October 23, 2021

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Ex Quiet Riot Singer James Durbin On Frankie Banali: ‘At His Core, He Was A Good Guy’


Ex-QUIET RIOT Singer JAMES DURBIN On FRANKIE BANALI: 'At His Core, He Was A Good Guy'

James Durbin says that “creative differences” were to blame for his exit from QUIET RIOT.

In September 2019, QUIET RIOT parted ways with Durbin and replaced him with Jizzy Pearl. Pearl previously fronted QUIET RIOT from 2013 until October 2016, when he was briefly replaced by Seann Nichols, who played only five shows with the group before the March 2017 arrival of “American Idol” finalist Durbin.

Durbin recorded two studio albums with QUIET RIOT — 2017’s “Road Rage” and 2019’s “Hollywood Cowboys” — during his three-year stint with the group.

Speaking about why he left QUIET RIOT just two months before the release of “Hollywood Cowboys”, Durbin told Jeff Gaudiosi of MisplacedStraws.com (see video below): “Creative differences, really, at the basis of it. I really wanna spend as much time with my family as possible, and it’s very difficult to give somebody your entire calendar year, and all you ask for is one week off to go camping with your wife and kids, and if that can’t be worked out, then… My wife and kids take precedence over everything, whether it’s something I really wanna do or not really wanna do or no matter how fun it is or anything… My dad wasn’t that type, and so I feel like he did a lot of good but it’s kind of overshadowed by the negative choices that he made and how those affected his life. And I just wanna be on the other side of that. I wanna take what he did and didn’t do as examples and really live a better example for my own kids.”

Durbin also reflected on the tragic passing of QUIET RIOT drummer Frankie Banali, who died in August 2020 after a 16-month battle with pancreatic cancer.

“[He could be] crazy sometimes, I’ll be honest, but at his core, he was a good guy,” he said. “We all have our days, we all have our times, but at the core of it, I really enjoyed the time that I got to spend with him. We didn’t have the closest relationship, but what we did do and what we did accomplish and the fans that we entertained and the shows that we put on, it was awesome. We got to be in Mexico when we celebrated his birthday with a mariachi band and dinner and everything. And I’d get those guys out of their hotel rooms and go across the street to go ride go-carts and play arcade games and stuff and just go do different things. Get out of your room, turn off CNN. Why keep sitting there watching the same shitty news unravel, and why not just go outside and do something that you wouldn’t have done otherwise?”

A month after Durbin‘s exit was made official, Banali told LA Weekly that it wasn’t odd for him and his bandmates to play shows in support of a new album when the group had just undergone a vocalist change. He said: “I reached out to Jizzy Pearl before looking at any other potential singers because I always thought that Jizzy was a really good fit for QUIET RIOT and is a total pro. He welcomed the opportunity to return to QUIET RIOT which made me very happy and we replaced our former singer in less than 24 hours.”

Banali resurrected QUIET RIOT in 2010, three years after the death of founding member and singer Kevin DuBrow.

QUIET RIOT went through two vocalists — Mark Huff and Scott Vokoun — before Pearl‘s first three-year run with the band.

QUIET RIOT announced in September that it would carry on touring following Frankie‘s death. The band, which now features drummer Johnny Kelly (DANZIG, TYPE O NEGATIVE), played a couple of shows in October and has a string of dates booked in 2021.

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”.

Durbin will release the debut album from his solo band, DURBIN, “The Beast Awakens”, on February 12 via Frontiers Music Srl.

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