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Interview:
Ratt's Stephen Pearcy hits the stage virtually, 5 Things to Know
 

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

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Stephen Pearcy has gone "Round and Round," and then some, during the 38 years since Ratt first appeared on the Billboard charts.



With assists from MTV, the Los Angeles group was among the most successful of the 80s rock era, with four platinum-or-better albums and 11 Top 40 rock hits. The group remains semi-active -- its last album, "Infestation," came out in 2010, and it's also seen in a popular Geico insurance add.



Pearcy, meanwhile maintains a solo career, with seven albums of his own and a label, Top Fuel Records, he established for himself. But there will be plenty of solo material as he leads his band Ratt Bastards through a virtual concert on Friday, April 2, from one of Ratt's old stomping grounds, the Whisky A Go Go on Hollywood's Sunset Strip...







Pearcy, 64, says the virtual concert will feature both Ratt and solo material, with a desire to "be like you're literally in the front row. I want to film it like that. I want it to be fun." As for performing without a crowd in front of him, Pearcy promises that, "I'm just gonna be myself. When I get out there I just turn that smart ass on and turn it off when I walk off stage. So I'm gonna have a good time and do the best I can, like I'd do with any show.".



Pearcy is happy to see Ratt's music coming back in general, as well as others from the 80s scene. "The 80s was the oddest decade ever. It was like, 'Give me everything! There's a lot of it, and it's for free!' It was so new, colorful, exciting, dangerous. And it'll never happen again. It should be embraced and celebrated now -- and kinda respect, I think."



Pearcy is confident that Ratt's Geico ad, which spoofs the "rat problem" a couple encounters in its new home, has thrown the group in front of a sizeable audience of existing and new fans. "That was exciting. We'd never done that type of commercial setting before, so we were like, 'Wow, that's great. Let's have at it! and kind of ad-libbed some stuff. And besides 'Round and Round' charting again, at least we're still out there and in your face for a bit, 'cause we can't play shows right now."



Ratt's story is particularly noteworthy, Pearcy adds, because "we were the last of the Mohicans to be signed, believe it or not. We'd sell out shows at the Troubadour, lines around the block, and nobody (cared). Everybody else was being signed. So we decided to take it into our own hands and release an EP ('Ratt' in 1983). The thing sells 100,000 copies and we get signed by Atlantic, and then longevity. The proof is in the pudding there. You've got to have some kind of longevity, and that's one thing I can say Ratt really strived to have."



Pearcy is currently working on a new solo album after trying to make another release with Ratt. "I'm not gonna do (a Ratt album) unless it's the original guys. We tried it with 'Infestation;' It was a good record, but we didn't win any races with it. If it had all the elements it would've been great, but it didn't, so I just said that I wouldn't do a Ratt record unless it was all the guys" -- sans, of course, guitarist Robbin Crosby, who died in 2002.



Ratt frontman Stephen Pearcy and his solo band Ratt Bastardsplay at 10 p.m. Friday, April 2, from the Whisky a Go Go on Hollywood's Sunset Strip. Tickets via stephenpearcy.veeps.com.

Web Site: www.stephenpearcy.veeps.com

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