QUIET RIOT drummer Frankie Banali has opened up about his stage four pancreatic cancer diagnosis.
Last month, Banali revealed in a social media post that he has been battling the disease since April, forcing him to miss several live shows with the band. He was replaced at those gigs by either Johnny Kelly (DANZIG, TYPE O NEGATIVE) or Mike Dupke (W.A.S.P.), depending on each musician's availability.
Asked by Ultimate Classic Rock in a new interview how he found out he had cancer, Frankie said: "How the whole thing came about is I was supposed to go and play a couple of songs with Alex's [QUIET RIOT guitarist Alex Grossi] side project with Dizzy [Reed] from GUNS N' ROSES, HOOKERS & BLOW. I was supposed to play two songs with them at a show out here in L.A. That morning, I went to my storage unit to pick up some sticks and a couple of things. All of the sudden, I got a really terrible pain in my right calf. I could barely drive home, it was that severe. I got home and this was a Saturday and the earliest appointment I could get was for a Monday.
"The following morning, when I got up, i was barely able to walk 10 steps and I was out of breath and my wife convinced me that late afternoon to not wait until my appointment and go to the emergency room. They did an ultrasound of my right leg and my left and then they did a scan of my upper section and they found out that I had a blood clot in my right leg, one in my left lung, one in my right lung and one in the saddle in between the two lungs. The danger there was that if any of those dislodged, they'd take two routes, either straight to the brain, aneurysm, end of story, or to the heart, heart attack, end of story.
"Fortunately, or however you want to state it, when they did that scan, they caught part of my liver and they saw that there was a problem. They brought me back in at 3:30 in the morning to do another scan and that's when they discovered that I had stage four pancreatic cancer and that it had also spread to the liver."
Despite the diagnosis, Banali says that he has no intention of slowing down.
"I have everything to win and everything to lose in this situation," he said. "I intend to treat it the way I treat everything, which is to put everything into it and fight it all of the way to the end. Hopefully, I'll be around long enough to continue providing new QUIET RIOT music and QUIET RIOT live on the road."
Banali played his first show with QUIET RIOT since he announced his cancer diagnosis on October 26 at the Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood, California.
QUIET RIOT's shows this year with Kelly and Dupke marked the first time ever that the band performed without any of the members from its classic lineup: Banali, singer Kevin DuBrow, guitarist Carlos Cavazo and bassist Rudy Sarzo.
Banali resurrected QUIET RIOT in 2010, three years after the death of founding member DuBrow.
QUIET RIOT went through two vocalists — Mark Huff and Scott Vokoun — before settling on Jizzy 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.
QUIET RIOT's new studio album, "Hollywood Cowboys" — featuring Durbin on vocals — will be released on November 8 via Frontiers Music Srl.