Heart of Steel: Interviews

Interview With Warrant Guitarist Erik Turner 
Warrant - New Outlook

Interview By Keith McDonald 

Warrant come to light with a host of other hard rock bands from the 80’s. Like many of their peers, Warrant experienced some great highs and even worse lows. Yet the band has carried on. They’ve kept the fire burning with many changed in their line-up. Now the band has returned with original members Joey Allen and Steven Sweet minus their lead singer and main songwriter Jani Lane. Replacing him is former Black N Blue frontman Jamie St. James. The plans on hitting the road and recording a new album with their line-up. I had the opportunity to speak with guitarist Erik Turner who gave me some light on the band and it’s plans.

Why did Jani leave the band?

He wanted MORE from his career, from what I can tell. He has a lot of music in him that he needs to get out solo style. His leaving was no surprise to those of us in the Warrant camp. What was a shock is that it didn't happen sooner. It felt like he was just going through the motions. No new music in years and his refusal to change the set list gave that impression. Not to say we didn't do a lot of great shows over the years and we did have some laughs too. They just started getting farther apart. Jani has been one of my best friends for 17 years, so I understand even if some of the fans don't. I wish him and his family all the best in life.



How and why did Joey and Steven return to the band?

I gave Joey a call, and we went from there. Jerry and I, along with Obi met with Joey and Steven a few years ago to talk about a reunion. We were all into it, but Jani shot it down. He liked the way things were at the time. We all thought the fans would rather see the original Warrant and it could benefit everybody. When Lane split Jerry and I got on the phone again and made it happen. Two months later we played our first gig.



How did Jamie St. James come about?

Jaime is a good friend of ours and a great singer. He was our first choice. Billy Morris gave us his number ironically, after Jaime moved back to Portland. When we got together the first time to jam, it felt right and natural. It's amazing how easy it all has come along. The song writing is going very smoothly as well. The songs are just pouring out after being bottled up for so long.



Do you think there's a big difference between the singing styles of Jamie and Jani?

On record you can really hear the difference, but live its amazing how much the songs sound like the original recordings. Jaime is a professional in every sense of the word, and still has a great range. Add Steven and the rest of the band on background vocals and the band sounds the best it has in 10 years.



What are your tour plans?

No package tour at this point, so we will play select dates through out the summer into the fall. When we are home the recording process will continue.



Will this version of Warrant record a studio album?

That’s why we are writing and recording ;-)



What is Jani up to now?

I have no idea, that’s a question for Lane.



Was his drinking and partying becoming a problem for the band?

Too much of anything isn't a good thing.



What is the difference between now and the last time Jani left in the early 90's?

We were expecting this to happen sooner or later and have been mentally prepared for this day for a long time. We hoped Jani wouldn't quit, but the writing was on the wall for years.



Would you ever consider taking Jani back with the other original members?

We are very excited about the line up and are having more fun in this band than ever. I can't see why we would want to go back to having Jani control our lives. We are in control of our own destiny now and it feels amazing. Lane controlled the band by not returning phone calls and making himself unavailable for weeks at a time when we had important business that need to be taken care of. Never say never, to answer your question, but I can't see it happening.



Will you play any Black N Blue songs?

We play ‘Hold On To 18’ and it goes over really well.



Did you know that Sony reissued Warrant's 'Cherry Pie' and 'DRFSR' albums with bonus tracks? If so, did you have any say in this project?

Yes, Jerry and I were very involved in what bonus songs went on, artwork and final mastering. It sounds unbelievable, huge! Sanctuary is putting out a record this year too - ‘Then and Now’.



Who will handle the songwriting considering Jani handled most to all of the songwriting before?

So far we have all been writing and it will continue that way. When we get 20 songs in the can we will pick the best 12 or 13 tracks and make the best WARRANT record we can. That’s all we have ever done, our best songs at the time.



What's the future for Warrant?

Recording, touring and having a lot of laughs along the way, That’s the plan. Cheers!


Previous Interviews with Warrant in Metal-Rules.com
Interview #1 (Jani Lane, Sept. 2003)  /  Interview #2 (Jerry Dixon)

Band Website: www.WarrantWeb.net

Band Website: www.ErikTurner.com