Warrant (American band)

Origin Hollywood, California, United States
Genres Heavy metal, glam metal, hard rock
Years active 1984–present
Labels Columbia, CMC, Down Boys
Website warrantrocks.com
Erik Turner
Jerry Dixon
Steven Sweet
Joey Allen
Robert Mason
Past members
Past members

Warrant is an American heavy metal band from Hollywood, California, that experienced success from 1989-1996 with five albums reaching international sales of over 10 million. The band first came into the national spotlight with their debut album Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich, and one of its singles, "Heaven," reached #1 in Rolling Stone and #2 on the Billboard Hot 100.[1] The band continued its success in the early 1990s with the 2x Platinum album Cherry Pie and the gold album Dog Eat Dog, both albums providing more charted singles. The band continued performing and recording albums throughout the 1990s and the 2000s despite several changes to their line up.


Musical style

Warrant's music has undergone significant evolution throughout the band's 20-year history. The style used during the 1980s and early 1990s, which is typical of many "Sunset strip" glam metal bands, remains the band's signature sound. During that period, the band was known for their heavy, melodic rock anthems and sentimental ballads.

Band history

Early years (1984–1987)

Warrant was formed in Los Angeles by guitarist Erik Turner in July 1984. Turner was soon joined by bassist Michael Nelson (who replaced original bassist Chris Vincent[2]). The band's early members included vocalist Adam Shore, guitarist Josh Lewis, and drummer Max Asher. Vocalist Jani Lane (who replaced Shore) and drummer Steven "Sweet" Chamberlin (who replaced Asher) joined the band in September 1986, and guitarist Joey Allen, who had formerly played with Turner in the band Knightmare II, replaced Lewis, completing the revamped line-up in March 1987. Jani Lane, Steven Sweet, and Paul Noble were previously in the band Plain Jane, which had recorded several demos. The recruitment of Lane proved pivotal in the band's future, with the singer quickly assuming the role of song writer.

After achieving fame on the L.A. club scene, the band recorded a demo tape in September 1987 for Paisley Park Records, a record label owned by musician Prince. At this time, A&M records purchased an option to sign Warrant and invited the band to contribute a song for the soundtrack of the motion picture Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. Both deals would prove unsuccessful, with the band's contribution "Game of War" being pulled from the soundtrack and A&M allowing its option to lapse.

Peak of popularity (1988–1992)

In January 1988 Warrant signed a contract with Columbia Records, and in April they began recording their debut album Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich. It was a significant success, spawning 3 hits: the #2 power ballads "Heaven" and "Sometimes She Cries", and the rock anthem "Down Boys", which is now Warrant's alias. Image-wise, Warrant slotted right into the trend for big-haired, leather-wearing hard rock bands, and their promo videos made much of their look.

Following the release of the album, Warrant toured with Paul Stanley, Queensrÿche, Cinderella, Poison, Mötley Crüe and Kingdom Come. Kingdom Come members Rick Steier and James Kottak would later join Warrant. The band was featured in Screamer Magazine several times before finally landing the cover of its June 1989 issue.

The band's second record, Cherry Pie, was released in September 1990, and featured guest appearances by Poison's C. C. DeVille, Danger Danger's Bruno Ravel and Steve West, and Fiona. The album, which spawned the hits "Cherry Pie" (Featured in Guitar Hero II), "Uncle Tom's Cabin" (the acoustic intro was performed by Eric Oswald – Jani's brother) and "I Saw Red", reached the Top Ten in the United States, and went on to sell 3 million copies. The record's title track received strong exposure on MTV and became the band's most successful single.

The release of "Cherry Pie" was followed by a world tour with Poison, which ended in January 1991 after a conflict between the two bands over stage room.

The band's European tour with David Lee Roth was cut short after Lane fractured several ribs in a stage dive in Birmingham, England. Warrant soon returned to touring, headlining shows in America on their 'Blood, Sweat And Beers' tour, supported by FireHouse and Trixter.

