Joey Allen says that he was "not prepared" to see Jani Lane die, despite the fact that the longtime WARRANT singer battled alcoholism for years before his final exit from the group.
Lane recorded several albums with WARRANT in late 1980s and early 1990s but left the group several times. The band's seventh studio LP, "Born Again", was released in 2006 and featured Jaime St. James as the lead singer. In 2008, Lane returned to WARRANT temporarily and toured with the group. In September that year, WARRANT announced that Jani had left again. The band replaced him with Robert Mason and released its eighth studio album, "Rockaholic", in 2011.
Speaking to "Waste Some Time With Jason Green about how he found out about Jani's death, Joey said: "We were in North Dakota playing a gig. We had a night off, so we were all out to eat. And my phone rang, and it was Jeff Blando from SLAUGHTER and Vince Neil's band, who's just a good friend of all of ours. And he started apologizing, 'I'm so sorry.' And I'm, like, 'What are you talking about?' Because it was literally seven [o'clock] where we were and five in L.A., and the news hadn't gotten out yet. So he told me. And he apologized for being the one to tell me: 'Dude, I love you. Sorry. God bless you.' And I hung up the phone and I looked around the table and I just told everybody. And it was just unbelievable.
"Even though you know somebody's that ill, you're not prepared for that by any means," he continued. "And I remember just everybody's phone, ten minutes later, blowing up. And that night, it was horrible. We were sitting around in disbelief, trying to muster up something… 'We've gotta say something. If we don't say something… Oh my God.' So we tried to write something as eloquent as possible for the time, and we put it out."
Joey went on to say that he and his bandmates had a particularly hard time processing Jani's death.
"I've never lost anybody… I lost my father last year, in October," Allen said. "My father was in his 80s. Luckily, because of COVID, I was around him a lot, and the doctor, in the last while. So we were able to have all those conversations as two people that love each other can have before somebody passes. So even though he passed, and it's horrible, it was a closed book, and we were good. And he wasn't afraid to die, and I wasn't afraid to be here without him. I miss him still terribly. When somebody's taken from you like Jani was, it's unbelievable — that's the best way I can say it — and not in a good way. You're, like, 'No, no, no, no. That's not right.' And then you scramble to try to process. It's like losing a brother to a car wreck or a fire; there's all kinds of ways people pass. It's horrible. It's horrific still. I feel horrible for his family."
Lane died in August 2011 at age 47. Paramedics found his body in a Comfort Inn motel room in Woodland Hills, California, which is near Los Angeles. Lane had battled alcohol abuse for years.
Mason recently told Waste Some Time With Jason Green about how he found out about Jani's death: "I think it was us and the SLAUGHTER guys, we were all having dinner at a steak joint somewhere in the middle of the country doing a gig, and everybody's phone just buzzed — it seemed [like it happened] all at once. It was kind of rare for us — all band and crew; everybody — after flying in, we were all sitting around the table, with appetizers, waiting for entrees to show up, and all of sudden, everybody's phones just blew up. And it was that horrible look. I remember somebody looking and going [opens his eyes wide]. And I know they thought to themselves, 'This is what this is,' and they were dead right. We all picked up the phone, and we were, like, 'Did you just hear…?' 'Yeah, I just got a text from so-and-so.' 'I just missed a phone call from six people.'"
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).