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2 Years in the making Warrant's "ROCKAHOLIC" Reviewed by the press !!
Get Addicted !! Recommended Retailers
“She’s My Cherry Pie…”, “I Saw Red…”, “Heaven Isn’t Too Far Away…”…who hasn’t really sung those choruses through the years? Even those who didn’t give a damn about the hair metal style of the era, they wonder how this band that sings –loud and proud- about a cherry pie persists and carries on in these difficult times for the music industry. “Rockaholic” is Warrant’s brand new studio album –with ex-Lynch Mob singer, Robert Mason, behind the mic- and we learn all the details from the band’s guitarist Joey Allen…
Interview: Sakis Nikas
Rockpages.gr: Welcome back, Joey! I didn’t expect such a strong comeback by Warrant…it was really a pleasant surprise. How do you feel about the album?
Joey Allen: We are very proud with how the CD turned out, from the song writing to the production to the art work…it was very cohesive and a was a bunch of fun to make!
Rockpages.gr: How did it feel to be working with Robert Mason? Apart from the musical aspect of the whole thing, did he bring along a much needed peace and calmness to the band?
Joey Allen: Robert has been in this band for almost 3 years. He brings a sense of professionalism to the lead singing slot that has been vacant since 1991. He is a blast to work with and shows up 24/7 to kick ass!
Rockpages.gr: Were you anxious about the fans’ reaction towards the band due to the fact that Jani Lane was no longer a member of the band (for the umpteenth time…)?
Joey Allen: Never in a million years…it just simply doesn’t matter any longer.
Rockpages.gr: In my review of the album, I wrote that “Rockaholic” balances in between the old-school, trademark Warrant sound and the modern rock n roll spirit. Do you agree and do you think that a band should stay up to date with what’s going on in the business in order to be vital and current?
Joey Allen: No, we just do what we do. It either works or doesn’t…this time it did and we are happy with the outcome!
Rockpages.gr: My favorite song on the record is “Tears In The City”. Would you like to tell us a few things about that song regarding the lyrics and its music?
Joey Allen: You would have to ask Jerry Dixon, he wrote it. I can tell you that the Japanese version of the CD has a stripped down version of that song on it that sounds very killer!
Rockpages.gr: Having four members from the classic line-up, do you think that it helped the overall coherence and tightness of the songs on “Rockaholic”?
Joey Allen: Absolutely! That is the Warrant sound and with Mason up front belting it out it sounds killer to us!
Rockpages.gr: How important was MTV and the song “Cherry Pie” in Warrant’s success? By the way, do you miss those glory days for hard rock music?
Joey Allen: In the glory days of MTV it was very important; it is how you marketed music. Now things have changed with social media and such. It is just a different world out there marketing-wise. We are very happy with where we are at in today’s musical climate!
Rockpages.gr: Being there right from the beginning of the band, do you think Warrant has achieved the goals that you set more than 25 years ago?
Joey Allen: We never set any goals…we just wanted to play music and have fun…those goals have been met and then some…it is a bunch of fun to be in this band, we all get along great and make some good music to share with our fans! The live show is coming along very well!
Rockpages.gr: Although it’s too early to tell, would you say that “Rockaholic” can stand the test of time and be considered a Warrant classic in the future?
Joey Allen: Absolutely!
Rockpages.gr: Joey, my last question…from one Rockaholic to Another: is there really a cure for our disease?
Joey Allen: No, but I think if you listen to Rockaholic you will get a fix or two!
For those that aren't aware, yes Warrant are still around, they do have a different singer and with his inclusion they rock better than ever. 'Rockaholic' is Warrant's first release since 2006's 'Born Again' that featured Black 'N Blue singer Jaime St James, now with St James out, the failed return of Jani Lane and with former Lynch Mob / Big Cock vocalist Robert Mason in, Warrant have found their sound again and to quote a song from the album the ‘Show Must Go On.'
The opening riff to 'Sex Ain't Love' gets you prepped for what is a killer song with a big chorus that would kick ass live but it also sets the tone for the other 13 tracks. The sound on this album shows shades of the Warrant of old with that traditional 80's hard rock sound but at times they've given it an updated feel. The band is sounding great and Mason's vocals suit the music perfectly. It's refreshing to hear new music from a band that still love doing what they do and I guess that's where the title of the album came from, they're Rockaholics.
The album powers through tracks such as 'Snake' and ‘Dusty’s Revenge’ which gives guitarist Joey Allen a chance to showcase his talents. But it's when it gets to the big ballad 'Home' that I'm sold, this song should be a smash hit, or at least in movies, just something to get it heard along with 'That’s What Love Can Do' which could be another smash. I'm really impressed with what they've done on this album and I'm not even half way through. The first single from the album is called 'Life's A Song' and I feel this is as close to original Warrant as you'll get, it's a real throwback to that 80's sound with the harmony vocals a real treat. It's a foot tapper that's for sure. My favourite on 'Rockaholic' comes in the form of another big power ballad called 'Found Forever' this is a stand out and should have lighters (I'm old school) held aloft all around the world.
