ex-Warrant singer JANI LANE!
Right now you might be thinking this is some sort of April Fool’s Day prank, but you’re wrong! This is the real deal.
Out of all the people we’ve given shit to over the years, Jani Lane ranks up there within the top five. But unlike some of those other hacks, Jani has the balls to answer our stupid-ass questions and has proven time and again he can hang. How do we know this? Well, because in the past, Jani’s done 20 Questions, a Rewind, and a 3-Wind with Metal Sludge. Now it’s time for his Back-4-More! But it wasn’t easy.
Since December 2003, we’ve been trying to get Jani to do a fourth interview with us. In the time it’s taken us to track him down and get him to answer our questions, he’s left Warrant, done some solo shows, played a private show in a cornfield, quit last summer’s Bad Boys of Metal tour, (allegedly) thrown up all over a bar during one of his own shows, and God knows what else. We wanted to ask him all kinds of shit, but it’s been tricky. We’ve sent people out to hit him up in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Ohio, but all to no avail. Either Jani wasn’t into it at the time, or there was some other difficulty that prevented us from getting the interview.
Then a few weeks ago, we happened to notice that Jani was playing in Clifton, NJ, which isn’t far from where our 2003 Sludgeaholic of the Year C.C. Banana is from. We figured we had nothing to lose, so we sent out the trusty Banana for the 5th attempt at getting Jani to do our goofy interview. And you know what? The Banana pulled it off.
Here’s C.C.’s detailed report — one which is actually almost as long as the entire interview itself. But don’t let that stop you from reading on! There’s some good stuff here.
THE DATE: March 24th, 2005
THE LOCATION: Dingbatz rock club in Clifton, NJ
THE EVENT: Jani Lane concert
My mission (which I chose to accept) was to hit up Warrant wunderkind and Metal Sludge whipping boy Jani Lane for his official Back-4-More interview! A daunting prospect for even the most die-hard of Sludgeaholics! For even though Jani had commendably stepped up to the plate on three prior occasions, there had already been several failed attempts to finagle this fabled fourth.
In truth, it was those very same Metal Sludge interviews that had served to reacquaint me with the man more than a decade after I’d already written him off, dating back to the first and only time I’d seen Warrant perform live. It was February of 1989 and they were opening for Paul Stanley at L’Amour in Brooklyn. As a card-carrying member of the Kiss Army, it was my duty to arrive early and situate myself front and center. Unfortunately, my choice vantage point had also positioned me directly in the line of fire of Jani Lane’s Dirty, Rotten, Filthy, Stinking sweat!
To be sure, never in my life had I seen anyone perspire quite so profusely as Jani. Aghast though I was by the sheer volume of saline squirting from this human sprinkler, I was in fact even more repulsed by just how much of it was dripping directly upon my person. It was as if Jani Lane was my own private storm cloud and the rainy season was in full swing! As a result of this inadvertent intimacy with Jani’s musky man-sweat, I had been forever soured on this burgeoning young band and their slippery lead singer.
In the years following that first unfortunate exposure to Jani and Warrant, any negative publicity he or the band garnered served only to bolster my long-harbored (though admittedly juvenile) aversion to them. My own experiences notwithstanding, there was already more than sufficient evidence indicating that Jani Lane was in fact his own worst enemy. It wasn’t until he stood his ground in his various Metal Sludge interviews that I began to take the man seriously. I admired Jani’s tenacity in not only owning up to his personal shortcomings, but for doing so via the very website that gave him the most flack. So when Metal Sludge approached me with the prospect of tracking down the elusive Mr. Lane for yet a fourth frenetic free-for-all, I relished the opportunity to reassess both the man and his music.
Needless to say, this most recent encounter was by far more enjoyable than that ill-fated first. Not only did he NOT sweat all over me this time, Jani and friends treated me to a top-notch rock & roll performance despite my past misgivings. Jani was consistently smart, funny and entertaining while on stage, something I was not at all expecting given his less-than-perfect track record. He also looked to be in much better health than he’d been in quite some time, at one point even jumping off the stage to sing amidst the assembled crowd! Songs sounded the way they were supposed to sound and he hit most (if not all) of the high parts. And on the rare occasion when he struggled to reach a particularly challenging note, he ended up joking about it afterwards! This he did with a surprising balance of confidence and sincerity, which I found to be one of the most refreshing aspects of the entire evening. Oh, and not once did Jani resort to his much-maligned acts of bumming cigarettes from the audience or apologizing for Warrant’s many ballads (unless he did so while I momentarily ducked outside for a breath of smoke-free air).
