Metal stalwarts promise ‘Louder Harder Faster’ at BMI Raceway

Warrant wants YOU! (L-R) Joey Allen, Jerry Dixon, Robert Mason, Erik Turner,
and Steve Sweet

By Allyson B. Crawford

A lot of people might be surprised to learn that Warrant released an acclaimed new album in May of 2017. For folks that equate Warrant with late ‘80s hits like “Cherry Pie” and “Heaven,” the modern Warrant is still rocking, with an updated sound and touring on the back of Louder Harder Faster.

True fans know the band has had its share of ups and downs, but lately it’s been all good. There were line-up issues and spats with original singer and hit maker Jani Lane. Then a short-lived reunion and Jani’s untimely death. In 2008, Robert Mason joined the band as a permanent member. A decade in, Mason reflects on the popularity of Warrant and just how many live shows they do each year. The band will play BMI Raceway in Versailles on Saturday, March 10. Fellow 80’s rockers Steelheart are also part of the bill. Dayton-based Blackwater will provide support.

“We came through Dayton about a year ago,” Mason remembers. “We’re normally good for rolling through a couple times a year, pretty much everywhere. We did more than 60 shows last year.” If you’ve seen Warrant recently, you know what you’re going to get: 90 minutes of party rock. In fact, the band comes as advertised. “We just want to bring as much fun and good times as possible,” admits Mason. “For the 90 minutes or so that we play, forget about your problems. If you’re not really versed in all things Warrant, come out and learn something. Enjoy a real live rock show with a real live rock band in real time – come scream and jump up and down. That’s the best way I know to enjoy a show. When I see that happening to an audience, that’s when I get the most out of it.” Mason was once a member of bands like Lynch Mob (with guitar phenom George Lynch) and Big Cock (featuring King Kobra guitarist David Michael-Philips) so he’s got the right ‘80s pedigree to front one of the biggest bands of the era.

Unlike many of their peers, Warrant kept on chugging, writing and working when possible. Somehow the group made it through the grunge-obsessed ‘90s intact. By the time 2007 rolled around, the resurgence of hair metal was an actual thing with dedicated festivals and hordes of fans willing to pay top dollar to see their heroes live and on stage once again. Now it’s 2018. The holiday season is over and the guys in Warrant are once again crisscrossing the country, working their way across the heartland and playing songs that bring a lot of people back to their high school
salad days.

All that nostalgia doesn’t leave too much room for modern times, but Warrant always adds at least a couple of new songs to each set. After all, why create new music if you’re not going to play it live? “We definitely play the title track [to Louder Harder Faster] and ‘Only Broken Heart,’” Mason explains. “You can’t always take every track and play it and expect it to translate to the vibe. You want an audience to have a little rollercoaster ride with the set. We have songs we have to play and we love to do that. It is kind of fun to play a surprise new song for people to see if they ‘get’ it. Hardcore fans know the [new] songs. I like to play songs from a newer record that have a specific purpose in the set or are up-tempo and I do the preface to Louder Harder Faster and explain the new record and get everyone into screaming their brains out so by the time the chorus comes around, they know it. It’s always a bit of a challenge for people when people hear new music. It’s the greatest thing when they hear it and embrace it.”

Getting people to embrace music, or any live event, is a struggle over digital addiction these days. Mason takes it in stride but does encourage fans to put away the phones and just enjoy the moment. “Check your Facebook and take a couple pics to prove you were at a Warrant show, but then take a second to unplug from the virtual and social media world. Put your phone in your back pocket.”

Warrant will appear at BMI Raceway, 769 E. Main St., Versailles, OH on March 10. For tickets and more information, call 937.526.9544, or visit More information about Warrant can be found at

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About Allyson B. Crawford

View all posts by Allyson B. Crawford
Allyson B. Crawford
Allyson B. Crawford lives in Kettering and writes about ’80s metal bands on her daily blog You can usually find her at all sorts of metal shows around Ohio and across the country. Allyson can be reached at

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