WARRANT Drummer Says He Underwent Radical Prostatectomy Following Prostate Cancer Diagnosis

July 13, 2019

WARRANT drummer Steven Sweet recently spoke with Travis of the Fargo, North Dakota radio station 95.9 KRFF-FM. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On the group's current "Dirty 30" tour, which celebrates the 30th anniversary of the release of the group's debut album, "Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich":

Steven: "It's really mindblowing to think that that amount of time has gone by in what feels like a flash. Anybody who has kids will tell you that children make your days longer and the years shorter, but being in a band makes time sort of stand still. It's been a great blessing, and to be able to celebrate that landmark for us with everybody who enjoys that is amazing."

On his memories of recording the album:

Steven: "We were all very skinny; we were all very hungry. I don't know if anybody really knows this, but when I went into the studio, when we were scheduled to go into the studio to begin the recording process, I did not even own a proper set of drums. I had a beautiful drum kit that was custom-ordered and made for a guy named Jeff Hair, who happens to be the front-of-house sound engineer for MANOWAR. He was a drummer initially and then a sound engineer in the Cleveland, Ohio area where I grew up and started playing. I bought this drum kit from him that he no longer needed because he was going to continue to do more front-of-house gigs, and this kit somehow wound up getting stolen by being repossessed in a rental truck that the bill was overdue to. At that time, I wound up with just pieces of drums — I had a bass drum, and I had one floor tom. I wound up throwing some things together temporarily, but a friend of mine introduced me to Pearl drums, and through that relationship, they [helped] immediately and got me a kit. I put it together in our little duplex apartment and got it all set up for the studio."

On his favorite song on the album to perform:

Steven: "'32 Pennies' was a fun song to play. Just the groove — playing [something] different other than [a] straight 4/4 pattern on a high-hat was interesting to me. I was a big RUSH fan growing up as a kid, and Rod Morgenstein — who was with THE DIXIE DREGS at that time — was a big influence on my playing. Any chance I had to incorporate any of those little, tiny things that I loved to do in a WARRANT song, I would take. Sometimes it would fly; sometimes, it didn't go so well. In this case, it's not very over the top — it just sort of slides in there, and it worked for me. That's one of my favorites."

On how WARRANT graduated from the Sunset Strip:

Steven: "At the end of the day, it comes down to the songs. For us, we had great songs, thankfully, for Jani Lane, and for the chemistry that we had as a band. Without one or the other, you can have the highest hair in town and the shiniest pants, but it's not going to matter... It comes down to the songs, the look and the attitude. If you don't have a go-get-'em attitude, it doesn't matter if you have the songs, and if you don't have the look, sometimes it doesn't matter if you have the songs."

On the band's approach to releasing new material:

Steven: "You're always working on stuff when music's in your blood, and everybody else in this band has this same disease where you have to continually create. It's whether or not you have the opportunity to put it out to the extent that people are going to be able to consume it... To be able to get together and to work out the stuff that we feel is worthy of spreading out to everybody else's ears is the big factor for us. Every few years is a good pace for us. Back in the day, you would do one record every 10 months, and you had to keep up that pace to keep up with the record company's demands. Now that we don't have that pressure and that overlord presence, plain and simply, we're feeling a little bit more leisurely about things."

On being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018:

Steven: "I'm good. When faced with a problem like that, I just decided that I didn't want to mess around with any sort of possible outcomes of possibly effective treatment, and I just went straight for having a radical prostatectomy, which is [where] they remove the entire gland. I was very, very lucky to have a friend of mine refer me to a person at the Prostate Cancer Foundation of America who had a huge network of the best surgeons. I was referred to a great surgeon in Baltimore at Johns Hopkins University, and he took care of the job in great form. Everything has been removed without any residual effects, which means I've got everything back and working straight. Every three months after having surgery like that, you need to follow up with blood testing, so I'm in my second round of blood tests this month and just waiting to find out the results, but so far, everything's been clear, and I'm just hopeful that we got it all and I'm able to move on and be strong and healthy for my family."

WARRANT's latest album, "Louder Harder Faster", was released in 2017 via Frontiers Music Srl. The disc was recorded with producer Jeff Pilson — a veteran bassist who has played with DIO, FOREIGNER and DOKKEN, among others — and was mixed by Pat Regan, except for the song "I Think I'll Just Stay Here And Drink", which was mixed by Chris "The Wizard" Collier (FLOTSAM AND JETSAM, PRONG, LAST IN LINE).

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