Ratt’s Stephen Pearcy Blames Something Other Than Grunge for Hair Metal’s Downfall
Speaking with Goldmine magazine about Ratt's upcoming limited edition The Atlantic Years box set, Pearcy was asked if grunge was what led to Ratt's dissolution in 1992, two years after releasing their fifth album Detonator.
Ratt band teamed up with producer/co-writer Desmond Child on Detonator, moving in an even more commercial direction, this time quite obviously so. Record labels were intent on fully cashing in on the hair metal bonanza, spurring a lot of subpar imitation acts, which Pearcy feels had a negative impact on the scene overall.
"A lot of people think grunge had a huge impact on us, but at that point, it really had nothing to do with what happened to Ratt. I mean… we can claim partial ownership for the music that came out of the early '80s, but by the time the decade ended, and Detonator came out, the scene was totally flooded with cookie-cutter bands," the singer says.
"That was as big of an issue as anything," he contends, "It got to the point where people were like, 'You have to dress this way, move this way, sing this way,' and all this fucking shit."
He continues, "The whole world was filled with mini-Motleys and mini-Ratts, and it just got to be too much. And so, things went from being amazing to being the absolute worst very quickly. When everyone is making the same music, using the same producers, and the same video directors, you're going to have a problem."
So, I don't blame it on grunge as much as I blame it on all that was going on in that era," Pearcy concludes.
It's a fair assessment — too much of one thing can dilute a scene, especially after roughly a decade in the limelight.
READ MORE: How Grunge Killed Hair Metal
When asked if he has any particular regrets from the band's five-album run on Atlantic Records, the singer says he has "a few," "but they're internal and more in relations to the inner workings of the band."
Even though Ratt's classic lineup has not regrouped, Pearcy notes that he's fortunate to still be around to talk about it and to have achieved the level of success he did back in the day. The box set is a testament to that era and the singer notes, "Even if we can't all get in a room to play music together, at least we're able to accomplish this."
Ratt's The Atlantic Years box set is out now. Get more details here.
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