By STEVE MASCORD
BANDS Australian fans have waited a lifetime to see are finally making their way Down Under – and the latest could be the Cherry Pie boys themselves – Warrant.
“There’s talk of going of going next summer,” guitarist Erik Turner, in reference to the middle of 2018, tells Hot Metal.
“We have this relationship with the pro bull riders tour and they do events in Australia in, I think, July, August.
“Next year there is talk of going – and possibly even New Zealand. We’ll see. That could be the angle it takes to get us back Down Under.”
The glamsters toured Oz in 1991 but a 2011 trek was collapsed at the 11th hour. It’s the volatile nature of an industry that forces many musicians to get a second, third and fourth ‘hustle’ to pay the bills.
For Turner and Jerry Dixon of Warrant it’s writing music for TV shows and administering a stable of writers.
“In 2011, Jerry and I started a music library called downboysmusic.com,” Turner tells Hot Metal.
“Our first client, around the beginning of 2012, was the second season of Duck Dynasty. We worked on that show for eight or nine seasons and that led to more and shows like the Wahlburgers. So we’re always looking.
“We’re composers, artists, (who) can do all styles of music, (who) can do great recordings at home in our studio. We have 10 active composers.
“We’re working on a show, as we speak, called Pitbulls and Parolees. We’re doing a lot of music for that. That just got picked up for another 20 episodes.(continued below)
“We work on television shows, we do Warrant and tour and it’s all about music.”
Warrant sold more than 10 million albums between 1989 and 1986 alone. Their singer Jani Lane died in 2011 and this year they released Louder, Harder, Faster with current vocalist Robert Mason.
“Cherry Pie” aside, the Hollywood band was best known for ballads like “Heaven” and “I Saw Red” and I’ve often wondered if Bon Jovi’s trajectory from hair metal band to balladeers could have been mimicked by other acts from that era – acts just like Warrant.
During a low key trans-Atlantic phone chat with Turner, I wonder aloud…
“I think if you went and saw them live in concert, you’d say they’re definitely a rock band,” he says of the impending Hall Of Fame inductees. “I’m sure he puts on a great show.
“But, yeah, we never got as big as Bon Jovi. Nowhere near as big as Bon Jovi. We just write music that we’re proud of and love and feel and it comes from an honest place. We’re not trying to be commercial. We’re not trying to be un-commercial. This is who we are, this is what comes out of us. Music comes from nowhere. It comes from the spirit world. Where does an idea or a riff come from? All of a sudden your hands start playing it and you think ‘that’s cool, let’s work on that’.
“Or a melody will just pop into your head or a lyric out of nowhere. It’s a strange thing, writing songs. It’s a very spiritual thing.
“Maybe some guys can sit down and chop up chords and analyse other songs and try and do this or do that or maybe they had a hit with one song and they just want to rewrite it over and over again. Whatever works for you, whatever you’re proud of.
“I’m sure Jon Bon Jovi’s very proud of what he does and more power to him.”
Although the band has had almost 30 members in its lifetime, the current line-up is as close to the ‘classic’ iteration as is possible: Turner, Dixon, Steven Sweet, Joey Allen and Mason.
“Some guys you stay close to, other guys you never speak to again. With Warrant, you talk about all those members … they’re members but they’re really hired guns, 99 per cent of them. The original members of Warrant we all know and that’s the core of it. Steven, Joey, Jerry, myself, we’ve been together now since 2004. What is that? Thirteen years? Most bands don’t last five years, seven years.
“Robert’s a full member of the band and he’s been in the band going on 10 years. This band’s very solid, a lot of integrity. I’ve been playing in bands with Joey since 1987, with Steven since 1986, with Jerry since 1983. We’re talking 30 years or more in some cases of being a band together. That’s it. The other guys came in at different times, God bless ‘em, great musicians, glad to have ‘em.
“But when you talk about original members, it’s the guys from Dirty Rotten and Cherry Pie and Dog Eat Dog and with Robert in the band for 10 years … you can’t get much more original than that.”