Ratt’s seminal hair band classic “Round and Round” is a particularly fitting metaphor for the entire 80’s L.A. rock scene, as well as the band. Now more than a quarter century from the start of the Hollywood Strip’s humble hair-metal birth, many of those same musicians and bands are making a resurgence, sans all the Aquanet and eyeliner. Through attrition and tragedy the bonds formed those many years ago between the rockers in arms, have brought many of them together in new and exciting collaborations.
At the heart of the Los Angeles rock scene two bands in particular were at the forefront; Ratt and Quiet Riot. Both bands tore up the airwaves, the charts, and the road for a solid decade before hair and spandex were crowded out by flannel and grunge.
In the intervening years both bands endured growing pains, personal conflict, line-up changes, and loss. New music was recorded and released, but it didn’t have the same flavor and perhaps passion of the past. Fans were not quick to respond, turning the Quiet Riot silent, and returning the Ratts to the cellar.
Now, older and wiser, both fans and bands are yearning for a return to the sound that so inspired a decade. In the last year, Krokus, Danger Danger, the Scorpions and even KISS have all released their best albums in 25 years. But perhaps the best of the all is the return of the rodent.
Ratt released Infestation in April to a generation of greedy ears, and those fans were not disappointed. The album fits in perfectly with their Out of The Cellar, Invasion of Your Privacy era records.
The core members of the band, guitarist legend Warren DeMartini, drum crusher, Bobby Blotzer, and of course vocalist Stephen Pearcy. The long term rift with bassist Juan Croucier has not healed, but Robbie Crane has been with the band longer than Juan was ever in it. The gaping hole in the line-up came with the devastating loss of guitarist Robbin Crosby. The band has tried over the years to replace Crosby with no real success. Talent was never the missing ingredient. Crosby had a certain heart, a unique soul that hard to define.
Enter Carlos Cavazo. Like his brethren in Ratt, Carlos watched as the music scene changed, even deteriorated, and immaturity and drugs killed off bands, and musicians alike. His band, Quiet Riot lost boisterous frontman Kevin DuBrow.
Two years ago, DeMartini reached out to Cavazo about making a new home with Ratt. After a year on the road, the band and Cavazo knew they’d found in an old friend, not a replacement for Crosby, but another brother.
Last week we caught up with Carlos in Miami. the band are currently on tour with the Scorpions, and slipping in their own headline dates on off days. Carlos talked about joining the band, the new album, playing along alongside another guitar icon, and who inspires his own playing.