTV and record stores. So you really using it as a promotional item. And I always felt that any band no matter how old they are in stature, like if you're 25 year old band, 30 year old man to record is such a great thing for your soul as a musician to create new music is something good for yourself anyways, and you're really doing so you're being creative still. But that product is turning into a promotional item for children and getting the band out there on nice tours, but you're getting a lot of downloads on Spotify and YouTube and stuff and I heard the album and I'm just to be honest, I mean, I really like it. I think it's good. The the single crawl is really great. It's really catchy. I've been listening to all the songs Why ask why. And a well oiled machine just classic eleganz rockin songs. You can't walk away as the ballad and then would that almost sounds kind of like an Allison chains kind of jar flies type acoustic thing was that on purpose? You know, you know it we all focus, right. So when we started with the deduction for renegades, we had started it because we all live all over the country that curtain Florida, started in Vegas and La Kelly's in New York. So we knew that with a tight budget, it was going to be very difficult to get everybody together to do the old pre production where whereas it was going to assure us in the same city, meeting up the next day at the studio and writing songs together. So we started the pre production by sharing files over the internet and sharing ideas on what we could do with the songs. We had all been sitting on a lot of songs we I wrote, you can't walk away in the 80s it really for some reason it didn't get recorded. Okay. So you know, we had been sitting on a lot of material. And Kurt is a great singer, songwriter, guitarist, he had a lot of material, when we assign exchanging files would came in towards the end of us exchanging these files. And he brought that song in and we were like, wow, this song is amazing. And it was pretty much completed. We did some tinkering and some production on it in the studio, but I knew This was a great album track. I don't know, because of the length of it. It could be a single man. I just knew that it was a great song. And it has a great identity to it. And that's all. Yeah, that's the whole album is going there's not a bad song. There's 10 really good songs. Now I know, Kelly, he's saying on nothing better to do on in a vicious cycle. I know you weren't on that album. But what so would he ever now that he's back in the band? Would he ever sing that live? Or he didn't sing on this album? Did he? know he what he did? But we made him sing it at the MTV show. Oh, check that MTV show. He sing. That's awesome. Yeah, he was he was reluctant to do it. And we should not care. You got to do this. People really like you singing this song? Yeah, I love that song. I always felt like that should have been a bigger hit. I know. It was like, I think it was the timing. So I feel like if you release that in like 90 or 91 I feel like that would have been at least been a rock out. You know, rock radio hit? I don't know. I agree. I was great. Now so you I heard you say that. In 2012. When you guys did the Hollywood forever album, you tried to get filler, or sorry, Kelly back in the band at that point. And Phil shot it down. Do you know why he shot bringing Kelly back at that point? I don't know why. Because when Kelly expressed to me, hey, Riley, I'm really ready to jump back in 10th grade. And I was like, Kelly, I love the idea. I go listen, why don't you because I knew Scotty could play guitar, rhythm guitar, or government lead with with Stacey Blake. And so I knew that Scotty wouldn't be pushed out of the band that he could move over the guitar. So I was totally into it. We even had Kelly fly out and flew out to LA to sing background in play bass on one of the songs on Hollywood forever, just so he could be involved with us and work with at Johns. And I was all for him and to join him and getting back with us. And I don't know, Chuck, I don't know. Okay. Phil shot it down. He didn't want to do it. And you know, I guess before I had gotten Kelly back with me, Phil and Tracy had approached him to see if he wanted to help write some songs on one of their albums that they did together in these last few years. Oh, and when they sent Kelly, the material to look at and listen to Kelly said, Listen, I think that we could even do better than this. You know, it was very, very diplomatic about it. And I think that we could really do better and that offended Phil so bad that he attacked Kelly undepressed. And this is before I got Kelly back. And so he has a problem with jelly. He has a problem with people, I guess I don't know where he comes from on that. Because Kelly is the coolest guy. He's such a great bass player and songwriter. He's a great artist. He does all the artwork, for what wherever you see for elegance. Yeah. And he's just a great guy. I don't know why anybody would ever prom with him. But Phil really took the offensive. Dan Kelly said, Hey, I think that we could even do better. It was really diplomatic. And that offended him so bad that he attacked them in the press. And by the time I called Kelly, he said, Yeah, did you see me get attacked in the press by Phil and I really didn't see because I don't read a lot on the internet. Sure. He asked me about it. And it was just unfortunate. Another Vince Neil type of thing. It was just uncalled for. It's not needed. Yeah. Well, let's talk about your besides your music

