Joe Matera of Ultimate-Guitar.com recently conducted an interview with guitarist Warren DeMartini of Californian rockers RATT. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Ultimate-Guitar.com: When it came to recording the new album "Infestation", you approached the recording process very differently to how the band approached the recording of all the previous RATT albums.
Warren DeMartini: Yeah, we wanted to do something that was off the beaten path on this record. We had recorded all our previous efforts in the past in our hometown of Los Angeles. So we really wanted to explore that thing of, you know... We are big fans of those bands that go and rent a mansion somewhere or go do something in an exotic place and then create something from that where that environment is part of the sound. When it came for us to begin tracking Infestation we went to the East Coast, over to Virginia. And it was a really good experience for all of us.
Ultimate-Guitar.com: What about the songwriting process, how did you approach that?
Warren DeMartini: Well, a couple songs were things that we had in the works back in 1999 but other than those two songs, everything was written last year with this album specifically in mind.
Ultimate-Guitar.com: What sort of band dynamic has the addition of Carlos Cavazo brought to the band and how does it differ from when the band had the late Robbin Crosby in the lineup?
Warren DeMartini: It is a similar thing, really, where with Robbin we had a situation where I would do a lead and Robbin would do a harmony lead to it and so we exploited that quite a bit back in the day. And now with Carlos we're basically able to do a similar thing too.
Ultimate-Guitar.com: With Carlos coming from QUIET RIOT, another major metal act from the '80s, it is kind of like having two major '80s bands together under the one moniker.
Warren DeMartini: Well, that is absolutely correct, and it is one of those things that is unique and does not necessarily always work out, but so far good. Knock on wood.
Ultimate-Guitar.com: It seems '80s bands are all experiencing a resurgence in recent years do you think its because people are tiring of the music that's being spoonfed to them by the media and really want a return of bands with good songs and great guitar solos?
Warren DeMartini: I think it is a combination of what you said as well as it is also about getting beyond the trash campaign of bands like us that went along with grunge.
Ultimate-Guitar.com: Back the new album, what did producer Michael "Elvis" Baskette bring to the recording process?
Warren DeMartini: He brought the absolute best of both worlds. I mean, in the sense of coming from an analog world, for those of us that were from the time of recording things on analog two-inch tape, and also he was about utilizing and knowing about the technology of today. So he was the perfect producer to work with to bridge those two mediums number one. And number two, he was able to zoom out and look at the work as a whole and was able to critique a change that could make all the difference the end result sometimes.
Ultimate-Guitar.com: Does it get any easier making records after all these years?
Warren DeMartini: I think it is easier to get that sound you want. When we first started out, it was a challenge to describe to the engineer and the people in the studio, how to get the sound I was hearing in my head. But that got a little better as time went on every time we worked in the studio. So in that sense, it has definitely got easier. And also, today we all know how to pace ourselves a little better. So to answer your question, yes it definitely does get better as you get on.
Ultimate-Guitar.com: Juan Croucier [former RATT bassist] has declined to participate in this current line-up of RATT and has legally tried to stop the band from going out as RATT.
Warren DeMartini: When Stephen rejoined RATT in 1997, we spent a lot of time and energy in meetings and conference calls and all that stuff to have it so that all the surviving members of RATT could go out together. And we spent a few months just trying to create a platform so that we could move forward on from there. But the thing that we really got stuck on was that Juan wanted a situation where if anyone decided that they didn't want to play in RATT anymore, then RATT would not be and we'd stop at that point. And that was something that the three of us, we wanted the choice of whether to continue on or not. But he felt strongly about that and we respected that so there was no hard feelings when he decided he didn't want to be a part of.
Read the entire interview from Ultimate-Guitar.com.