Guitarist Turner tells of efforts to save singer from his own demons as it’s revealed he died of alcohol poisoning
Warrant paid for a sobriety coach for their 2008 reunion tour with singer Jani Lane, hoping it would keep the frontman on the wagon, says guitarist Erik Turner.
But when the professional life trainer quit, saying there was no saving Lane, the band realised they’d have to part company with him again.
The singer was found dead in a hotel room in August, and toxicology reports have now confirmed he died of alcohol poisoning.
And Turner says Lane’s “old demons” made him impossible to work with.
“It was a huge disappointment because we were all very excited about the reunion,” Turner tells RockMusicStar.com. “But we had no choice – we had to get a new lead singer.
“It was frustrating. We tried to be supportive. We’d visit him in rehab as much as possible. We took all of the alcohol off the tour rider. None of us were drinking – but he would just sneak off and disappear, and show up intoxicated later. Sometimes he wouldn’t even show up.
“He would have a hard time performing in his state. It was very stressful and disappointing for the band.”
Warrant hired an expert who works with musicians, actors and athletes to help them with their addiction issues.
Turner explains: “The band paid for a sober coach to come on the road and try to keep Jani sober. He couldn’t. It was so bad, the sober coach quit – he said there was nothing that he could do, and there is nothing anyone can do. He said Jani was completely out of control.”
One of the band’s most successful shows during the brief reunion period was at Rocklahoma in the summer of 2008.
Turner says: “He had been in rehab for seven days before. It would have been nice if he told us – we had no idea where he was. It wasn’t until 8pm the day of the show that he finally showed up. It really stressed out the band and the promoters.”
The guitarist regrets: “He didn’t care about Warrant or me – all he cared about was partying.”
Of the singer’s death Turner says: “It’s very sad and disappointing. Any time someone has all of that talent and everything to live for… For whatever reason he just couldn’t stop. It’s awful. It’s horrible for his kids and his family. I hadn’t spoken to him since 2008; we weren’t close any more. But it was still very hurtful to hear.”