were your main influences as guitar players?
Allen: My influences were basically late '70s/early
'80s players like Ed Van Halen, Gary Moore, Randy Rhoads. It
was that trio of guys with a little bit of European rock influence
inthere, as well as a little bit from the Thin Lizzy guys, although
I got into them later on.
Turner: The first two records that I gotwere Alice
Cooper’s Welcome To My Nightmare and Aerosmith’s
first album with “Dream On.” I really got into the
Aerosmith record and became a huge fan. Joe Perry looks great
and plays great, and it was something to aspire to when I was
a kid. So that’s where it all started, and from there,
I just became a music freak. I bought records by everybody from
Queen to Led Zeppelin and Kiss. But I’d say out of all
the bands, if I had to pick three as influences, it would definitely
be Aerosmith, AC/DC, and Led Zeppelin. Joe Perry, Brad Whitford,
Angus and Malcolm Young, and Jimmy Page are phenomenal guitar
players. I was really a big fan of all kinds of bands though.
I got into the whole British metal invasion when I was about
16 or 17 years old, and I learned every Iron Maiden song on
the first four records. I was also in a Maiden tribute band
for a while called Tyrant. It was really funny because all we
played were Iron Maiden songs, but we also played one Scorpions
song. We just loved the Scorpions so much that we threw one
in for the hell of it! Then when I got in my own band, Warrant,
I stopped buying records, although I still listened to everything
going on. That was about '87, and we were so busy working on
our own songs and live show, recording and trying to get a record
deal, and just trying to survive in Los Angeles.
what ways do you each differ in style and tone?
Joey is more of a technical player than me. I never really took
a lot of lessons or studied. I just learned by jamming with
different people, picking up stuff off records, or watching
people play live. Joey is a true lead guitarist and I’m
a rhythm guitarist at heart who plays a little bit of lead.
So there are two different ways to how we approach a song. That’s
basically the way that we complement each other, so that you
don’t have two lead guitar players vying for the spotlight.
I’m really comfortable just getting into the whole rhythm
section thing and locking in with Jerry. As far as tone goes,
I think my live tone has just a little more bottom end on it.
It’s a littlerounder and warmer. Joey’s style of
lead guitar playing has a lot of harmonics and squeals, so he
has a bit more bite on his tone than I do. Obviously, he sets
his amp up different, his hands are different, and the way he
attacks the guitar is different. I think every guitar player
has their own sound in their hands.
there any particular players that had influenced your choices
Of course, when Ed Van Halen came out, everybody wanted to get
a Strat-type guitar with a tremolo bar on it. When those first
Floyd Rose tremolos came out — the ones without the fine
tuners — I actually got one. It cost me $350 and I had
it put on an old Strat body. So I guess my inspiration as far
as the type of guitar I like and going for the Strat body would
have been Ed Van Halen.
My parents had gotten me an acoustic guitar when I was eight
years old and they signed me up for lessons. I really hated
it, and I wouldn’t practice or play it. Then by the time
I was 13 years old, I was begging and pleading with my parents
for a guitar, but they said no because they’d already
tried that. I explained that it was different this time because
it was an electric guitar I wanted, and I wanted it so bad!
It took me two years and I finally got my first electric on
my 15th birthday. The guitar I really wanted — which I
didn’t get — was the Gibson Marauder, and the only
reason I wanted it was because Paul Stanley was playing one.
But I ended up getting a Hondo Les Paul II and a little combo
amp. From there, I started buying and trading guitars with my
friends, and I had a lot of bitchin’ guitars that I wish
I still had. I still have a cream ’64 Fender Jaguar that
I bought when I was in high school. I once took the neck off
and it was actually made 13 days after I was born. But so many
guitars just went through my hands that I either traded or sold
— everything from a Fender Coronado to Les Paul Juniors,
SGs, Explorers, and Strats. I wish I had half of them now! I
did hang on to a ’79 Gibson V. That was my baby and that’s
what I was playing for a long time. Later, Joey was gracious
enough to give me his black Jackson Randy Rhoads. It was an
early one and I still have it.
what type of guitars were you playing in the early days with
When I first joined Warrant, I worked at Jackson and I played
a Jackson Strat — not a Dinky or a Soloist. It was a Strat
with a bolton maple neck.
was the first time you played a G&L guitar?
