Monday, October 10, 2011

Warrant guitarist discusses Jani Lane’s demons

On the heels of the news that singer Jani Lane’s August, 2011 cause of death was alcohol poisoning, Warrant guitarist Erik Turner is sharing some details of the band’s struggles to work with Lane through the years due to his addictions.

While promoting the new “Warrant Red” wine, created with Artist Wine and Kristain Story, Turner spoke with about the new product – which was the purpose of the session - and was asked to provide some thoughts on the band’s efforts to work with Jani during difficult times.

“For those of us that had known Jani,” began Turner. “I've known [about his issues] since 1986, when he joined the band. We had a lot of good times and a lot of bad times. In 2004, he was no longer in the band; we had to make a change. And then we tried it again with Jani in 2008, but his old demons popped up again, and it made it impossible for us to function as a band. It was a huge disappointment because we were all very excited about the reunion.”

“We had no choice and we had to get a new lead singer, which we got Robert Mason, who was in Lynch Mob,”
Erik continues. “He's done a beautiful job filling in for Jani. But it was frustrating during that reunion time with Jani. We tried to be supportive; we would visit him in rehab as much as possible. The band paid for a sober coach to come on the road and try to keep Jani sober. We took all of the alcohol off of the tour rider. None of us were drinking. But he would just sneak off and disappear, and show up intoxicated later, or sometimes, he wouldn't even show up. And he would have a hard time performing in his state. It was very stressful and disappointing for the band. But that's all I can really say about his passing. It's very sad and disappointing. Anytime that someone has all of that talent, and everything to live for, and for whatever reason, I just don't know, he just couldn't stop. It's awful. It's horrible for his kids and his family. I hadn't spoken with him since 2008; we weren't close anymore. But it was still very hurtful to hear [the news of his passing].”

Upon Lane’s return to the Warrant lineup in 2008, the band was placed in a situation where they had to give Jani an ultimatum to get sober or lose the gig, again.

“It was hard to talk to someone who didn't know what planet they were on, or someone who wouldn't return your calls,” explains Turner. “We did talk to him; we told him we were going to get a sober coach to help him. We visited him in rehab. Our professional sober coach, who works with musicians, athletes and movie stars — he does this for a living. He couldn't even keep Jani sober on the road. It was so bad that the sober coach quit. He said there was nothing that he could do, and there is nothing anyone can do. He said that Jani was just completely out of control. We were like, 'What the f**k are we paying you for?' It's frustrating when you are in a situation like that because you are helpless. He didn't care about Warrant or me; all he cared about was partying.”

There’s more - check out the full Erik Turner interview at here.

Warrant Warrant

Warrant – Down Boys (1989)

See also:

Former Warrant singer Jani Lane died of alcohol poisoning
Jani Lane’s final recording released
VIDEO: Great White pay tribute to Jani Lane
VIDEO: BulletBoys pay tribute to Jani Lane
VIDEO: Warrant pays tribute to Jani Lane
Warrant: Jani Lane autopsy inconclusive
Former Warrant singer Jani Lane dies