Quiet Riot ready to make Ohio 'Feel the Noize' this weekend
I remember 1983. MTV actually played
music videos and Quiet Riot was all
over it with their hit single, “Cum on Feel
The Noize." The radio had us banging
our heads to Quiet Riot’s “Metal Health,"
the title track to the band’s third album.
VH1 placed the song at No. 41 on their
Top 100 Greatest Hard Rock Song's list.
The Metal Health album ultimately sold
more than six million copies in the
U.S., becoming the first-ever metal US
debut to hit the No. 1 spot on Billboard
album charts. The band closed out the
year as the opening act for Black
Sabbath on the band's "Born Again" tour.
Quiet Riot started in 1973, founded by
singer Kevin DuBrow and legendary
guitarist Randy Rhoads. They have had
more than their share of ups and
downs--many member changes, splits
and reunions. The band has played years
An interview with drummer Frankie Banali
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Out Of The Blue Publications
Chuck Wright (bass), Frankie Banali (drums), Alex Grossi (guitar), Mark Huff (vocals). Photo submitted.
of sold-out arena shows. Their songs have shown up in movies and video games and their band has been touched by
fame, controversy, suicide and most recently the 2007 fatal cocaine overdose of DuBrow. The latter brought the band to
a screeching halt. At that time, drummer Frankie Banali issued statements insisting Quiet Riot was over forever.
However, in 2010, Banali got to work on putting the band back together. Banali, bassist Chuck Wright and guitarist Alex
Grossi--all of whom have played with Quiet Riot since the Metal Health era--are now joined by singer Mark Huff. Huff,
who had been fronting a VanHalen tribute band called 5150, blew Banali away during his cattle call audition and was
offered the chance to perform with the band.
I recently spoke with Banali on the telephone from his home in California.
Deb (OOTB): How is it going with Mark Huff being your new singer? It’s got to be a lot different, you’re used
to seeing Kevin up there and all of a sudden you've got Mark, has that been a lot different for you?
Frankie: Yeah, I have a lot of mixed emotions about it because the reality is that I first started working with Kevin in 1981,
so for about 17 years or so I was used to seeing Kevin in front of me when I play. So, now seeing someone different
there is very different for me. There is no denying that. But, the first thing that was important to me in putting Quiet Riot
back together was to speak with Kevin’s mom, because Kevin and I were very close and I wanted to get the perspective
from Kevin’s mom and she is completely 100 percent supportive. And she had actually reminded me that right at the
same morning that we laid Kevin to rest, when we had the family gathering, she had advised me that I should really
continue the band. And I had totally blocked that out. That was the first thing that was important to me. The next thing that
was equally important to me was that if I put Quiet Riot back together, it had to sound like Quiet Riot. And while I can't in
any way shape or form surpass what Kevin did, I wanted to find somebody that could register and had the voice to sing
the songs the way that they needed to be sung; but, more importantly the way the fans were used to hearing it. I did not
want it to be reinterpreted, reworked or anything like that. If it wasn't going to sound like Quiet Riot, then there was no
point doing it as Quiet Riot.
Deb (OOTB): And how do you think the fans have responded so far?
Frankie: So far the response has been phenomenal. I couldn't be more pleased with the way things are going. Because,
you know, I knew from the get go that there were going to be essentially three camps. On the extremes there was going
to be the camp that were fans that were going to be all for it no matter what. And I knew there was going to be a camp on
the other end of the spectrum that were going to refuse to accept it no matter what. And then there was going to be the
greater in the center which was the speculation, 'is this going to be any good?' So far we’re winning not just the fans
over, but the concert promoters and agents over as well. I’m really, really happy with the way things are going, but having
said that, it is still a work in progress. You don’t do a band for 17 years and then lose a key figure in the band and then
just continue business as usual with not even a year in, so it’s a work in progress.
Deb (OOTB): You guys are venturing out soon, you’ll be in
Arizona and then coming out here to Ohio. So you’ll actually
start touring together. Are you looking forward to that,
spending more time together on the road?
Frankie: Yeah, I enjoy the process of playing the Quiet Riot songs
and I enjoy the process of going out on the road. For me that is still
an enjoyable experience. What has happened is that after we
started doing dates, we started to prove ourselves again and gain
ground. We are doing a number of U.S. dates all leading up to a
headlining tour that we are doing in Australia and New Zealand at
the end of April, beginning of May. That is a package tour that we
are doing. Quiet Riot is headlining and we have Warrant on support,
and we have LA Guns on support, and then we have local opening
acts as well.
Deb (OOTB): We’re going to see you at McGuffy’s House of
Rock in Dayton.
Frankie: Yes, sounds good! I have done that a number of times with
Quiet Riot, I also played it a number of times with Faster Pussycat
when we were opening up for Motley Crue on the Doctor Feelgood
tour. So I know the venue well and Ohio has always been great for
Quiet Riot. I am really looking forward to doing the show!
Quiet Riot will be at McGuffys on March 12 and will return to Ohio
on October 1 in Akron at Tangiers.
Quiet Riot is back! Make it your mission to get out to see them and
Bang Your Head!
Read more of this interview in our Spring magazine, including:
more about Banali's decision to bring Quiet Riot back
and details on an upcoming Quiet Riot documentary.