Metal Sludge

Metal Sludge

L.A. GUNS Vs: FORMER MEMBER … Phil Lewis and Johnny Monaco do not see eye-to-eye on recent split



Phil Lewis and Johnny Monaco do not see eye-to-eye on recent split



I Know You Are But What Am I?  —  In the neverending saga that is being in the band L.A. Guns, it seems the band’s singer (Phil Lewis) and Johnny Monaco have different reasons for their recent split.

Monaco was in the band for a short (12 gig) stint after the group had fired Michael Grant, as first reported by Metal Sludge back in March.

Lewis recently spoke to The Pure Rock Shop, as reported by the website Sleazroxx.

TPRS asked what it was like to have Monaco in the band.


Lewis replied: “[Laughs] I can’t really ’cause he quit.”

Phil_Lewis_LA_Guns_Sleazeroxx_July_2018_1Lewis was then asked when this did happen to which he stated: “It happened about — about two weeks ago. Ummm. We played a show in LA. We were — Jack Russell was supposed to play a venue  down at the beach but he got sick and couldn’t make it so they asked to stand in for him last minute, which we did. And we flew Johnny in from Chicago ’cause that’s where he lives and he just went back and he said that he couldn’t do it anymore. He said he hated the travel and just wanted to focus on his own stuff. And that’s it so yeah, he was in the band a total of like two weeks maybe?… So we got Adam Hamilton…. You remember Adam?… He was the bass player on Waking The Dead. So Johnny Martin is still going to be playing bass and Adam is going to play rhythm guitar.”

Lewis went on to state: “Yeah, so that will be good. Somebody that’s happy to be in there. I mean, it wasn’t personable, personal with Monaco. You know, we still love him and he’s definitely a lifer…. Yeah, it kind of threw me for a bit of a curve… You know, things are different now. People are like, ‘Oh. How come you guys can’t keep a line-up together?’ You know, it was different in the old days because we had record companies and record companies would invest a lot of money into career development. So if you had a record deal, chances are you had a pretty good chance at having a career in music. It doesn’t work that way now. You know, there are — none of those umbrella record deals that we had years ago where you know, artists and development — that doesn’t happen anymore. We’re kind of on our own and we just kinda have to — you know, it’s killed or be killed sometimes and you just got to be cut and dry about it, and not get too sentimental, not get too attached. You know, people have different priorities.”


Lewis alleges that Monacohated the travel” and also added, “…he (Johnny) was in the band a total of like two weeks maybe?“.

Metal Sludge reported (in our live review) L.A. Guns had added Monaco after his debut performance on April 6th.

It could be assumed, that he was in the band for some period before this, learning songs and making plans for the related.

It was also reported by Metal Sludge, that Monaco had left the band on June 19th.

Metal Sludge reached out to Monaco and asked a few questions about his time in the group, the above interview and their recent break up.


When were you asked to join L.A. Guns, as their new guitarist replacing Michael Grant?
March 15th, and rehearsed with the band April 2nd thru the 5th.

Editors Note: Based on Johnny’s dates, he was actually in L.A. Guns for 13 weeks 5 days… not two weeks.

How many of the U.S. states have you performed in?
All of them but Hawaii and Alaska, but only because I never learned how to deal with Hot Lava or Polar Bears.

metalbabe_block_150_1How many Foreign countries have you toured or played in?
Wisconsin ?

Have you ever played less than 50 shows in any year since 2000?
Nope, see link to past shows on my website.

Editors Note: After a little math, it appears Johnny has done well in excess of 1,000 live performances according to those listed on his site.

JM_plane.jpgPhil said “Kill or be killed” in his answer. Would you ever consider killing Phil Lewis or Tracii Guns?
Absolutely not.

How about (killing) their roadcrew or management?
Does pushing someone down a flight of stairs count.

What are your priorities?
I base my priorities at the task at hand. I’m day-to-day and pretty transparent in everything I do.  I always give my best and the rest of the time I’m home sharpening the blade.

And how may they differ from 2 guys in a band that have had more line-ups than the L.A. County jail system?
This sounds like a Metal Sludge set up.

Monaco was nice enough to shoot us those quick answers, and added this below to his reply.


I played in L.A. Guns for a little over two months (12 shows). I believe I did everything that was asked of me & more.

The “leaving because of the travel” comment was taken out of context and related to specific issues and frustration with a particularly bad travel week.

I tour all the time and will continue to do so. Traveling is actually one of the benefits to being in a band like this, you get to see the world & play your guitar. Phil possibly misunderstood.

My reason for leaving was simply that I didn’t feel it was a good fit for L.A. Guns & I would’ve been forcing myself to continue.

We’re all still cool with each other and I wish them the best of luck. I learned a lot of these terms from watching Forensic Files, so. ❤️ you too!






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