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.

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  • Tyger of Pan Tang on

    Has anyone heard any of the albums after DuBrow returned to the band in the early 90s?

  • Rattlehead on

    I wish the best for Frankie’s health and I think he’s a great drummer, but I disagree with him…..

    ‘Metal Health’ was not Quiet Riot’s debut album…..Quiet Riot 1, with Randy Rhoads, released on Sony in Japan predates ‘Metal Health’ and is Quiet Riot’s debut album. And I don’t think it was Quiet Riot that spurned record labels to sign all these up and coming bands…..I credit that to Motley Crue’s ‘Too Fast for Love’. I don’t consider ‘Metal Health’ a metal album at all…. I think it’s more ‘bubble gum’ rock, not metal. Priest is metal, Maiden is metal, not Quiet Riot. Frankie is right that Quiet Riot was not responsible for anybody else’s success….but I think the band Slade was indeed responsible for Quiet Riot’s success.

    I love the respect Frankie shows for both the Dubrow and Rhoads families. And I was critical of him continuing Quiet Riot after Dubrow’s passing when I think he’s very talented to make his own name. But since his recent health announcement, I hope Frankie continues doing whatever he wants that makes him the happiest and provides the most for his family. And while I never considered buying the album ‘Road Rage’ cuz I never considered it a Quiet Riot release without Dubrow, I will buy it soon just to support Frankie’s continued efforts. Keep pounding, Frankie!

  • shannon mehaffey on

    When i saw this tour in Knoxville, TN they were openers on the “World Piece” tour and half the crowd walked right out the door after their set…Bruce walked out and he was a bit shell shocked…but Maiden was great that night…and I’ll never forget how freaking ear splittingly loud Quiet Riot was, and I’ll never forget being a bit hypnotized by “Love’s a Bitch;” all that melodrama from DuBrow…it is easily my favorite Quiet Riot song.

    • Rattlehead on

      Shannon, I saw a ‘Metal Health’ show at the Roxy in Los Angeles, the second night of two shows that were at the Roxy that kicked off the tour. It, too, was very loud! The first night’s show was broadcast live over the radio, and I used to have a cassette recording of that show….but over the years, I somehow lost that cassette……

  • Doug R. on

    Hmm… Pyromania? Would’ve hit #1 if it wasn’t for some album called “Thriller?” 😉 Not taking anything away from Metal Health, but I would say Pyromania was really the first rock/metal album that opened the flood gates for rock/metal to run wild in the 80’s. Rattle, I have to disagree, bro, I would not call QR’s Metal Health “bubble gum” at all! If anything, I’d say maybe “pop” or “glam” metal, but definitely NOT “bubble gum!” Bubble gum would be artists like New Edition, “Popcorn Love,” “Candy Girl,” now THAT’S bubble gum! And the totally ridiculous New Kids On The Block! BARF!!! I wouldn’t even call Rick Springfield or Duran Duran “bubble gum,” IMO RS was pop rock, and DD was pure pop! Donny Osmond would be categorized as pure bubble gum! Anyway, QR definitely deserves alot of credit for opening doors, but again IMO, DL were the first band that opened the metal door into the mainstream in the 80’s. Or maybe it was AC/DC’s “Back In Black” album? Ozzy’s “Crazy Train?” Who knows.

    • Dana on

      I would consider Duran Duran, New Wave, especially their early material.

    • Doug R. on

      You’re absolutely right, Dana! Are you sure your name isn’t “Rio?” 😉 LOL!!! 🙂

    • Charles Clinchot on

      I agree about Duran Duran, Dana All of the new wave artists made up a good portion of 80s popular music.

    • Dana on

      The 80’s probably had the most varied musical styles of all the decades. All genres of rock, pop, dance, rap, new wave, punk, etc…

  • shannon mehaffey on

    No …Frankie’s right; the album says it’s Metal right in the title and it still flew out the door like chrome plated frisbees…that’s the point. No other band that told you to your face they were metal sold anywhere near Quiet Riot…and then the $$$ cascaded down on Sunset Stip like mana from heaven…I remember the DJs on the mainstream rock stations very well marveling at a song that told you to BANG YOUR HEAD sold like that ..thus, they HAD to play it on the air. “Bang thy Head that doesn’t Bang..” that kind nonsense was never taken seriously by mainstream radio until this record. Come on guys, can we please, you know, get it together on here?

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