INTERVIEW WITH CURRENT SIN CITY SINNERS AND FORMER RATT MANAGER JASON GREEN
Date: November 7, 2016
SIN CITY SINNERS HAVE JUST CELEBRATED THEIR NINTH YEAR ANNIVERSARY AND HAVE HAD SOME WELL KNOWN MUSICIANS IN THE LINE-UP OVER THE YEARS INCLUDING FORMER FASTER PUSSYCAT GUITARIST BRENT MUSCAT, SLASH BASSIST TODD KERNS, AND JOSH ALAN, THE SINGER FOR BOBBY BLOTZER’S VERSION OF RATT. SIN CITY SINNERS’ LONG-TIME MANAGER JASON GREEN SPOKE WITH SLEAZE ROXX ABOUT SIN CITY SINNERS’ HISTORY INCLUDING HOW BLOTZER BECAME INVOLVED WITH THE BAND AND GREEN’S OWN TIME MANAGING THE BOBBY BLOTZER’S RATT EXPERIENCE AND SUBSEQUENTLY BLOTZER’S VERSION OF RATT.
Sleaze Roxx: You just celebrated the nine year anniversary of Sin City Sinners. Congratulations! How did you get started with that in the first place?
Jason Green: I used to own a classic adult video company called Paradise Visuals that made adult movies in the ’80s including John Holmes’ last movie and Kristy Kanyon’s first. I was doing that in Las Vegas and I met Brent Muscat who was in Faster Pussycat. He had his own version that he was trying without Taime [Downe] and he asked me to get involved. So, I was working with those guys and Brent and I saw this tour called ‘The Voices Of Rock Tour.’ I can’t remember exactly who was on it but I think it was Jani Lane, Kevin DuBrow… They had one band with four singers and we thought, “It’s a great idea. Let’s do that in Vegas. We’ll have a house band and every week, we can bring a special guest. The show will always be different. We’ll save some money.” Half those bands only have one original member so why pay all this money when you can just get the main guy? You know, they’d come in, jam and make it fun. We wanted it to be good though. We wanted the band to learn all the songs.
I was having a party during the AVN Convention with my company Paradise Visuals and I was asked to put a band together. For the first show on August 27, 2007, at a club called the Canyon Club, the line-up was Brent Muscat, Todd Kerns, Brent Fitz and a guy named D as the bass player with Ron Jeremy hosting. The first guest singer was a guy named Louie Merlino who was in Beggars & Thieves. Next up was Jizzy Pearl from Ratt, Love/Hate and Quiet Riot now. And then we had Phil Lewis from L.A. Guns… It was fun! It was really just a jam. We were kind of called Sin City All-Stars at the time. And it was really fun and the guys wanted to do more. So I threw another one and we did it again. And then we had a DVD release party and we did it again. There were a few line-up changes at the beginning.
When we started, there wasn’t a lot of money involved. I remember we played a place called the Dive Bar. Each guy was getting $75 while Brent and I were splitting $75. Nobody really wanted to do it but we knew we had something. We believed in it. I used to say that Todd Kerns was the best rockstar that America hadn’t discovered yet. I would say in Canada, he had a career but when we started, it was just ‘come and see the guys in Faster Pussycat’. But when they got there, they would realize that Todd Kerns was really the best kept secret. He was funny and had great songs. And so we decided that we could do this more often. We started doing the Dive Bar on a weekly basis. And then the casinos started showing interest. We were making more money and playing bigger rooms. It’s started to become kind of a thing.
In that time, I booked all of the special guests and wrote all the set lists. A lot went into it and we had some amazing special guests. I mean, you can look at our list but we had punk rock guys that me and Todd really liked. We had East Bay Ray of The Dead Kennedys, Cheetah Chrome of The Dead Boys. And then we had a lot of the hair metal guys including ones that had played or toured with Brent Muscat. We had a lot of those guys. As we began climbing, we started a good relationship with George Lynch, he came out a lot. And Sebastian Bach — we got him a lot also. Dizzy Reed from Guns N’ Roses — we started having him come out. We were building a reputation. At the time in 2007, Las Vegas was filled with bands that were kind of phoney. A lot of them were playing to tracks and wearing costumes. Then they had the stupid band The Spazmatics, guys dressing like nerds and things. That’s fine, everyone should be able to make a living. But we were cutting edge playing real rock live, you know and bring in these guys from week to week, someone different.
People came out to see what was going to happen next. We were putting on a circus, a lot of it was hype. We were doing things that local bands didn’t do. There were no local bands in Las Vegas that had a manager. I had to be a professional babysitter. You know, that’s what a manager really does.
