DIY Spotlight: Ricky Rat

Ricky Rat is a well-known figure in the Detroit rock & roll scene. He was a member of beloved glam punks the Trash Brats, formed with singer Brian McCarty (originally just Brat). With their wild hair and makeup, and a New York Dolls-esque trashy dress sense, they made friends and simultaneously raised heckles.

“[It was] bad timing for sure in terms of the band’s look and sound,” Rat says. “We were pretty much DIY our whole career and never had much label or management support. No regrets as we had a great time and enjoyed a decent amount of success, especially in our hometown of Detroit.”

The Trash Brats went on hiatus, occasionally popping up to play shows again. Meanwhile, Rat kept himself busy.

“I did a U.S. tour with Texas Terri, and did several tours in Europe with Kevin K,” he says. “I finally started up my solo stuff in 2010.”

One of Rat’s highest profile gigs came when he joined a reformed version of punk pioneers the Dead Boys.

“I had been friends with Cheetah [Chrome, original Dead Boy] and Jason [Kottwitz], the other guitarist, for a few years, for a while,” says Rat. “I got the call that they needed a bassist for a few shows on the 40th Anniversary run for the Young Loud and Snotty album, and that in turn led to me joining the band full time. Several tours followed.”

“It’s a shame that it didn’t continue for a longer time, and that a bunch of great tours got cancelled in the end, but things were just too explosive within the band and the management,” he says.

Now, he’s fully focused on his solo career, which he says isn’t a huge departure from his Trash Brats days.

“I dig songs with great hooks and melody, so every- thing I write comes out as like a rock & roll/pop type of thing,” he says. “Three-minute songs with no fat.”

Rat is currently mixing a solo album called Ghosts of Isolation. “No big touring plans at the moment just yet,” Rat says in conclusion. “So I’m just playing a few shows here and there with my Rat Pack.” 

Follow on social media @RickyRat