L.A. Guns seems to be trapped in a vicious circle considering their vocalists. Merely days after the release of their new CD "Waysted", vocalist Ralph Saenz announced his departure. This came as a shock for the Guns as the chemistry between Saenz and the band worked well and the excitement was high due to the new album. The Situation was even more precarious as L.A. Guns were about to take off touring.
Remaining members then contacted the most obvious option, former L.A. Guns vocalist
Phil Lewis. Lewis officially denied the offer though and even urged Tracii to
put an end to L.A. Guns.
The focusthen changed to two major candidates - Michael Monroe (ex. Hanoi Rocks) and Gilby Clarke (ex. Candy, Kill for Thrills, Guns n Roses). They didn't get a hold of Monroe though and Clarke was way too busy with his new album "Rubber". The Band also rehearsed with Vicki James Wright (ex. Tokyo Blade, Johnny Crash), his image didn't match the approach of L.A. Guns though.
The Search continued as alternatives narrowed. Then on July 14th, L.A. Guns dug deep and struck gold - Joe Lesté i.e. Lesté is a charismatic vocalist, coming across like a hybrid of Steven Tyler and Andrew Eldrich. He is the frontman of L.A's Bang Tango, a band that earned success sounding like a moody Guns n Roses. Bang Tango's first album "Psycho Café" was one of the best and most original releases out of Los Angeles in the late eighties. The follow-up "Dancing on Coals" was, despite a beautiful package, a major disappointment.
There was a rough conflict though as Lesté would tour with Bang Tango on the "Hard Tour". This dilemma lead to a lot of confusion. Will Joe Lesté quit Bang Tango? If he stayed with L.A. Guns, Bang tango wouldlose their vocalist, mainman and face in the media. It would probably hurt a lot and the band might not recover even if time is supposed to heal all wounds. If Lesté return to Bang Tango after the tour with L.A. Guns, the trading of places seems rather pointless. Sure L.A. Guns were (or are) in a sink-or-swim situation but it won't do them any good hiring another temporary gun. Tracii and the boys need to get a stable unit, right now they seem to change members far too often. Anyway, this rollercoaster took another turn, Joe Lesté fell off and Bang Tango's future wasn't anymore at stake.
As Joe Lesté didn't seem that dedicated to learn L.A. Guns' songs despite the fact that time was short, made Tracii and the boys consider another candidate. Guess what, they found another frontman from a once-huge-but-now -fallen band from the city of Angels - King Jizzo (a.k.a. Jizzy Pearl) formerly Love/Hate. For those who didn't know, Pearl was the lead vocalist for Love/Hate, one raw psychedelic streetpunk band that emerged in the early nineties. He impressed Tracii, Steve and Johnny, with his enthusiasm to learn all the songs and is now L.A. Guns' lead vocalist.
I regard Jizzy Pearl as a better option that Joe Lesté. His Streetwise pride fits well and he's got more passion than most. One can't help but wonder though, is lead vocalists as precious as gold? It seems like that's the case as established bands must borrow or "steal" from each other. How about some scouting?
Pics taken from Electric Gypsy