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

TODD JOLICOEUR TALKS TO RATT’s BOBBY BLOTZER

 

I am always looking for an opportunity… whether it is to make more money, get some great swag, meet real life rockers… you will catch me looking for an angle. That's exactly what I was doing when I looked at my upcoming concert calendar and saw RATT on the list. How can I get to shake hands and chat up a band member without sinking tons of money??? Hey, I am a correspondent with The Rockpit - should be worth something, right? Well, I went to the website for RATT drummer and author Bobby Blotzer. I sent a simple contact email requesting a sit down interview before the gig at Harpo's in Detroit. Wait and see…


Didn't have to wait long, as I received an email from Bobby the next day asking if we can do a phoner. Hell yes… I get to pick the brain of one of the greatest drummers to roll out of hair metal. He walked the walk and talked the talk and is still here to talk about it. Not to mention, this year the band did what the fans have wanted for years… returned to the cellar and threw out any thoughts of privacy. That's right; they gave us an album that took us back to 1984-1985.


A few emails later, and Blotz is calling my cell phone for a chat. I try to stay all composed, but my kid has already teased me, cause I "prepared" (really waited for the phone to ring) while listening to 'Infestation' in my home office. As I finish the first single, "Best Of Me" the phone rings…

 

bobby Blotzer & Todd

 


This is Todd.


Hey Todd, it's Bobby Blotzer. How ya doing? What's up brother?


Great Bobby. First off, let me thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule for the Rockpit. I am talking to you from Detroit, but we are an Australian based rock website and very excited to get this opportunity.


Australia?? No kidding. Wow.


Again, thanks for taking the time, but let me say, I was quite shocked when I got the email from you accepting the interview. I mean, I never expected that you would be moderating your own website and responding to emails and requests.


Oh yeah, it's fun. It keeps you closer to the fans. I get a kick out of it. There is tons of response to my new book, so it’s fun, ya know? I like doing it, but I keep it light. Only positive and nice correspondence. I try not to do too much, because eventually I would wind up with pen pals.


Very cool. Well, you guys did what the fans who grew older with you have been wanting. You took us back to our youth by putting out an album that could be dropped right between 'Out Of The Cellar' and 'Invasion Of Your Privacy.' Was this intentional or just the way it turned out?


Well, before it happened, we weren't planning on a record at all. Ya know, you spend a lot of time and the album just doesn’t make it out there. You have a ton of time involved in the writing, preproduction, recording, picking out art, etc. Next thing you know it sells 15,000 fucking units. When you are really proud of the package and it doesn't see the light of day, it is really frustrating. But when we were offered a deal that made it viable financially and made sense from a creative standpoint, we changed our minds and came up with the concept of returning to the older sound. It saw a worldwide release and was successful. I mean, it came in at #30 in the Us, #5 in Japan, and I think #6 in Canada. It has really paid off. I mean I don't know if we have broke even from all of the advance, but it is close. People are really digging the record and loving the excitement of the new tunes. Not to mention, we actually got to put money in our pockets. It didn't wind up being a situation where you get fucked for all of your hard work and time.


How is the new material being received live?


The crowds have been extremely receptive to the new material. It’s funny, we still have our demographic, but looking into the crowd, we are seeing a new group of kids in their mid-teens to young adults… probably 15-24. You look out and they are singing it, man. They know all the words to songs like “Back For More.” It’s a really good feeling to know they know the hits, but also new tracks like “Best Of Me.”


You can count me in that group. I love the new record. So tell me, what does Carlos (Cavazo) bring to the table the other guys didn’t?


Well, first he brings that second lead guitar sound back. It is a return to the way things were with Robbin, ya know. John (Corabi) was not a lead guitarist. His forte is writing and playing rhythm guitar. Now with Carlos in the band, we have the two-gunslinger approach to writing and playing back. Plus he is a great singer and really adds to the background vocals. Not to mention, he is an old friend of the band. We all go way back.


Now on to the fun stuff. You recently wrote and published a book, Tales Of A Ratt: Things You Shouldn’t Know. How has the feedback been so far?


It has been so damn positive. This has been a total labor of love. It has been so fun. It is a descriptive rollercoaster ride that has been my life. It is the good and bad of who I am. I mean, we all have to maintain some private life, but I tried to expose my real life as much as I could, ya know. There is nothing I am embarrassed of in this book. Nothing anyone else should be embarrassed of either. I didn’t want to do a tabloid book. It is a crystal ball that helps you see who I have hung out with. You want to read about how I partied and hung with Bon Jovi, here is a chapter. If someone wants to know about the time I drank Jack Daniels with Keith Richards, there’s a few pages in there. It has been a great time. I have sold over 2,000 copies. I am doing this on my own. No distributors. I package everything up myself. I have been to the post office like ninety times already. I enjoy it; it is more personal that way.

 


Well, make sure you put aside a copy for me when you guys are in town. Can’t wait to get my hands on it and read it.


For sure. We’ll make sure you get your copy. Everyone else can get it on my website, http://bobbyblotzer.com/ or through www.amazon.com.


Let’s hit on a few of your side projects. Give your thoughts about each of them. We’ll start with Saints Of The Underground (comprised of Bobby Blotzer, Keri Kelli, Robbie Crane, and Jani Lane).


That is a great record. We busted our ass on that album. Kerri (Kelly) and I would love to take that out on the road and even record more tunes. It’s hard with Jani. It would be a major undertaking to get him out on the road or in the studio, where I am always wanting to work and do stuff. You can get that one at www.warriorrecords.com and look for Saints Of The Underground.


How about Twenty4Seven? Tell me about this project (which features Bobby Blotzer, John Corabi, and Rob Marcello).


Its kind bitter talking about that one. I really was fucked over on that one by the engineer. It is mixed like shit. The owner really screwed me. He locked us out of everything after it was recorded. I played all rhythm guitars on that, wrote all the songs (except for the obvious covers), played all bass lines, and all the drum parts. I even played all the acoustic guitars. I am hoping to re-record that one day and put it out the way I envisioned it. That whole process really sucked.

 

Todd, Robbie Crane & Bobby Blotzer


Finally, let’s hopefully move to a happier group, Contraband (featuring Bobby Blotzer, Tracii Guns, Michael Schenker, Share Pederson, and Richard Black). I listen to this one all the time.


I would love to revisit that one. I have talked to Share about it more than once. We know people love it and would dig new stuff too. I would love to make a new record with those guys.


Well Bobby, now for the last two serious questions.


Well, shoot.


What is one song you wish you had a hand in writing or recording?


Man, it would be any Beatles song written by McCartney, Lennon, or Harrison.


Well, how about an album? Is there one that might have influenced you?


Let me think. That is a great question. I have never been asked that before. It would have to be ‘Rubber Soul’ or ‘Revolver’ by the Beatles.


On to the next one. Bobby, what is the meaning of life?


I don’t mind being philosophical. The meaning of life is getting through it healthy and using good judgment. I mean if you use and give good karma, you will get good in return. It is a nonstop quest to earn a living. The daily survival of doing what you do and hopefully enjoying it while you do it. Do unto others, as you want them to do unto you.


As a side bar, what about an Australian tour? Any word?


Ya know, we are going to Japan in October (with Dokken supporting) and then doing some dates out of the country in February. It will be one of those two. October or February. We have only been there once and had a blast. We took Winger over there with us.


Before I let you go, where can your fans get up to the minute information on you and the band?


They can go to our website, http://www.therattpack.com/ or Myspace http://www.myspace.com/therattpack) and for my stuff, go to my website, http://bobbyblotzer.com/ or on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/group.php?gid=106247069419160&ref=ts).


Bobby thanks again from The Rockpit for your time and we will see you tomorrow night in Detroit.


Cool brother, make sure you swing by and shake my hand. Talk to ya later bro.

 

After telling me how to find him, since he is traveling separate from the band right now (he is traveling with his new bride), we hung up. It hits me. I just spoke with Blotz from Ratt. There were so many other questions I wanted to ask, but he was gracious to give me the time he did, so I didn’t want to press my luck.

 

Todd, Robbie Crane & Bobby Blotzer


Not only did he really make sure we shook hands the next night, but we took a few pictures. He also signed my own copy of the book (which is awesome so far and only half way though). We hung out long enough for Robbie Crane to come hang out and crack a few jokes at Bobby’s expense.


Life lesson learned: the face and keyboard on the other side of that website or CONTACT US button just may be the exact person you wanted to contact in the first place!

 

Todd Jolicoeur
July 2010