RATT drummer Bobby Blotzer says that he has the legal right to bring his version of RATT out on the road without any other original members because the band's guitarist, Warren DeMartini, breached his fiduciary duty by refusing to tour under the RATT name while he is a partner in the corporation that owns the rights to the RATT trademarks.
Blotzer announced on September 23 that he was taking control of the RATT name and was planning to hit the road with a new version of the group, which played shows earlier in the year under the name BOBBY BLOTZER'S RATT EXPERIENCE.
WBS, Inc., the company which owns the RATT brand, was originally formed by Blotzer, DeMartini and singer Stephen Pearcy. Pearcy lost his share of the name in court after splitting with the group in 2000. He returned to the band in 2006 but exited again last year. Blotzer has since expressed his desire to keep RATT alive with a new singer, but explained that DeMartini did not want to tour as RATT without Pearcy.
During an appearance on the September 28 edition of Eddie Trunk's SiriusXM satellite radio show, "Eddie Trunk Live", Blotzer stated about his decision to go out on the road as RATT: "I wanna tour. Me and Warren own 50/50 of the name. He does not wanna tour. The other [original members of RATT] guys aren't gonna tour [under that band name]. So it leaves me sitting here — the one guy who never quit, out of the whole band, and who's always been pushing the other guys to get back together. '97, [and] continued in 2000 when Stephen quit again, etc. [I'm the one who who tries to] keep things motivating… that's me all the time. And maybe not always in the best way. But my 50/50 partner doesn't wanna tour as a member, [and] he becomes a non-touring member, and that leaves me open to go out and bring the songs that people wanna hear on the road."
He went on to say: "If you have a company that you've been with for 34 years, and you and one other person own that company, and one guy doesn't wanna work and you do, what's…? You know what I mean? If I wanted to stay home and Warren wanted to go out, I'd be, like, 'Okay, just have the check here by Friday.' Because I will get dividends, and he will get dividends."
Blotzer added: "I wanna work. I wanna play our tunes. I've done a lot of outside projects. I get it; it's fun. But my body of music that I'm associated with and most accepted with is RATT."
Despite the fact that his version of RATT contains no other original members, Blotzer is confident that anyone who goes to one of the band's concerts will walk away impressed with what they saw.
"My band is so damn good, I'm telling you right now," Blotzer said. "The singer [is] amazing, Josh [Alan of SIN CITY SINNERS]. He's better than Pearcy was in his heyday."
He continued: "I'll tell you what: if [any RATT fans] were blind and they were at one of our gigs, it would be RATT [to them]. Because people wanna hear the music. Bottom line, this band brings integrity to RATT music, they play great, they perform great. There's no arguing… Oh my God, that is so amazing to be a part of a band that doesn't argue. And God bless my ex bandmates, but it was pretty intense trying to get rehearsals done and that kind of stuff."
According to Blotzer, he didn't originally set out to launch a new version of RATT, although the thought had crossed his mind in the past.
"I wanted to put a band together and go out as RATT, but I just never had the balls, or I was too lazy to go find the guys," he explained. "These guys came and got me. And we played. It was so good the first night; I was amazed. At soundcheck, we did four songs, I was immediately thinking I could play with these guys in RATT and pull it off, frankly."
BOBBY BLOTZER'S RATT EXPERIENCE has already played about eight shows so far, and the response to the band being rebranded as RATT has been very positive, according to Blotzer.
"We've got a lot of big shows booked, and the dough is really… pretty high, to be honest with you," he said.
Blotzer also spoke about Warren's apparent threat of legal action if the drummer continues to book shows under the RATT name.
"I can't really talk a lot about the specifics, because he's now [saying that he will try to stop me from using the name]… which is amazing to me," Bobby said. "He's really the one who prevented [the original band from] being together right now, by and large. Because in owning this name and this stock that he and I own 50/50… The other guys wanted 25 percent. I'm, like, 'I don't care. Whatever it takes.' Safety nets below. Everybody has safety and job stability and we all tour every year, like a normal job, normal people. He wouldn't give it up. So he's not willing to tour, and he's not willing to give up the stock in the name. So he puts us in a position where… I don't know. He's up in Candyland in the hills here."
