The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

INTERVIEW - WARRANT'S JOEY ALLEN - May 2011

 

Hi Joey, thanks for taking the time to speak to us again. In light of what has been happening over the last few weeks it’s nice to be able to hear your side of the story. Plus of course we get the chance to chat about Warrant’s great new album ROCKAHOLIC!

 

 

THE FAILED INTENSE IMPACT AUSTRALIAN TOUR

 

When we last spoke you were really excited about the trip Down Under - you must be gutted it all fell through?

 

I have been, the thing is this band has championed getting back to Australia ever since I got back in the band in 2004, although all the guys love Australia. When we originally toured Australia in 1991 I had the best time ever, period (I think I came home with alcohol poisoning...maybe a bit too much fun...ha, ha). Australia reminds me of California but the people are nice, genuine and they rock! Anytime I’m asked what my favourite country outside of the US to play is my answer has been, “Australia”! It has been 20 years, almost to the date, that we toured in Australia.

 

When we received the opportunity to come down and tour we jumped on it...to say we were gutted (disappointed) about the turn of events is an understatement.

 

Tell us from your perspective why things didn’t happen?

 

It is quite simple from our perspective. The terms of the contract were not met. We released a simple statement on all of our websites and social media pages as soon as we knew we weren’t going to play. We simply stated that there was a “breach”, an act of breaking or failing to observe a law or agreement! We have an agent and a lawyer and both of them advised us against getting on the plane after the breach.

 

 

I know L.A. Guns are in the country at the moment and I hope to talk to Phil later, but I’m hearing from Melbourne that not even the re-worked L.A. Guns show is going ahead with the promoters. Any comments on that?

 

I think if you read the L.A. Guns websites their comments speak for themselves. We love those guys like brothers and will do many more shows with them.

 

We’re just hoping that what has happened won’t reflect too badly on the Australian Rock scene as a whole, I know that a tour like that could have worked, but both Perth and Adelaide are notoriously slow sellers for shows did you get a lot of feedback from Aussie fans when things were cancelled?

 

We are certainly not disenchanted with playing in Australia by any means and neither should anyone else be. It is a beautiful country with great people - and great beer. We have renewed plans on travelling Down Under, we just have to secure a promoter.

Do these things happen more often than you think?

 

No, this is an anomaly.

 

What could promoters do better to ensure that these things don’t happen, is it a case of knowing the market and getting the marketing right?

 

Proper promoters know well ahead of time what their financial obligation is and their ability to honour their signed contracts. Proper promoters have business etiquette and are well aware of the responsibility to their customer, the ticket buyer.



So give us some good news and tell us about the US tour?

 

We are excited about playing. We have already played a fistful of gigs this year and it is about to get busier. Most have sold out! We have many gigs lined up in the US with more currently being booked. Some gigs supporting Whitesnake, some gigs supporting Poison and a few with our friends from Cinderella. We plan on getting over to Europe, South America, Japan (depending on the country’s state) and Australia. The band sounds great live and we have started to throw new songs into the set...it is very refreshing for us!

 

THE NEW ALBUM - "ROCKAHOLIC"

 

 

When we last spoke you described the new album as being “8 straight ahead rockers, 2 ballads, 1 pop song, 1 dark song and 2 “different” groove-type songs. Sounds like a winner, eh! If I had to rate it I would put it above DED for my personal tastes...but I’ll let you all decide.” Now that we’ve heard it we tend to agree. Can we talk a little about some of the songs?

 

Yes...let it rip!

 

Here’s some clips from our review it would be great if you would tell us a little more about the songs and let us know if we’re on the mark!

 

SEX AINT LOVE we thought was probably as good and as an introduction to the new boy Mr Mason as we could hope for it’s a great song and really showcases what Robert has brought to the sound?

 

Robert Mason is the answer we were looking for after the failed reunion. The “breath of fresh air” in what was a very depressing time for the four of us. He is a consummate professional that takes care of his voice, body and mind. And, did I mention that he sings his ass off!!! Indeed he does. He is a class act and I’m honoured to be in a band with him. He has been in this band for almost 3 years now...so he is not necessarily “new” any longer. He is my brother from another mother...God bless his talent!

 

INNOCENCE GONE is probably our favourite after the first few listens. It’s a song that just makes you want to get up and dance. One of the best rock songs we've heard this year and a perfect showcase for new singer Robert Mason. Your solo is a perfect fit and the backing vocals set it all off wonderfully.

 

That’s a fun one to play. The demo is killer as well and a bit different from what it became. This one received a bunch of attention from our producer, Keith Olsen. He chopped some shit out of it and made it a bit more breathy. Hopefully it will make it into our live set. The lyrics on this tune are very clever...”One Bite of the Apple and our Innocence was Gone”...rocking! Steven’s background vocals come through on this entire disc...he sings his arse off...thus...he has no arse...ha, ha!


