It's been more than a decade since Warrant erupted onto the national
scene in 1989, and a lot has happened since. Yes, the music
business has been through a lot in the past 13 years, but the true
spirit of rock 'n' roll is still championed by the bands that have
bucked trends and defied the odds by remaining true to their
course. If Warrant aren't at the top of that list, it's only
because they got tired of waiting around for recognition and
headed back out on the road.
Warrant was formed in Los Angeles by guitarist Erik Turner in July 1984. The band's early members included
bassist Jerry Dixon ,vocalist Adam Shore, guitarist Josh Lewis, and drummer Max Asher. Vocalist Jani Lane (who replaced Shore) and drummer Steven "Sweet" Chamberlain (who replaced Asher) joined the band in September 1986, and guitarist Joey Allen (who replaced Lewis) completed the line-up in March 1987. Lane and Sweet were previously in the band Plain Jane, which had recorded several demos.
Jani Lane also assumed the role of s songwriter.
After gaining attention on the L.A. club scene, the band recorded a demo tape in September 1987 for Paisley Park
Records. The A&M label purchased an option to sign
them. After A&M allowed its option to lapse, the band signed a contract with Columbia Records, and in April
1988 they began recording their debut album Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich. The record
spawned 3 hits: the No. 2 power ballads "Heaven" and
"Sometimes She Cries", and the rock anthem
The band's second effort, Cherry Pie was released in March 1990, and featured guest appearances by Poison's C.C. DeVille, Danger Danger's Bruno Ravel and Steve West, and Fiona. The
hits "Cherry Pie", "Uncle Tom's Cabin" and
"I Saw Red" reached the Top Ten in the United States, and went on to sell 3 million copies. The record's title track, only included on the album as a result of record company pressure, received strong exposure on MTV and became the band's most successful single.
Over the years, the cast of Warrant changed but the music kept
coming. In 1992, Warrant released Dog Eat Dog, in 1995,
Ultraphobic. Belly to Belly was released in July 1996 in Japan and October 1996 in the United States. Under the Influence was released in May 2001.
The 2006 lineup consists of Jaime St. James (vocals), Erik Turner
(guitar), Jerry Dixon (bass), Steven Sweet (drums) and Joey Allen
If Warrant and their like-minded, hard-rockin' peers have learned
anything over the past few years, it's that there's power in
numbers. Whether you call it nostalgia, hair rock, a flashback, or
just plain rock 'n' roll, it's striving, and Warrant are proud to
be at the head of the pack. "I think this music has finally
gotten old enough to be cool again Just like bellbottoms,"
says Jerry Dixon with a laugh. "We took a lot of punches over
the years, but I'm glad we stuck it out and lasted. Our approach
to music is to just have a good time, and especially with
everything that's going on in the world, people don't want to be
bummed out anymore. We know the problems are there just like
everyone else does, but when we're onstage, Warrant's about having
a good time."
Whatever the reason, the crowds are coming out in full force, and
Warrant's demand as a live act has continued to grow over. "I
think people's musical tastes are a lot more varied than people
think," says guitarist Erik Turner of the band's blossoming
fan base. "I'm really surprised by how many younger fans are
out there at our shows Some of them could be our kids. Maybe they
are! We see and meet a lot of high school kids who are coming to
our shows and checking us out for the first time."
And why not? Especially when the very stations that turn Alien Ant
Farm and Crazy Town into Top 40 pop superstars continue to play "Heaven"
and "Cherry Pie" in
frequent rotation. "When grunge hit, there was a definite
backlash, but now we're seeing bands who like Warrant, and aren't
afraid to mention Warrant in interviews," say Erik Turner,
citing OZZfest kingpins and Warrant fans Drowning Pool, as well as
pop-rockers New Found Glory.
But even if radio were to swing full-circle, offering the same
support they did more than a decade ago, the band still wouldn't
turn their backs on their past. "There's a lot to be said
about being nostalgic, but I think it's great, and the best thing
that can happen to a band," offers Dixon. "Let's be
honest If you were to start in this business, and someone would
promise that your band would survive for as long as we have, then
be considered nostalgic and be able to tour amphitheaters 17 years
later, would you take it? Of course you would! ..."