Blotzer went on to speculate as to why DeMartini is so dead set against touring as RATT without the original lineup. He said: "My guess is, him and I both have pretty substantial hearing loss from so many years of doing this. I think that maybe his ears are bugging him a bit, and he's just not saying anything. That's just a guess, obviously. But I wanna take it out, and I have the right, by law, to do it."
He continued: "[Warren's] reasoning for not wanting to tour RATT was not giving [the other original members] the [rights to] the name, in case Stephen took the name and toured as RATT, and then we'd be back in court. So I'm saying to him on the phone… I'm, like, 'So he's not coming back and you would rather me not do that and are threatening to sue me, who you'll make money from if I go out and you don't go.' That makes a lot of sense. To who? Not me."
According to Blotzer, the recent disagreements between the members of the original RATT lineup have likely caused irreparable harm to their relationships.
"I'm gonna say something right here that I've never said, ever," he said. "I don't ever see RATT getting back together. There is just right now, at this point, four corners, and no one's leaving that corner. I'm leaving it, because the guy that chose not to go — the other member; there's two members of RATT: me and Warren, and Warren doesn't wanna tour. Legally, that left me allowed to go put a band together, go out, tour. He makes money. When the bills are all paid and the dust clears, here's your check, bud."
Blotzer also believes that there is another layer to Warren's motivation to try to keep the drummer from touring under the RATT name
"Let's just say, if you were to talk to anybody else in the band, or that's worked for the band, or in the band — any of the members, not just the originals — there's a lot of issues with control that came from his area of the world, and complete and utter… He wants to control this until his dying days," Blotzer explained. "Why would he not want me to go out…? If he doesn't wanna tour. We make great money residually. Everybody can stay home and not work; I mean, that's not a problem. I wanna get the fuck out of the house. I played enough golf. Mind you, five years we've been off. You can't do that legally. It's against corporate law in California. I don't know what everybody does outside this state, but you cannot be an officer an a shareholder and not work your company. It's called breach of fiduciary duty. That I know. And I'm surprised he's not knowing that."
Blotzer also addressed Warren's September 25 statement in which the guitarist said that he was "totally against" Blotzer's decision to use the RATT name for the drummer's "tribute band" and was taking steps "to prevent any further misuse" of the brand.
"I saw that thing that he put out on Blabbermouth, or wherever it came from — somebody sent it to me," Blotzer said. "[Warren wrote], like, 'I'm against this and [Blotzer] called to ask me if he could do this. And I said, 'Be BOB'S CELLAR.'' It's, like, I didn't call you to ask you anything. I called to ask him if he saw the video… I've asked him a hundred times in the last five years when the guys didn't wanna play, 'Do you wanna get a band together?' We had a very famous singer that wanted to join this band, and he wouldn't even have a part of it, or talk about it. He's, like, 'If it's the original band, I'm in.' Even though he knows Stephen's condition in the last few tours weren't very productive, to put it lightly. So why aren't you ready to switch gears and go? We did it for seven and a half years without the original guys — just him and I. So whatever his reasons are, I don't know. But him stopping me is a direct aggressive move to stop me from earning a living with my company — that's also his company too, but if he chooses to sit it out, that's his choice. But I'm bringing it to the fans. When people come to the gig, they are so excited, they love it. They have a great time."
According to Blotzer, he is currently unable to access the official RATT social media sites because they are being controlled by an "ex manager," making it difficult for the drummer to promote the band's upcoming shows properly.
"Here's another part of this spin that's driving me sleepless at times," Bobby said. "But that's another neck that's gonna be hanging. Because we've got Juan [Croucier, original RATT bassist] infringing on the trademark [by touring as RATT'S JUAN CROUCIER and using the RATT logo]. We have our ex-manager withholding my property and Warren's property, which are the codes to the web sites, the Twitter accounts, the Facebook, etc. Which are all [followed by], like, six, seven hundred thousand people… I don't know. I don't really generally pay attention; that's why I don't have the codes. 'Cause I don't generally care. And he's withholding that."
Blotzer's revamped RATT is rounded out by Josh Alan (SIN CITY SINNERS), Scotty Griffin (ex-L.A. GUNS), Doc Ellis (Jizzy Pearl's LOVE/HATE) and 22-year-old guitar hero Blaze.
Dates on the North American leg of the "Re-Invasion Tour" will begin in October and will include major swings through the Midwest, Southeast, South, Northeast and Canada. Stay tuned for more cities and dates being added each day.