Long before Lady Gaga had the Semi Precious Weapons open for her on her Monster Ball Tour, she was supposed to hit the road with Kanye West. So the glam-rock trio might owe West a "thank you" for deciding not to tour with Gaga.

"She had us open for her," lead singer Justin Tranter, who makes a cameo in Gaga's forthcoming "Telephone" video, told MTV News. "We knew that she always wanted us to open for her for this tour. She put her foot down. I don't care what anybody says, we pretty much owe our lives to Gaga."

"And Kanye," bandmate Cole Whittle jokingly added.

Semi Precious Weapons go back years with Gaga — all the way back to the days when she had to depend on them to fill the tiny Manhattan venues she used to play long before she was the Grammy-winning phenom she is today.

"When we met her, we were doing shows here bringing, like, 300 people or so, and we were looking for bands to open for us," Whittle recalled. "They were all boring, but she was fun and partied, and her and [Gaga's performing partner] Lady Starlight had a really cool show. We were like, 'I'd much rather see this than some hipster band.' "

So they opted to do the upcoming pop star a favor and have her join them for their shows. Despite the fact that she was playing to very small crowds, she was beyond thankful for the spot.

"She was big fans of ours before we met her. She was so grateful to be playing with us, 'cause she loved us so much," Tranter said. "She was like, 'I've never seen so many people! Thank you so much for letting me open.' It's obviously a little different now. Them tables have turned! [Back then,] it was still the most awesome thing we'd ever seen. It's still the most awesome show we ever saw. She's always been the coolest girl!"