QUIET RIOT guitarist Alex Grossi says that the response has been "very positive" to the announcement that the band is planning to carry on after drummer Frankie Banali's death. The group, which now features drummer Johnny Kelly (DANZIG, TYPE O NEGATIVE), will play a couple of shows in October as well as a string of dates in 2021.
Speaking to "That Metal Interview With James", Grossi said: "All in all, as far as our friends and family and people in the industry, it's been very, very positive. Obviously, there's always people on the Internet that like to bash things. Since I've been in this band, every move they've made has been slammed on the Internet, but then again, so is a lot of moves that every other band makes; that's what the Internet, what all those web sites are for — for people to voice their opinion. But all in all, it's been very positive, and it's nice to see that. I'm glad we're carrying on the way we are for Frankie — that's what he wanted. And it's been good. I'm really glad to see a lot of friends and family come out of the woodwork and support it, which is nice, for sure."
Banali, who joined QUIET RIOT in 1982 and played on its breakthrough album, 1983's "Metal Health", the first heavy metal LP to top Billboard's album chart, died in August after a 16-month battle with pancreatic cancer.
The surviving members of QUIET RIOT said it was "Frankie Banali's wish that the band continue and we keep the music and the legacy alive."
Bassist Chuck Wright has been a part of QUIET RIOT, on and off, since 1982, having initially been involved in the "Metal Health" recordings (he played bass on the tracks "Metal Health" and "Don't Wanna Let You Go"). Grossi was in the last version of the band, from 2004 through 2007, before singer Kevin DuBrow passed away, and was asked by Banali to return in 2010.
"Chuck's been doing this for almost 40 years, off and on," Alex told "That Metal Interview With James". "He contributed so much to the 'Metal Health' record, and he's been there essentially from the beginning. People realize that, but they shouldn't forget that. And I was chosen by DuBrow and Frankie in 2004 to be the guitar player in the band. And Jizzy [Pearl], as far as singers go, he's probably the most like Kevin in that he's from the '80s Sunset Strip, the metal days — he was there. It was a scene that QUIET RIOT obviously had a lot to do with building, so he gets it. He's one of us.
"It's been great," Grossi added. "It's horrible circumstances, but I'm really glad, like I said, we're able to carry on and put our best foot forward. I'm looking forward to getting back out there… And this is what Frankie wanted, and it's the best way to honor him.
"Anything Frankie didn't want to happen didn't happen, if he didn't want it to. So I'm glad that we're doing it, and we're gonna do it right. And it's gonna be nice to go out and honor our friends and keep the music alive.
"Every year that goes by, a lot of these bands, people are gonna not be with us anymore, or retire, or quit, and eventually, there's gonna be not too many guys from the heyday left. But the music's still there. So as time goes on, bands are gonna keep going no matter what, 'cause the brand will live on, the songs will live on — the legacy. That's just the reality of life.
"We're not built to last as people, but the work and the art we create and the legacy is — it'll always be there."
At some of QUIET RIOT's 2019 and 2020 shows, Banali was replaced by Kelly or Mike Dupke (W.A.S.P.), depending on each musician's availability.
QUIET RIOT's shows last year with Kelly and Dupke marked the first time ever that the band performed without any of the members from its classic lineup: Banali, DuBrow, guitarist Carlos Cavazo and bassist Rudy Sarzo.
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".
QUIET RIOT went through two vocalists — Mark Huff and Scott Vokoun — before settling on Pearl in 2013. Pearl announced his exit from QUIET RIOT in October 2016 and was briefly replaced by Seann Nichols, who played only five shows with the group before the March 2017 arrival of "American Idol" finalist James Durbin. Pearl returned to QUIET RIOT in September 2019.