Stephen Pearcy Said “Nobody Was Putting The Kickstand Down When Ratt Took Off In 1984”

Watch Ratt singer Stephen Pearcy talk about the 40th anniversary of their debut album “Out Of The Cellar” and his tour celebrating the anniversary.

Not only did Ratt’s debut album turn 40 in February 2024, but Stephen Pearcy, the band’s singer, is touring to celebrate the anniversary. See all of Stephen’s tour dates here. It’s the first time anybody has gone out on the road to play any Ratt album top to bottom. We caught up with Stephen by Zoom to discuss the album. He joked that playing the album in sequence makes the big hit “Round And Round” third in the set. I had been under the impression that the album came out March 27th, 1984. Stephen quickly corrected me that it was February 17th, 1984, that it was released. He even shared with us that on the 40th anniversary to the day of the album’s release he played it in sequence top to bottom at one of his shows.

We dug into to what it was like as Ratt entered the studio to record this debut. Stephen said “We were a tight live band first. And we were playing shows, I mean the record was recorded in late ‘83. So, we were really hot doggin’ it towards the end of ‘83. The EP was hot. I think it did something like 50,000, 60,000.” He spoke about how the band was ready and they had a large repertoire of their own tunes. He even discussed how there was a good number of songs that didn’t make the record. He even mentioned a song “Reach For The Sky” that was left off the album that he tried to get on the Ratt box set released in 2023.

A lot of songs for “Out Of The Cellar” came from bands the guys had been in prior to Ratt. I asked Stephen if they put their own stamp on the songs to make them Ratt tunes. His response, “Pretty close, yeah. But we kept them pretty close to the basics.” It was in here that Stephen mentioned that the main thing producer Beau Hill really tweaked was the big single “Round And Round.” He said most of the other songs like “Morning After” were tracks they were playing live and were “Pretty solid.”

I asked Stephen about the songwriting, including the song he wrote alone, “In Your Direction.” He said that the EP Ratt released prior to the debut album were mostly songs that came from his pre Ratt band, Mickey Ratt. The first collaboration for Ratt specifically was Stephen and guitarist Robbin Crosby writing “You Think You’re Tough.”

Of course, no discussion of music in 1984 is complete without mentioning MTV. I asked Stephen about doing the video for “Round and Round” and having Milton Berle as part of it. He spoke about it being their manager’s idea. Marshall Berle, their manager was Milton’s nephew. He discussed how Ratt didn’t take themselves too seriously. His comparisons to other bands setting themselves on fire and “Leathered to 10″ is hysterical. They did their first video and as Robbin Crosby told him “All of a sudden we’re actors.” “If you were lucky enough to have a video on MTV, you scored.” We even spoke about future video vixen Tawny Kitaen being on the album’s cover.

The band moved to LA, got signed, made the debut album, and ended up all over the radio and MTV. I asked Stephen if they were enjoying the ride or if it got to be too much. He said they “Were enjoying it for a few records.” “It wasn’t even hindsight. We just hit the ground running. Didn’t think about nothing but, what’s the next gig, where are we gonna play, let’s keep doing more, more, more.” Stephen did speak about when things got tough. He quoted the Marshall Berle who had said “This is a dangerous occupation.”

When asked why for the 40th anniversary of the album did Stephen decide to go out and play the album in its entirety, he told us he “I tried to get the original guys.” He did share that “When Robbin was out of the picture, it was over.” He joked that “The trip” about playing the album in sequence for these shows is that “Round And Round” third in the set makes people feel like it’s the end of the show.

Even though he is enjoying this anniversary, Stephen has a lot more to come. He even mentioned a number of projects still on the horizon.

You can see the rest of the videos in the “On Fire At 40″ series here.

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