Stephen Pearcy Interview
(Formerly of RATT)
In the mid 80’s, “RATT” was hot!!
They recorded 4 consecutive platinum albums!!
Selling over 18 million albums worldwide and performing nearly a 1,000 shows with “RATT”, lead singer Stephan Pearcy was the driving force behind the group.
Stephen Pearcy is back out front with his own band these days, supporting a new CD titled “Stripped”, which serves up acoustic versions of RATT’s biggest hits.
We spoke with Stephen Pearcy about his days with “RATT” and his new band.
Q – Stephen, I recall “RATT” did a
show in Syracuse, N.Y. at the Landmark Theatre, opening for Motley Crue…
A – Oh, yeah. We only had a few shows with them.
Q – What were you doing before RATT?
A – I was actually in my first real band called Mickey RATT, from ’76 to ’82. I moved my band to L.A. in 1980. Previous to that, I should be driving dragsters, but I had a misfortune on the street and they said you will not be driving cars ‘cause you have a broken leg. (Laughs). I went o.k. So, a friend of mine gave me a guitar and that’s how all that started back in ’75, ’76.
Q – What did you do with yourself after RATT?
A – I right away got signed to Epic Records, with my project ‘ Arcade’. It was (with) Fred Coury, the drummer for Cinderella. We released 2 records on Epic and toured. Then after that t started my own record co. Top Fuel Records, an independent label, then released some projects from t.v. to movies to solo records to everything in between. That’s what I’ve been doing since.
Q – You sign other acts to your label?
A – Oh, I sign other bands. Of course. It’s a real independent thing. We take our time. I started it in ’95. It’s been around for a little bit. I sell music to everybody from Subway to ESPN to NASCAR to movies to outdoorsmen to reality shows, all kinds of stuff. Yeah. I keep busy and then I sponsor dragsters, my involvement with NHRA.
Q – Are you touring behind this latest CD of yours?
A – Yeah. I’ve released 3 CD’s in the past 8 months. One is ‘Fueler’ my second solo release. The other one is ‘RATT Attack’, a re-recording of RATT hits, which is great. Tracy Gunns, lead guitarist of L.A. Guns guests, George Lynch, lead guitar-guest and I released ‘Stripped’. The idea for ‘Stripped’ came along through my involvement with recording ‘Round and Round’ acoustic for a record which turned into a tour, sponsored by VH-I. Fans are saying, ‘You should really release a record of all acoustics’ and I’m like, I have my own record co. I think I will. Before I was off the record, actually doing my electric stuff after that, ‘Metal in America’ Tour, a label guy came to me and set it up, and away we went. I was back at Gassaris which is now the key Club where it all started. We recorded all these RATT songs acoustically and there’s the ‘Stripped’ record. It’s going to be released later in the year (2006) on DVD.
Q – When you perform “live” how are
you being billed?
A – Stephen Pearcy, Founder, Former Singer of RATT. I just go out there and do my thing. Otherwise I’ll take on a moniker. I’ll call my band the RATT bastards.
Q – Who’s in this band?
A – Frankie Wilsey, lead guitars. He was in Arcade also, from ’92 to ’95. He’s been playing guitar with me forever. He used to be in the Seahags. Eric Ferentinos is lead guitars from a band out of San Diego, co-writer of mine, works at the label, Chuck Wright on bass. He used to be with Quiet Riot. And on drums I have Scotty Coogan who used to play drums on Brides of Destruction. We go out there and shake it up.
Q – Do you think that maybe Hard Rock is making
A – They call it that, but, I’m from the 70’s school growing up on early Aerosmith, Zeppelin, Blue Oyster Cult, Sabbath, Priest and to be honest with you it’s amazing you’ve got all these new metal heads or rock ‘n’ roll fans who just want to find out who these RATT, Motley people were. Then you have the hard-core, die-hard RATT fans that have been following me since ’83. The realm of audience is just insane because now everything is so available. On the internet you can literally find out who’s who, from where, when, what, why. My audience is so diverse. My catalog exceeds the RATT catalog of albums. I actually forget how many fans I have from Arcade and other projects. But, the audience is varied. There are kids, and they’re rockin’! So, yeah call it a comeback but to me it’s just people figuring out that there was other music available years ago that was fun, exciting and dangerous.
Q – And more fun and exciting than what’s
around today for sure!
A – Oh, 100%! When I’m asked what it was like back then, the only thing I can say is have you ever seen that Doors movie where all those people are out on the street at the Whisky? That’s exactly what it was like. One given day on a Friday night on the strip you could go see an early RATT, an early Motley, Quiet Riot, Great White, so many bands-----it goes on and on. In one night! (Laughs).
Q – Why are you no longer with RATT? I realize Robin Crosby has passed
on, but, couldn’t an original RATT band make a lot of money?
A – Well, it’s not a matter of money. I left involuntarily. I was out of RATT in 2000. When we did get back together in ’97, it was just a whole different situation. We hadn’t played together in awhile and we hadn’t seen each other. People wanted involvement. Some people didn’t. Robin was really in no shape to be out there and then he eventually passed.