As he had in the past, Jani responded to the following interview questions with an understandable mix of apprehension and amusement. Interestingly, he also appears to finally be fed up with all the sludge that’s been slung his way over the years and is now ready to take his grievances to the source! Sounds to me like the makings of a good, old-fashioned rock & roll rumble!
But don’t take my word for it, faithful Sludgeaholics! Read on and see for yourselves!
Note: We’ve got a few color-codes going on here. The questions we had C.C. Banana ask, along with his follow-up dialogue, are presented in yellow; Jani’s answers are in white; guitarist Alex Grossi chimes in here and there and his comments are in blue; and some guy playing in Jani’s band named Chad has a few comments in green. Naturally, our own comments are presented in red. Is that all clear enough for you? Good. Now we can begin!
1. What are you currently up to? This is your one and only chance to plug your shit.
I am producing a band called Eleven After. All-girl band. Wonderful, wonderful band. And working with VH1 right now.In what capacity?
Uhhh… kind of can’t talk about that right now.2. This is your fourth interview with Metal Sludge, so we congratulate you for having a huge nutsack – Holy shit! You sound just like C.C. DeVille!He’s C.C. Banana.Thank you! I’m flattered by that. Yeah, that’s my gimmick. Thank you very much.At this point, Jani actually breaks into song!
Let’s call Marty and Saul
Tell ‘em we’re gonna have a ball
Put the manischewitz on ice
Man, that’s nice
We’ll have a kosher weekend
Man, I’m a Jew
But I’m a Jew through and through
I gotta admit, I like baconC.C. Banana laughs, then picks up the questioning where he’d left off.Anyway, congratulations on having a huge nutsack. After all the shit we’ve given you in the past, you still come back and talk to us year after year. What is it about Metal Sludge interviews that makes you display such testicular fortitude and what do you have to say to other “rock stars” who consistently wimp out whenever we approach them?
Uhhh… jeez… just speak. Tell the truth.3. What the fuck happened to you on the Bad Boys of Metal Tour last summer, anyway? Everything seemed to be going well and then you went AWOL and dropped off the tour. We’ve heard all kinds of rumors, but we want to hear your side of the story.
Everything was going well? Bullshit!Oh? This is the first that I’ve heard of it.
Yes. I walked away for, uh… good reasons. Personal and business.Anything you’d care to share?
Not really. Uhhh… for the fans’ sake, I walked.4. What is your opinion of the current incarnation of Warrant, which now features 4/5th of the original roster with the addition of vocalist Jaime St. James from Black ‘N Blue?
I am actually very good friends with Jaime, um… jeez… I don’t know. I haven’t heard ‘em play. (pause) Uh… someday I guess I’ll hear ‘em, but…Does it feel like somebody’s sleeping in your bed?
Yeah, a little bit. Little bit. It’s, uh… it’s my “stuff.” So… I guess… we’ll leave it at that.5. Back in the summer of 2003 (when you were still in Warrant), you were sober for most of your tour with Whitesnake. But it was then reported that you fell off the wagon at a club in Ohio and threw up all over the bar. What happened that night, Mr. Lane?
I did NOT throw up all over the bar.Did you throw up on part of the bar?
No.Near the bar? Any throw-up at all?
No.Anywhere besides Ohio? Another state, maybe?
No. I’m sorry. I have no idea.NOTE: We’ve heard from numerous reliable sources that Jani did in fact throw up on that bar in Ohio. Maybe he was so drunk that he just forgot.6. At your Iowa show on December 15th, 2004 it was reported that you forgot the lyrics to “Down Boys” and made the band stop playing and start over again. Of all the Warrant songs you’ve sung over the years, how did you manage to forget the words to “Down Boys?” For Pete’s sake, it’s fucking “Down Boys!” It’s not like it’s “American Pie” or “99 Luftballoons.” What gives?
OH! MY GOD! Yes! Uh… brain fade.Brain what?
Brain fade. Brain cramp.Oh, okay.
Yes. In Des Moines.In Des Moines, Iowa. That’s correct.
Horrible, horrible.It happens.
I apologize.7. Speaking of “99 Luftballoons,” in your Metal Sludge 3-Wind you said: “I really respect Dokken. Great singer. Speaks German, like I do.” Cool! Since you speak German, we’re going to give you a few select German words. Please tell us what they mean.Rather than waiting for C.C. Banana to give him a few select German words, Jani instead starts speaking in complete German sentences all on his own! We have no idea what he said and it’s entirely possibly it was nothing but gibberish, but it sure sounded German to us.Wow! That wasn’t even on the list!
