In a recent Interview by Talking Metal podcast, WARRANT guitarist Erik Turner was asked about the “Dirty Rotten Fi*thy Stinking Rich” hit single “Down Boys”:
Erik: “We worked it out in a rehearsal. From 1984 to 1986, we had a guy named Mad Max[Asher] on drums and Adam Shore on vocals. Those guys quit in ’86, and there was a band called PLAIN JANE which Jani Lane and Steven Sweet were in. We invited them to join WARRANT, and they did, thank God.
Jani, the first song he brought in was ‘Down Boys’. It was the first song we ever played together. It was not demoed — it was not on a tape. He just picked up a guitar and started showing us the riff, and by the time we got out of rehearsal that night, we had our first song. We played our first show, like, a month later. The first show we did was a combination of some PLAIN JANE songs; obviously ‘Down Boys’ was a brand new song; and then some of our older WARRANT songs that we’d been playing. Eventually, it evolved into where Jani was such an amazing, prolific songwriter. Obviously, by the time we made our first record, there was no stuff left over from the Adam and Max years — it was all new stuff.”
On recording the album:
Erik: “I think we had, like, $250,000 to make the first record. We’d never had more than $200 in our pockets to our names before that. We spent all the money on the record. We each got a little bit of cash — Jani got a nice publishing advance, and he shared some of that with us. It was good — we’re dirt poor making a record.
“I remember Jerry [Dixon] had to boil his bass strings, because I guess there was no budget to buy bass strings. Nobody had any money for bass strings, which is kind of weird looking back on it now. But it was a blast. It was good times — we had a record deal; we’re making a record; we’re living in Hollywood. We were big fish in a small pond on the Sunset Strip, and life was good.”
On the touring the band did to support the album upon its release:
Erik: “The first little bit of touring we did was with Paul Stanley for three weeks. That was really cool, and kicked off what turned into 262 shows over a period of 16 months, all over the world. We were ready to be put in body bags at the end of that tour, we had partied so f*c*ing hard. It was crazy.”
On the band’s rapid rise:
Erik: “MTV just latched right onto [us]. They latched right onto SKID ROW‘s ‘Youth Gone Wild’, their first video. We were the two new bands on the block in 1989, and MTV played the sh*t out of it. Eventually, we went gold on the first single, and by the time ‘Heaven’ was done, we were over three million records sold worldwide. It was a good run — what I remember of it. [Laughs]”