Warrant is one of those bands that everybody who listens to Rock-n-Roll knows. Whether you were/are a fan or not, there’s no denying the impact they left on the world of rock in the late ‘80’s. Be it ‘Down Boys’ or ‘Sometimes She Cries’ to the scorching ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ or the infamous video for ‘Cherry Pie’. Warrant left their mark back then. One that still is part of most radio stations today.
With the departure of vocalist Jani Lane, the “Down Boys” enlisted the powerhouse vocals of Black -n- Blue frontman, Jaime St. James. And after a ten year studio hiatus, they decided it was time to do what they do best. Rock some serious ass off!
JH: Hey Erik, how are you and how’s things going?
ET: Things are good. The band is keeping busy all year round. We are still having a good time making Warrant music!
JH: So ‘Born Again’ is the first studio album in 10 years with all original music?
ET: Yes, that is true. We had 10 years of musical ideas stored up inside us. It’s nice to finally get them out! Feels good all over 😉
JH: How was it getting back into the studio to record the album?
ET: It was very cool to be back in studio. We really enjoyed working together again after so long. Pat Regan was very cool to work with as well.
JH: Everything go smoothly?
ET: It took 17 days to record and mix the new CD. But it was over a period of a few months. 2 days here, 4 days there. That was a little frustrating, but it all happens for a reason I guess.
JH: It looks like everyone one had a hand in writing the album. How did the writing process go?
ET: We wrote 23 songs, and did home recordings at all our different home studios and with some friends too. Just a mish mash of ideas coming in from all directions. Then we got together as band and started jamming on them. Warrantizing them to perfection.
JH: After so many years, there must have been an enormous amount of ideas and songs piled up. How did you narrow it down to these twelve?
ET: We voted on the 12 songs we each thought would make the best WARRANT CD. Very democratic process. I’m happy with the results.
JH: With ‘Born Again’, are you guys trying to capture the sound of the Warrant glory days? The 80’s hair metal sound? Or is the outcome just a result of the bands natural outpour of creativity?
ET: It was a combination of both. That is our style of music, 80’s Rock. But that said, we wrote all types of songs for this CD. We wanted the CD to be true to our early CD’s, and that’s how we voted on the song selection.
JH: Why did you choose ‘Born Again’ for the title?
ET: Its been so long since we wrote a CD like this we felt like 80’s rock was being Born Again.
JH: Is there a sense among the players of being born again?
ET: Born Again rockers from Cali. Yeah babies!
JH: Give us a rundown of the new album. What can fans, who have not heard it yet, expect?
ET: Kick Ass 80’s melodic hard rock, 12 new Bombastic, Hair Raising tunes for your rock riff listening pleasure!
JH: Tell us the events leading up to Jani leaving to band.
ET: Long story but the short side is: he wasn’t happy and wanted to make changes to the band that Jerry and I didn’t agree with. So he said he would go do his own thing till we changed are minds then hung up on us. (We were on a conference call)
JH: Is there “bad-blood” between you guys?
ET: Not from my end. The way I look at is, we had a lot more good times being in a band together than bad times. We just have different priorities in life. I’m still very proud of the music we did with Lane. I’m also very proud of the new CD too. It’s all good quality ROCK!
JH: Has he listened to the new material? And what does he think about it?
ET: I have know idea?
JH: How did you decide to ask Jaime to join the band?
ET: Great singer, front-man and big hearted rock n roll SOB. The choice was easy!
JH: And was he your first choice?
ET: Yes, we held no auditions.
JH: With him being “the new guy”, how are things going with him in the overall band setting?
ET: The Saint joined to and half years ago. We have played over 125 shows together, made a new CD and have a home DVD coming out in the fall. The Warrant fans seem to love Jaime from what I can tell. There is a lot of love out there for the band and the fact they we keep rocking and rolling through all the good and bad times.
JH: So could this be a long lasting thing?
ET: Ha!, is anything long lasting in rock or life? We sure hope so! Going on three years Feb 2007. That’s a damn good start.
JH: How have the fans been reacting to Jaime on vocals?
ET: Every one that listens to the new CD seems to agree that it still sounds like Warrant, even with a new singer. Dio and Ozzy have very different styles but it stills sounds like Black Sabbath. Jani and Jaime have very similar styles and that makes the change even less noticeable in my opinion.
JH: How about live?
ET: He sings the old Warrant songs great! We do a Black n Blue song in the set too. We have been playing two new songs live. Bourbon County Line & Dirty Jack. They have been going over really good.
JH: What Black -N- Blue songs do you perform live?
ET: Hold on to 18. We need to switch that up soon to Violent Kid!
JH: I see that you have been pretty well booked up touring wise for most of the year. How has that been going?
ET: It’s good to be out playing shows. Keeps the band tight. Free beer and cash is good thing too, Ha Ha!
JH: What does the rest of the year and into 2007 look like tour wise?
ET: We have a few shows a month through Dec. Hopefully our new DVD we be out before years end, but that is coming up quick! It’s called: WARRANT Born Again D.V.D. ’Delivs Video Diaries’ 12 new videos, a half hour of footage from the recording studio, a half hour of footage from backstage on the road. And a couple slide shows too.
JH: ‘Born Again’ is a really good album. What would you say to those who might say that you guys are trying to cash in on the past?
ET: We are just being true to our rock n roll school, we could use more cash! When does that part happen? 😉
JH: This may be a bit premature but, how do things look like for the next studio album?
ET: We have a handful of songs home recorded. A few more ideas that need to be finished. We will start getting more into the writing next year I imagine.
JH: For the die hard fans out there, will there be a get together, “reunion” show/tour with the all original line-up?
ET: I don’t see that happening. We are very happy with the line up we have. We are having a lot of fun and being very creative. What more could you ask for? From a fans point of view I could see how that would be very cool though.