Jani Lane, long time, on/off, singer with the band Warrant was once asked about being in a Hair Band. His reply was along the lines of; “if you mean do we have hair and are we in a band then yes!”
Sadly, Jani is no longer with us, but the remaining and newer members of Warrant all have a little and in some cases, a lot less hair. Jerry Dixon however has been one of the lucky ones. He still has his flowing locks. “I credit that to my Dad, it’s in my genes” he confesses.
Music too, it seems is in the blood. Dixon and his business partner, Warrant guitarist, Erik Turner are now competing with the big guns that used to control them.
“It’s all about having fun, discovering, helping and fulfilling” is how Dixon, also long time bassist with Warrant, described a day at the record company, Down Boys Records.
What made them make the decision to take the helm on the side of the enemy?
“We were drawn to it after years of getting ripped off and dealing with the frustration that came from dealing with big companies as part of Warrant. You learn to do it yourself. We noodled around with it for probably ten years before we got really serious. For us it is all about giving a chance to those bands ignored by others. Not only do we give them a shot at recording, but we also concentrate on film and TV placement. If you are not cut out to be mainstream you might just be well placed somewhere else. We have to pop a lot of egos, but as a band at this time, if you put all your eggs in one basket you are screwed. We help find your niche. It’s not about being famous!”
As a show of trust in themselves Warrant has put out a couple of projects with the company.
Of course Warrant is still on the lips of the world, putting themselves out there not only on tour, but also in commercials and the like. “Some people would and do laugh at that, but it is great business sense. If a music fan hears the song Heaven on a laundry commercial they are so much more likely to go, after years of not hearing it and purchase a record. TV is just so powerful. We will continue to market ourselves that way, it makes so much sense to us and we’ll take whatever!”
On the road again this summer, Warrant are playing with other bands reminiscent of the 80’s such as, LA Guns, led by Phil Lewis, Trixter, Firehouse, Skid Row and Winger.
“We usually do ten weeks during the summer, but it is not like it used to be,” Dixon sounds a little relieved, “we play a lot of festivals and one offs, there is no six months away, no tour bus. It is mostly just flying in and then out, but that is really tiring, it can definitely mess you up. Of course the shows are all still really great. But it is a different world now.”
On top of all this the band donates to several different charities. How do they spare the time? “At this point we just donate funds. We really need to try and make the time for personal visits, but right now it just doesn’t work, we don’t have the spare time, so we do what we can by making donations. Eric gives to St Jude, Robert became involved with Wounded Warrior because his neighbor is a Veteran and my wife and I donate mostly to animal sanctuaries. What we give is worked out on a small percentage of certain things. We really do wish we could give more time.”
Asked about endorsements, Dixon is very frank. “I suppose there was a day when we would take anything. Fortunately for us we are in a position now, where we can pick and choose. We don’t take it because it’s free and there is a lot of crap out there. I want to be on stage and know that I like what I am playing”
It is well known that Jani Lane was the primary writer for Warrant during the 80’s and 90’s. What does Dixon think happened to the writing process when Lane left the band?
“Writing was Jani’s calling. He would come in and produce things to us that he had written and we would just go with it, he was so good. When he was no longer around for the first time, probably nine years ago we really did wonder what if the songs suck now. I, well we all had to learn the cool, creative part of the business. There is really nothing like it. I personally really enjoy it. We are writing here and there right now, but there won’t be a record until around Summer 2013, it’s slow, what with pre-production, preparation and studio time, it’s all a formality, but it needs to be done.”
For fans that cannot wait watch out at Xmas 2012….
Warrant are currently mixing and editing a live DVD and CD pack which was filmed at M3 and will be the perfect stocking filler for hair or less hair metal fans.
In the meantime, summer festivals in the USA are where these Down Boys go.
07 19 12 Warrant & Winger /Waterfest Leach Amphitheater – Waterfest Oshkosh WI Warrant Shows & Events
07 20 12 Warrant, Skid Row & LA Guns AVA Amphitheatre / Casino Del Sol Tucson AZ Warrant Shows & Events
07 21 12 Warrant Freemont Street Summer Concert Series Las Vegas Las Vegas NV Warrant Shows & Events
07 27 12 Cherry Pie Tour: Warrant , Firehouse & Trixter Mohegan Sun at Poconos Downs Wilkes Barre PA Warrant Shows & Events
07 28 12 Warrant Grizzly Rock Lakewood CO Warrant Shows & Events
08 5 12 Cherry Pie Tour Warrant , Firehouse & Trixter + Jukebox Zeros, Frank Hannon of Tesla Sioux Empire Fair | W.H. Lyon Fairgrounds Grandsta Sioux Falls, SD Warrant Shows & Events
08 6 12 Cherry Pie Tour Warrant , Firehouse & Trixter Easyriders Saloon Sturgus SD Warrant Shows & Events
08 18 12 Cherry Pie Tour Warrant , Firehouse & Trixter South Coast Winery and Spa Resort Temecula CA Warrant Shows & Events
08 25 12 Warrant & Firehouse Sweet Corn Festival / Downtown Urbana , IL Urbana IL Warrant Shows & Events
08 31 12 Warrant & Trixter Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom Hampton Beach NH Warrant Shows & Events
10 13 12 Cherry Pie Tour: Warrant , Firehouse & Trixter The Lakeland Center Lakeland FL Warrant Shows & Events
By Karen G