Ex-WARRANT Singer Says He's Comfortable Being Called 'Classic Rock'

Former WARRANT frontman Jani Lane recently spoke to KNAC.COM about his contribution to the new RUSH tribute album "Subdivisions" and his departure from WARRANT, among other topics. Several excerpts from the interview follow:

KNAC.COM: Do you think sometimes that WARRANT gets too much of the blame for what happened to metal when there were probably literally thousands of bands that would have died to do what you did, even if it included choreographed dancing in videos or sporting matching outfits?

Jani Lane: Sure. There are a ton of musicians out there who have had that negative attitude about us and pointed their fingers, but I guarantee you that they have pictures by their bed in the lower third drawer of their dresser with them in striped spandex, headbands and permed hair while playing a Flying V. Their problem was that they just didn't get signed. Face it though — they were basically trying to get signed just like everyone else, and they would have taken the ride just like anyone else. Believe me, when they say they would have done it differently, they would have ended up getting caught up in the machine the same way we did. Make no mistake — it is a machine. In a situation like that, you don't have a lot of power over what you do. Once you break that precedent, then the phone calls stop getting answered. It's unfortunate.

KNAC.COM: Do you think a lot of your control issues or your feeling of a certain degree of helplessness stemmed from your age?

Jani Lane: Really, you don't know what you're doing at twenty-four. When that kind of stuff is being thrown at you, it's just unbelievable. When you're twenty-four and you have four executives and the entire panel from your publishing company and all of their attorneys there, and they are all pushing contracts at you saying, "Sign this or you'll probably never get another shot again," what do you do? You sign it. I signed it and turned around and popped a bottle of champagne. In hindsight, I think that probably the most fortunate thing for me about all of this is that we had enough success during that period that people either loved us or hated us, and I think that in the end we will be considered a "classic rock" band. That's fine — we'll take the ride with all the other bands from that time like the CINDERELLAs or the POISONs or whatever. I hope to at least go along on the ride.

KNAC.COM: Does it make it that much harder when there were so many sort of bad bands coming out of the same geographic region at that time? It seems like not only does WARRANT get blamed for its own sins, but that you also get blamed for the shortcomings of an entire group.

Jani Lane: It was like the movement in Seattle. At the beginning, there was some very groundbreaking stuff to come out of there. Then, the industry took over and turned it into a machine. Pretty soon, you could go anywhere and hear a band with that type of sound, and it was as normal as getting a cup of coffee. All of a sudden there were eighteen million bands that sounded like Nirvana. Now, I just look for the odd band that I can put on and listen to and that I think is cool. I do listen to different bands for different reasons though. I might listen to one song or two from a particular record. For example, I just listen to JET mostly for the production — I like that raw, New York sound. I don't think the songs are incredibly original though.

Read the entire interview at this location.


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