Todd Kerns had released songs in Canada that weren’t known in the States and I really pushed for him to give us those songs. We did a record called ‘Exile On Fremont Street’ in 2010 and right after that record came out, Todd joined Slash. We found out on Twitter. He went out and auditioned. It was really tough and we didn’t know what we were going to do. We tried a bunch of guys. We wanted Eric Dover of Slash’s Snakepit, he was living in LA. We wanted Pete Loran of Trixter but he was living in Arizona and could not do it all the time. Eventually, we got Louie [Merlino] for a couple of years. And then we got Jimmy Crespo who was with Aerosmith to play guitar, one of the best guitarists that I have ever seen. We did that for a few years, we wanted to keep it going. We released a Christmas album [‘A Sinner’s Christmas’ in 2011]. We gave a big portion to ‘Toys For Tots’ which is a charity that supplies toys for families that can’t afford them. That was really fun. We still got Todd to play on that and the other guys.
We then got Zach Throne in the band who became our singer. He was an actor originally. We made another album called Divebar Days Revisited [in 2013] which had a lot of cover songs. A Sinner’s Christmas 2 was released also [in 2013]. It was around that time that I started writing with the guys as well. I wrote a song called “Christmas In Vegas” with Zach. And then Zach and I started writing songs for a future Sinners album. We wrote four more songs together before Zach left the band.
And then we got the singer [Josh Alan] for what I call “Fake” Ratt before he was in “Fake” Ratt and we recorded the album ‘Let It Burn.’
Sleaze Roxx: And ‘Let It Burn’ was just released a little while ago, right?
Jason Green: Yeah and the curse of the Sin City Sinners is that if we do a photo shoot, somebody is going to quit.
Sleaze Roxx: [Laughs]
Jason Green: Or make a record. So very similar to ‘Exile [On Fremont Street]’, we made a record. I should point out that while we were making it — you’re going to ask one question and get four thousand answers from me — but I am kind of a one-man show. I can do questions and answers.
Sleaze Roxx: [Laughs] You’re doing a good job so far [laughs].
Jason Green: Yeah. Thank you. So anyways, right before ‘Let It Burn’ came out, we had Bob Blotzer come in as a special guest. And we had him before a bunch of years ago. And you know, he was fine. He was drunk. But he played the Ratt songs OK and that was that. It was easy. He wanted to come back and do it again, and we felt “Why not?” So I said, “Let me try to make it special.” Our singer at the time, he didn’t know any Ratt songs. He’s 30 years old. He didn’t grow up with Ratt. So we asked him to learn a song and what I did was call Jizzy Pearl — who’s a friend of mine — and I asked him, “Why don’t you come in and sing with Bob?” since he was with Ratt for seven years. I also needed a guitar player that could really play the Warren [DeMartini] parts. There’s this kid in town named Blaze who was 21 years old at the time and he’s outstanding. Not just for his age but he’s better than guys who are way older. Just a really talented young person. I knew he’d be good so we brought him in.
The band was Scotty Griffin [former LA Guns] on bass, Michael Ellis on guitar, Blaze on guitar and you know, Josh singing, and Bob behind the drums. He wanted to play a few cover songs, we did a few Ratt songs. It went over really well.
I should point out in that time, he was calling me. He was already obnoxious and I should have taken the hint. I can tell you the worst day in Sin City Sinners history was the day that we got involved with Blotzer. The day that he came to play was the downfall, of that line-up at least. So he called me. We played that show maybe on a — I can’t remember. Might have been a Saturday and then he called me on a Monday and said, “Bro. We’re going to make some money. I want you to manage a band with those guys. We’ll go on the road and play those songs.” At that point, he convinced us that the other guys in Ratt did not want to play and this was the only way that he could play the music. He has a way of spinning things so that you believe him, you know?
And we started bouncing ideas and I came up with the idea of “Why don’t we call it the Ratt Experience?” I just stole it from the Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience. He really liked it and we were going to do that but Warren [DeMartini] called him and said, “You can’t use the logo. You can’t call it the ‘Ratt Experience.’ Why don’t you call it ‘Bob’s Cellar?’ So, he had to name it Bobby Blotzer’s Ratt Experience.
I knew that I had four guys looking to make a salary and myself. I thought that it was good press for the Sinners. I never thought that we would end up trying to pretend that we were Ratt. And why not? Let’s give it a shot. We were all in it together. We were all going to fly out of Vegas together. Some of the guys were green and had never traveled before. Scotty and I were the only ones who had any history with you know, a detailed history with a band. So I traveled. I handled all the arrangements, booked their flights, met them at the airports, made sure they knew what to bring and what not to bring.
