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20 Questions With Frankie Banali, 4/10/01




Quiet Riot Drummer Frankie Banali 2nd from right

Quiet Riot singer Kevin DuBrow actually set up this 20 Questions for us. He let us know that Frankie was down with doing 20 Question so we sent them out to him. Enjoy!

1. What are you currently up to? This is your only chance to plug your shit.

Currently on the never ending QUIET RIOT tour cycle, looking forward to the release of the QUIET RIOT "Guilty Pleasures" CD, as well as the W.A.S.P. CD which I played on about half of. These two releases make my 56th and 57th credited CD releases. But enough about me……

2. Lets get right down to the Sludge. Have you considered Richard Simmons deal a meal plan, a work out routine or change of eating habits lately?

You know, a lot of people don’t know that I originally started to gain weight when I ate both Paul Shortino and Sean McNabb after the dismal failure of the fourth QUIET RIOT CD.

3. What hard rock/heavy metal band should give it up and call it a day?

I don’t think any band should call it a day as long as they still enjoy playing, even if no one gives a fuck if they do or don’t.

4. Tell us an early memory of playing with the late & great Randy Rhoads?

I have little experience playing with Randy, God bless him. Near the end of the first version of QUIET RIOT, Rudy suggested to Kevin and Randy that I should join the band. At the time I was playing in an LA based trio called "Monarch" with Steppenwolf guitarist Michael Monarch. We thought we were Led Zeppelin, so playing with QR at that time was unacceptable to me because even though Randy was a 100% rock guitar genius, the band to me as a whole were too "pop" for my taste. I showed up and hour and a half late for my "audition" and purposely played really bad. They agreed. Later, when Randy first started to work with Ozzy Osbourne, he told Ozzy about me and was invited to rehearse with them at Mars Rehearsal Studios in Hollywood. That was truly a memorable experience for me as Randy was in his prime, full of energy and passionate playing. Ozzy was a blast to be around. Unfortunately nothing came of it as they (Jet Records) only budgeted to take one player to the UK, and Randy was the clear and obvious choice. During the recording of Ozzy’s first solo record, I was in Frankfurt, Germany doing a record for ex Rainbow keyboardist Tony Carey. Randy tracked me down by phone and asked if I’d be interested in going to England to work on the album, but already committed to Tony Carey, I was unable to. An unfortunate missed opportunity.

5. Rate the following drummers on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being a hack and 10 being great.

Tommy Lee =
10 (His drumming on Dr. Feelgood still kicks ass!)

Rikki Rockett = 10 (He’s come quite a way from his early days)

Lars Ulrich = 5 (Yeah, come on, open up the flood gates….)

Eric Singer = 8 (But what do I know, he’s in KISS!)

Mick Brown = 8 in Dokken 10 in Lynch Mob

Fred Coury = You’d have to tell me which records he’s played on to give a fair opinion. Although I did see him sub for Guns and Roses, and he held his own.

Blas Elias = 10 (Besides, chicks dig him, must be doing something right)

Neil Peart = 10 (But I prefer Simon Phillips)

Bobby Blotzer = (I’d rather not say, and please Bobby don’t waste your time slamming me, we all know you think I suck too!)

Randy Castillo = 10 (Good luck with all things Randy)

Peter Criss = (He’s retired, right?)

6. Quiet Riot has toured and played for over twenty years. You have obviously seen everything from all angles so tell us, which band or bands gave you guys the worst time ever?

None of them, really. I mean in every situation where a plethora of egos and testosterone are running rampant, there is bound to be friction, but overall, we’ve been luckier than most in that department.

7. You don’t actually consider Bodyguard Records a real record label, do you?

Well, nobody considered Pasha Records much of a label, yet they signed us and QUIET RIOT went on for a period of time to be quite successful. What’s in a name?

8. Kevin DuBrow has rocked the Quiet Riot boat in the past with his big mouth. What was the final straw that made you guys boot his ass and start playing with Paul Shortino?

Things had been bad in the band for quite a while. Not just Kevin, but on every level, including the label, management, over touring, you know, the usual shit you see every band bitch and moan about on all the VH1 "Behind The Music." We were in Japan and no one was getting along. There had been discussions of what to do about the deflating future of the band. The two most obvious options were to part company with Kevin, or just call it a day. Everyone avoided the issue knowing that something had to give. The best option was to do nothing until the Japanese tour ended. A friend of Kevin phone him to tell him that he was going to be asked to "no longer participate" which of course had not been decided. He, understandably, had a fit. The gates of hell now fully open, the decision made itself. Very messy indeed.

9. What do you think about Eric Singer playing in Kiss wearing Peter Criss makeup?

Not my cup of "9 Lives," but hey, it’s show biz. Give the people want they want, right? I’m sure that KISS fans will think he’s the cat’s meow. Besides, KISS is a state of mind, and a very successful one.

10. Give us a touring memory about the following cities:

Atlanta =
Met Greg Lake of "ELP." He wasn’t impressed.

Tokyo = In the 80’s, more sex than you could shake a penis at.

London = Listening to Chris Holmes and Lita Ford fuck (they were in the room next to mine). World war II was quieter.