Trouble in the 90s (1992–1999)

The 1990s were characterized by frequent changes to the band's line-up. In 1992, Warrant released Dog Eat Dog. The record achieved only moderate commercial success, but still sold over 500,000 copies. While the record suffered poor sales performance in America, the band snared a European touring slot, playing a number of shows on the "Monsters Of Rock" festival, headlined by Iron Maiden.[3]

Later that year, vocalist Lane temporarily left the band, which was then dropped by Columbia, following the arrival of grunge and the death of Warrant's long-time manager Tom Hulet. In 1994, Lane returned to the band and a short U.S. club tour commenced. In May 1994, guitarist Allen left Warrant and was followed by drummer Sweet in the following month. In November 1994, Rick Steier replaced Allen on guitar and James Kottak replaced Sweet on drums. Shortly thereafter, a new record deal was signed with Tom Lipsky of CMC Records in September 1994. A Japanese deal was signed with Pony Canyon Records at the same time. Ultraphobic was released in March 1995 and, although critically acclaimed, was not as successful as its predecessors.

Drummer Kottak left the band in March 1996 and was replaced by Bobby Borg, formerly of Beggars & Thieves, Left For Dead, and Opinion. The Best Of Warrant compilation was released in 1996 which was good timing and sold well. Warrant then released another studio album Belly to Belly in July 1996 in Japan and October 1996 in the United States which featured some of Lane's most compelling writing but also failed to reach the bands former commercial success. In October 1997, drummer Borg left the band, and was briefly replaced by touring drummer Vik Foxx. In 1999 Warrant released Greatest & Latest featuring re-done versions of some their classics and 3 new tracks.

Lane leaves (2000–2007)

The band was featured on the Rock Never Stops Tour in 1998 and 2003. Guitarist Steier and keyboardist Danny Wagner left the band in January 2000. Keri Kelli replaced Steier on guitars as a touring member and Mike Fasano became the newest in a long line of drummers. Keri Kelli and Mike Fasano had previously played together in Dad's Porno Mag. In August 2000, Kelli left Warrant to tour with Slash's Snakepit and was replaced by Billy Morris.

Warrant's next record was an album of cover versions, Under the Influence, released in May 2001. The band toured with Poison again in the summer of 2001, but the tour was cut short due to back injuries sustained by Poison bassist Bobby Dall. In April 2003, Warrant replaced drummer Fasano with Kevan Phares.

Lane left Warrant again in January 2004, taking Morris and Phares with him. Mike Fasano was briefly rehired in early 2004, before Steven Sweet rejoined the band. Joey Allen also rejoined in February 2004. Lane was replaced with former Black N' Blue vocalist Jaime St. James.

Warrant released their 7th studio album entitled Born Again on February 4, 2006 with producer and engineer Pat Regan, who has previously worked with Ace Frehley, Deep Purple, Mr. Big and L.A. Guns. On July 14, 2007, Warrant performed at hard rock festival Rocklahoma.

Reunion (2008)

In January 2008, the band's agent, The William Morris Agency issued a new photograph of the band with Lane prominently featured, confirming his return to the band. This version of the band was scheduled to play at Rocklahoma 2008. In March 2008, Warrant announced on its official website that it would co-headline with Cinderella on a summer tour after Rocklahoma 2008. Ultimately, the tour was canceled after Cinderella singer Tom Keifer's left vocal cord hemorrhaged, making it impossible for him to sing in the immediate future. They had several shows outside of the Cinderella tour including 2 dates in Canada, Rocklahoma, and several in August.

Post-reunion (2008-2010)

On September 5, 2008, Jani Lane left Warrant and Robert Mason (ex-Lynch Mob) took over vocals.[4] A statement from the band, published by Blabbermouth.net, said that:[4]

It is with the deepest regret that we have to announce that Jani Lane will no longer be performing with Warrant. From the beginning of our reunion talks to the last note of our last show together in Houston this past weekend (on August 31 at the Rock the Bayou festival), we have had nothing but good intentions of bringing a quality original Warrant show to our fans and friends. We wish Jani nothing but the best and remain friends. We are very excited that we have found an unbelievable voice in Robert Mason (Lynch Mob). We have three dates confirmed, come out and judge for yourself… We don't think you will be disappointed!

On September 10, Rita Wild's Rock Report confirmed that Jani Lane is out of Warrant due to song writing disagreements, but offered no further details on replacements or the band's future. Mason eventually agreed not only to finish the tour but also to become a permanent member of the band.

