Former QUIET RIOT singer James Durbin says that the band has every right to continue without drummer Frankie Banali.
Banali, who joined QUIET RIOT in 1982 and played on its breakthrough album, 1983's "Metal Health", died last August after a 16-month battle with pancreatic cancer.
QUIET RIOT announced in September that it will carry on touring following Frankie's death. The band, which now features drummer Johnny Kelly (DANZIG, TYPE O NEGATIVE), played a couple of shows in October and has a string of dates booked in 2021.
Durbin, who recorded two studio albums with QUIET RIOT — 2017's "Road Rage" and 2019's "Hollywood Cowboys" — during his three-year stint with the group, spoke about his former bandmates' decision to keep playing during a new interview with Metal Express Radio.
"I wish them all the best," James said (see video below). "They're great guys. Frankie's last wish was for the band to continue, and I hope they do. If the band can continue without [original QUIET RIOT singer] Kevin [DuBrow] and [former QUIET RIOT members] Rudy [Sarzo] and Carlos [Cavazo], who's to say it can't continue without Frankie? It's a band, and it's the music, and the music lives on.
"There's cover bands that have cruises — there's cover bands that have their own cruise. FOREIGNER is a cover band, and they have tons of hits — they've got, like, 17 Number Ones and, on occasion, a single original member [when they play live] and still sell out the Hollywood Bowl.
"But, yeah, I wish them all the best. It's classic music, and if it's good — which it is — it'll continue."
According to James, very few QUIET RIOT fans "knew who any of us were" at the shows that he played with the band. "There's people when Frankie wasn't playing with us, when we had Johnny Kelly with us, who is playing with them now, from DANZIG and TYPE O NEGATIVE, my last tours with them were with Johnny Kelly and with Mike Dupke from W.A.S.P. and Dee Snider, and there were so many — not with Mike, 'cause he looks completely different — but with Johnny, there were people, like, 'What's up, Frankie? Great show tonight,'" he said. "And it's Johnny Kelly — he's, like, two feet taller and 25 years younger.
"I never tried to look like Kevin, so I never got anybody saying, 'Great show tonight, Kevin,'" he continued. "People know that Kevin passed and respect that. But just making it a point to bring that energy and that affection for what you're doing in that moment. I didn't wanna just stand up there and go through the motions; I really wanted to treat each show like it was its own moment and reach out to the fans. And if it required twirling the mic stand and catching it in your teeth or any of that stuff, if it takes another extra trip to the dentist or something, it's worth it for the show. You've gotta bring that to the music, 'cause that's what it was born and bred in."
In September 2019, QUIET RIOT parted ways with Durbin and replaced him with Jizzy Pearl. Pearl previously fronted QUIET RIOT from 2013 until October 2016, when he was briefly replaced by Seann Nichols, who played only five shows with the group before the March 2017 arrival of "American Idol" finalist Durbin.
Banali resurrected QUIET RIOT in 2010, three years after the death of DuBrow.
QUIET RIOT went through two vocalists — Mark Huff and Scott Vokoun — before Pearl's first three-year run with the band.
QUIET RIOT initially featured the late guitar legend Randy Rhoads and went through some early lineup shifts before securing the musicians that recorded "Metal Health".
Durbin will release the debut album from his solo band, DURBIN, "The Beast Awakens", on February 12 via Frontiers Music Srl.