RATT drummer Bobby Blotzer was interviewed on the August 22 edition of the SiriusXM satellite radio show "Eddie Trunk Live". A few excerpts from the chat follow below (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On continuing to tour as RATT without any other members of the band's classic lineup:
Bobby: "I'm very proud of the band and the success of the band and the whole thing, 'cause, trust me, in doing this out of absolute frustration and anger, because I was the only person, and have been so many times in RATT, trying to rally the band. You can't take five years off, especially when you're Stephen Pearcy's [former RATT singer] age, and my age. He's the older one… He's only a year and a half older than me, but I'm just saying. Next month I'll be 58, and I'm conveying this to these guys: 'What do we got here?' Seriously. Fifteen years? You see a lot of guys touring into their later years this day and age, but not with the aggressive style of music that RATT plays.
"I'm ready to keep going. I'm playing really good. I think I'm playing the best I've ever played, frankly. We work hard at this, and everybody's real dedicated. So I'm just so happy to be out there playing the catalog, and bringing Ratt N' Roll out there; [the fans] still want it. And they don't really… I hate to say this… They wanna hear it done with great integrity, conviction, performance, show… everything. They just wanna hear the music and have it sound like the records. And I've seen other bands that have one, two, three [original members]… whatever, they go out and I look around and I'm, like, 'Wow, [the fans are] fucking loving it,' and they don't really care if Joe Smith is on bass, or whatever."
On the criticism he has received for touring without any other members of the classic RATT lineup:
Bobby: "I don't go on the Internet and I don't read all these freaky… I'm not gonna read that junk, because you know what? Every night, when I walk on a stage, and there's five thousand, six thousand… We're playing big gigs, man. There's some smaller ones in there, but they're fifteen-hundred seaters, or whatever, but you've gotta keep working and keep spreading the good word. I walk out and see those faces and feel that love and give that love. It's, like, it all fades… all the negativity. I don't listen to it. I don't care. Fuck you, guys. You don't like it? Fuck off.
"Not everybody is on MetalShit.com and BlabberFace.net. Who cares? There's such a small amount of people, really, that do that. Because [we're playing to] people [who] have no idea about [the drama that is reported on] those sites."
On why his version of RATT has already undergone so many lineup changes in the past year:
Bobby: "[It's] hard to say. I think it started way back when we first came from [Las] Vegas with those guys, and we had this very unsavory guy that kind of corralled them, in my opinion… Some of these guys are really young; the lead guitarist was really young and impressionable. And there was colluding going on, a lot of colluding, and there was a lot of politicking. And I don't wanna name any names, but there was things of that nature going on. But we've never had a fight in this band, we never have ever had an argument; we don't even disagree. So for me to find out, while we had a four-show run that started out in Louisville, then Cincinnati, then Wabash, Indiana, and then finishing the week in Detroit, I find out after the Cincinnati show that the lead guitar player is quitting; he's joining a country band and he's just out. And I'm, like, 'Ooookay.' And in the next week coming up, obviously, there [were] some giant shows…. I had to scramble, with a two-day notice, to either get somebody — which I didn't know who it was gonna be… I was pretty freaked out that out of the blue this guy is just quitting without telling me. And we finished the shows and subsequently got Stacey [Blades]. He learned the set, an eighteen-song set, in two days, and came out in front of 35,000 and ripped it up. And we had Todd Kerns, who was filling in for Robbie Crane. And we knew that Todd was only out there for those specific shows. One of the guys in the band said from the get-go he doesn't wanna be on the road, even though he was having a great time. Even though I have texts from these guys saying, 'Thank you for bringing me aboard here,' and these are recent texts. And I respect a couple of these guys at this point. And when they're thanking me, I'm, like, 'Thank you for playing up there. You have helped build this thing, like we're building it right now. You're doing your job.' But the lead player split after Detroit. Stacey came in and did the gigs, like I said, and right now… I had so much e-mails and phone calls from guitar players and singers and bass players, it was insane. I'm, like, 'Fuck! How am I gonna get through all this?' So I just started thinking about personal friends. Mitch Perry and I go way back. Him and Sean McNabb and I had a band with Ralph from STEEL PANTHER back around '90, '92, something like that. So I called Mitch — great guitarist — and I said, 'Here's the deal.' And he's, like, 'Great! I'm in.' And then we were thinking, 'Okay. Bass player. Who? This person, that person.' And he came up with Brad Lang [ex-Y&T], who's a friend of his, and I had jammed with Brad at New Year's Eve in San Francisco for Phil Kennemore's memorial show that they did up there. And he's a great player and a great guy, he's got stage presence. And you know what? These guys are seasoned pros. I'll miss one of the guys that were in this band, but, you know, the knives that were just thrown into my back, dude, I'm just never gonna get over; they're never gonna stop bleeding. And it's been really hard these last two, three weeks."
