Former L.A. GUNS guitarist Stacey Blades says that it was "a wonderful experience" playing with Bobby Blotzer's version of RATT.
Starting in late 2015, Blotzer spent about a year and a half playing shows under the name RATT with a lineup in which he was the sole member from the band's '80s heyday. The drummer's efforts were met with legal challenges by founding singer Stephen Pearcy and other musicians from RATT's classic era — guitarist Warren DeMartini and bassist Juan Croucier — who objected to his use of the RATT name, referring to Blotzer's version as a "cover band."
Blades, who joined Blotzer's RATT in August 2016 and played with the group through March 2017, talked about his time with Blotzer during a brand new interview with "Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon". He said (hear audio below): "It was a wonderful experience. It's a great band, great guys in the band, and it was a ton of fun. I mean, my first show with the band was in front of 35,000 people at Sturgis [laughs], so it was nothing to complain about.
"It was very surreal," he continued. "Because [Bobby] had called me in… I think it was beginning of August [of 2016], and he was telling me what was going on. I had been very good friends with him for years — very good friends with Bobby — and he had reached out to me and told me what was going on. I said, 'Let me think about it.' And then, the following week, he texted me on a Monday. He was, like, 'Can you be on a plane on Wednesday, learn the whole set and play…' — I think it was a Wednesday or a Thursday, or something like that — and I was, like, 'Oh my God! Yeah, okay. I've gotta get to work. I'll see you in a couple of days.' And no rehearsal, two days to learn the entire set, and the first gig, like I said, was in front of 35,000 people. It was surreal, it was a trip. But we had great shows playing with all my friends in WARRANT, FIREHOUSE and Bret Michaels. It was a wonderful experience, so all good with that."
Blades added that "the door's open" for him to play again with Blotzer's RATT. But, he said, "[Bobby] had major back surgery. He kind of had told us all that this year is a bit of a wash with all the legal stuff, and he had major, major, major back surgery, which put him down for a while."
The most recent version of Blotzer's RATT consisted of Bobby, Stacey, Seann Nicols (a.k.a. Sheldon Tarsha, QUIET RIOT) on vocals, Mitch Perry (TALAS, HEAVEN, STEELER, MSG, LITA FORD) on guitar and Brad Lang (Y&T) on bass.
Nicols joined Blotzer's RATT as the replacement for Joshua Alan, who quit the band in January, explaining that he would be working and focusing on his original music this year.
Blotzer underwent lumbar spine surgery this past March. He previously had a spinal fusion surgery for the C6-C7 vertebrae in his neck more than four years ago.
Pearcy, Croucier and DeMartini played a number of shows this year as RATT, including at Rocklahoma and the M3 Rock Festival. They were joined on stage by former QUIET RIOT guitarist Carlos Cavazo, who played on RATT's last studio album, 2010's "Infestation", and drummer Jimmy DeGrasso, who previously played with Y&T, WHITE LION and MEGADETH, among others.