In a new feature by music writer Joel Gausten, legendary drummer Frankie Banali (QUIET RIOT, W.A.S.P.) discusses the new QUIET RIOT album ("Hollywood Cowboys"), the band's massive early 1980s success and keeping the group alive as he battles stage four pancreatic cancer. An excerpt from the piece appears below.
Of course, no QUIET RIOT gig would be complete without their legendary cover of SLADE's 1973 classic "Cum On Feel the Noize". Those four minutes and 51 seconds helped 1983's "Metal Health" become the first heavy metal album to ever top the Billboard chart, famously knocking THE POLICE's iconic "Synchronicity" off the throne and kickstarting the commercial hair metal boom that flooded MTV and record stores for the remainder of the decade. Nearly 40 years after "Metal Health"'s monumental success, Banali remains honored to have been part of the historic ride.
"We were really, really fortunate to have been at the right place at the right time, having written the right songs and having had the opportunity to have a SLADE song become a worldwide hit for QUIET RIOT," he said. "It was a combination of being at the right place, being at the right time, having the right lineup, having a great record and having MTV be a huge part of promoting us. All of those stars aligned themselves to make it possible for us not only to be a different sound, but to be able to have a Number One album on Billboard, which was unheard of. I still love the fact that we were able to do that and were afforded that opportunity."
Through Banali's determination and guitarist Alex Grossi and bassist Chuck Wright's unwavering presence, QUIET RIOT has been afforded a new opportunity to succeed in the present tense. After keeping the fire burning a full decade without late singer Kevin DuBrow, Banali insists that the band still has much more to do.
"What I would like to accomplish is have QUIET RIOT continue to record and create new music, even though the music industry is not what it was and most of the recordings are stolen," he said. "Streams mean nothing to me; what means a lot to me is the fans' support for the new material as much as they supported the previous records that have come out. When you write and record new music and release it, it's like getting a shot in the arm. I'm incredibly proud of QUIET RIOT's history and the music we've created, but a musician is not a musician if all they do is just play the same thing they've always played. I understand that the fans want to hear those songs, and I'm more than happy to play them because I love all the QUIET RIOT songs. But it's important to me as a musician to continue to write new music regardless of whether the critics like it or not.”
The complete feature is available at www.joelgausten.com.