Mayhem and Excitement: Warrant singer says nostalgia leads to success

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski

Valley resident and Warrant singer Robert Mason says hometown shows mean one thing: nonstop calls and texts.

“Seriously, it’s cool to see familiar faces in the audience,” says Mason, whose band will play the Pool at Talking Stick with Skid Row and Winger on Saturday, January 29.

“I get to sleep in my own bed, if I choose. There’s always a weird pressure but no pressure. I feel like I’m in this traveling circus and I’m always playing these other cities. Very rarely do we come home; probably six or eight times in the 13 years I’ve been in the band. There’s a little more mayhem because it’s a hometown show.”

With a pair of double-platinum albums and three top 10 singles, Warrant inked a deal with Columbia Records in January 1998 and released “Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich” one year later.

The album spawned the singles “Down Boys,” “Sometimes She Cries” and “Heaven,” the latter of which reached No. 2 on the U.S. charts. Warrant’s follow-up album, “Cherry Pie,” featured the singles “I Saw Red” and “Cherry Pie,” eclipsing the band’s previous effort.

The key to Warrant’s longevity are those songs and the corresponding nostalgia. Mason says the track recall a simpler time.

“I think there’s a strong nostalgic pull for that era and these songs,” he says. “The demographics are not only the people who lived through it the first time, but a generation or two later are able to have fun.

“They recognize the ‘fun’ factor and the recklessness these songs have. It’s tongue-in-cheek sometimes, romantic and nostalgia at other times. The ballads hold up and stood the test of time because people loved them so much back then.”

Mason says the songs have been given a second life in video game, movie and TV placements, introducing a new generation to the songs.

“It transcends the ’80s, early ’90s, Sunset Strip hair rock or whatever bad moniker you want to put on that time period and musical style,” he says. “I just call it good rock music.”

For the 2022 tour, Warrant is revamping its set, thanks to a discussion between Mason and guitarist Joey Allen.

“We’re going to do a little block of (the 1992 album) ‘Dog Eat Dog’ songs,” he says. “That record deserves attention and, 30 years later, it’s remembered fondly by enough fans. The songs have great energy, and the band was on fire musically. It may not have blazed a trail in the charts the way ‘Heaven’ or ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ did. But it definitely deserves attention, and we love it.”

The band will also talk about “Dog Eat Dog.” The rest of the show will feature hits.

“It’s all the songs you know and love by heart and want to sing,” he says. “Our show is pretty heavy on the first three records. That’s where the nostalgia and biggest success of the band lies. Obviously, we feel some sort of obligation to play those songs. Basically, it’s just a bunch of high-energy rock by guys who are happy to be out and doing what we do. Hopefully it shows.

“I like inciting a little mayhem and excitement in the audience. We want them to stare at our shows, not stare into their phones. Rock is heart, rock and a little south of the belt buckle. It’s supposed to be all those things. It’s how I grew up and I’m proud to be able to bring that.”   

More Info

What: Skid Row, Warrant and Winger

When: 8 p.m. Saturday, January 29

Where: The Pool at Talking Stick Resort, 9800 E. Talking Stick Way, Scottsdale

Cost: Tickets start at $25

Info: 480.850.777,