Ratt Fired Up by New Blood for ‘Infestation’
Shortly before Ratt started working on their comeback album, 'Infestation' (out in April), guitarist John Corabi (ex-Mötley Crüe) quit the band. It was a blessing in disguise. While Corabi was a solid rhythm player, he wasn't a lead guitarist, leaving Warren DeMartini to handle all of the band's solos live.
For 'Infestation,' Ratt wanted to bring in someone that could provide the band with the type of twin axe attack they had in the '80s when the late Robbin Crosby was in the group. After a couple auditions, DeMartini invited ex-Quiet Riot guitarist Carlos Cavazo to audition, and after just a few minutes of jamming it was clear that Cavazo fit on Ratt like a pair of torn spandex.
"It was just like that. You're in," vocalist Stephen Pearcy told Noisecreep. "He's perfect for the band. He co-wrote a couple songs and he plays like a mother f---er on this thing. Great live, great guy and great integrity for what he does. And as far as the double solos thing goes, he and Warren knew exactly what they were doing. It was like the old days."
"Playing together was just like being old friends hanging out," Cavazo said. "Doing the record was fun and very easy. It was one of the easiest records I've recorded in my life. No one was arguing or yelling at each other in the studio. It went really smooth."
Ratt moved into a house in Virginia Beach to write and record 'Infestation,' but before they left, they made one final effort to bring back longtime bassist Juan Croucier. But too much animosity still lingered between the bassist and his ex-bandmates, with whom he had last played on 1990's 'Detonator.' In 1996 he was replaced with Robbie Crane, who remains in the band today.
"We wanted Juan to join us, but he's still AWOL," Pearcy said. "Sometimes it's better to let things lie where they may. It's his decision, not ours. We can actually say that we did ask him to come out and play and get back in the cellar, and his demands were extremely ridiculous. It was almost like, 'Well, I'm gonna get you back now for everything you did to me.' He just wanted a lot of things. It's like opening old wounds. You don't really need to do that to heal or get on with business. It's business. It pretty much came down to three words: in or out. And he chose out."
"We really tried to find a way to make it work," added DeMartini. "But at the last minute we locked up on a couple issues, and we got to the point where we were touring and we had to announce who was in the band, and by then we had been going back and forth for a couple months and that window had closed. We extended one last invitation, and he said, 'Well, unless I get my way I'm not doing it.'"
For Croucier, the biggest sticking point wasn't how much he was getting paid, it was what would happen to the Ratt legacy were he or anyone else to leave the band. "He wanted an agreement where if any of the four members, for any reason, weren't in the band anymore, then the band would dissolve and would not be allowed to continue," DeMartini revealed. "And that was something three of the four of us were absolutely against."
"It's sad for him," concluded drummer Bobby Blotzer. "He hasn't been onstage in I don't know how long, and we maintain a great life out there playing Ratt music for all the fans. We keep living our dream and getting up on big stages and kicking ass and he's missing out."