BigMusicGeek.com recently conducted an interview with QUIET RIOT drummer Frankie Banali. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
BigMusicGeek.com: In hindsight, once [original QUIET RIOT singer] Kevin [DuBrow] passed away, was there ever any doubt regarding the group’s ability to continue? There was a significant amount of animosity directed towards you once you had decided to reactivate the group.
Frankie: “That was exactly it. I’ve been criticized at great lengths for making a statement that I wasn’t going to continue with QUIET RIOT. You have to understand that at that point in time, I was blindsided by Kevin‘s death because it wasn’t expected by any stretch of the imagination. Kevin was the most alive person I’ve ever known. Kevin enjoyed life more than anybody I’ve ever known, including myself, so his death was not in the equation as far as I was concerned. I found myself at a loss of my best friend and I also found myself at a loss of losing this thing called QUIET RIOT. I shut down for three years to a point where it didn’t even enter my mind. It wasn’t until late in that process that I started to put things in perspective. After having a couple of conversations with Kevin‘s mother, who’s become like a second mother to me, I decided to move forward. I think it’s important to understand that fans have this romantic view of a band where the band is what they think they are. They think of whatever members they prefer and imagine that we live these wonderful lives and don’t have a care in the world, and all of that. I compare the loss of Kevin the same way one would compare the loss of a family member. So, you tell me, if you lose a family member, whether it’s your mom, dad, brother or sister, what do you do? Do you break up the family? That’s it? It’s done? That one individual is gone, so there’s no more family? That’s not realistic. Having said that, I’m from New York City, so I’ve got a pretty thick skin. A lot of it it hurt, but at the same time, I understood why they were saying the things they were, even though I didn’t agree with them. And then I moved on. Alex [Grossi, QUIET RIOT guitarist] put it best after some of the singers we tried didn’t work out and then went on the Internet and social media, basically saying all the most evil things you could possibly say about me. Alex crystallized it when he said, ‘If the death of Kevin DuBrowwon’t stop Frankie Banali and QUIET RIOT, who will?'”
BigMusicGeek.com: At this point, what is preventing the surviving members of the “Metal Health” era from joining you, or you and the other current members, onstage? I would imagine the fan base would be excited with such a proposition.
Frankie: “[‘Metal Health’-era bassist] Rudy [Sarzo, ex-DIO, OZZY OSBOURNE, WHITESNAKE] has on occasion. As a matter of fact, Rudy and I live in the same neighborhood. Rudy and I have been friends since 1972, so he’s the oldest, closest and dearest friend that I have. He’s actually more of a brother than anything and we get along great. [‘Metal Health’-era guitarist] Carlos [Cavazo, ex-3 LEGGED DOG, RATT, SNOW] and I were never close, even when things were going great. You have to understand that both Rudy and Carlos have been out of the band for 15 or 16 years since 2003. Rudy and I have kept a relationship and our friendship is completely and totally intact. That’s not the case, really, with Carlos, and that’s by his own choice. But then there’s also a danger of even doing a one-off where it would be the three surviving members and James [Durbin, current QUIET RIOTsinger] or whomever singing because people romanticize what they think of the lineup. Once you do a show like that, everything else you do after that with the guys that I have in the band right now is going to be measured up to that one-off and that’s a dangerous proposition. When people say on my Facebook or Twitter pages, ‘You really should get Rudy and Carlos back in the band,’ I always reply to them by saying, ‘Okay, so, basically, what you’re telling me is I should fire Chuck [Wright, bass], who has been in and out of the band since 1982, but more specifically has been a solid member of the band since 2004, and also fire Alex Grossi who has been the same, because you want to hear somebody else play their songs? Is that what you are suggesting? That I should not be loyal to the people that are loyal to me?'”