RATT singer Stephen Pearcy says that the band has gotten "rid of the cancer" by taking control of the RATT name following a legal dispute with drummer Bobby Blotzer.
Currently based around the vocalist and fellow "classic-era" members Warren DeMartini and Juan Croucier with later-period RATT guitarist Carlos Cavazo (ex-QUIET RIOT), the group will make its first official return to the stage on February 11 at the Treasure Island Resort Casino in Welch, Minnesota.
A completely different version of RATT — led by Blotzer and featuring a revolving door of members — has been hitting stages across the country since the fall of 2015.
Back in November, a California judge decided that the corporation WBS, Inc. — of which Blotzer and DeMartini were thought to be the sole shareholders — did not have ownership interest in the RATT marks and that the name and brand was still owned by the members who were part of the original RATT partnership agreement.
In addition to claiming to have expelled Blotzer from the partnership following the latest court ruling, Pearcy, DeMartini and Croucier said that Blotzer could now only refer to himself as a "former member of RATT," as per the partnership agreement.
Speaking to Neil Jones of the "Star Radio Rock Show", Pearcy stated about Blotzer's legal defeat (hear audio below): "It's nice to not have these problems. The terrible thing was this person couldn't go out on his own, and he had to go out and play the music the rest of the guys [wrote]… our music. And it's great if you wanna make a living, you know, but to make it off our music and then claim that this band never… the original members never existed, or change the course of history, is just lunacy."
He continued: "Our audience is very smart. Our fans have been with us for a long time, and they're not stupid. Even worse and disrespectful to our fans, it wasn't mentioned that we weren't even playing; most of the people thought that it was Warren and I and Juan playing in [Blotzer's] project, this cover band. But it's good to say the dust has settled, the legalities are tightening down, and we just have to rebuild the brand, unfortunately. But it's there. We're taking it very carefully, methodically, down to every move every make, what shows we do. We're already talking about doing [a new] record, starting late in the year, and putting on the best show possible."
Asked if RATT's decision to move forward without Blotzer is tinged in any way with sadness that someone that he played with for most of his adult life would act in such a way toward his onetime bandmates, Pearcy said: "You know, it wasn't surprising, but how it got worse and worse and transpired and the stuff they were saying, it was really getting bad to where, collectively, the remaining surviving members had to step up, 'cause it was affecting our catalog and our reputation and our integrity. So, to not dwell on it much, we got rid of the cancer. It was really getting to be nonsense. And to this day, they're still feeding nonsense, regardless of what the court says, and the judgment, so it's kind of a terrible thing. But we're 'back for more' — aptly titled tour — and we're gonna go out there and beat some ass."
He added: "We're gonna actually go worldwide this time around. It's been a couple of years doing the RATT thing. We wanna go to Europe, we wanna go to South America, Australia, Japan… there's talks. And right now, we're talking about possibly doing a tour with somebody. So [there's] a lot going on."
Blotzer has filed a request for reconsideration, and a hearing has been scheduled for January 23 in a downtown Los Angeles federal courtroom.
Blotzer's lineup of RATT currently includes singer Josh Alan alongside guitarists Mitch Perry (TALAS, HEAVEN, STEELER, MSG, LITA FORD) and Stacey Blades (L.A. GUNS) and bassist Brad Lang (Y&T).