Thank you.Can I still give you the ones from the list?
Sure.Gesundheit = “God bless you.”Arschloch = “Asshole.”Handlungsreisende = Oooh… “Hung very low and big.” It’s actually “drummer.” But that’s close. Well, I was thinking of Mick Brown.Haftbefehl = “Bless you!” No, it’s “warrant,” actually. As in “arrest warrant.” Really? They could be lying, but I’m taking their word for it. Okay.Schwippskopf = Uhhh… I have no idea. It means “drunk” or “tipsy.” But towards Stevie Rachelle… “schweinehund.” And what does that mean? I don’t know. We’ll find out. NOTE: According to The New English-German Dictionary, “schweinehund” actually translates as “bastard,” “absolute moron” or “son-of-a-bitch!” That’s actually more applicable to bastard boy floyd, but whatever.Pimmel = Pimmel… God… I don’t know. “Penis!” I have one. True! And I use it. Good man!Klärschlamm = Gosh lamb? Klärschlamm. (laughs) I have no idea. “Sludge.” Beautiful.
8. How many unreleased Jani Lane songs are laying around in a vault or a closet somewhere, like your stuff with Jabberwocky and other projects like that? Any plans to release any old stuff on CD, or maybe a DVD with some classic live footage?
At least… at least 200.
Are there plans to release any of them at some point?
9. Of the following three people, which would you fuck, which would you kill, and which would you marry?
Obi Steinman, Gerri Miller, Bekka Bramlett
Uhhh… I love Obi… (pause) I haven’t seen Bekka in awhile…. but she’s very good in bed.So she’s the one you would fuck?
She’s very good in bed.Okay.
I have no idea. I haven’t seen her in awhile.I understand. Now you gotta kill someone and marry someone.
Uhhh… who would I kill? I can’t kill Gerri. Gerri’s too nice. I don’t think I would kill anyone.10. The song “Cherry Pie” was once used in a commercial featuring Pamela Anderson, who was kind of doing what Bobbie Brown did in the “Cherry Pie” video. How did you end up getting that song used and have you heard any word from Bobbie as to what she thinks about Pamela stealing her act?
Pamela Anderson could never do what Bobbie Brown did.And how did you get that song into the commercial?
11. In your Metal Sludge 3-Wind, it seemed like you wanted to talk some shit about Axl Rose but held back. We’re all friends here, Jani. If you have a good Axl story, please feel free to share it with us!
We’re NOT all friends here.Well, you folks are friends. I’m just a well-intentioned outsider.
We’re not all friends.Okay. Nevertheless, do you have anything you’d care to –
Stevie has a lot of apologies to make… if he wants to be friends.Okay. So no Axl Rose stories, then?
Oh, Axl?Axl. That was the question, yes. In your 3-Wind, you seemed like you wanted to talk some shit about Axl Rose, but you held back.
I’ve never talked shit about Axl because I’ve never really gotten involved with him. I love Slash, I love Duff… even though I slept with his ex-wife… uh, that was bad… but we got over that…Okay.
But uh…. Axl never really got… he’s too self-absorbed for me.
12. While on tour with Poison during the summer of 2003, Vince Neil got all up in Bret Michaels’ face because of Poison not letting Vince’s band hit on the groupies. Did Warrant have to deal with any of that shit when you guys toured with them, either recently or back in the day?
Both. That’s… Jesus… alright… uh… Bret really has to get over that.Anything in particular?
He has to get over that, you know, slapping the passes on the girls and saying, “That’s mine,” and all that kinda stuff. But… I’m never gonna work with the guy again, so… I don’t care.Okay.
Although, I really respect Bobby. And I love C.C..13. We’ve all heard about all the crazy shit rock stars do when they’re all fucked up. What’s one of the craziest things you ever did when you were out of your mind on some illegal substance?
(very long pause)Or a not-so-crazy one, whatever comes to mind.
What comes to mind is, uh… probably sleeping with other people’s wives. I shouldn’t have done that.That’s pretty crazy.
But I apologized. I always apologized. Always apologized.C.C. Banana could hardly get through this next question, since Jani seemingly already had his mind made up! But we’ve got to hand it to Banana for being persistent.14. What do you think about Motley Crue recording new songs and getting back together –
Oh, gimme a fuckin’ break.– for their current reunion tour?
Gimme a fuckin’ break.Do you think it’s just a last mad grab for cash, or do you think it will give hard rock —
Gimme a fuckin’ break.– a sorely-needed kick in the ass?
