Ex-RATT Frontman STEPHEN PEARCY: 'You Have To Be A Little Egotistical To Be In Music'

Jeff Kerby of KNAC.COM recently conducted an interview with former RATT frontman Stephen Pearcy. An excerpt from the chat follows:

KNAC.COM: How much different is it to play smaller gigs though once you've seen the top of the mountain though? Was there some kind of Zen moment of clarity that you had, or what is it that allows you to have this perspective where you don‘t harbor a lot of negativity?

Pearcy: "You learn inevitably that you either stay in this or you don't — some people were never intended for this business. For me, I just see it as something that doesn't consume me the way it used to because I have accomplished things I never thought I would. So right there, once I got my first gold or platinum record, I thought, 'I've made it.' I didn't know it would go on for so many years or that I would enjoy it like I did either. That isn't to say it wasn't treacherous or dangerous at times either because it was."

KNAC.COM: So basically age and attaining your goals kind of allowed you the opportunity to see the situation as it is without all the baggage of ambition sort of altering your perspective?

Pearcy: "Yeah, some people just have to hang on to that because they need the adulation though. They just need some of that — some of them actually even got into it for that. I can't point fingers — you have to be a little egotistical to be in music in the first place to get on stage and do your thing."

KNAC.COM: For a front man that factor doubles or triple, right?

Pearcy: "For me, I've always had this thing where I don't think it was a cocky thing, but I'm not gonna be bothered if you hate me or like me because I'm just doing what I do. It worked. (laughs) I've learned to just take it as it comes without being depressed or uptight. You also have to keep your shit together too. It doesn't help when you're a mess. I've had to change my lifestyle quite a bit to be a healthier person or a family person. Don't get me wrong — I'm the same guy — I didn't just put the costume on and pretend. No, that was twenty-four hours a day that we lived."

KNAC.COM: I asked Jack Russell something similar to this recently, and I'm not trying to be funny, but when you meet an elderly person, they tend to be one of two extremes. It seems like they are either really bitter as hell or they have like a joyful type of calm about them. It really seems that when dealing with guys who have been involved with metal, they invariable appear to be exactly the same way. What do you think the biggest factor is that separates the two? How can two careers appear to be almost identical yet one person is at peace while the other still curses NIRVANA?

Pearcy: "That's a good question. Mice and men, my friend. That's just it. You roll with the punches. Just because you won a battle or two doesn't mean you're going to win the war. Here it is — I always took the business seriously. The truth is that we were always able to function in whatever our states were most of the time. It wasn't like we got into the business to party. We were already into it. The parties were just going to get bigger and more. We weren't thinking we were going to prove we were the biggest or most baddass band. It was just like we do this, and we dig music, so here we go. I can accept the ups and downs and arounds and rounds. Some people, like you say, they take it too seriously."

KNAC.COM: Yeah, and it continues to follow them through the rest of their lives. It is almost like this sense of entitlement where they go, "I did this, therefore, I deserve to be treated like the ultimate rock star forever. The world owes me something."

Pearcy: Nobody owes anybody anything. You're entertainment, man. You're bought — you just can't take this seriously. Any band I deal with now on my label independently we give them as much time as they need. It's done when it's done when it's done. When you like it and you get off on it, just do what you do. There is no more nurturing or development most of the time in this business--the turnover is just so fast. Then again, I've got to say that some of the people who never saw the level of success that some of the others may have had should just be happy that they are seeing some recognition now because any accomplishment that lasts this long is a big deal. It was a great period. People want that music and they are going to get it one way or another. It's the smart people who are taking advantage of that demand. You and I are going to be older dudes and are still gonna dig ZEPPELIN, PRIEST and the STONES. That ain't gonna change."

Read the entire interview at KNAC.COM.


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