Metal Asylum recently conducted an interview with QUIET RIOT drummer Frankie Banali. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
Metal Asylum: Tell us about the new record. Who wrote the music and lyrics and what were some conscious decisions you and Kevin [DuBrow] wanted to fulfill while making the record?
Frankie: Kevin and I wrote separately and with other writers to achieve the variety of music styles that we set out to accomplish. I wrote with guitarist Neil Citron. The songs that came out from the writing and demo sessions that Neil and I did was the music for "Blind Faith", "Old Habits Die Hard", "In Harms Way", "Don't Think" and a track that will appear only on the international version of "Rehab" entitled "Wired To The Moon". Many of the songs that Neil and I brought to the table musically were foreign in style to what Kevin was used to, so he enlisted the assistance of old friend Glenn Hughes to lend a helping hand with lyrics and melodies to some of those songs. I also submitted lyric ideas for "Don't Think" which Kevin used partially for that song and oddly enough on solitary line that made it to the chorus hook in "South of Heaven".
Metal Asylum: What lead to the departure, or firing, of Kevin DeBrow for the 1988 self-titled album?
Frankie: No one was getting along at all by then. We were still suffering from the public's perception of things that were said by Kevin to the press. That coupled with a fractured lineup, sagging record sales, and pressures from the label, producer and management made the situation very difficult. With the past success of the band, those associated with the band through business wanted to place blame somewhere, and the obvious place was to start with the plethora of media related problems that surrounded Kevin. You have to understand that a singer in a band is generally the focal point and therefore the one who is given the forum. If that forum turns ugly, that person is also the focal point. There were discussions as to what to do. Stay as we were, break up and call it a day, or to no longer continue with Kevin. Since we were close to the end of the year and the end of the tour, I thought it would be best to just finish the tour and then take up the matter. We were in Tokyo when Kevin heard a rumor that started in Los Angeles that he was going to be asked to leave. From that point there was no convincing him that was not the case because no decision had been made. By then the relationship between the band as it was and Kevin was all but over. We finished the Japanese tour, did our final concert in Hawaii and parted company then and there.
Metal Asylum: What are your thoughts on that album and having Paul Shortino as the vocalist? Any songs you would like to put in a setlist?
Frankie: We were looking for someone to fill the void and no one we auditioned really worked. We had heard a tape of Paul Shortino doing a rendition of Janis Joplin's classic "Piece of My Heart" and knew he was talented. It seemed at the time a reasonable choice. To this day I think that Paul's vocals on that track cannot be improved upon. We actually wanted to change the name of the band to have a new beginning. When we were unceremoniously informed that if we did change the name our recording budget would be cut in half because we wouldn't get a "QUIET RIOT"-size budget, we decided to keep the name. It was also a sense of pride. We had worked very hard as QUIET RIOT to just abandon the name and the hard work that had been put into the band. I used to wonder if changing the name would have made a difference, and I don't think so. I say leave well or not so well enough alone as it would be pointless to ask Kevin to sing songs he didn't help to write or record.
Metal Asylum: Kevin returned in 1993 for "Terrified" and "Down to the Bone" followed in 1995. Two records I personally like and find several very good songs on. Talk about those two records. Why was Rudy Sarzo not yet involved with the band again, do you find those records strong ones?
Frankie: I had just finished two years of rehearsal, recordings and a few live dates with a band called HEAVY BONES that was signed to Reprise/Warner Bros. I was unhappy in that situation and had made up my mind to leave the band around the same time that Kevin DuBrow called me. He and Carlos had resurrected QUIET RIOT once more and were doing dates. They needed a drummer to fulfill a commitment for about a half dozen shows. I had not spoken with Kevin or Carlos in nearly five years but it was really natural for me to get together with them. I agreed to do the dates but nothing more. They had already started recording what would become the "Terrified" record and needed to record the remaining half of the record. I agreed to record the tracks and they asked if I would join. I turned them down three times for no other reason than I was not sure what I wanted to do. In the end, Kevin persuaded me to rejoin and I've been here ever since. We toured for "Terrified" and in 1995 recorded "Down To The Bone" and managed to survive the dreaded 1990s. As to Rudy, he was busy taking charge of his own career and Kevin and I continued to take charge of QUIET RIOT.
You can read the entire interview at www.metalasylum.net.