Frankie Banali compares new Quiet Riot singer James Durbin to Kevin DuBrow
Quiet Riot‘s long-time drummer Frankie Banali was recently interviewed by Song Facts and asked how the band’s new lead vocalist James Durbin compares to the group’s now deceased singer Kevin DuBrow.
Banali stated: “It’s a really interesting thing. First of all, before we even get into the vocal situation, he reminds me of Kevin a lot. Kevin was really hyper – a ton of energy – and James has a ton of energy. Kevin was 6’4″, and I think James is 6’4″. So from that perspective, it kind of reminds me of Kevin. I used to call Kevin “my goofy kid,” because he was as goofy as the day is long… in a good way.
Vocally, the amazing thing about it is I didn’t have James join the band to have a clone of Kevin. I wanted somebody who had the vocal range that Kevin had, because the amazing thing about Kevin was he had those soaring highs, but then he had that growly low. And that is something that James has within his own style. So while it does sound like Quiet Riot when we do the songs, James brings his own personality and his own thumbprint to the old catalog, which I really, really like.”
Banali also commented about how the writing process has changed for Quiet Riot from back in the ’80s glory days as he advised: “First of all, I think you have to understand, when I started playing with Kevin DuBrow in 1980, we were working on songs through that whole period of time – mostly Kevin, because he was the main songwriter. So we had two years of fleshing out those songs – both at rehearsals and playing live, because we did a lot of dates in Hollywood at the time. So by the time we went in to record the Metal Health record, all of that material was really, really fleshed out. Very little of it got written in the later stages.
When it came to Condition Critical, that was much more difficult, because we were out on the road for two days shy of a year straight. We started the Metal Health tour in Hollywood on March 17th and 18th, and we ended in Munich on March 15th of the following year, and we went straight into the studio to record Condition Critical. By the time we got to QR III, we had some down time, and we had some outside writers, so it just evolved as the situation developed.
Now, it’s a little different. Let’s say it was the classic Metal Health lineup. Everybody was living in LA, whereas now, our guitarist lives in Las Vegas, Chuck lives in LA, I live in LA, and James lives in Northern California. So it’s not as easy to get together. On the Road Rage record, the majority of the music was written by myself and my writing partner, Neil Citron. Chuck contributed to one of the songs, and Alex wrote one song with James.
The dynamics change based on how the industry has changed, because now with the internet, cell phones, and all of those things, you no longer have to live in the same city to really be able to function. So that has changed the dynamics of songwriting.”
You can read the rest of the interview with Banali at Song Facts.
Quiet Riot‘s “Freak Flag” song:
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