In December 2010, founding member, Erik Turner appeared with longtime friend David Castagno on RadioScreamer to discuss Warrant's long and successful career as well as the band's next album plans.

Recent events (2011-present)

On January 27, 2011, Joey Allen announced that the bass and drums for fourteen songs for Warrant's next album had been completed, with the rhythm guitar parts for seven also completed.[5]

The new album, titled Rockaholic, was released on May 13 in Europe and May 17 in North America on Frontiers Records[6] and peaked at number 22 on the Billboard Top Hard Rock Albums chart.[7]

Death of Jani Lane (2011)

Jani Lane, 47, former lead singer (1986-1993, 1994-2004, 2008), was found dead Thursday evening, August 11, 2011, the Los Angeles Police Department reported. Lane was officially pronounced dead by fire department personnel who responded to a call shortly before 5:30 p.m. at a Comfort Inn hotel on the 20100 block of Ventura Boulevard in Woodland Hills, California.[8] Warrant lead singer Jani Lane died from alcohol poisoning, sources tell TMZ.

5 october 2011 The L.A. Coroner's Office has finished its investigation and determined Lane suffered from "acute ethanol poisoning,"

Lane was found dead on August 11 in a Woodland Hills area Comfort Inn. Alcohol and prescription drugs were found in his motel room. He was 47.

Lane is survived by two daughters from two previous marriages.


  • D.R.F.S.R. Tour
  • Cherry Pie Tour
  • Blood, Sweat & Beers Tour
  • Dog Eat Dog Tour (Hair of the Dog Tour)
  • 1994 Club Tour
  • 1995 Radio or Not, Here We Come (Ultraphobic)
  • Rock Never Stops Tour 1998
  • 2001 Under the Influence Summer tour
  • Rock Never Stops Tour 2003
  • 2007 Born Again Tour
  • 2008 Reunion Tour
  • 2009 Summer Tour
  • 2011 Rockaholic Tour

Band members

Current members

  • Erik Turner – rhythm & lead guitars, backing vocals (1984-present)
  • Jerry Dixon – bass guitar, backing vocals (1984-present)
  • Steven Sweet – drums, percussion, backing vocals (1986-1994, 2004-present)
  • Joey Allen – lead & rhythm guitars, acoustic guitar, talk box, backing vocals (1987-1994, 2004-present)
  • Robert Mason – lead vocals (2008-present)

Past members

  • Josh Lewis - lead & rhythm guitars, backing vocals (1984-1986) (appeared on season 1 of Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp on VH1 Classic)
  • Adam Shore – lead vocals, guitar (1984-1985)
  • Max Asher – drums (1984-1985)
  • Chris Vincent - bass (1984)
  • Jani Lane – lead vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, keyboards, drums and percussion (1986-1993, 1994-2004, 2008) (deceased)
  • David White – keyboards, backing vocals (1992-1995)
  • Rick Steier – rhythm and lead guitars (1994-2000)
  • James Kottak – drums, percussion, backing vocals (1994-1996)
  • Bobby Borg – drums, percussion, backing vocals (1996-1997)
  • Vikki Foxx - drums, percussion (1997-1998)
  • Danny Wagner - drums (1998-2000)
  • Mike Fasano – drums, percussion, backing vocals (2000-2003, 2004)
  • Keri Kelli - rhythm guitars (2000)
  • Billy Morris – rhythm and lead guitars, backing vocals (2000-2004)
  • Mike Morris – keyboards (2000-2004)
  • Kevan Phares - drums, percussion (2003-2004)
  • Brent Woods - rhythm and lead guitars, backing vocals (2004)
  • Jaime St. James – lead vocals (2004-2008)
Touring musicians
  • Scott Warren - keyboards, backing vocals (1989-1991)
  • Terry Ingram - keyboards, backing vocals (1991)
  • Danny Wagner - keyboards, backing vocals (1995-1997)
  • Shawn Zavodney - keyboards, backing vocals (2001-2004)


Studio albums

Live albums

Compilation albums

  • The Best Of Warrant (1996, Columbia)
  • Rocking Tall (1996, Sony Music Special Products)
  • Then and Now (2004, Sanctuary)



External links

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