Gimme a fuckin’ break.15. Yes or no, has Jani Lane ever:Written a song with Butch Walker = Yes. He is extremely talented.Wanted to do a reality show on MTV like “The Osbournes” = (very long pause)Or like “The Anna Nicole Smith Show,” perhaps?
At this point, C.C. Banana pauses the tape recorder, assuming this to be what Jani has just requested. Strangely, it’s not what Jani was asking at all. In fact, we have no idea why Jani just said, “Pause.” A few moments later, Banana turned the recorder back on again.
Not REALLY pause.
Oh, I’m sorry. I misunderstood.
Anna Nicole, please… no… she’s… she’s dumb, whatever, but… you know.
Can you see yourself doing a reality show?
Possibly. Sure. Could you?
I could see you doing a reality show, hanging out with a big banana. That’d be great! Are you kidding? That’d be fantastic!
Had a drink in a gay bar = Yes. Absolutely. Actually, uh… quite a few. The Manhole! A place called Lydia’s in Akron, Ohio. It’s a swingers’ club.Thrown up on a fan = Uhhh… I don’t think so. You’d have to ask Jerry about that.Stuck pins in a voodoo doll = No.Stuck your finger up Erik Turner’s nose = What?! It’s right here. C.C. Banana shows Jani the interiew questions, to prove that he hasn’t just been making this stuff up. Alright. Erik is one of my best friends in the world and I’m very upset that he won’t call me.Dressed in a Santa Claus outfit = Yes. And I also got on the roof and stomped around with sleigh bells… the whole nine yards. Oh! For what occasion? For my kids.Thrown eggs at cars = Oh, fuck yeah! Oh, yeah. Recently or years ago? Uhhh… years ago. But I’m thinking about doing it again tonight. In that case, I’ll pull mine around back.Laughed at something on Metal Sludge = I always laugh at Metal Sludge, but I would really love for Stevie Rachelle to come forward and interview me personally.
16. Describe for us a typical day on tour for Jani Lane, starting with what time you get up and ending when you crawl back into your bunk.
Uhhh, jeez, uh… wake up early, roll out, drive, next city, get out, bunk, sound check, work new songs…
Do the show, yeah.Learn songs, yeah.
Uh… rock the crowd… like some people don’t… and… we do the very best we can.
What did you have to do to get these guys in shape for pinch hitting tonight?
NOTE: Jani’s regular back-up band (including former Warrant bandmate Billy Morris) is not accompanying him on this leg of the tour for some reason.
Pinch hitting? That’s an insult!
They’re in shape! They’re beautiful.
You said on stage tonight that this was their first time playing with you.
How’d that happen so quickly? That’s pretty amazing.I put the band together. We grew up together in Connecticut, and uh… I found my friend Chad from a couple years ago, and –
Chad MacDonald on bass, Bryn Mutch on drums and I said, “Learn 12 Warrant songs, let’s do a show.”
And two really good Jani songs!
And two really good Jani songs. And there you have it, you know? It is what it is.
Jani Lane, C.C. Banana and Alex Grossi all playing Spider-Man!
17. Of the following, which do you prefer and why:
Rikki Rockett or Joey Allen = Isn’t that the same person?“Sanford and Son” or “Chico and the Man” = “Chico and the Man.” Freddie Prince!The Strokes or The White Stripes = The Strokes. No band without a bass player should ever exist.Yeah! Copy that.Penthouse or Hustler = Uhhh… fuck Hustler.Earth, Wind & Fire or The Commodores = Wow… ummm… With Lionel Richie or not? That’s a good caveat. Tower of Power, Ohio Players.Jack Black or Will Ferrell = Neither.“Extreme Makeover” or “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” = And by the way, Jack Black, fuck you!hot tubs or saunas = Ummm… bath tubs. With candles. Choice C. Lots of bubbles. Bubbly!Jessica Simpson or Ashlee Simpson = Jesus… neither.Pringles or pork rinds = Neither. Which snack food do you prefer? Pussy.
No, that’s terrible. Uhhh… see, I’m going through a divorce. You’re catching me off-guard.
Ummm… let’s see… uhhh… snack food… ummm…
C.C. Banana bursts into an uncontrollable fit of the giggles.
I’m sorry. For some reason, it’s just funny to hear you say the words “snack food.”C.C. Banana keeps on giggling like a schoolgirl.
18. Steven Sweet was the best man at your wedding yet when he was fired from Warrant you never called him to explain why. Do you regret that or have anything to say to Steven?
