After going round and round in the quest for a second guitarist (Michael Schenker, John Corabi, Kerri Kelly, Alex Grossi and even Tracii Guns for one hot minute), Ratt seems to have made the perfect choice in former Quiet Riot six stringer, Carlos Cavazo. A formidable talent who replaced the late, great Randy Rhoads in Quiet Riot, Cavazo has the requisite L.A. hair-metal pedigree and fretboard flash to stand solid alongside the eternally wicked Warren DeMartini.
“I thought of bringing in Carlos a couple years before it actually happened,” DeMartini says in a press release from Ratt’s new label, Roadrunner Records. “At the time, we thought we were going to be replacing John because of conflicting schedules and I started thinking it would be cool to have Carlos. So when the time was right, he was the first person I called.”
For Cavazo, who was between projects (including one with drummer Vinny Appice) the offer came at a perfect time. And since he already knew the guys in Ratt from the early days, he felt comfortable with the personalities of the players.
“It worked out great for me and felt very natural,” Cavazo says. “It’s funny because I was just hanging out in my house one day and I missed a call. So I checked my voice mail and noticed it was Warren. The first thing I’m thinking is, ‘Either there’s a big party he’s going to invite me to somewhere, or they’re looking for a new guitar player.’ Obviously, it was the latter.”
The axe grinders are joined on Ratt’s new album, “Infestation,” by singer Stephen Pearcy, drummer Bobby Blotzer and bassist Robbie Crane. The disc marks the band’s first album of new material in 11 years and harkens back to the Sunset Strip’s party-hearty heyday when Ratt ruled the radio with such hits as “Round and Round,” “Back for More,” “You’re in Love” and “Wanted Man.”
As you’ll recall, the second-guitarist merry-go-round began when original guitarist (and one-time roommate of Nikki Sixx), Robbin “King” Crosby,” spiraled into a dismal decline of drugs, HIV and an eventual heroin overdose in 2002. A subsequent history of bickering and backbiting, coupled with the rise of grunge, ultimately kicked Ratt’s ass.
Let’s hope the latest round of Ratt N’ Roll, currently on tour with Scorpions and stopping at the AT&T Center in San Antonio this Friday, July 23 (beware of the $15 parking fee!) is as harmonious onstage and backstage as it sounds on “Infestation.” For those in the San Antonio area, you might want to hold out added hope (or not!) that guitar god Michael Schenker could possibly (or not!) appear at the Ratt/Scorpions concert at the AT&T Center, Friday, July 23. Schenker is in San Antonio for a gig of his own at Backstage Live two days earlier on July 21. Just saying …