After a five-year battle over trademark issues, doing everything he could to appease and re-assemble the band, RATT drummer Bobby Blotzer, the CEO of WBS, Inc. — RATT's touring entity and the sole and exclusive owner of the RATT trademarks — has taken control of the RATT brand and is taking his new version of the group back on the road, bringing fans the songs they love and shows they've missed... continuing to build upon RATT's legendary legacy.
Blotzer's revamped RATT, which played shows earlier in the year under the name BOBBY BLOTZER'S RATT EXPERIENCE, is rounded out by Josh Alan (SIN CITY SINNERS), Scotty Griffin (ex-L.A. GUNS), Doc Ellis (Jizzy Pearl's LOVE/HATE) and 22-year-old guitar hero Blaze.
Dates on the North American leg of the "Re-Invasion Tour" will begin in October and will include major swings through the Midwest, Southeast, South, Northeast and Canada. Stay tuned for more cities and dates being added each day.
Blotzer recently said that he decided to go out on the road and perform RATT's hits with the RATT EXPERIENCE after a disagreement over the ownership of the RATT name made it impossible for the original members of the group to work together.
During an appearance on the April 6 edition of Eddie Trunk's SiriusXM satellite radio show, "Eddie Trunk Live", Blotzer stated about RATT's split with singer Stephen Pearcy: "The problem that lies in RATT really is not just our lead singer. It's the fact that him and the bass player, Mr. Juan Croucier, they wanna own part of [the RATT] name. So, to me, it's just like going round and round… I'm not trying to pun on that, but it's just insane that we're still at this point now that we're five years [after the release of the 'Infestation' album]… We went out in 2013 and did about thirty dates… They were all huge… Festivals that we headlined, festivals that we opened for VAN HALEN, AEROSMITH, GUNS N' ROSES, etc. And then headlined arenas and that kind of thing."
Blotzer also talked about the dispute over the ownership of the RATT name which has caused a rift between the founding members of the band.
"Warren [DeMartini, guitar] and I… The reality of it is a corporation that we own owns [the RATT] name. WBS Inc., which we started out — Warren, Bobby and Stephen," he said. "That was WBS Inc. We did all the business for RATT through the corp… That was before [Stephen] sued us in 2000. In 2000, he left the band three days before the third leg of a tour. In doing that and then suing us as went out as RATT with a new singer [he ended up losing control over the RATT name]. He said, 'You know what?! I'm out. Go get a new singer.' And we did everything accordingly to corporate standards and corporate law. He lost the name in federal court. And I know he's out there slandering Warren and I, trying to suggest that we did something shady to get the name. I read that, and I'm, like, does this guy really not understand that he was in federal court for three weeks when he lost any ownership or ties to the name? But the bottom line is, the corporation that Warren and I own, that's who governs that name, so technically, him and I own the name."
According to Blotzer, he was willing to give up the rights to the RATT name in order to get the band back out on the road, but DeMartini was less willing to budge.
"I actually offered my name up. 'Take my ownership in this name. I don't care," Blotzer said. "I just wanna rock. I wanna work. I wanna play.'"
He continued: "The truth is really I've been trying very hard with the likes of Stephen… You know, I'm talking to these guys indivudally and nobody… It's just like a stalemate that nobody will bend on except me. And I'm not trying to slap myself on the back, but it's… It's kind of a scenario where I wanna play and I don't wanna go put some new original band together and go out where nobody knows who it is."
Blotzer added: "Warren has made it impossible to work, because he won't tour with a new singer. Let's just say, his position is he wants the original band to be the RATT out there. And I get it; I do too. You know?! But it's, like, well, dude, if they're not coming, then let's move ahead here. I wanna play. We can play big gigs, we can earn well, financially, with another singer. But I think he's playing this waiting game. He's waiting for Stephen and Juan to cave. I don't know… It's at a five-year standstill. And I'm, like, Pearcy's 58, I'm 56, Warren's four years younger than me, Croucier is a year and a half younger… Whatever. You know, it's, like, I don't wanna fuck around anymore. I wanna go and play for the fans, go and play for my family and my own just fun of working and earning the way I do with RATT.
"I think it's just not cool that these two guys… Well, actually, it's three, because Juan has cornered Stephen into this brainwashing thing that: 'Don't do it, dude. Don't do it. I know what's going on with this.'
"And if anybody thinks I'm out here spilling dirty laundry, I'm sorry you feel that way, but it you were in my shoes, maybe you'd feel a little different, 'cause it's kind of frustrating to have this much time and success and not be able to ride it out for the last lap, so to say, which Stephen always says. We're ten to twelve on the RATT clock here. Let's play the last ten years, or whatever we have."
Regarding his decision to go out with the RATT EXPERIENCE, Blotzer said: "You know, I thought about it across the board, and I just came to the reality that I am in RATT, I've been in RATT for 33 years, and that's who I am, and people would really, probably rather come and see me play RATT music. I wrote it with them — we all wrote it together… Depending on who you talk to, but the reality is we all wrote that music together, from bare riffs and built it on up."
He continued: "What I'm doing is playing our music, A, [and] B, playing stuff that these guys won't [play]. I don't mean that mean or anything, but the guys in the band were so closed-minded to playing so much of the great material that's between track 1 and 10. We've always done just the video songs, primarily. And trying to get Warren and Stephen to do this stuff has been monumentally hard. And when we would do it… Like playing the song 'Closer To My Heart', people love it. If Warren or Stephen thinks that the audience isn't responding to their Richter scale of sound and movement, then it's out. And it would just be usually about three days into a tour. So here I am with my vote, which is shot down the crapper. "
Blotzer added: "Everybody that's RATT fans out there, you all know that there are so many great tunes that we have that are not even really B-sides; they're just songs that are on the record that kick ass. And there are so many that I wanna play, and that's what… My idea's to go out and play those. Of course, play the obligatory songs that you have to play… And I don't mind playing them. I love 'em all. On the ones that are shorter sets, like if we get put on a festival and we have forty minutes or forty-five minutes. I wanna do… The fact that [RATT] missed going out for the thirty-year anniversary for 'Out Of The Cellar', and not doing that really bothered me. So here we are now on the thirty-year anniversary this year of when 'Invasion Of Your Privacy' came out and that tour, and I wanna go out and play that record from beginning to end. And if we have more time on headlining shows, then we're gonna frontload it and backload it… I don't wanna really give the ideas away, but that will be played in its entirety no matter what our time thing is."
Asked how he felt about the fact that Blotzer assembled the RATT EXPERIENCE band which performed not only the RATT hits, but also several deep album cuts, including many songs that have never been played live, Pearcy told "The Classic Metal Show": "The remaining members really don't understand… You know, anybody can go out and play RATT music in cover bands or however they [wish], but if you're out there taking advantage of…. You know, 'I'm doing a tribute to this guy in the band who's no longer with us.' Or, 'I'm gonna do this…,' you know. And then we hear an ad [for the RATT EXPERIENCE] and they're playing just RATT music with my voice. You know, it's like… Well, you can't do that either. So, in a nutshell, it's not cool. But the guy, he can make a living — that's not a problem — but don't take advantage of the situation and mislead people and be out there saying fictitious things. And other than that, it doesn't bother me. I still get paid."