Phoenix = Some chick with big tits.

Seattle = Having a very civilized diner with Kevin and David Coverdale. Later getting totally shit faced.

San Francisco = Opening up for "Vandenburg" at the very early stages of the "Metal Health Tour" before anybody got what QR were about.

Nashville = Having eaten rancid oysters and having fluids spew out from both ends during Carlos’ guitar solo.

New York = Playing Madison Square Garden for the first time. For me, a childhood dream realized after seeing Led Zeppelin there.

Cleveland = Not much comes to mind. But Cleveland rocks, just ask Ian Hunter.

Hawaii = The only place I’ve ever been able to truly relax.

11. Heavy Bones was a band you formed after the Quiet Riot flame was faded beyond repair. Tell us about Heavy Bones and where are they now?

Actually I had nothing to do with the bands initial forming. It was put together by ex "Cats and Boots" vocalist Joel Ellis and Gary Hoey. It was a band that was good, but good ten years too late. A total musical fabrication that was doomed from the beginning. In the end, Heavy Bones proved to be for me nothing more than a way to pass through a couple of musically difficult years while at the same time being on a creative pause. Nothing really memorable for me there except working with Ritchie Zito, a nice Italian producer, as well as working with Gary, who is incredibly talented.

12. Speaking of things being beyond repair, when was the last time you saw Kevin without that fixture on his head?

Oh that, well I think that a lot of people have wasted a lot of time discussing it, so what can I really add to such a thoroughly explored phenomena. You are be talking about the angelic Halo, right?

13. For $500,000 would you: Be the clown chased by Brahman bulls in the rodeo, only there are no other clowns to distract the enraged bulls nor anything of any kind to hide in. When you have successfully outrun 5 bulls for 3 minutes each, then you get your $500,000.

My mother was born in Madrid, Spain, so running with th e bulls runs in the family. I’ll do it for free. Join me?

14. What rock star deserves a smack in the mouth and why?

Every single one that has taken a shot at QUIET RIOT, so move over, the line forms to the right…….

15. Which do you prefer?

Dreadlocks or Hair Extensions =

Nikki Sixx or Lars Ulrich = Nikki

Straight sex or Anal sex = Giving or taking?

Touring or Recording = Both. Touring you can occasionally suck, but hopefully you are drowned out by the guitar and bass, so nobody notices. In the studio you are under the microscope, so try to get it right at least once.

Limp Bizkit or Kid Rock = Kid

Playboy or Hustler = Hustler

Playing with Faster Pussycat or Playing with Gary Hoey = Faster Pussycat, less talented, definitely more fun.

Axl Rose or Sebastian Bach = On or off off Broadway?

Eminem or Boy George = Boy

Moonstone Records or Kamikaze Records = A poke in the eye with a sharp stick

16. What are your 5 best and 5 worst memories of Quiet Riot?


1. Getting signed.

2. The freedom to drink with total abandon.

3. Having a #1 album.

4. My birthday party in 1984. Caligula would have taken notes.

5. Last but not least, having the money to care for my mother.


1. Getting signed.

2. The freedom to drink with total abandon.

3. Having a #1 album, and knowing that next stop would be the bottom of the heap.

4. Not ever having a hope of surpassing my 1984 birthday party, though I repeatedly tried anyway.

5. Recording the fourth QR record fully knowing that I did it only to make a buck and that it would go nowhere.

17. How much money are you guys generally getting per show?

I am not at liberty to discuss our corporate fiscal earnings. Well, OK, gobs and gobs of money.

18. What makes you think that your new album "Guilty Pleasures" won’t end up having the same fate as "Alive And Well."

Because it’s the first record we’ve done since "Metal Health" where we actually gave a fuck about the songs, the playing, and each other. Like it or not, it’s a great record.

19. Kevin DuBrow said in his 20 Questions with us that Dana Strum was "feces with legs." Would you agree?

God bless Kevin for being both kind and generous!

20. Time for Metal Sludge’s Word Association. We give you a name and you tell us your thoughts.

Don Dokken =
Talented and Troubled.

Bret Michaels = Knows how to work an audience, and he’s a babe magnet.

Pamela Anderson = Barbie out of control.

Chuck Wright = Excellent bass player with a fear of commitment.

Jani Lane = More talented than he’s given credit for. I’ve heard him sing things in dressing rooms that surpass what he’s done on record and stage.

Enuff Z’Nuff = Good drummer (Vickie (sp).

Blackie Lawless = Completely and totally committed to his brand of music. Recording and touring "The Headless Children" was a very positive experience for me. A good friend.

Nikki Sixx = I like Nikki, but I don’t know Nikki.

Creed = As talented as they are lucky.

Ozzy Osbourne = An institution. One of the best and long lasting success stories in music business.

Have fun guys!


Thanks to Frankie for being down! Of course Quiet Riot will be out this Summer with Poison, Warrant, and Enuff Z’Nuff. And look for 20 Questions with Rudy Sarzo sometime later this Spring or early Summer along with a Rewind With Kevin DuBrow.

For more information on Quiet Riot, you can go to www.quietriotonline.com!

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