Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Seizing the yesterday with Warrant's Jani Lane

Here's to the girl with the little red shoes,
She likes to party,
She likes the booze,
She lost her cherry, but that's no sin,
Thank God, she's still got the box the cherry came in.

-- from Warrant's official Web site

With the same courage we'd imagine a fly would use in an attempt to copulate with a rat, Warrant rejects the notion that there isn't a soul on Earth the least bit interested in it. So, in spite of the amount of self-deception we think is at play, Warrant deserves a merit badge for its stubborn persistence in continuing to plod forth. And truly, how well we can fool those above us on the ladder of social hierarchy into thinking that we are both brilliant and dazzling, then selling out to the highest bidder, is how we measure our success and, therefore, self-worth.

It's really fucked up.

Which brings me back to Warrant. We all remember Warrant, right? It was the band whose wardrobe defended the integrity of blond bimbos the nation over. It was also the band whose songs defended the integrity of blond bimbos the nation over.

Well, the other day, Warrant singer Jani Lane called up wanting to talk about Warrant's new record and stuff. Lane is the guy responsible for songs like "Cherry Pie," "Heaven," "I Saw Red" and "Uncle Tom's Cabin." The new record is called Greatest & Latest and has all those aforementioned songs, only rerecorded. There are even some bonus tracks with wacky techno remixes. Right.

Anyway, Lane started getting irate and cut off the interview not long after he called.

Bill Blake: What's up, dude?

Jani Lane: I'm calling you from the back room of a music store because I had to run down here because we ran out of drum heads. Such is my glamorous life.

BB: Yeah, no more drum techs!

JL: (long pause) So what's up, bro?

BB: What is your take on current radio? And why is it that nobody plays Warrant records anymore?

JL: It's a little bit confused. Obviously, they went through the alternative and grunge thing for a while, which gave them something to really sink their teeth into. Then comes the more poppy stuff with Smash Mouth and Sugar Ray. Then there are stations that can't decide whether they want to be pop rock or classic rock. Then you have stations playing straight-up rock 'n' roll like Marvelous 3 or Buckcherry or Lit, but they're still calling it "alternative" so they can play it. And it's tough for a lot of stations to play -- I mean, metal-rap is huge.

BB: So what do you think of Limp Bizkit and Korn?

JL: I dunno. I've only heard two Limp Bizkit songs and one was a cover. They appeal to all the metal heads, which is cool. Those kids gotta have something to rock out to.

BB: C'mon, you must have some take on the horrible rap-metal brigade. I mean, you can't have only heard two Limp Bizkit songs. That's crazy. You can't even go to the supermarket without hearing that shit.

JL: Oh, it's huge right now. It's definitely the flavor of the day.

BB: Why did you go back and rerecord your old hits for Greatest & Latest (Deadline/Cleopatra Records)?

JL: The reason we went back and rerecorded those songs is because we were asked to. We just rerecorded everything from scratch. I played drums, which was fun for me.

BB: What's it like to sell millions of records, then suddenly not?

JL: Just imagine being a CEO at a company, then being demoted down to the mail room. Then you either have to find another job or work your way back up because you still think you should be a CEO.

BB: With true rock 'n' roll stars -- the real ones, guys like Marc Bolan, Keith Richards, Steven Tyler, etc. -- do you think there was a feeling that nothing else in life existed for them? And that what made them great had a lot to do with some inherent attribute?

JL: Well, now they'd be working a job. First of all, there are a gazillion talented guys out there. If you're signed and making money, you are lucky. If you say that you are the greatest cat in the world, that's bullshit because there are guys in the basement that can blow you off the stage.

BB: No, bro, you misunderstood my point. What I was asking was, do you think those guys were great because they weren't faking it? That they had that one thing that couldn't be learned in some music school or willed into the head?

JL: When those guys came out, there was no competition, there was no, "Shit, man, we better come up with a hit record or we better come up with a radio single." It was, "We are the fucking Stones, here's our record, play it." Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way anymore. So because I'm not selling records, am I supposed to stop doing what I have been doing since I was 11 years old?

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