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Sunday, May 6, 2018

Exclusive: Interview with Warrant's Erik Turner

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Let me walk you back in time for a minute, back to 1989 when I was months from graduating high school and the only thing bigger than my hair was my collection of hair bands on cassette. I had shoeboxes full, but my favorites lived at the bottom of my denim bag with my Walkman so that I could plug in at any point in time. One of those tapes was Warrant's Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich. I loved the 'Down Boys' immediately because even in that sea of glam makeup and leather, they stood out. Sure their early tracks were well produced, but there was something a bit more earthy to them. Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith were early inspirations and I could hear that even on that first album.

It has been almost 30 years since that album brought them to the forefront of rock and Warrant is still out there, doing as they've always done- touring and making new music. They were recently added to the tenth annual M3 Rock Festival at Merriweather Post Pavillion in MD and I was fortunate enough to grab a few minutes of Warrant founder/guitarist Erik Turner's time.

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(Photo: Facebook/Erika Gallo)

Cate Meighan: Warrant was recently added to the M3 Rockfest lineup in Columbia, MD and I'm wondering what you guys have planned for us. 

Erik Turner: It's going to be a thirty-minute set and we'll concentrate mostly on the songs that people already know and hopefully love.  

CM: Your latest album, Louder Harder Faster seems to really tap into that old bluesy, classic rock energy. Was it a natural progression for you or were you purposefully aiming in that direction?  

ET: Every record is so different because you go through so many stages of your life while you're writing music. This record is definitely a throwback to the bluesy, melodic hard rock that we grew up on. It influenced us more than ever when making this record and we're proud of the way it came out. Rockaholic, our last record, was a little more polished and produced. I feel like that could have come out after "Cherry Pie" because it fits into that song style and production so we're really proud of Rockaholic as well.  

CM: How is touring different for you now then it was back in those 'Cherry Pie' days? 

ET: The Louder Harder Faster Tour is what we're in the middle of doing now. We played about sixty shows last year and we're hoping to do the same this year as well.  There are a lot fewer hangovers now (laughing). We don't party as much as we use to, it was out of control back in the day. I also think that we're more appreciative now because we're still in the game so many years later. Who would have thought that we would still be touring and making records all these years later? We were teenagers when we started the band and who would have thought that we would still be here doing this? There's so much gratitude and I think we've learned to fully enjoy the moments onstage. We're lucky that we can go out on tour and play live with a back catalog of several songs that people really want to hear.  

CM:  Warrant, like every other long-running rock band, has seen the dark side of the business. What has held you together for nearly 35 years? 

ET: We've just always persevered through everything. We've had a lot of good times in the band, which everybody hears about, but there've been a lot of bad times as well. There's a lot of business crap that goes down behind the scenes that can kill a band dead in its' tracks, but we've always persevered. We're in the entertainment business so we're not going to be complaining about the business side of it. For us it's all about the music, being entertaining and having a good time.  

CM: How do you feel about the younger talent out there that's trying to break through? 

ET: There's a new generation of musicians now and if they're doing their job correctly then we shouldn't be able to really relate to their music, just like our generation didn't relate to ours (laughing). They need to be the voice of their generation rather than trying to rehash what we've done. I'm a creature of habit so I listen to all the classic bands that I grew up on and bands like Avenged Sevenfold and Danko Jones we'll crank up in the dressing room before a showThere's a lot of amazing talent out there you've just got to look for it. There's so much content out there on the internet now that I think it's almost harder for artists to get noticed. It's not impossible but I think it's difficult. 

CM: What do you want to say to all of the rock fans out there that are so supportive of Warrant?

ET: We appreciate people coming out and supporting not only us but other rock bands at concerts all over the place. It's such a special thing to go and see a band live. You can watch anything on YouTube now but it's a whole different experience when you're there in the room and you can feel the energy. We're so grateful that people come out to sing and clap and flash us (laughing). It's what being in a rock band is all about so we appreciate it. We still like to have a good time.  

More info on M3 Rockfest can be found HERE!


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