During a recent conversation with Thomas S. Orwat, Jr. of Rock Interview Series, bassist Juan Croucier talked about how Ratt’s 1984 debut album ”Out of the Cellar” took off, and what it became back in the day.
“I was surprised that we were able to get to where we got to before we made the record. I was hoping, is what it was, I was hoping. There were a lot of tears to sort of transcend if you will. Making a great record was fundamental.
“At the time that we made ‘Out Of The Cellar’, MTV was just starting,” he continued. “So we did a music video, of which there were very few at the time. And we were able to place our video… I remember Don Letts, I believe his name was, was the producer of the ‘Round And Round’ video.
”We just shot it in a day. (We) came up with sort of a loose storyboard of how we sort of wanted it to go. Then we delivered it to MTV, and that really, really helped familiarize people with the band.
”Because a lot of people were just getting cable TV, and MTV was, like… They only had, like, maybe 50 videos. So a lot of it was timing along with putting out a solid record and being consistent.”
Focusing more on the band’s longevity, Croucier added:
“There’s one thing that Ratt took a lot of pride in, and that was being a really good live band. If you look at… The total opposite would have been a group like Steely Dan. Steely Dan was one of the greatest groups in the world, but they were studio guys that got together and made excellent recordings and amazing songs and records, and then they went out and played live. Ratt was a live band that went into the studio to capture that aggressiveness and that power and energy and try to sort of harness that onto a record so we could continue to play live.
“So there was a series of things that I was hopeful that we would be able to achieve and then replicate. Because it was all about… We never felt comfortable. It was always like we wanted to outshine ourselves in the sense that, ‘That was good. Now let’s go to the next level.’
“So it was a little bit of a gamble. It’s a dangerous career. [Laughs]”