In ’93, around 11 years ago.
Well actually, Joey used to work there, and he had a G&L
guitar of his own. I think it was a tobacco sunburst ASAT. I
played that a few years back when we were getting together and
writing some songs. So that was the first one I had tried out.
characteristics do you find to be most appealing about G&L
They are 110 percent made in America, and the people that make
them know how to make guitars. Way back in '86, I worked for
guitar manufacturers like Jackson and B.C. Rich, and those were
both American guitar makers. I know how guitars are made. When
I went to G&L, it was just the cream of the crop. Some of
the people that I knew from Jackson had gone over to G&L.
When I rejoined Warrant in January and it came time for us to
make the decision on what guitars we were going to go with,
I told the guys that I wanted to go with G&L because I knew
the quality was there. I know that out of the box, those guitars
are the finest made American guitars today. Honestly, they are
the finest American guitars that I’ve ever played. The
other guys didn’t know G&L like I do, but they trust
my opinion when it comes to guitars. You can never make somebody
like something, and both Erik and Jerry are stoked. Since the
day they got their G&Ls, neither of them has played any
other guitar live — not even for a song.
For those of you who didn’t know, Joey had been out of
the band for ten years, but we’ve been friends since high
school and always stayed in touch. A few years ago, even though
we weren’t in a band together, we were writing songs together
and hanging out. When he got back into Warrant, he reminded
us that G&L makes great guitars and suggested we try them
out. So that’s what we did. We went over to the factory
and played some guitars. Jerry and I both agreed that they were
pretty amazing. They played great and sounded great, and so
that’s how we got involved. Now that’s all we play.
have been some highlights of the current tour?
We’ve done all sorts of venues from playing in tiny clubs
with 300 people all the way up to playing in front of 48,000
people, and the crowds have been really receptive to having
the four main backline members back in the band, and they’ve
also really been friendly to our new singer, which is great.
So it’s the live shows that are the highlights —
every one of them. Sure, there have been good ones and bad ones,
but you take something away from each one that helps you as
a musician and helps you improve your live show.
advice can you offer to other guitarists who are trying to improve
When I first started playing and first wanted to be in a band,
I was just a freak about music. That’s all I cared about.
I was always practicing and jamming, and just completely into
it. My whole life was just consumed by my band, my music, and
playing guitar. I was really driven and my number one priority
for those years was making it in a band. As far as giving other
people advice, I think that if you’re not doing it 110
percent, then you’re not going to get the results. Nothing
worthwhile comes easy. Find out what your true passion is, then
concentrate on that and don’t let anybody or anything
get in your way.
Don’t close your mind off to one certain kind of music.
Keep it open and don’t wear “musical blinders.”
All music is good. Even crappy music is appreciated by somebody!
I’ve listened to everybody from Robert Johnson through
to all of the guitar players in some of the newer bands today
like Papa Roach, Hoobastank, and Incubus. There are just a ton
of good players out there and you can never stop learning, ever.
Keep listening and working at it, and just be dedicated to doing
what you love.
what have you been listening to recently?
The last record that I got and couldn’t take out of my
CD player for a while was the new Jet record. It’s awesome.
I really enjoy that. I was also listening to the last Marilyn
Manson record. That’s a great record. I like some of the
new bands, too, like New Found Glory. Actually, there are a
lot of good bands out there, but I just don’t buy a lot
of records now, although I do still listen to the radio and
occasionally come across some records that I really like.
us about Warrant’s upcoming releases.
Right now we’re writing songs for a new CD and we’re
going to shop for a deal or put it out on our own. All of us
have ProTools studios in our homes, so that’s basically
how we’re doing everything and we’ve already got
about seven or eight songs recorded. We’re hoping to have
the new CD released in early 2005. We’re also currently
filming shows on this tour and during some of our rehearsals
for a DVD that will kind of chronicle the reformation of the
band from January 2004 through this current summer tour, and
whenever it ends this fall. In addition, we have a seven to
eleven camera pro-shot video of the 1991 Cherry Pie tour from
Lafayette, Louisiana that we’re going to release. So those
three things will be coming out in the near future. But for
now, the name of the game is touring, and we hope to see you
out on the road soon!
more information on Warrant, visit www.warrantweb.net