It was songs that influenced us. There were nine cover songs and two original songs. It was just something we threw out there to have some product out last summer. It was a no-brainer. It wasn't something that we sunk our teeth into. We hadn't put anything out in a while and we thought it would be a cool thing to do.
Let the public know you're still out there.
Yeah, exactly, until we get our studio record done.
Have you guys been working on a new studio record?
We haven't started anything yet but we plan on going in hopefully after this tour. It's hard now because Jani lives in Ohio. He moved back home. We're bi-coastal now so we're always playing, touring, and stuff like that. We'll get it done. Hopefully by next year we'll have a record out.
You guys have had a revolving door when it comes to drummers. Your latest one is Mike Fasano.
Spinal Tap, man. They keep combusting continuously on us.
How did you get him and how's he working out?
I think Jani knew Mike or saw Mike out and was hanging out with him. I think Mike was playing with Dad's Porno Mag and they became friends. When it came time for us to get a new drummer, Jani was like "there's this guy, Mike". He brought Mike in and he was really cool. He came in prepared and knew all the tunes. The rest is history.
He's a very good drummer and a good egg. I hope you guys hold on to him.
He's a treat to have around. He keeps things exciting for us.
You guys are going on tour starting June 20th. It's going to be with Dokken, Firehouse, and L. A. Guns. How long is the tour and what areas are you covering?
It starts June 20th and we're going to be out for three months until mid-September. Pretty much we're going to try and hit the whole United States. We're going to start in Fargo, ND and then head east and then swing around down through Texas and back up to the West coast. Bopping up into Canada here and there. It'll go probably until mid-September or the end of September. It'll be a good show.
Your shows are always good shows.
Any chance of you guys getting down to South America soon?
I don't know. It's so hard to get over there now. What the problem is with Europe and South America, there's no promoters anymore making offers for bands like us. We used to get them all the time. We'd get two or three a year. It's not worth it to go do two shows. You need a string of five or six shows. I don't know if people aren't into it in general out there or it's just the promotion. We would love to. Tell them to find a promoter and bring us down.
I've been interviewing a lot of bands from Germany and all over Europe. They're doing all this power metal stuff so I don't think interest has waned that much.
Yeah, I don't know. It used to just seem like we'd get offers all the time. Maybe we were doing a record or just the timing was wrong. Lately we haven't really heard of any rock bands going over there from our genre lately.
A lot of people consider these package tours like with Poison to be nostalgia tours. Do you feel they are or do you feel the musical climate is changing back into your favor?
I wish it was changing. I think it is what it is. People either got into that time period or they didn't. I think the people that did still enjoy it. Thank God for them. I don't think we're going to go out and break any new ground or all of a sudden get on MTV or radio. I wish we would but I just don't see that happening. Until that changes I don't think rock and roll in general is going to come back. They basically won't listen to our records anymore which is a shame. On the other hand we're still doing it. We've been around for a long time. They can call it nostalgia, hair, whatever you want to call it. At the end of the day there's a lot of people in the crowd. We're still working.
You guys did a couple of tribute CDs.
Yes, I did the Bon Jovi record and I did the Def Leppard record with Erik on that one. That was actually with Erik and Randy Castillo. Jani was on a couple of them just one song. Erik did the tracks on all those records. It was cool.
You got to work with Randy before we lost him.
I know. I can't believe that. Rest his soul. I saw him a month before that. He looked great and he was like "dude I beat it." Everything was really good. When I heard I was like whoa.
What kind of gear do you endorse and why?
I use Eden amps because I think they're the best amps out there. Right now I'm playing GMP guitars.
The same kind that Ryan Roxie uses.
Yeah, exactly. They're great. They make ours custom for us. They just make really good guitars. A lot of companies now buy their guitars from Japan and just ship them over here and stamp them. They're kind of made out of a cookie cutter. They're nice. They're excellent guitars. That's what I'm using right now. I'm happy with everything.
What's your setlist going to be like for the tour? Is it going to differ from last summer?
We'll play all the songs backwards.
Oh, cool. For satanic messages.
Yeah, like in school when we watched movies backwards. We're going to start with "Cherry Pie" backwards and end with "Down Boys" backwards. Actually we start rehearsals next week and we'll go in there and hash all that out. I won't know until then.
Are you guys with a label right now?
No, we're not.
So this is just the getting out on the road and doing something not sitting on your butt type thing.
Yeah, called work. Rock and roll work.
You're an original member of the band. How have you managed to last so long in one band?
Let's see. Drugs, alcohol, Paxil, therapy. I don't know. I've always looked at Warrant as my career. My job. It's been very good at times and very shitty. Me and Jani and Erik, that's all we know how to do. We've done it for so long. We've made it through a lot of bad times. There's been a lot of times where I wondered too "wow, is this going to work out?" I think one thing that we have on our side is that we've given each other space. We've always told Jani "if you want to make solo records or you want to take a year off, just do it. Just say hey, I need a year off." I think with that nobody felt trapped to be just in Warrant. The left the door open to "okay, I don't have to quit the band to do something if I want to." It's an open door policy. Erik left for a six month stint. He was like "I'm just burnt out you guys. I don't want to work." Then just doing it like that, we still kept the band together. We're like "oh dude, just take the time off you need. We're going to work. When you're ready to come back, the door's open." I think a lot of bands try and say "oh you can't do a solo record. We're number one. This is always the priority." What that does is just make people leave.
Sounds like a Dave Mustaine thing.
Yeah. If you do want to do something it makes a lot of bands break up. They feel like "okay, I'm either going to have to do Warrant or nothing. More of my own thing and quit one or the other." We just kept an open door and let each other do other things also.
Keeps you from killing each other.
Yeah, well it does. When you do something because you want to be there then it's totally different. If you know you can always take time off from it and explore other avenues it doesn't make the pressure of being in a band so difficult.
One question you're used to hearing, what's the craziest thing you've done in Warrant?
I hate that question. You can't answer that. There's the typical televisions out the window. Lighting the bus on fire. There's the bar fights. There's jail. Pretty much everything on the rock and roll list has been accomplished.
You guys are crazy anyway.
Well, thank you. We pride ourselves on that.
Why did you take up playing the bass?
Actually I play the bass because I think when I was 13, my friends played guitar and one friend played the drums and that's all that was left. Then when I started playing I enjoyed it. I liked it. There were never any bass players. Everyone wanted to be a singer or a guitar player so I always had a gig. Was always wanted.
Jani Lane started out as a drummer.
Yes, he was a drummer for two years and sang. Then he started singing more and more and more. Then he finally blossomed into the frontman that he is today.
Why do you have tattoos?
For me they're like period pieces of my life. Like the first Down Boys one, we all got them our first tour when we were in Europe. Our song was on the charts. I remember that period of my life. Then I got my son's initials on my other arm. Then I have another one that I designed on my left arm. I usually get tattoos on tour it's little pieces of memorabilia that you take with you forever.
Any other comments?
Information that people want like show dates are on the websites. We're always adding and updating the shows as they come in. People can check that out and find out where we're going to be. Come out this summer.