Drummer Bobby Blotzer has once again said that his former bandmates cannot play any shows under the RATT name without him, but has insisted that his version of the band "still has the right to tour" as RATT until a court dispute involving the parties is resolved.
Despite the fact that a California judge decided that the corporation WBS, Inc. — of which Blotzer and guitarist Warren DeMartini were thought to be the sole shareholders — did not have ownership interest in the RATT marks and that the name and brand was still owned by the members who were part of the original RATT partnership agreement, the drummer says that there has been "no final judgment" in the case, clearing the way for him to continue playing concerts as RATT. The judge's decision was part of a ruling against Blotzer with respect to whether bassist Juan Croucier had committed trademark infringement by using the RATT name and logo to advertise his band RATT'S JUAN CROUCIER back in the fall 2015.
Calling Croucier "the biggest liar I've known" and "a fat bug on the windshield that looks like Danny DeVito with a headband on," Blotzer disagreed with the judge's assertion that the bassist was illegally expelled from the business partnership controlling RATT's trademarks and claimed that he is legally free to play dates with his own version of the group, with six shows booked for 2017 so far.
With another hearing scheduled for later in the month, Blotzer attributed his former bandmates' sudden willingness to tour and record new music to what he claims has been an overwhelmingly positive response to the shows he has performed with his version of RATT, which currently includes singer Josh Alan alongside guitarists Mitch Perry (TALAS, HEAVEN, STEELER, MSG, LITA FORD) and Stacey Blades (L.A. GUNS) and bassist Brad Lang (Y&T).
"For five years I tried to rally these guys together, and NOW they're good to go on tour?" he wrote in a lengthy, rambling Facebook post. "I simply wanted to tour. They didn't. They didn't speak to each other 'till they saw the huge success we had this past year. We did 70 or so shows, and grossed more money on this tour than any tour RATT has done in 20 years past. I tried to keep the originals and the rest together. This isn't my undoing."
The drummer also made it clear that he is still legally permitted to tour under the RATT name, writing: "Until the court gives a FINAL judgment, everything stays status quo, i.e. WBS maintains ownership of the trademark RATT and still has the right to tour until this is resolved. This is why you have seen RATT out there on tour with me and the guys kicking ass all over after the summary judgment ruling."
Regarding the fact that a concert by his version of RATT was canceled at the end of last month just hours before showtime after a Michigan venue received a cease-and-desist letter from the drummer's former bandmates, Blotzer said: "[DeMartini, Croucier and singer Stepehen Pearcy] don't have a legal right or a court injunction to prevent RATT/us from touring or playing shows. However, anyone can send a cease-and-desist letter to anyone. As they did to the venue of our sold-out show on December 29th, putting enough fear and intimidation out that the venue stated, 'You can play if you don't fly the marks.' (Logo backdrop — like playing as a nameless band) Mind you, this took place 20 minutes before I was boarding my last (of three) flights on my way to venue. My response: 'F*ck that! No way!'"
The other RATT's current lineup includes Pearcy, DeMartini and Croucier alongside former QUIET RIOT guitarist Carlos Cavazo, who played on RATT's last studio album, 2010's "Infestation".
The Pearcy-fronted version of RATT will embark on the "Back For More" tour later this year, with the first confirmed date being the previously announced appearance at the M3 Rock Festival, set to take place on Friday, April 28 and Saturday, April 29 at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland.