Gary James' Interview With Warren De Martini Of

Warren De Martini is a guitarist for a mid '80s band that enjoyed considerable success. Their songs "Round And Round", "Wanted Man" and "Lay It Down" are part of the reason they've sold well over 20 million records world-wide. We are talking about the group Ratt.

Q - If I believed what I see on shows like The American Music Awards and The Grammys, Hard Rock music no longer exists. But judging from Ratt's tour, you guys are still doing pretty well. Hard Rock lives!

A - It's really hung in there. It's a great thing to be involved with. To grow up with and then to continue on and actually do it as a career and have it still be doing what it's doing, it's really a great art form and it's great to still be involved with it.

Q - Would you think there's maybe some kind of prejudice against this type of music by the awards shows?

A - I don't know. I always kind of felt the award shows, it wasn't a big part going back way before I ever thought I'd be involved in the music business. I don't remember The Who or The Stones getting Grammys or even Led Zeppelin. I could be wrong. It always seemed like it was a bit shunned by that part of it, at least from my view. I'll watch 'em (the award shows) if I happen to come across 'em, but I usually miss those things.

Q - Are you out on the road promoting a new product?

A - Yeah. We released our first CD in 11 years. It's called "Infestation". It's out on Roadrunner Records. It came out April 20th (2010). So yeah, it's really been an exciting year.

Q - Is Ratt's audience bigger overseas or is it just as big in the United States?

A - We've been, in the last few years, getting re-acquainted with the European audience. That continues to do better and better. So, I would love to say it's probably close to the U.S.

Q - Have you any idea how many records, tapes and CDs you've sold?

A - I have an idea. I don't know how accurate it is, but just judging by the award plaques that we have, probably ten times over Platinum.

Q - You've been with this group since January, 1982. That's a long run. What keeps your interest in performing onstage every night? Many of the groups that were around back in 1982 are not around anymore.

A - Yeah. Just something that really stood out to me as a kid. It's just an art form I've really wanted to be involved in. I just still really feel comfortable onstage in front of a crowd. The music continues to resonate with the people that started out with the band. I think it could be the fans are kind of keeping it going. There always seems to be a reason to pack that suitcase and hit the road again.

Q - Your audiences now have to include younger fans.

A - Absolutely. All the people that really got it back in the day that caused it to even have a potential to transcend to another generation. We are seeing younger people, kids of the people who started out with us back in the day at the shows. It's really kind of a phenomenon to us.

Q - How is Roadrunner Records promoting Ratt? Are they going to satellite radio for airplay?

A - I think it's done the same way it always has been, but just in new ways. I don't think the method has changed that much, but sort of the places that they work records has changed. I think people who rock is what they like, record companies know how to get to those people to let 'em know stuff is out there, but it's not something that I've been able to keep up with.

Q - Do you use an opening act on the road? Are you the headliner? How's that working?

A - This is gonna be our own show tonight and then tomorrow we hook up with The Scorpions. We'll play with The Scorpions for a few weeks. Then we'll probably do some more of our own stuff and then see where we are.

Q - How many original members in Ratt besides yourself?

A - Bobby Blotzer. Stephen Pearcy.

Q - When I interviewed Stephen a few years back, he was thinking of putting out a Rock 'n' Roll / Car magazine. Did he ever do that?

A - I don't know. That was right around the time he was just coming back to the band.

Q - Now that he's back with Ratt, most likely there is no magazine.

A - I'm assuming it's very time consuming and a lot of work. There's only so many hours in the day.

© Gary James. All rights reserved.