On the legal battle that is playing out between him and Warren DeMartini over the rights to the RATT name, with the guitarist filing a lawsuit last fall claiming that the drummer was falsely advertising his "tribute band" as the real thing:
Bobby: "He's not moving forward, he's moving backwards , and it's gonna be a year and a half soon [since he filed his lawsuit], and this thing [the court case] ain't gonna see the light of day — if it makes it to the light of day — 'till, I don't know… '18 or something stupid. I'm not a litigious kind of guy. I'm not looking for fucking lawsuits; I hate it. I hate it. RATT has been embroiled and tangled… Since 'Out Of The Cellar' came out, we always were being sued, and we were always paying fortunes to fight things and settle things instead of paying the lawyers…
"I was willing to give up my ownership of the name. I wanted to give them [Pearcy and Croucier] their portion of the name that they wanted, that Warren didn't wanna give. He didn't wanna give it, but he didn't wanna play unless it was the original band. Basically, he was just putting us in fucking no man's land. We're not moving; him and I own a hundred percent of nothing; these guys are on strike, so the band will sit, sit, sit. And in that time, we age, age, age. And I just had to make a move, man. And it was a big one. And it's doing great."
"Warren has been breaching fiduciary duty for years. Him and I, as members of the band and just officers of the [corporation], we have to perpetuate business for that corporation; that is our duty. I have been doing that all along. I've always been pushing RATT: 'Let's go. Let's work. Let's work.' I mean, that's what I wanna do. I'm a businessman and an artist/musician. I wanna play and earn for my family. It's real simple."
"[Warren] is suing me. But the funny thing is that, while he's doing that, he's calling our business manager, going, 'Am I getting a check?' It's, like, 'No. Drop the frivolous lawsuit and then yes.' But maybe not then, because I haven't had my chance at him yet. I won't get into that portion of it. But this thing has gone on and on. It's not gonna see the court now until next spring, and then from there on, probably 'till '18, if it doesn't get thrown out [before then]. It has no merit. It's a frivolous bullshit lawsuit and I don't know why he's perpetuating it, other than maybe the head of the household, his wife, is pulling the strings. I don't know. I wish he'd cool it. 'Come out and play some shows, Warren. [Laughs]"
On his legal battle with former RATT bassist Juan Croucier:
Bobby: "The problem with the others that got involved, like with Juan using the RATT logo [for his new band RATT'S JUAN CROUCIER]. Well, it turns out that Warren gave him the right to do that. He can't do that. I mean, that's a big thing for this case for him. I'm surprised that he actually did that, 'cause that's just unbelievable. 'Cause Juan Croucier, I said, 'Please take that down. Take the logo down. Don't get into this mess.
"He's escalated now on his third attorney. He's trying to suggest now, as a last-ditch effort, that he didn't know WBS, since 1987, was the corporation in which RATT did their business, because he didn't wanna go out on tour, so he was expelled from the [corporation]. We closed the old [corporation], and opened WBS. We did it to the letter of the law, with a legal team advising us. So at this point now, he's trying to allege — and it's just absolute lies — to the court, and they see this, that he never knew that WBS was an actuality of the company, even though he accepted certified letters years and years ago — back to '97, '98. He said he never knew about it 'till about a year ago. Well, he admitted under oath that he did know about it in 2001. I mean, this kind of craziness is going on, and I'm just sitting there watching it, going, 'Oh my God! This is unbelievable.'