Bob was booked on a separate flight so nobody had to deal with him too much. And we thought, “Maybe he’s not so bad? Maybe these horrible things that you hear about him on Metal Sludge — maybe it’s exaggerated.” Well, usually when there’s smoke, there’s fire. I have worked with a lot of people in my life. He’s by far the worst I have ever known. This is not sour grapes. People will try to say, “Oh. You’re just bitter.” No. I just think that people need to speak out and that’s why I have chosen to be public. Also because I have been threatened. I have been threatened legally. I have been threatened physically. I have been accused of horrific things. So you know, I am going to stand up and fight.
Sleaze Roxx: Let me ask you this. For starters, is there any pending litigation between you guys?
Jason Green: There is not — not with him. He tried to stir up some stuff with the old Sinners guys and myself which is now a moot point. He didn’t have much on me. To be honest, everyone is asking me to file a defamation suit against him. I don’t want to do that. I don’t care. He tried suing Warren, he sued Juan [Croucier]. He’s been losing in court. It hasn’t come out yet. It’s public knowledge. It’ll come out soon but he has been losing cases. He does not want to tell anyone that.
But just to rewind a little bit. We went out as Bobby Blotzer’s Ratt Experience and the money was kind of low and the attendance was low. And I remember when I would go to get paid, I would get cursed out you know. “This is not Ratt. Go fuck yourself.” Slam the money down and I’d be like, “Look. I didn’t tell you to book this.” The fans would ask me to go get Stephen’s [Pearcy] autograph. I’d say, “It’s going to be a long walk!” And it was weird having a guy that’s 30 in the band and a guy who’s 21 in the band. People would say to Blaze, “Were you even born when the first Ratt record came out?”
So we did a rehearsal in Las Vegas and we wrote down the songs that we thought should play on a dry erase board. I pitched Bob on what I thought that we could do to celebrate the anniversary of ‘Invasion Of Your Privacy.’ We wrote on the board and we got to the songs — to the ninth song on the record which is called “Got Me On The Line.” And he goes, “I am not playing that one. Forget it. Not playing it.” And then I go, “Well, It’s hard to say ‘playing an album in its entirety’ when you’re playing nine tenths of the album. “No one is gonna fucking know! Who cares?” Then we get to the next song “Dangerous But Worth The Risk” and he says, “I am not playing that one either. Stephen plays it. That’s a Stephen song.” Well, Stephen plays all the songs. And to quote Stephen when I told him that, “They’re all my fucking songs!” So, it was getting difficult. And then he’s like, “I don’t want to play ‘Body Talk.’ I don’t want to play ‘Wanted Man.’ I don’t want to play ‘Lack Of Communication.’ It was getting really weird. Like what do you want to play?
And he had a few co-writing credits but for some really not well known songs. And those are the ones that he wanted to play. He would make Josh [Alan] introduce it as, “Here is a song written by Mr. Robert John Blotzer.” This was a song called “One Step Away.” I told him to his face, “This song is the reason why Nirvana won.” And I also told him, “When did Ratt have to try to be Trixter or whomever?” It’s like, “I like Trixter but you know…” Ratt were trendsetters and now they were trying to copy the other bands that were younger and more popular maybe or getting popular.” So anyways, that was one of the problems. We were going out and playing those songs and a really bad set, and Bob had really odd ideas — playing “Message In A Bottle” into “You Think You’re Tough.” What? Ridiculous! You know, “We’re in Colorado. Let’s play “Rocky Mountain Way.” So we’re going to cut a Ratt song to play “Rocky Mountain Way?” It was ridiculous. And everyday, he had these intros. Since I’ve been gone, he’s got the guys putting their hands over their hearts and bowing, he’s ‘dancing’ with the American flag, which he drags across the stage. It’s disgusting you know.
He’s coming out and speaking. He’s coming out and giving his political views. And he is far by far the least important and the least talented member of Ratt [classic line-up]. But he’s got power and no one can stop him now. He just started getting really bad with all of us. Even his bro — the singer was threatening to quit every day! Everyone was threatening. Every show, we’d go on and say, “That’s it. We can’t do this anymore.”
Sleaze Roxx: Let me ask you this Jason. Obviously, things must have gone semi-well for you to jump on board the Bobby Blotzer’s Ratt Experience and then you join the Ratt group [as manager] or Ratt project. Things must have been going good enough that you’re making money and you’re interested up to a point, right?