I did not fire Steven. They fired Steven.
Who are “they?”
The other guys.
Do you have anything you’d like to say to Steven?
Yeah. Sorry. Call me.
19. In your Metal Sludge 3-Wind, you reflected upon your life by saying the following: “I felt many-a-time to jump out a fuckin’ window. It’s tough. It hurts.” Is being Jani Lane still making you want to occasionally jump out a window or are you in a better place now?
Only when somebody plays Tuff.
So are you in a better place now?
Stevie… tell Stevie to call me.
20. The last of Jani Lane:
Last thing you were really excited about (besides meeting C.C. Banana) = Oh, God… oh, boy. Okay, uhhh… Eleven After, the band I’m producing, the show I’m going to do on VH1 and the band I’m playing with now. And… excited about meeting you in a banana suit… it’s freaking me out, though. And C.C. DeVille is my favorite person on the entire planet.
I like that.
And you know what? I really… I really have no ill will against anybody. I really don’t.
Last thing you lost = 35 pounds. Congratulations! C.C. Banana applauds and shakes Jani’s hand. That’s hard to do. I’ve tried, it’s not easy.Yeah.
Last thing you bought with a royalty check = Ohhh… shit… my attorney!Last time you hated something = (long pause)
I hate… a lot of things.Alright.
But… uhhh… just…
(another long pause)Osama Bin Laden?
Yes! Perfect.Osama Bin Laden.
That, and Dana Strum’s stinky leather pants.Last time you heard an inspirational song on the radio = Oooh… that would NOT be Finger Eleven. Um, it would be, uhhh… Lifehouse. Probably.Last time you saw Joey Allen in person = Uh, the last time he wanted to jam with me and then bailed out. How long ago was that? Ehhh… quite a few years.Last time you saw Mike Fasano’s nutsack in person = But I like Joey. And I like Mike. Well, he’s got that nutsack. Got a little ass fetish, too.Last time you felt ripped off = (long pause) I always feel ripped off. I always feel ripped off.Last time you saw Metal Skool = I just jammed with them! Oh, you did? When was that? When I went out to LA and I did the, uh… “VH1 Stripped.” I heard about that. Yeah. Then I went over and jammed with Metal Skool. And Ralph is a very good friend of mine.Last time you threw up (on a bar or otherwise) = You mean, you don’t wanna ask me about Ralph’s wife? Did you throw up on Ralph’s wife? Yes. Once.Last question, Mr. Lane…
That was a joke, okay?Yes.
Don’t print that.No.
How about we print it but include the part where you say, “That was a joke.”(no response)
It’s up to you.(no response)
Whatever you say goes.(no response)Fuck it. It’s funny. We’re leaving it in!21. Time for Metal Sludge’s Word Association. We mention a name and you give us your thoughts.John Mezacappa = Uh, very good roadie, shouldn’t have stolen from me.Mike Fasano = Love the guy. Did I mention ass?Jack Russell = Is one of my heroes.Gene Simmons = Oooh… very self-absorbed. Yeah.Sharon Osbourne = I have no idea. She shit in a shoebox one time and sent it over to somebody else. She’s wonderful.Vinnie Taurone = I don’t know who that is. Taurone? Vinnie? T-A-U-R-O-N-E? I don’t know who that is.NOTE: Vinnie is a former Warrant security guard, among other things.David Coverdale = Ohhh… very suave.Dimebag Darrell = (long pause) That hurts.Scott Weiland = Couldn’t give a fuck less.Kevin DuBrow = Ummm… (long pause) will always be Kevin Dubrow.Stevie Rachelle = Should hike his balls up and do an interview with me in person.
Jani demonstrating his true feelings about Metal Sludge!
Well that was… weird.
Jani seems to be harboring some resentment towards Tuff singer Stevie Rachelle! Apparently he’s got a few misconceptions about how things work here at Metal Sludge. Wonder how that will all pan out.
Anyhow, special thanks are in order to C.C. Banana for coming through for us and pulling it off, and also to the staff at Dingbatz for allowing a 6-foot giant Banana to wander around their premises. And of course, extra special thanks to Jani Lane for having the balls to do a goofy Metal Sludge interview not one, not two, not three, but FOUR FUCKING TIMES! Can you remember way back when we thought we’d never get Jani? And here it is, 2005 and he’s put up with our shit four times in a row. That rules.
Jani doesn’t have an official Web site that we know of, and in fact the only thing even close to an official site we could find was at www.armentertainment.com/jani.htm, so that’s all you have for any additional information about Jani. Deal with it.
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