SNAKE is another cool one and another of our favourites: it’s a big, big song, with a great riff and a wonderful lyric that recalls the bluesier side of the band. There’s a heavy edge and a wonderful lead into the chorus that seals the deal for us. You could imagine Coverdale doing this, but no better than Warrant do here.

 

This one reminds me of Robert’s fondness of Paul Rodgers, from Bad Company. It has that old school bluesy vibe. The lead is a bit long for my taste but it has some redeeming qualities. Again...great lyrics!

 

DUSTYS REVENGE bluesy Hendrixy rock that thrusts from the speakers with purpose… We thought it a bit unfair that bands of 'a certain vintage’ can write songs this absolutely good. It sounds like the perfect culmination of a bunch of great musicians sitting down to plot the perfect song and to be blunt Mason is the voice that Warrant (or any band) has been looking for.

 

Thank you! This was one of the earliest songs written and penned by Jerry. The story line could be a movie. Mason IS the voice for Warrant, let that be said. This song has some heaviness. I like the heaviness more than the ballads...bring it on!

 

HOME: Ballads suit Robert but this is definitely trademark Warrant that could have been on DRFSR and you know what it's better than ‘Heaven’ (a song that made No 1 on the charts back in the day). Unshackled from the sheen of the late eighties era this has the real soul that era probably missed and I’m convinced!

 

 

Personally, I think this is one of the best written songs on the CD. Although I’m not a big ballad guy, it is what it is...a killer song! It has the trademark Warrant power ballad sound...period!

 

WHAT LOVE CAN DO: A little laid back very trademark mid-tempo Warrant with a great big chorus.

 

This is the “pop” song I was referencing in our last interview. This is another fun song. This one crept up on me and is actually another one of my favourites.

 

LIFE'S A SONG: with the refrain 'All we're really hoping for is someone to love us' it’s a big song with all the melody we loved in the eighties. Another wonderful song.

 

This is probably the most “throw-back” song on the CD...true classic Warrant. When it was picked as the first single here in the US I was hesitant...after I listened about 8 billion times I understood why it was picked.

 

SHOW MUST GO ON: A bit of a rocker just to show that they can. Lovely solo from Joey and bound to go down well live.

 

Just a shredder-old-school-boogie-riff...makes a nice ring tone...ha, ha (inside joke)! This is a fun one to play live. Robert wrote this ala “Hello There” from Cheap Trick. Thanks for the kudos on the solo...it was a fun one to play in the studio.

 

COCAINE FREIGHT TRAIN as close as we get to rock by numbers saved by its quirkiness and a great solo.

 

Another straight ahead rocker. Great lyrics about a psycho-bitch from hell...I think!?! It has a fun breakdown, harmonica guitar duel thing in it...ROCK!

 

FOUND FOREVER: Starts out like the Small Faces and slow burns to a beautiful ballad that could have been a big, big song back in the day.

 

Yeah...agreed! This song also changed quite a bit from our producer. Keith Olsen has sold over 100 million records, has 6 Grammy Awards and knows what he is doing. He is a Producer/Songsmith...he was wonderful to work with. He’s also one funny brother!

 

CANDY MAN: Dirtier rocker.. A bit out of character for the album, no dud but no killer.

 

This is one I marked for “different”. But hey...who doesn’t like a lyric about a drug dealer scum? We liked it enough to put it on the CD.

 

SUNSHINE: A nice groove to this mid tempo rocker.

 

The second one a marked as “different”. It turned out a lot heavier than the demo. There’s a lot going on in this song. There are several guitar textures that Erik and I are playing...almost too many. You have to listen to it a bunch to hear all the parts!


TEARS IN THE CITY: A showcase for Robert's voice. Nice narrative that never really takes off. An 'almost' song just lacking something you can’t quite put your finger on.

 

The “darkest” song of the bunch. Doesn’t every CD need one? It has very cool orchestration on it. There is a version with no drums that is severely dark...it showcases the diversity of the band.

 

THE LAST STRAW: To close we’d been hoping that Warrant would leave us with a great Rocker and they do... Old school rock with a great chorus! Can we have some more pleeze!

 

This song was written out of anger, Jerry had a bad hair day (at least he has hair...ha, ha)...although it comes off killer and rocking! Great lyrics from Jerry on this as well...take a close listen, maybe you all can relate!

 

Can you leave your fans, particularly those of us down-under with a few words?

 

I can promise you all two things...we value you all as fans and friends...and we will get Down Under to rock for you in the near future!

 

Many thanks Joey; we look forward to catching you over in the US by the look of it now! Take care and many thanks for taking the time to talk to the Rockpit.

 

Mark Diggins
May 2011