Andrew Catania of All That Shreds spoke with Ratt frontman Stephen Pearcy about his new solo album, Smash. Highlights from the interview appear below.
All That Shreds: I listened to your album it sounds really good. It brings me back to the Sweet Cheater days of RATT.
Stephen Pearcy: Ah, I’m glad you said that! Thank you. That was a conscious thing to do actually.
All That Shreds: …I mean I know you’re trying to solo but you’ve got Beau Hill out there mixing it.
Stephen Pearcy: Yes, I’ve got to clarify something. Beau Hill mixed and mastered one song. We couldn’t get him to the full project so we pretty much took that schematic from, I Can’t Take It, and we just went from there, but I still have a song in the can that he mixed and mastered. We tried everything with this record, there was no stone left unturned when it came to this, ideas and just being diverse. Like Physical Graffiti or something. I wasn’t trying to accomplish Physical Graffiti otherwise, there would have been 20 songs. I had the 20 songs. I get to stretch more with my solo stuff and a song like Ten Miles Wide is going to be the video single before the record is released. We start shooting in about a week. That is definitely Erik my guitar player channeling Robbin Crosby without a doubt. It is something Robbin would have come up with without a doubt, you know. Right out of the box you know, smack, Ratt. You know what, what can I say, my voice, it doesn’t matter if it’s me doing an industrial record without the Charlie Vortex it’s still my voice and that’s cool but I don’t try to change my voice to suit anything I just try different things and see where it takes me. It’s like a road trip and you don’t know where you’re going until you get there. We’re happy with it though, we accomplished it. I’ve only released the lyrics on two records. One was Detonator, which I was really reluctant to do, and Smash. On Smash, I was really glad I put the lyrics on there, because there’s really a lot going on in that record lyrically… I have to have something really fun in there. This stuff is pretty interesting, to say the least you know.
All That Shreds: In terms of licensing with Frontiers are you just doing a one album deal or do you have commitments after that with them depending on how this does?
Stephen Pearcy: No, I believe there is an option yes. I’m sure we’ll do another solo record with them, yes. First I’ve got to get a Ratt record out.
All That Shreds: Is all of the legal stuff done between all parties involved with Ratt?
Stephen Pearcy: Yes, the dust has settled pretty much and it’s getting cemented, and yes, the thing with Ratt is look, we have the ability to say, look we don’t want to do anything for a year, or two, or three, it’s just pen’s right, so, that’s what happens. As we were doing that, Warren didn’t want to go out there without all of us, ‘the original.’ and someone just decided, well, I’m going out there and I’m going to do my own thing and I’m going to call it this. Well, unfortunately, that was a bad move, not only for our fans, but for business and the true integrity of the entity. So, hence this person created all these things going down. I don’t want to mention names, or bad rap or nothing, because justice is peace and things are done and taken care of…I say the dust has pretty much settled and we’re going out and doing our thing. Ratt’s first show is February 11th…then we headline M3, you know there’s a lot going on there, but it’s got to be done right. There’s a lot of this mess created, but one thing you can’t do, especially a person who didn’t write music, or anything, is try to change a course of history and its four member’s…that was the worst thing I thought possible…It’s not like the Hitler approach, where you tell the people the same thing enough [times], they’ll believe it, our audience isn’t that stupid. They’re very smart, they’ve been around for thirty years..You can fool some of the people some of the time, but not all of them. Hence, things took care of themselves pretty much and…we’re moving ahead. A lot more to go down, and like I said Warren and I have already started dabbling and writing, and we’ll see what happens. We’d like to get something out sometime this year, but we’ve still got a lot to accomplish and take it slow…and make sure it’s done right time…and hopefully, we can have another few years out there for everybody.
All That Shreds: ….Do you think there is any kind of reconciliation between you and Bobby Blotzer?
Stephen Pearcy: No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OK. No all I know is there is, Warren….myself,…Juan and Carlos…and we’ll figure out who’s on fifth, when we get there.
All That Shreds: Are you going to have your solo band with any of the same dates as Ratt or is that going to be a no-no?
Stephen Pearcy: No, they are two different entities. We plan on doing other stuff with Ratt, because we want to get out, and start hitting other parts of the planet. We’ll see, I mean I’ve been told about some great things that could be happening and tours…so, we’ll see. Nothing I can really say now…We’re taking it easy, starting carefully, you know one step at a time and take it from there.
All That Shreds: You know the promoter’s are going to be coming after you guy’s to put you on some festival’s with some big names I am sure because you’ve got pretty much the whole kit and kaboodle of Ratt out there…
Stephen Pearcy: Yes! It’s going down as we speak, yes!
All That Shreds: Your voice sounds great in the past, but you sound stronger than ever on this album and I can envision you singing with Ratt and Warren DiMartini. I’ve always had him in my articles as one of the top ten greatest guitarist’s of all time…Juan is phenomenal with his bass flipping, upside down and everything else,…that’s why I can imagine we’re going to see you guy’s doing something with some big band’s.
Stephen Pearcy: Yes, there’s some good stuff in the works. That’s about all I can say. We’re very excited first with Smash, and the dust has settled, or is settling here with Ratt, and we can put things back into perspective…The real entity is, the people who come out, and like what we do. It’s already 33 years old this month, 33 or 34. As long as we’re around. I think making the right moves is the only way to go about doing it. I don’t want to go out year after year after year, for the sake of doing it. It should be special you know and that’s what it’s going to be.
All That Shreds: Just out of curiosity do you think Detonator was a good album for you guys?
Stephen Pearcy: You know, you believe in every record you do..you know there’s some record’s like the Yellow record we did…after the fact, and it’s not one of my favorites, although, there are some moment’s, and that’s all you can do. It’s all timing, you know? It’s all everything has to be lined up in order to get that. With Detonator we weren’t in a good place…We had been on the road non-stop doing these arena tours for years, record after record and we were pretty crispy,…abused and…addicted.
We were a f–king mess, and so going into Detonator, Robbin wasn’t all there…so that was the beginning of, you know? I see the end right there, but we had a new beginning after that, probably blessed by him and people who still want to hear us..Detonator, to me,…was a good record. You can only do with what you’ve got when you’re given only four colored pencils and you’re told to create the universe. You’re given a black pencil and that’s all you’ve got well you’ve got to make do with it. That’s about it, you know. So we did what we could. I like the record. There are some great songs on there.
Read more at All That Shreds.