Stephen Pearcy jet-rocketed to multi-platinum success in the mid-'80s as the lead vocalist for hair metal band Ratt. His long-running career began in Los Angeles during the early '80s fronting Ratt. The band released its self-titled debut independently in 1983, just as the so-called hair metal scene was gaining momentum, led by such bands as Mötley Crüe and Quiet Riot. Like these bands, Ratt was both flamboyant and rebellious, and Pearcy's screaming vocals and dolled-up looks helped the band stand out among its many peers. Atlantic Records recognized Ratt's potential and signed the band to a contract, resulting in the 1984 album Out of the Cellar, which became a mammoth success, led by the pop-metal hit "Round and Round."
In subsequent years, Ratt continued to release successful albums and perform sold-out shows, yet when the hair metal scene withered away in the early '90s -- and the band with it -- Pearcy decided to start anew. His new venture, Arcade (1993-1994), didn't sound much different than Ratt, and he soon found himself starting over once again with the industrial metal band Vertex (1996) and then yet again with the straightforward metal band Vicious Delite (2000) after a short-lived Ratt reunion in 1997. By this point, Pearcy had slowly descended into relative obscurity, but he refused to quit. He began his own label, Top Fuel, aligned it with the L.A.-based Triple X label, and began issuing archival material such as Before and Laughter (2000), a collection of odds and ends from his past. He followed with Social Intercourse in 2002, his first proper solo album. By this point, Pearcy's reputation had blossomed a bit thanks to a curious renewed interest in '80s hair metal. However, Pearcy took a decidedly different musical direction with 2005's Fueler, which sounds more akin to alternative metal bands such as Godsmack than hair metal. The all-acoustic album Stripped arrived in 2006, followed in 2008 by Under My Skin, which featured a guest spot from the Donnas. Ratt returned in 2010 with the release of Infestation, the first studio album from the group since 1999. Pearcy's fourth solo LP, Smash, arrived in 2017 via Frontiers Records. ~ Jason Birchmeier