There are several hard rock bands in the 80’s that had commercial success early on before the flood of bands that followed them: Quiet Riot, Twisted Sister, Motley Crue, and Ratt. These bands are still out there today in one form or another, the most recent semi-reunion belonging to Ratt. Sure, there’s been a band touring for the past several years under the Ratt moniker, but it wasn’t until this year that lead singer Stephen Pearcy returned to the fold… or cellar. Stephan takes time from their successful summer tour with Poison to talk with Wisconsin Music about being back for more:
WM: How have the shows been so far on this tour?
SP: Pretty good. We’re touring with Poison until September 3rd, and then we’ll start a solo tour. We’ll do a few shows here and there before we leave for Japan and other places. That should take care of this year, and then we’ll hopefully get busy on some new music. But we’re out and about, and ready to piss people off again!
WM: Ratt just released a DVD of all your old videos, and a new best of CD will be released at the end of the month. How much input did you have on these releases?
SP: Quite a lot. Warren and I did the sequencing on the CD and picked the songs collectively with the guys. The DVD we narrated, and we also put some videos on there that were never really shown or released. They’re collectively all together for the first time. The long form videos back in the day went platinum and gold respectively, but there still were some videos that weren’t released. So now you have them all. We’re really happy about the DVD, it’s about time.
WM: You mentioned new music, what can you tell us about that?
SP: Warren and I have been writing as much as we can around the tour. It’s coming along. We’ve got some great ideas, and we have our format. We’re going back to basics and we’ll see what it brings. When we have some time off we’ll get in the studio, deliver the goods and lay it down!
WM: How is it working with Warren again after all these years?
SP: It’s no different than it was before. We’re just a little smarter and there’s less of the band things to disturb the good things.
WM: There’s a couple of trends right now with your peers where they will either release their old demos or record a bunch of cover tunes. So from what you’re saying, fans can expect all new material from Ratt?
SP: Yeah, it’s time for something new. We’re gonna finish the job we started. Ratt’s the type of band that takes care of business, but we know didn’t finish the job. All the stuff that we had with Robin, then the band disbanding, then the legal, etc. So right now there’s a lot of catching up to do and a lot of things to take care of.
WM: Do you have any label interest for the new CD?
SP: We’re on Rhino right now. I’m sure we wouldn’t have a problem with them for a label. I mean I have a label myself, and I’d rather us go independently than major. But like I said, we’re on Rhino for the ‘best of’ CD and the DVD. We’ll see what happens. It’s a whole new world out there nowadays; it’s not all about record stores anymore. The big labels are now headed towards the one big conglomerate monster. I like the fact that my label is independent. I’m not concerned about a finding a home for the new CD. My concern is getting the right place to do it. We’re writing very well right now. If we get the right climate and surroundings, it will be very easy to accomplish.
WM: Will the lyrics be classic Ratt ‘n Roll material?
SP: I couldn’t tell ya, because I write with whatever suites me at that moment. I’ve always been a writer about what I live, see and breathe. It’s not fantasy and Dungeons and Dragons, or politics. It’s about having a good time or fuckin’ kicking ass… or just fucking! (laughs)
WM: What are some of the differences to being on the road now as opposed to back in the day?
SP: There are none. It’s just what door do you want to go through: A, B or C. When you open the door there’s a surprise or your prize. Nothing’s changed; it’s just that everyone’s a little more alert or aware. For most of us there’s change, I mean I have an 11 year old daughter now. But as far as rock ‘n roll, it’s all still there. I’m still the party director!
WM: So you’re back in your element, but now you have an 11 year old daughter. Has that changed your outlook on all things rock ‘n roll?
SP: It changes everything! It’s payback. (laughs) I took her out on stage recently, and showed her all the goofy people I yell at every night. She wants to do it again; I think I created a monster. Some things change, but the song remains the same! (more laughs)
WM: Before the reunion you were working on a book titled RaTTails. What’s the status of the book?
SP: Still working on it. We now have closure. The final chapter of this book is this tour. Who knows, maybe it isn’t the end of everything. But it’s quite full of…. Forget dirt (reference to Motley Crue’s book ‘The Dirt’), it’s mud! And I’ve got photos to back all of it. It’s quite an experience. It’s not just about the rock ‘n roll world. It’s about somebody who was into something, me into racing, who got introduced to something else. It takes you into that whole trip, but yet it’s sincere. The book’s been 4 years in the making. It’ll be an interesting read!
WM: If you could pick one song you love to play live, what would it be?
SP: Body Talk. It reminds me of when things were all or nothing. We’ve been there, done that. We’re all jaded. Every night I have to find ways to entertain myself, but I manage!
WM: Any message to your fans in Wisconsin?
SP: Past, present, and future Ratt ‘n Rollers, thank you very much. The party’s still here, let the games begin!