Unknown:

career,

Chuck Shute:

you have an acting career. You were in 1998, you're in some you had a small role in a movie called Amazon warrior. Is it true, you have a role in upcoming horror movie called rightful. And you have some songs in the movie as well. I'm saying you have some songs in the movie, too, right? That's exactly how it started. The the Writer Producer is a friend of mine. And he said, Do you have some material that you'd like to place in this new got the car movie that I'm doing? And I presented some songs. They ended up choosing two of the songs. And I was happy with that. But when they said, Would you like to leave for a pot? I was taken back. I was like, because I really, you know, I'm not an actor. And I was taken back. And I said, Yes, I'd love to. And so I read footpod and I got it, they gave it to me. They flew me to New Orleans to shoot my couple of scenes that I didn't even know if we're going to make it in the they did. They were asking me Oh, cool. And so I got a couple of songs in rifle and I got a couple of scenes in my book. It was a great experience of working with them, and him and the director and got, they just got distribution and so it's kind of cool. Yeah, and then are you worried? Is it true? You're working on a documentary that's about singers from the grunge era that have died? Like there was nine singers and who are Kurt Cobain, Scott Whelan, Layne Staley, Chris Cornell to Andrew wood for Mother Love Bone. Who else am I missing? Yeah, you know, it's like nine of them. And I have the whole thing together in this nine huge sing as the story is such an amazing story, Chuck that. If you look at any decade from 6070s 80s 90s, there were still all the big things in the 60s alive from the 70s in the 80s, this 90s period of grunge and 90s music, it's not all grime. So it's it's an amazing story, how that generation from the 90s they lost their voice, they lost their voices from these bands, these great bands that were together in great singers, and they all die for one thing or another, whether it was suicide, overdose, or what have you. It's just an amazing story. And I started working on it. Right away. As soon as Phil started doing my shoes, shows with Tracy, I started working on this dog because I had the idea for a while. And just I got consumed by it too. And the people from rifle now the movie, they're working with me on it. And I'm going to cool exactly how I want to do this. We might do it in six parts. We might do it as one whole thing. But we're figuring out how to do it. But I have it all laid out. I have all kinds of use with the people that were involved with these people. Do it maybe shiny shit next year. Oh, that's awesome. I look forward to that. And then. So what else does the future hold? Like you've said, you know, despite all this talk about la guns, you said you'd never say never in reuniting with the full la guns. Classic lineup. What about the classic wasp lineup? Is there any talk that you've you've never reunited with them? Right? Since 80s? No, you know, it's funny because Randy Piper and I got invited to go to Las Vegas to sit in with the sin city centers. They were a local band that do cover tunes and Brent Muscat from faster pussycat was in it, and he would call and get people from LA bands to come out and sit in with them. He called me and said, I got Randy Piper on to do you want to fly? We'll fly to Las Vegas. put you up at a hotel and we jam some wasp songs. Well, when I that happened, me and Randy we connected and we will always friends. But we were kind of separated. We weren't in total touch. He said to me the 30th anniversary of wasp is coming up. Would you be interested in doing a 30th anniversary? Little Small tour with the vision lab. I said Randy Of course I am. I'm always in something like that. And I didn't realize he hadn't talked to Chris Holmes or Blackie. Just me okay. I told him I was totally into it. But I don't think Blackie was getting back together with it. And I don't think Chris was because they had a really bad falling out in but I always into something like that. I mean, if Blackie called me and said let's go do a 20 day tour with for the anniverary or WASP, I would we be right on it. what he got. Okay, that's awesome. And then you guys, like I said the Renegades album is out for sale. I heard the the vinyl of that is selling out. Do you have other promotional items for the band? And I don't know this is like I don't know why byt L.A. Guns has been in the news so much lately, but there was a story about how the other L.A. Guns was selling a L.A.Guns drumhead that was autographed by the band for $495. But it doesn't even have the original drummer like and some fans thought that was a little steep. According to the story. I'm just reading off. I'm not having an opinion on that. I'm just reading off the story. Do you feel like that's a little like how much would you charge for a signed drum head from Steve Riley L.A. Guns?

