Stacey Blades, hard rock rebel
Stacey Blades Interview With Alex Pompili, Tempi-Dispari, Rome, Italy
Interview by Alex Pompili for Tempi-Dispari, Rome, Italy
Stacey Blades (born Brian Stacey; November 4, 1968) is a guitarist from Calgary, Alberta, who has played with such bands as Fraidy Katt, Roxx Gang, Mojo Gurus, Supercool, Smack, L.A. Guns, and 100 Proof. He has played on the L.A. Guns studio albums Rips the Covers Off, Tales from the Strip, Covered in Guns, and Hollywood Forever, and the L.A. Guns live album Loud and Dangerous: Live from Hollywood. He reportedly sang lead vocals on the song “Nothing Better To Do”, when the band performed it live. He authored a book, Confessions of a Replacement Rockstar in 2009.
At the end of 2012, Stacey decided to leave L.A. Guns to pursue more personal opportunities for performing and songwriting. He is currently working with Sony Music designing and writing guitar loop packages. Stacey was also the last artist to work with the legendary producer Andy Johns before his untimely death in April 2013.
Stacey, you have a unique style and sound. What has it been your approach to music; has there been someone or something that deeply influenced you in particular?
I was and still am way into Randy Rhoads. I am also very much into Neal Schon. I get a lot of my melodic style from him. There is so many players that I grew up listening to. Hendrix, Page, Alex Lifeson… Just.
You seemed to be a good match with Roxx Gang and you were with them for about 8 years. What is the story with that band; why did you leave, or what happened?
The first few years were great in that band.There were a lot of control issues in that unit. That got old after a while. By the late nineties the band turned into this swamp hillbilly thing which I didn’t get, so I was pretty much done by then. A great band though for sure.
You replaced Tracii Guns in L.A. Guns and you contributed much to the writing of the albums, giving it a fresh perspective which the fans seem to have appreciated. Was it difficult for you to replace Tracii or how did you feel about filling that position?
It was a great opportunity and I thought I really fit the band and gelled well with them. The fans really embraced me, it was fuckin great!
You worked with the legendary producer Andy Johns. In fact, you were the last artist he worked with. What was that experience like and how has that shaped what you do?
I loved working with Andy. He was a mentor, friend and colleague. I was gutted when he passed away. I will always cherish my time with him and we made some amazing music together. Andy and I had the same style of humor so we were always joking around being silly. It was so great to record guitars with him. I learned a lot about tone and recording techniques. He is sadly missed! Anytime I would start shredding he would stop me and go “there you go again with the widdley widdlies!”
You joined with Jamie St. James of Black ’N Blue, Oz Fox of Stryper and others in a super band called, Let It Rawk. The song, American Rebels, is a big hit and a dip into the 80’s. What do you think about the return of hard rock? It’s really starting that it happens again, don’t you think?
As long as people like big choruses, hook great melodies and killer musicianship there will always
be a demand for great hard rock!!
Tell us about your next project! Can we expect to see you here in Europe any time soon?
I’m really focused on Let It Rawk right now. I really love this band! Amazing guys, great musicians!
Ron Keel and I are starting an acoustic duo this fall, called Keel Blades. I’d love to have the Let It Rawk tour Europe!!