Jake E. Lee has once again shot down a rumor that he was approached to play with RATT earlier this year as the replacement for Warren DeMartini.
Lee actually began his career as a member of singer Stephen Pearcy's MICKEY RATT, which became better known as RATT after a name change in the early '80s.
This past March, drummer Bobby Blotzer took to his RATT Facebook page to slam his former bandmates and to reveal that "someone" in their camp told him that "Juan [Croucier, bass] and Stephen are hiring, or trying to hire, Jake E. Lee" as Warren's replacement in RATT. He added: "Jake trying to play RATT solos, I don't see it."
During a recent interview with SiriusXM's Eddie Trunk, Jake said that " there was never any truth" that he was invited to rejoin RATT. "I don't know where that came from, although it certainly perked my ears up," he said. "Trying to be outside of myself, that did sound like an interesting prospect for me to come back to RATT after — what? — 35 years or something like that. But, no, it wouldn't work. It wouldn't be RATT with me in it. It needs to have Warren."
Lee said that he actually recommended DeMartini for the RATT gig once he decided to leave the group back in 1981.
"[Warren and I] met in San Diego when I was in a local band called TEASER," Jake said. "We were kind of the big band in San Diego. We played to, I'm thinking, five hundred people every weekend. And I noticed there was this one kid right in front always just staring at me when I played. And I introduced myself to him. It was Warren. He was — I don't know — 15, 16 at the time. And he just wanted to get together and jam, and we did. And we became really good friends after that. When I decided to get out of RATT, he was the guy… I told 'em, 'Look, there's a kid in San Diego, Warren DeMartini. He's an awesome player. You guys need to check it out.' And I offered Warren a couch to sleep on. And we were roommates for a couple of months. I'd show him the RATT songs. Those were good days. Me and Warren staying up all night. He's a night guy too, and we'd stay up until the sun came up and just play."
According to Jake, he has remained friends with Warren for nearly four decades, although they rarely discuss RATT's current legal woes and internal problems. "I have talked to Warren, and he doesn't really like to talk about the whole RATT thing," he said. "He's still in court — he's still dealing with Bobby Blotzer's fallout. And when I have brought it up, he just [said], 'Jake, I don't wanna talk about that.' And it's a shame. 'Cause, to me, Warren is RATT. Pearcy is RATT also. I don't think it's RATT without either one of 'em. And, like everybody else, I wish they could just patch things up and go out and tour as RATT."
Jake went on to say that he doesn't understand why the surviving members of the classic RATT lineup can't just resolve their issues and resume playing together. "It's very sad," he said. "And it's all about the music — for me. And I just feel like you can distracted with money. I would love for them to just be RATT again. And I think they worked great with Carlos [Cavazo, former QUIET RIOT guitarist]. Carlos is the best replacement for Robbin [Crosby], and that version of the band, I think, is awesome. I really wish they could work their differences out. In the end, it's about the music, and I think they've just strayed from that."
Starting in late 2015, Blotzer played a number of shows under the name RATT with a lineup in which he was the sole member from the band's '80s heyday. He pitted himself against Pearcy, DeMartini and Croucier, who reunited in October 2016 for a surprise performance on a Monsters Of Rock cruise played a number of shows as RATT in 2017.
Pearcy and Croucier are the sole remaining original members in RATT's current lineup, which made its live debut in July. Joining them in the band are drummer Pete Holmes (BLACK 'N BLUE, RATT'S JUAN CROUCIER) and guitarists Jordan Ziff (RAZER) and Chris Sanders (BRITNY FOX, KNIGHT FURY).
Jake is promoting his band RED DRAGON CARTEL's second release "Patina", which was released on November 9 via Frontiers Music Srl.
Photo credit: Joseph Gorelick