If you look around at the current landscape of popular music in America, you might come to one simple, sad conclusion — rock is dead. These days the charts are dominated by hip-hop artists, pop starlets and the occasional bro-country act. Long gone are the days when true rock ’n’ roll bands were the kings of the airwaves.
But luckily for rock ’n’ rollers across the globe, that same concept does not bleed its way through to live music. In fact, of the Top 10 highest grossing tours of all time, seven out of 10 of them are rock acts, and all of those tours have taken place in the last 15 years. It seems rock lives on-as long as it’s onstage.
One band that made a name for itself back when rock was king is Ratt. These LA.-based glam-rockers will hit the stage at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, for a night of loud guitars and good times.
I had a chance to chat with lead singer Stephen Pearcy ahead of the big gig. Here’s what he had to say.
Ryan Loughlin: You guys have had a lot of lineup changes over the years. How is the current version of Ratt getting along?
Stephen Pearcy: Very well, it’s probably the most cohesive we have been.
RL: Rock music has taken a bit of a backseat as far as popularity in recent years, do think pure rock ‘n’ roll like Ratt plays will make a comeback?
SP: I think it is already. We go out and play and the shows are huge and the crowds are crazy and the audience is young. Of course there are also the 40 and 50-year-olds that grew up with us, but there are a lot of young people at our shows.
RL: How do you think young people are getting exposed to your music?
SP: The music is everywhere. It’s on TV, in commercials and I guess there is still a lot of word of mouth, which is great.
RL: What is touring these days like compared to how it was in the ‘80s?
SP: Well, I’m surprised we all made it through the ‘80s! (Laughs.) But now it’s about business. We’ve done the fun and that’s over with. Nowadays we take much better care of ourselves and the music.
RL: Do you still enjoy it like you did back then?
SP: Sure. I just try to have a good time. It’s still a party to me. You don’t have to go to the actual party, but it’s still fun.
RL: Do you have any plans for a new record?
SP: Yes, there’s plans for new music, without a doubt. We’re deciding now how we want to go about releasing it, whether it will be a full record or just a bunch of singles. I think we will probably go that route though, release a few singles, see how people take to it and the rest is easy.
RL: Do you prefer playing with Ratt or working as a solo artist?
SP: I have more freedom with the solo stuff, but it’s going to sound like Ratt one way or another as long as I am doing the writing.
RL: What can fans expect from the live show at Hard Rock?
SP: An ass whooping! They’re going to have a good time out there.