Blasting-Zone.com recently conducted an in-depth interview with RATT drummer Bobby Blotzer. Several excerpts follow:
Blasting-Zone.com: How has the tour (with POISON and VAINS OF JENNA) gone thus far? Have the audience reactions been as positive as you'd hoped?
Bobby Blotzer: "The tour has been amazing. It's a gift from God, in my opinion. It's a blessing to play in front of fourteen thousand people every day. It's been amazing. The band is rejuvenated. (RATT frontman) Stephen Pearcy is kicking ass like he did back in '83 and '84. It's been fun. I think everybody's been blown away… Everyone's been seein' us for the last six years with (former LOVE/HATE frontman) Jizzy Pearl, now Stephen's back and it's RATT again, ya know? We're supposedly goin' to Europe and Japan in October and November. Japan is very supportive. We haven't done Europe since 1990. They're a different kind of crowd, but I think they'll dig it a lot, ya know? We'll just do over there what we do over here. There's no denying that it's a tight set that people will get off on. We sound excellent."
Blasting-Zone.com: What was the main motivation behind the group ultimately deciding to reunite with Stephen?
Bobby: "Honestly, there were two things. This is a business; this is our job and what we do for a living, so we knew it would be better for business for (guitarist) Warren (DeMartini) and I because we ended up with the name. In my gut, I felt that the circle had to be filled again, ya know? We had won the court case and all that junk with Stephen and was just time, ya know? Time to get the original band back together. We tried really hard with (former bassist) Juan (Croucier)'s involvement, but he was absolutely unrealistic and demanding and we couldn't meet his demands. So we got the three of us, kept (former VINCE NEIL bassist) Robbie Crane, who has been with us longer than Juan was in RATT and (former MÖTLEY CRÜE vocalist) John Corabi, who is in his seventh year with RATT. It's a really tight band and the songs are performed as close to the records as we can get 'em, ya know? We're havin' a great time."
Blasting-Zone.com: What was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back in regards to Juan not participating in the reunion?
Bobby: "There were just so many things he was sayin' that were asinine, ya know? For example, he would say, 'If anyone ever leaves the band, fired or quite at any time, the band is over…that's it.' I think this guy just has so much resentment towards us over the last time. He wanted over six figures from us, which was not agreeable to me at all. What if he plays in the band for a month and a half and says, 'Fuck it, I'm not playin' anymore?' That means I can't go work with RATT… a band that I've been in for over twenty five years? That's not fair. That's how I make my living, ya know? I own a recording studio that's doin' alright, but RATT is what butters my bread, so to say, so I was not up for that at all. There were a bunch of other things as well. Juan is very hard to work with. I'm glad he didn't do it because I think it would have come off the tracks anyway. That was my prediction. I was tellin' everyone, 'He's acting like this now and we haven't even set foot in a rehearsal room?' I would have appreciated his musical input and all that, but I just wasn't looking forward to the arguments and the fights."
Blasting-Zone.com: In hindsight, how would you describe the group's Jizzy Pearl era? Do you agree with the detractors that argued he was a less than obvious choice?
Bobby: "Jizzy was easy to work with and I like Jizzy. He was a team player and he gave a lot, but for me, he was a singer of convenience, ya know? Looking back, I wish we would have gotten someone that really matched Stephen's voice. I think we would have had more success if we had done it that way. We auditioned a lot of people and it was a real drag doin' it. Jizzy was a friend of ours… he was ready to roll. He wanted the gig and we knew him. After a while, I just started to feel that his voice didn't fit the tunes. It was never anything on a personal level, but I always wanted to change a get a singer that was closer to Stephen. When I look at the bands that were really successful at replacing their singer, the singer they replaced him with matched exactly. I appreciated his involvement and the time that he spent in the band and I wish him all the best. He's probably not too happy that it happened, but he understands it's all business. Business is business."
Blasting-Zone.com: All things considered, what is your least favorite aspect of touring? I would imagine after this many years, it's got to be a bit of a drag...
Bobby: "Being on one. It's just hard, ya know? The payoff is the hour and a half on stage and we don't even have that with the POISON tour. The payoff is playin' in front of ten, thirteen or fourteen thousand people a night. Obviously making the money that we're making is great. It's fun on stage with me. There's a lot of downtime out here where I'm really bored, ya know? Being away from my family and my dog, not being able to golf like I do. Nobody on this tour golfs, so that's kind of a drag. The way I work is I go down to the gig an hour before we play and I stretch out, warm up with sticks and some loud music and just try to get my adrenaline pumping, ya know? I don't like to stick around the gig all day and hang out or anything like that. It's not my thing, ya know? When I'm on stage, I have a great time watching people have a great time. Afterwards, I hang out and visit with people and then it's off to the next town so we can do the same thing. It's kinda like (the Bill Murray film) 'Groundhog Day', ya know? But I thank God every night that I'm still able to do this, so…"
Read the entire interview at Blasting-Zone.com.