The album continues to give us some more rockers and ballads, it's the perfect mix and when it finishes off with the balls out rockin' track 'The Last Straw' and you've just had your ass kicked from start to finish, you can walk away happy with what Rockaholic has delivered.
Overall, this is a great rock album and it's refreshing to hear bands still making albums like this. Sure some of the lyrics can be a little clichéd in places but find me a band that doesn't do the same thing, hey if it works... The songs are great, the band have a new energy injected into them and let's hope that Rockaholic gives Warrant the credit they deserve once again.
My name is Troy Culpan and I'm a Rockaholic.
01. Sex Ain't Love
02. Innocence Gone
04. Dusty's Revenge
06. What Love Can Do
07. Life's A Song
08. Show Must Go On
09. Cocaine Freight Train
10. Found Forever
11. Candy Man
13. Tears In The City
14. The Last Straw
WARRANT’s Erik Turner - There’s No Cure For A Rockaholic
By Mitch Lafon
The rise and fall of WARRANT over the last two decades has been well documented, but through it all guitarist, Erik Turner, has been the band’s anchor. This spring the band releases Rockaholic, their first album with new vocalist, Robert Mason (ex-LYNCH MOB). The album marks the beginning of a new and exciting era for Warrant and features the classic line-up backing Mason’s smooth clean vocal style. Bravewords.com sat down with Turner to discuss the band’s fantastic new singer and rocking new album.
BraveWords.com: I’ve heard your great new album and one thing is obvious - this is a brand new band. Robert Mason adds a whole new dimension to Warrant…
Erik Turner: “It’s another evolution in the band’s sound and song writing. Of course, having Robert on vocals and writing is a huge stamp for any band. The vocalist is a big deal in identifying a band, but it still sounds very Warrant. You’ve got four guys from the original Warrant playing all the music. Jerry (Dixon, bass) is writing a lot and I wrote a little bit, so it feels like a natural progression of our sound and where we’re at in our lives right now.”
BraveWords.com: A lot of your peers have stopped making new albums or recording new music. They’ve become heritage rock touring acts. What made Warrant decide to re-enter the studio?
Turner: “Well, we all know that it’s not likely we’re going to get rich from (making new CDs). Many bands have stopped because they’re used to selling millions of records every time they put out a new disc, but the reality is that if you sell a couple hundred thousand now – it’s a success. That’s a hard pill to swallow for some multi-platinum bands that have been around for years.”
BraveWords.com: Or in Warrant’s case – a Bitter Pill to swallow…
Turner: “Yes, a Bitter Pill. That’s a great song. Dog Eat Dog go buy that CD! (Back to the original question) But for us the music was burning up inside. Jerry Dixon was writing and writing and writing. He kept throwing songs at us and we all got excited about it. Then Robert started writing and I contributed to a few songs. Joey was throwing ideas out there and we just got really excited about this music. We wanted it to be the best it could, so Robert suggested producer Keith Olsen (OZZY, WHITESNAKE, SCORPIONS). He has an unreal resume and we felt we’d be so lucky to work with him, so we had a couple of meetings and worked out a deal. We got the best producer we could get and we wrote the best songs we could write right now as writers and as a band. We also got the best label we could right now for our genre of music (Frontiers). We put our best foot forward to make something we could really be proud of and I can safely say that’s what we did. After that, what happens with sales and what not is up to the Rock Gods, our team of agents, record company execs and management. That’s part one of why we did it and part two is that Robert is in the band now. He’s been in the band almost three years and we wanted to make a statement that this is Warrant and what better way to do that than with fourteen new songs.”
BraveWords.com: A lot of bands (when they get a new vocalist) choose to go the route of re-recording or releasing a live DVD with their old hits. Warrant didn’t do that and that’s what makes this new album memorable. Having said that, will you record a live CD or DVD with Robert in the future?
Turner: “We have an EPK with all live footage and you can hear Robert singing live raw clips of all of the hit songs, but I would like to do a real professional live album someday because I feel the band is really strong live and I’d love to capture that. Obviously, that would include songs from the catalogue and a bunch of songs off of Rockaholic. A live DVD would be killer, but there are no plans on doing that right now, but it’s definitely something on our checklist.”
BraveWords.com: That would be great, but I am glad you chose to go new songs first. Now, that the album is out what are your touring plans?
Turner: “Well, we tour all year long and that’s not going to change. Hopefully, this record will bring us new opportunities to play on bigger stages and maybe even get on a traditional tour where we go on the road for two or three months. Right now, we do fifty shows a year on average. We get on a plane Thursday or Friday and come home on Sunday… weekend warriors. That said, we’ve already got over forty shows booked this year, so it’s looking good. We’ve got quite a few dates with Poison; which we’re excited about. We’ve got shows with Whitesnake, CINDERELLA and, of course, with L.A. GUNS, SKID ROW, DOKKEN, SLAUGHTER and Steven Adler… the list goes on.”
