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Smash – Stephen Pearcy
 
Stephen Pearcy’s voice is a fixture in the cellar of anyone that grew up around 80’s metal. As the frontman for L.A. legends Ratt, Pearcy put out some of the best music of the decade. After a drought through the 90’s, Ratt returned in 2010 with Infestation, one of the band’s strongest efforts. Since that time the band has splintered, with each member telling their own story and filing their own lawsuit. Pearcy has remained active by writing music, acting, running his own record label, writing a book, and a whole lot more. Smash is a set of all new material that comes as a result of Pearcy’s highly ambitious lifestyle.

First thing that many will wonder when learning about a Stephen Pearcy solo album is “Does it sound like a Ratt album?” Sure, it’s Stephen Pearcy. He’s the voice of all of that classic Ratt material, and he still sounds exactly like he did in 1983. But, as far as the sound, style, and attitude of the record - my response to that question would be “Not really.”

This is a record that’s a bit more diverse than a Ratt-styled release. Yes, it’s a rock record and it doesn’t stray too far from that, but it does have some melodies and some elements you wouldn’t find on a Ratt record. For example “Dead Roses,” which starts with Pearcy screaming “Motherf**ker!,” has a dirty, raw punk feel to it. “Summers End” is the closest thing to a ballad on the album, and it’s really got a psychedelic thing going on. Quite a bit different than a Ratt ballad, the pulsing rhythm and background vocals near the end of the song are almost like Zeppelin’s “Kashmir”. And speaking of Zeppelin… It’s a sound that runs through quite a few of these tunes. The first forty seconds of the album (“I Know I’m Crazy”) had me thinking of “In The Evening” before the song slipped into an Alice Cooper-like vocal style. The third track on the album is a super cool thing called “Shut Down Baby,” which totally channels that fuzzy guitar groove that Page laid down on “In My Time Of Dying” and “Custard Pie”. And “What Do Ya Think” has the jangling acoustic feel of “Friends” mixed with the progression and sound of “Travelling Riverside Blues”. “Shut Down Baby” and “What Do Ya Think” completely channel Zep, but I can’t imagine any of them on a Ratt album. With all of that said though, you will find quite a few that could fit onto a Ratt release. Songs like “Ten Miles Wide,” “Jamie” and “I Can’t Take It” would definitely pass as Ratt tunes, with the latter being mixed and mastered by longtime Ratt producer Beau Hill.

Overall, Smash is a great display of Pearcy’s diversity and his great ability to write rock songs. Until the inevitable return of Ratt, and Pearcy’s writing partner Warren DeMartini, this is an excellent way to spend your days waiting.

 
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Stephen Pearcy: Up Front & Back For More - The Dr. Music Interview
Legendary frontman for L.A. metal pioneers Ratt talks to Dr. Music about his latest solo album, Smash, and his plans to bring the Ratt pack back for more.

 

If you were a fan of hard rock and metal in the 80's, Stephen Pearcy is a household name. Forming his band from the ashes of a project called Mickey Ratt, Ratt has gone on to sell more than 18 million records worldwide. From writing music and performing, to running his own record label, to authoring an autobiography and acting, Pearcy is a guy that never stops running. 
 
When I caught up with Stephen he was awaiting the release date of his latest solo album Smash, and rumored to be getting back together with fellow Ratt bandmates Warren DeMartini and Juan Croucier. In the following conversation you'll hear Stephen discuss these topics, along with the ins and outs of the recording process and the speculation of another autobiography.
 
Strap in for a high fueled ride as the way cool Stephen Pearcy lays it down!





0:00 - 1:20        With sales non-existent and everyone streaming music, why put out an album?


1:21 - 2:26        Stephen talks about Ratt and what’s coming up with that band.


2:27 - 3:05        What are your thoughts on Spotify?


3:06 - 5:06        Stephen discusses the band involved with recording Smash.


5:07 - 5:56        Is your approach to writing these songs the same as it would be for writing a
                         Ratt album?


5:57 - 6:43        Beau Hill is involved with mixing and mastering a song on Smash. Would you
                         consider having Beau produce a Ratt album if and when you guys do one?


6:44 - 7:58        The song “Shut Down Baby” is very Zeppelin-like. Was that intentional?


7:59 - 10:05      Were all the songs written for this album, or did you use stuff you had laying
                         around?


10:06 - 11:19    What’s your favorite Ratt record? Is there a Ratt record you’d like to get rid of?


11:20 - 11:52    If you had to pick one song to represent yourself and your career, what would it
                         be?


11:53 - 12:30    You’ve never been one to “take care of your voice.” Has that changed now that
                         you’re older?


12:31 - 13:48    Stephen discusses acting and soundtrack work.


13:49 - 14:35    Is there any preparation you’ll do on an upcoming Ratt recording to replace
                         Robbin’s sound?


14:36 - 17:10    There’s a rumor you’re working on another book?





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