Steve Riley:

Oh, I don't think I charge that much. No way. I have a bigger chance that might sound a little steep. And you know it's a little hard on the fans to say you want to pay $500 for a drum head... . I mean I sell drum heads signed, sticks signed, bu they're for very little they're on our website. Okay, L.A Guns dot net and it's got how to order the Renegades album up there because it's very difficult for fans to find a legal way to get the album right now. I got to start net is where me and Kelly Nickels.. are running LA Guns and you can find out how to order Renegades. There is a bunch of great merchandise and some fun videos. And it has our tour dates that we're going to do in 2021. But you know, I tell you what we would like every other band You know, we have the T shirts, the patches, and all that stuff that you can buy, but it's not steep prices and we're not trying to gouge anybody. And you know, you got to keep it reasonable. And I think that golden robot records they did a great job. They put some bundles together. Oh, cool. On the album, The T shirt, or pads, everything's good to go together in different columns out piece. Okay, which we're trying our hardest to make it easy for fans to get it. Sure.

Chuck Shute:

And then so you said there is tour dates set up for 2021? Are you coming down the Southwest at all? I'm in Phoenix or anywhere near Phoenix or Vegas or anything like that? Oh, no, Totally, yeah, that we have a lot of stuff. What Carrie and I are going to do is we're not going to what we're not going to do is to 200 to 250 shows a day. We don't want to do that anymore. I just finished doing that for like 20 years. It's a grueling schedule. It's not only you going on at 1230 in the morning, you staying at a kind of a low down hotel or motel shirt, you're playing on rented gear, that's not really up to pop. I don't really want to do that anymore. So Carrie and I, we want to be in, we're gonna do like 40 to 50 shows in the States. They're going to be festivals, fears, casinos, and then the odd satellite show that might go with one of those show, okay, but we will definitely be blunt, and nothing got canceled out of 2028 and all got postponed into 2021. Okay, so we can schedule that starts up in March. Okay, great. Well, I'll definitely check that out. hopefully see you guys soon. And then I like to end each episode with promoting a charity that the guest choice. I don't know, if your management told you. Is there a charity that you work with? You want to give a quick shout out to? Yeah, it's City of Hope, you know, hey, okay. In both my management, and I have totally behind that. And it's a great charity. What is it? What is city of what is it? It's, it's right. It's a thing that works with hospitals, and children, and all that helps them out with funds. And it's just a really good situation to help some of these lower people that the people that don't have money, they just can't afford stock. And it's just a quick little, that's awesome. Okay, I'll put the link in the notes. And then and obviously, your social media as well. Steve, you've had an amazing career. Thus far, I look forward to seeing where you keep going. And we'll definitely look to see on a show, hopefully, once concerts are legal again. So hopefully that works. Anything else you want to promote or Tell you what, but I just want people to go to elegance dotnet. Okay, anything that we're doing, especially perfect jobs that are coming up, and I want to thank you for your support. You're a good guy, brother. Yeah, you too. Thank you so much for doing this. I appreciate your great guy. Thank you. Okay, bye. So Steve Riley is the man he is the drummer for LA guns. There are two versions of the band. So to differentiate between the other version, you're going to want to head over to LA guns dotnet. And check out everything they have there. All the links are there, you can buy the album, or of course, you can listen to it on Spotify. If you enjoy this episode of my show, check out some of the other interviews I've done. If you subscribe to the show, you'll never miss any future episodes. If you want to support the show, you can follow me on social media, or share any episodes that you liked on social media. And if you really want to go all out, you can write a review on iTunes, because that helps the algorithm so people can find the podcast. Thank you so much for listening. And remember, shoot for the moon.