RATT 'n Roll.

Metal band, Ratt, is back with their new album, Infestation and supporting tour.
Guitarist Warren DeMartini chats with S&S.

When you think of the rock band, Ratt, you might automatically flash back to the band's hit song  “Round  And Round” from their debut album, Out Of The Cellar (1984).  Although the band had become commercially successul with this album , they'd formed in 1976 under the name "Mickey Ratt". With several lineup changes and eventually dropping the "Mickey", the band soon released their EP, Ratt (1983).

The success of  “Round And Round” was in part due to its music video heavily rotated on MTV, featuring Milton Berle in and out of drag having a meal with rats unleashed on the dinner table. Disturbing images aside, this was the clip that introduced  the band to the masses and unleashed the trademark vocals of Stephen Pearcy, the double lead trade-offs between the late Robbin Crosby and vibrato-shredder,  Warren DeMartini and the groups hard hitting, in-your-face, rhythm based metal fans have come to know.

Over the years the band has gone through different lineup changes and have released five albums since Out Of The Cellar.

For all you fans 80‘s metal, you will be happy to know that Ratt, (Stephen Pearcy; lead vocals, Warren “Torch” DeMartini; lead guitar, Carlos Cavazo; rhythm guitar, Robbie Crane; bass and Bobby Blotzer; drums), are back and on tour with a new album that stays true to their original sound.

We caught up with DeMartini to discuss the current lineup of the band, the Infestation tour, new album and more.

SSP/James: Alright…if this is Warren DeMartini, what was the first 8-track you bought?

W.D.:  My first 8-track?? Uhh…probably uh,…ohh God, probably Apostrophe?  (laughs)


SSP/Raina: We were just listening to the new album (Infestation) and it is awesome. Definitely takes me back to the mid-80’s.

SSP/James: Yeah, this whole album is great from start to finish.  Definitely one of  your best albums....it’s refreshing to hear right now. I’m glad  to hear the sounds that I grew up with coming back. There seems to be a lot more heart in that music than a lot of the current rock.

W.D.: Aww man, I’m glad to hear it. We really had a great time making it. It’s a really great time to be in this type of art form. It’s our first album in 10 years and it was a good merger there of the new technical potential and our material. It’s come a long way.

SSP/Raina: You know, I’m thinking this genre of rock ‘n roll is sort of making a slow creep back into the public. Do you feel like right now is the perfect time to release this album?

W.D.: Well, partly. But honestly it was sort of a happy accident. We were waiting for a connection flight in Atlanta and Tom Lipsky was waiting as well. He was forming a new record label in L.A. and told me he was looking to sign kick ass rock. He said to come on down and that’s where it started. It was a good time for us to do it, but we were also in a good place with encouragement from people who could do something with it.

SSP/Raina: I know that there was some different lineups with you guys in the last few years. How is now to have Stephen {Pearcy} back as lead singer and you guys going back on tour?

W.D: Well, it’s like trying on an old baseball glove, you know, it just fits perfectly. It’s just the real deal, the real sound. 

SSP/James: I can hear the difference between the albums you did in the early-90s to now. Their seems to be a comfort level with you guys, a real naturally flowing album.

W.D.: …And part of the reason is also the addition of  guitarist, Carlos Cavazo, formerly of Quiet Riot. It just really a boost when Carlos joined the band and it’s been an real adventure for me to re-explore that double-lead kinda thing that Robbin Crosby and I crafted back in the day. I’m really enjoying it.

SSP/Raina: What’s the craziest thing that’s happened to you on stage?

SSP/James: Yeah, what was your worst gig?

W.D.: Well on our ‘87 tour, we had these huge pods on stage  and Robbin Crosby would be on the stage right pod, I’d be on the stage left. When the song got started, Stephen would move to the side and we’d have to jump off the pods to the center stage. Well my jump was more like jumping off of a diving board and was like 10 to 20 feet further than I wanted to go. I just completely wiped out! Rollin’ and tumbling, just completely crashing in front of this arena crowd. First thing I saw when I looked up was Robbin laughin’ his ass off….it was a real moment for me.


SSP/James: …I think the movie Rockstar stole that from you...

W.D: Right? …yeah…yeah. (laughs). So that’s right up there.

SSP/Raina: What can we look forward to on the current  tour?

W.D: Well it’s really gonna be the music you grew up with going back to 1978. I never get tired of playing them, they’re just as exciting to play today as they were back then.

SSP/James: On the new album, what are your favorite tracks?

W.D.: I really like “A Little Too Much” ‘cause it came alive at the last minute for us. “Best Of Me” turned out really good. “Last Call” is a great live track with the double-lead in the middle…..it’s just nice to put something out that translates really well to the live crowd.

SSP/Raina: Sounds good. And welcome back! We’ll be seeing you on August 4th here in Sacramento.

W.D.: We’re on our way! Good chattin’ with ya.

Rock out with RATT and The Scorpions who will be performing at Raley Field in Sacramento on August, 4th.
For other California and more dates, visit: www.therattpack.com

(L to R: Warren DeMartini, Robbie Crane, Stephen Pearcy, Bobby Blotzer, Carlos Cavazo.