"I went after [Juan] to stop [him from] using the RATT logo. He doesn't own it; Warren and I own it. He [has since] augmented it. He had the RATT logo. It said RATT with the logo and then a little 'S' at the end: RATT'S JUAN CROUCIER. For him to be doing this, I can't understand the recklessness in it, because he stands to really… The judgment that could come down could be very, very serious to him and for us at WBS, Inc. So the fact that Warren gave him — and Juan, he said this under oath, under the penalty of perjury, and he's got the e-mail — that Warren gave him the right to use the RATT logo."
On his current relationship with Stephen Pearcy:
Bobby: "Well, Pearcy, I've been talking to him over the last year or so. I called him and we had minor texting or e-mailing or whatever going on, and I said, 'Smart move, man, to keep your nose out of this mess.' He knows all along who the culprit of this has been — it's been Warren, who's stopped everybody from working 'till he gets his way. Then all of a sudden, the dynamic changed and Juan's not gonna play and he got Stephen to not play unless they get the name. I'm open to giving the name. Who gives a shit about the name? As long as everybody gets what we get… I want everybody to get for life… Even if you can't play, you broke your back... whatever. But you've gotta put your time in and not do two tours and then quit and think you're gonna walk out owning the name. That's the position I came from. Give seven years of solid touring with no fuckups and you get what you want, and we all get what we want, which is to play together."
On the recent photo that surfaced of Pearcy, Croucier and DeMartini at a Los Angeles birthday party, fueling speculation that they could form their own version of RATT to rival Blotzer's:
Bobby: "Well, it's absurd. It ain't gonna happen. Warren can't do that. If Warren was to join up in that thing, he would be in competition with his own band and corporation — RATT, WBS… RATT. He would be kicked out on his rear end so quick… They'd have to call it something else; they couldn't call it anything but something else."
On the lawsuit he filed against Stephen Pearcy in May 2016 alleging that Pearcy was using the RATT logo to promote a performance at a festival in Utah, which Blotzer's RATT was originally supposed to play:
Bobby: "I was forced, and I didn't wanna do this, really… I asked him to stay out of it. And he was doing shows a lot and had the RATT logo. And we got sent this stuff. And my lawyer was seeing it. And he's, like, 'Listen, what do you wanna do about this?' And I'm, like, 'I don't wanna fucking bring him in.' But his agent, they stole a gig from us, which is how Stephen lost his position in WBS and lost the lawsuit in 2002 with Warren and I. It's called unfair competition. His agency — I won't name them — [found out] about this gig we had in Utah and went to the promoter and said, 'Take the singer. We handle the singer. We'll play for half the money.' And we got all the transmissions from them. I mean, it's so bad for both of them, I can't even… Oh my God, dude! It's done. They're so done, I don't even know what to say about it. But I'm not looking for vengeance on him, you know what I mean? I'm not. I don't want to do this. This is what I have to do as a fiduciary duty, as an officer and a shareholder in the corporation. Kind of like what Warren has to do that [he] wouldn't do. And there's a ticker tape a mile long of those things. So now Stephen's in, and his guy, his agent. And we have all the e-mails of them doing that. You can't do that. It's against the law to do that. [Pearcy and his band] played [the show] for less than half of what we were getting. We were getting a lot of money on that show… The problem is it ultimately lies in his hands. It's his company and it's his… He's the final fall guy on that, as is now with his agency doing this unfair competition thing and stealing this show. This is bad news for them. I don't think they're gonna survive this. The court just turned them down. They were trying to go and have a hearing with a judge to get it dismissed. And the judge didn't even let the hearing happen. He just sent a thing out and said, 'No.' [Laughs]"
Happy B Day Lonn, good seeing ya last night. Great bash. pic.twitter.com/bb8xc3ZVag— STEPHEN PEARCY (@StephenEPearcy) July 30, 2016