Ex-Warrant guitarist Billy Morris states Jani Lane made his rock and roll dreams come true
Former Warrant and current Tuff and Sunset Strip guitarist Billy Morris was recently interviewed by All Music/All Bands and asked what it felt like to be the guitarist for Warrant.
Morris replied (with slight edits): “In late 1999 is when I joined. We immediately that summer went on tour with L.A. Guns and Ratt. The next year we went on tour with Poison, Quiet Riot, and Enuff Z’Nuff. At one point, we decided we really need to get a CD out so the band decided ‘let’s do cover songs’ so we went on the bus and drew up a rough draft of the songs we wanted to cover. I got to pick a couple. The one I picked was “Down Payment Blues.” I always loved that song, thought it was so cool. So we got in the studio and Jani [Lane] was singing the songs. It’s time to go into the vocal booth and sing the song and I’m like Jani go in there and sing and he’s like ‘you sing it’ and left. So he let me sing it. I sang it because I knew the song from my past experiences in bands. I just nailed it, I was happy to sing that song. That was one of my highlights of my Warrant career. I guess the overall view of being in Warrant was to be on a bus with five guys that really wanted to go out and kick ass. We played great tours in the summer time. Like I said, we toured with Poison, Ratt, Dokken, L.A. Guns and Firehouse. We did a summer tour with Whitesnake. It’s just an amazing period in my life. I love those guys and I always say to this day and always do, Jani Lane – Rest In Peace. That guy made my rock-n-roll dreams come true and that’s told from the heart.”
Morris was also asked about playing a number of shows with Tuff back in 2013 to which he stated (with slight edits): “Back in 2005, there was a Metal Sludge tour and I had been friends with Stevie Rachelle from when Tuff got signed about 90-91. We were friends cause when they came through Cleveland my band Kidd Wicked would open up for them. We remained friends over the years and there was that Metal Sludge tour in 2005 and Kidd Wicked was out, along with Tuff. Stevie being from Wisconsin and myself being from Cleveland, we had that same midwest love for the NFL, same views on rock n’ roll, and kept in touch. Coincidentally the founding member of Tuff, bassist Todd Chase moved to Cleveland, OH and got married to a wonderful girl here. I became friends with Todd and we decided to put Tuff back together, but only to play a limited amount of shows per year and only good big shows, like the Monsters Of Rock that we love to do every other year. We do some festivals too. We played The Rainbow parking lot party for the anniversary. It’s not like we wanna go out and play alot, maybe one every six months to a year. But we gotta make sure those are big shows and they mean something. The bottom line is Stevie, Todd, and I are very good friends and that’s why we like to play together.”
You can read the rest of the interview with Morris at All Music/All Bands.