STRYPER frontman Michael Sweet has slammed Bobby Blotzer for "drag[ging] the name and reputation of [RATT] through the mud because he feels he has the right to do so."
The drummer has been touring the U.S. for the last few months with his own version of RATT, featuring several new members alongside bassist Robbie Crane, who previously played bass for RATT from 1996 to 2012 and appeared on the band's 1999 self-titled album and "Infestation".
RATT guitarist Warren DeMartini filed a lawsuit against Blotzer last fall, claiming that the drummer was falsely advertising his "tribute band" as the real thing. That dispute is still pending in California state court.
In a post on his Facebook page, Sweet commented on the legal battle between Blotzer and DeMartini, saying: "I wish these guys all the best and hope they can resolve their issues.
"RATT was a house band at Gazzarri's when STRYPER was a house band. Blotzer wasn't in the band at the time and they were amazing.
"I used to chat with all of them back in the day and they were great guys.
"I think it's sad and unfortunate when a member of a band (who isn't really even an original, mind you) decides to drag the name and reputation of the band through the mud because he feels he has the right to do so.
"I'm looking forward to seeing/hearing what RATT (NOT [Bobby Blotzer's] version) does. One of my favorite bands from the 80's and here's to more."
Blotzer and DeMartini are the only remaining shareholders in WBS, Inc., the company which manages the business and operations related to RATT.
Blotzer's new version of RATT played shows early last year under the name BOBBY BLOTZER'S RATT EXPERIENCE before the drummer announced that he was taking control of the RATT name.
Three members of RATT's classic lineup — DeMartini, singer Stephen Pearcy and bassist Juan Croucier — reunited last month at a Los Angeles birthday party, leading to speculation that they were planning to launch their own version of the band that would not include Blotzer.
WBS, Inc. was originally formed by Blotzer, DeMartini and Pearcy. Pearcy lost his share of the name in court after splitting with the group in 2000. He returned to the band in 2006 but exited again in 2014. Blotzer later expressed his desire to keep RATT alive with a new singer, but explained that DeMartini did not want to tour as RATT without Pearcy.