QUIET RIOT DRUMMER FRANKIE BANALI ON “METAL HEALTH” HELPING TO USHER IN 80’S ROCK, “DID WE KNOCK DOWN THE WALL FOR OTHERS TO COME THROUGH IT? ABSOLUTELY. WERE WE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANYBODY ELSE’S SUCCESS? NO…”
Greg Prato of Brave Words recently spoke with Quiet Riot drummer Frankie Banali. Highlights of the interview appear below.
BraveWords: How are you doing, health-wise?
Frankie Banali: Good. Yesterday I finished the third day of round nine of chemotherapy. And so far, so good. Just waiting to see what side effects are going to kick in, because they start doing the treatment and they continue on for at least a few days – sometimes all the way through to the next treatment. It really depends. It varies – there’s no blueprint.
BraveWords: Let’s discuss the new Quiet Riot album, Hollywood Cowboys.
Frankie Banali: I usually start writing for a future album shortly after the preceding one is released. And my mindset on this particular record, I wanted it to be a little more varied than what we had done on Road Rage and some of the other records we had done in the past. They’re user-friendly arena rock sounding tracks, but then there are a couple of heavier numbers – with double bass drumming, which I haven’t done in quite a while. And there is even a blues track on the record. It is much more varied than anything we’ve ever done in quite a while.
BraveWords: Jizzy Pearl is the current singer for Quiet Riot. Why did singer James Durbin leave?
Frankie Banali: I can only tell you that my assumption is that he wanted to continue working on his solo career versus being part of a band.
BraveWords: Do you agree that the achievement of Metal Health being the first #1 that opened the flood gates for metal in the ‘80s?
Frankie Banali: I think it’s pretty clear if you look at the album chart when Metal Health went to number one, there was nothing else on the chart that was like it. There was Lionel Richie, Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney, the Police. So, from that aspect, it’s clear that we were the forerunners of it. Having said that, we have never taken the position that we made anybody else’s career. What we were able to do is by having such a hugely successful debut album, all of a sudden, all of the labels wanted to sign what they thought might be the next Quiet Riot, and all managers wanted to sign what might be the next Quiet Riot. And attorneys and accountants. They all lined up, because everybody wants a piece of that pie. Did we knock down the wall for others to come through it? Absolutely. Were we responsible for anybody else’s success? No, that was up to them.
BraveWords: What do the DuBrow and Rhoads families think of QR still playing/performing?
Frankie Banali: I have nothing but an immense amount of support from Kevin’s mother. She is like a second mother to me. We have always had a wonderful relationship, and she completely and totally backs and supports what I’m doing 100%. As does the Rhoads family. They have absolutely no problem. Just recently, when we played the Whiskey a couple of months ago, the Rhoads family was there in attendance – showing support. There is no issue there. If anybody has any issues then they don’t directly have anything to do with the band – they’re just critics.
BraveWords: What are your thoughts on the Dio hologram tour?
Frankie Banali: That’s a tricky thing. On the one hand, it’s providing a service for the Dio fans. I have not personally seen it, so it’s difficult for me to comment on how it looks or how successful it is. I’m a “live and let live guy” – as long as people don’t interfere with what I’m doing.
Read more at Brave Words.