Jason Green: The money — for sure! It wasn’t going all that well. The thing is, he would do something really bad, and the next show, he’d be fairly nice you know. It was pretty bad. I would go home and say I was going to quit and I would call up my girlfriend at the time, and she would tell me, “Why do you do this? No amount of money is worth being miserable.” Because every night, I would say, “I’m staying on a separate floor of the hotel from him.” And I just could not be around him. And I started putting together that the stories were all true. But yeah, the money was getting good. One show, he just decided we’ll play the Whisky and then just decided, “That’s it. We’re Ratt now. I am going to go for it.” Bob puts his foot in the water and tested it. “What can I get away with?”
Warren DeMartini is the opposite of Bob. Warren just stays quiet. He is going to handle things legally. And that’s what’s happening. He’s not looking to make statements. He’s going to handle it. And that’s what they are doing.
So I stayed as long as I could. My girlfriend at the time was battling pneumonia and she had a history of addiction before that so she wasn’t really able to fight and she was in a coma. While she was in a coma, Blotzer was screaming at me about Ratt. I couldn’t believe it. My girlfriend was on life support for three days so that her family could come and visit her. She was very clear to me that she did not want to be kept on life support, but I wanted to make sure that her family got to say good-bye. She did not have much family. This is a person that I had known for 21 years in my life. So, not only was I NOT thinking what I was going to do in “Fake” Ratt, I did not know if I was going to be able to survive. It’s a tragedy that no one can ever imagine.
Sleaze Roxx: I read some of your Facebook posts so I know your history and I am sorry for your loss in that regard.
Jason Green: Thank you. Thank you. It’s been eight months and it’s a battle every day. Anyways, so when that was happening, I realized that he was looking to fire me because he wanted to go to his old tour manager Craig Bradford, who’s already quit by the way. He did not last as long as I did. When I was dealing with this, I knew that I was quitting. We had one more show in Canada. I told him, “Stop dicking me around. You want to fire me, fire me. I know what’s happening.” At this point, I had way more important things to do in my life. And trying to stay alive was one of them. So he told me, “Hope that there’s no hard feelings.” And you know, I don’t beat around the bush, which I think people see. I told him straight out, “No. There are hard feelings. I hate you and I wish you the worst.”
The thing is I thought that we were all friends [the rest of the band members]. We had this agreement that if one person left, we were all going to leave. And I was really representing those guys. When I was gone, we knew that they were all going to be treated like shit. Scotty [Griffin] was gone soon after. Bob wanted those guys to sign an exclusivity deal forbidding them to play with Sin City Sinners. “Fake” Ratt didn’t play enough. We needed Sin City Sinners. Sin City Sinners played Vegas, like you know, all the time. We needed the income. At the time, Blotzer would have two to three shows per month. It wasn’t enough to live. Scotty told him, “I’m not going to sign it. I am not going to be exclusive with you.”
We all knew that Warren was coming. I warned him, “If Warren is as rich as you claim he is, he’s not going to let you get away with it.” We all had a hunch that something is going to happen. No one really knew. I should say that at this point, I did talk to Warren DeMartini and I did talk to Stephen Pearcy. And really in a compassionate way, they expressed their condolences. I spoke to all the members of what, in my opinion is going to become Ratt.
And so, Bob screwed over a guitarist named Blaze — you know, the young guitarist who is incredible. He did not pay him for four shows. This is all public. And he blamed Blaze for breach of contract. This is after Blotzer walked off the stage in Oklahoma after three songs. The whole band put in their resignation and it’s kind of documented. So at this point that kind of ended up in a legal situation too for the guys that didn’t get paid.
Now he has Stacey Blades who played in Sin City Sinners before. I didn’t think that he was necessarily the best choice but OK. And then, he went and got Todd Kerns. So now it’s a tribute to the Ratt experience. It’s not even the Ratt experience anymore. But Todd only did a few shows, he’s done. They have added a new cast of characters yet we’re supposed to believe it’s Ratt. How the hell is that possible when Warren, Stephen and Juan are looking to play.
Sleaze Roxx: Back in late August 2016, Bobby Blotzer mentioned on the Eddie Trunk show that they are working on possibly doing a studio album with his version of Ratt. While you were in the fold, was that being discussed at all?
Jason Green: Yeah. He told us… First of all, he was looking for people to write the songs because he can’t write [songs] himself. He was claiming that we were going to make a record, we were going to buy a house. We were going to be rich. That was a big one. We are all going to be buying houses. Gimme a break. So, he was talking about that record. I don’t believe that he can make a record without them.
Thank you to Mark K. for connecting Sleaze Roxx and Jason Green.