Ratt Undergo Relationship Therapy to Overcome Obstacles
Don’t keep your eyes peeled for a movie called ‘Some Kind of Rodent’ or anything, but Ratt, like the members of Metallica, sought out some relationship counseling in order to get back together and record their new album, ‘Infestation,’ which comes out in April.
Metallica, of course, showcased their sturm und drang in the revealing, critically acclaimed 2004 documentary ‘Some Kind of Monster,’ which followed the creation of their not so highly praised record ‘St. Anger.’ Ratt, on the other hand, seem to have gotten more out of their therapy sessions.
“It took 10 years to get back to where we are now, but we’re in a good place,” vocalist Stephen Pearcy told Noisecreep. “It wasn’t overnight. It took a therapist here and there. It took opening those wounds and stitching them again and closing them. And it’s still going on. But we’re older now and it’s a business, and we’ve gotten to where we can work together again and make great music.”
“I guess I was always hoping that we would settle our differences and get back to work,” added guitarist Warren DeMartini. “Our problems weren’t about our sound or anything. The differences kind of continue to this day, but with the help of our manager and time, we’ve been able to get some distance from the emotions and create a platform we could both live with to continue from.”
For those who haven’t followed the drama, Pearcy quit Ratt in 1999 for personal reasons. He subsequently sued the group for the continued use of their name and they sued him back to no avail. From the cohesive sounds of ‘Infestation,’ however you’d never know there were ever career-threatening tensions within the band. The album is punchy and loud, brimming with the hormonal drive and party-lovin’ vibe of Ratt’s first two albums, 1984’s ‘Out of the Cellar’ (which yielded the classic rocker ‘Round and Round’) and 1985’s ‘Invasion of Your Privacy.’
“We really went back to the way we did this back then,” Pearcy said. “This is the first time in years that we did all the songs as a band. There were no outside writers, and that’s why you’ve got such good music. When you work with all these other people, they’re hitmakers, but it doesn’t guarantee a hit.”
Of course, in reality there were personal flare ups and demons that reared their horned heads. Worst of all, Pearcy was having major relationship issues and battling old habits. “I was not in a good place. I was all jacked up, doing bad things. All smacked out. But I’m better now.”
During the creation of the album, which was recorded in Virginia Beach early this year with producer Michael ‘Elvis’ Baskette, Pearcy kept to himself and tried to stay clean, writing lyrics about his struggles in the process.
“The best part was having pre-production in Virginia, and getting away from our families and our personal s— and the L.A. scene,” Pearcy said. “While we were recording, we actually all lived in the same compound. It was great. It was the first time we had ever done that. It was almost like when we lived in a one bedroom apartment we called Ratt Mansion West back in the old days.”
During the weeks Ratt spent together, there were surely disagreements and frustrations. But there were also moments of discovery and momentous spurts of creativity. “It was a great experience, but there are always speed bumps in Ratt,” explained drummer Bobby Blotzer. “It’s never an easy job to get to the finish line. We’re kind of a dysfunctional bunch in the way that we work. It’s not an English tea party. It’s more like a pirate ship with a bunch of salty dogs. We work hard, we play hard, and it makes the aggression in the music come out more. But when we finally get where we’re going, it makes the ride more rewarding.”