BraveWords.com: You’ve got twelve shows scheduled with Adler in Canada this August…
Turner: “I have not seen anything, but as far as I know only two or three shows have been confirmed. I’m happy to say that we’ve got a lot of stuff going on, but without me looking at my schedule – I can’t say for sure. If there are twelve shows that would be great because I’ve always loved Steven. He’s a super nice guy and he’s got a really really good band.”
BraveWords.com: Steven Sweet and Joey Allen returned to the band in January 2004 - what do they add to the band?
Turner: “Having Steven and Joey come back and play with us in 2004 was the first time it sounded like Warrant since 1993. I had no idea what the four of us brought to this band – you take one piece out and all of a sudden it doesn’t sound like Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich or Cherry Pie or Dog Eat Dog. The four parts of that, the backing band, it’s like ‘wow’. It sounds and feels like Warrant and it hadn’t sounded like that in ten years, so that was really cool. Now, we’ve gotten the best singer (someone who’s like minded and a brother in Rock). It was pretty much the same during the Born Again era with Jaime, but the Saint has BLACK N' BLUE in his veins and Warrant bleeds Cherry Pie red ha! Now, it’s Robert Mason and it has been for the last three years and hopefully forever.”
BraveWords.com: How’d you hook up with Robert? He’s been around the scene forever. Why didn’t you peg him to be the singer during the Born Again era?
Turner: “We had lost touch with Robert and you know ‘out of sight – out of mind’. If I had a time machine (the first time Jani quit in 1993), I would have called Robert and gotten him in the band. I don’t know why we didn’t. We knew Robert back then. He was in Lynch Mob and they opened for us on the Dog Eat Dog tour. We all got along great, but whatever… things happen for a reason. In 2008, we were at Rocklahoma and it looked like we might need a singer that night. Joey had run into Robert the night before and said ‘we might need you to sing tomorrow night’ and that’s how it started.”
BraveWords.com: I think Robert does a fantastic job on the new album and I think fans will be blown away. Vocally, what does he add to Warrant?
Turner: “It’s like when Ozzy was in BLACK SABBATH. People said you couldn’t replace him, but the records Ronnie James Dio did with Sabbath are every bit as good as the albums Ozzy did with Sabbath. It was just different, but they’re still great. When I was a kid I bought Heaven & Hell and I went to see the tour. I bought Mob Rules the day it came out and I went to see the tour because I was a huge fan. I loved Ozzy, but I didn’t miss him a bit and hopefully that’ll be the scenario when people come out to see Warrant. They’ll still hear all the hit songs from the past and we’ve got a great singer belting them out live with some new tunes as well, to play and crank up on your iPod!”
BraveWords.com: The reviews of the live shows have been very positive…
Turner: “We’ve finally found the missing piece that fits the other four of us. It’s like a giant jigsaw puzzle. Other guys have done a good job, but this just feels right, strong and it just keeps getting better.”
BraveWords.com: What does the future hold for Warrant? Is there talk of a farewell tour or do you ride into the sunset playing your guitar in Warrant?
Turner: “I’m going to ride into the sunset playing rock n roll. I wouldn’t know what else to do? I have been in this band since I was 19 years old! We’ve had so much shit happen to us over the years and you never know what’s going to happen to you in this business, but my hopes and my plans are that the five of us keep making records and continue to tour. Nothing would make me happier in the world than if this was the final incarnation of Warrant. I hope for the best and I’m planning on the best, but I don’t have a crystal ball. All is positive, but I don’t want to jinx it either ha!”
BraveWords.com: Any last words about the new album, Rockaholic?
Turner: “We’re just very proud of the record. We spent the last two years making it. It’s not like we got together six weeks ago and just spit it out. We spent a lot of time writing and demo-ing it. We got together as a band in rehearsal halls just jamming on the songs and hashing them out. We put our heart and soul (and sweat) into this record and I just want people to know that and hopefully they’ll check it out with open ears and open minds.”
BraveWords.com: With all that rehearsing and demo-ing, are there a bunch of songs left over for the next new Warrant album?
Turner: “There are probably two or three songs (in my opinion) that we could use on the next record.”
BraveWords.com: So, it’s not like you recorded thirty songs for this album, used the best fourteen and have a whole bunch ready to go for album number two…
Turner: “Well, we had over twenty songs and there’s a few that I thought personally if we had more time could have made it onto this album, but that said – everything happens for a reason. We thought we were only going to record twelve songs for this record, so the fact that we included and loved fourteen… it took a little longer and cost more money, but it was well worth it.”
BraveWords.com: There’s a nice ebb and flow to this album. The songs really work well together…
Turner: “It’s like a buffet of rock n’ roll ha! You’ve got all the different flavours and I don’t think any two songs sound or taste alike! The writing styles, vibes and emotions are all over the place, but it’s still very Warrant from 'Sex Ain’t Love' to 'The Last Straw'.”
BraveWords.com: Time to plug…
Turner: “It’s real easy send everyone over to Warrantrocks.com and from there you can find our Facebook page, our Twitter and everything you need is right there. It’s our hub. So please just go to Warrantrocks.com.”