JUAN CROUCIER: 'RATT Took A Lot Of Pride In Being A Really Good Live Band'

June 18, 2023

In a new interview with Thomas S. Orwat, Jr. of Rock Interview Series, RATT bassist Juan Croucier spoke about "The Atlantic Years: 1984-1991", a new limited-edition box set from BMG, in partnership with Rhino Entertainment, celebrating RATT's massively successful period where all five of their studio albums were certified gold, platinum or multi-platinum. Released on June 9, the LP set features all five albums remastered on 180g black vinyl, rare "Nobody Rides For Free" seven-inch single, 1- page replica tour book (featuring rare and never-before-seen photos from RATT's personal archives),11"x17" "Wanted" poster, bumper sticker, replica backstage pass, and guitar pick in a custom lift top box. The CD set features all five of the studio albums in a side loading box.

Asked if he was surprised at how quickly RATT's 1984 debut album, "Out Of The Cellar", took off and what it became, Juan said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I was surprised that we were able to get to where we got to before we made the record. I was hoping, is what it was — I was hoping. There were a lot of tears to sort of transcend, if you will. Making a great record was fundamental.

"At the time that we made 'Out Of The Cellar', MTV was just starting," he continued. "So we did a music video, of which there were very few at the time. And we were able to place our video… I remember Don Letts, I believe his name was, was the producer of the 'Round And Round' video. We just shot it in a day. [We] came up with sort of a loose storyboard of how we sort of wanted it to go. Then we delivered it to MTV, and that really, really helped familiarize people with the band. Because a lot of people were just getting cable TV, and MTV was, like… They only had, like, maybe 50 videos. So a lot of it was timing along with putting out a solid record and being consistent.

"There's one thing that RATT took a lot of pride in, and that was being a really good live band," Croucier added. "If you look at… The total opposite would have been a group like STEELY DAN. STEELY DAN was one of the greatest groups in the world, but they were studio guys that got together and made excellent recordings and amazing songs and records, and then they went out and played live. RATT was a live band that went into the studio to capture that aggressiveness and that power and energy and try to sort of harness that on to a record so we could continue to play live.

"So there was a series of things that I was hopeful that we would be able to achieve and then replicate. Because it was all about… We never felt comfortable. It was always like we wanted to outshine ourselves in the sense that, 'That was good. Now let's go to the next level.'

"So it was a little bit of a gamble. It's a dangerous career. [Laughs]"

All albums on "The Atlantic Years: 1984-1991" feature the classic RATT lineup of Stephen Pearcy (vocals),Warren DeMartini (guitars),Robbin Crosby (guitars),Juan Croucier (bass/vocals),and Bobby Blotzer (drums).

Formed in Los Angeles, RATT was featured as an unsigned act on "Uncle Joe Benson's Local Licks Drive Time" show on KLOS-FM. This was their first time on radio and led to their signing to Atlantic Records.

RATT exploded on to the national scene in 1984 with the release of "Out Of The Cellar". Featuring an undeniable hook and legendary music video, lead single "Round And Round" hit No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100, while "Out Of The Cellar" reached No. 7 on the Billboard 200 and was certified triple platinum. Two more charting singles followed with "Back For More" and "Wanted Man". RATT started the tour as an opening act, but by the end of the tour had climbed to arena headliner.

RATT returned in 1985 with its second full-length album, "Invasion Of Your Privacy". Certified double platinum and also reaching No. 7 on the Billboard 200, "Invasion Of Your Privacy" also featured the classics "Lay It Down" (No. 40 on Billboard Hot 100) and "You're In Love".

"Dancing Undercover" followed in 1986 as RATT toured North America with a then-brand new Los Angeles band called POISON as the opening act. Lead single "Dance" hit the Billboard Hot 100 and spawned another music video hit with "Slip Of The Lip", while "Body Talk" was featured in a key scene in the Eddie Murphy film "The Golden Child". "Dancing Undercover" became RATT's third consecutive platinum album and reached No. 26 on the Billboard 200.

1988's "Reach For The Sky" saw RATT return to the Top 20 of the Billboard 200 album charts, peaking at No. 17. Driven by the bluesy hit and MTV favorite "Way Cool Jr.", "Reach For The Sky" was also certified platinum and became RATT's fourth album in a row to move well over a million copies. "I Want A Woman" was also a successful single and the video captured the excitement and energy of RATT live.

RATT released its last full-length record of the Atlantic era, "Detonator", in 1990. Music was changing, but "Detonator" was still a success, peaking at No. 23 on the Billboard 200 and going gold. It was the first RATT album to feature major outside songwriting contributions (Desmond Child, Diane Warren) and guests (Jon Bon Jovi, Michael Schenker). Lead single "Lovin' You's A Dirty Job" hit No. 18 on the rock chart while the power ballad "Giving Yourself Away" reached No. 39.

In 1991, they released the single "Nobody Rides For Free" from the hit film "Point Break", starring Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze, which is exclusive to the LP box.

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