I remember I got your first record when I was 15 years old. It was Metal Health. It's really a pleasure to finally get to talk to you.
The pleasure's all mine.
You guys have been through a lot of changes and there's been a hell of a lot of history with the band. I noticed that you've got some different guys in the band now than you've had in the past. What happened to the guys that you had in the past like Carlos and all them?
Carlos was not interested in rejoining so he's no longer in the band. We were no longer interested in playing with the bass player Rudy so he's no longer in the band. It's like a marriage. Nothing lasts forever. It's a marriage and they get divorced. They have children. That's your old records.
I guess some of those divorces are pretty rough too.
But you know they're over now. I don't believe in the negative because I've gotten to the point where I'm very happy with my life now where things are at so I don't believe in the negative in the past.
You were a DJ or something for a little while.
Oh yeah, in Las Vegas from '96 through '98.
What led you to take on that gig for a little bit?
I was burnt out on rock and roll. Burnt out on being on tour. Burnt out on airports and tour buses for a while. I wasn't burnt out on music so much as I was burnt out on traveling. There was so much more time spent getting there than playing. I got fried.
Yeah, I can understand that. It's kind of funny. Back in the old days you guys would be out on tour for like three years straight or something.
That's right, yeah.
It's kind of funny because I talk to some of these newer bands these days and they're like "oh yeah, we were on tour for two months and it was really rough." I'm glad they weren't touring back in the '80s.
Yeah, well it's a lot different isn't it?
I would say so. You have one set of guys that played on the record and you've got one set of guys that tour with you?
I guess the guys that play on the record don't want to tour?
No. Let me explain it to you this way. When we recorded the record we didn't have a firm live lineup. Quiet Riot was in a state of transition at that time. We weren't really working live at that time. We were concentrating on the record so we used guys that we knew. Tony Franklin was in The Firm and we all loved his bass playing on The Firm albums. He also works some company I think is called SWR. It's a bass company so it keeps him pretty much in L.A. all the time. He doesn't want to go on tour from what I understand. Neil Citron the guy who played guitar and engineered the record is not really a working musician as much as he's a working engineer these days. He works at Steve Vai's recording studio. So then it didn't really make sense to try to take the same guys out on the road because these guys have day jobs so to speak so we ended up coming back with the same guys we've had for the last three years as our live band. Had they been around probably and we had our situation organized they probably would have been there playing on our record themselves. It wasn't because we didn't want them. It's because they were not in the band at this particular time. It was just a situation that happened to be existing.
So you guys were just in a process of getting stuff straightened out.
Uh huh, exactly.
What led to writing the new record? The last record you guys had done was Guilty Pleasures in 2001. What happened between 2001 and 2006?
Well, the band broke up in 2003. Internal problems that had been going on for a long time. Got back together in 2005 with a new lineup as you said without Carlos Cavaso. Without the bass player. We wanted to make a record that was more like the '70s records we listened to growing up. So we wanted to make a different kind of record. We didn't make the same '80s record again. We wanted to make a more '70s retro album and that's what we did.
Yeah, there's definitely a lot of guitar on that one. That's something I miss with a lot of these new bands. They don't really concentrate as much on guitar work as people did.
That's because they can't play.
Yeah, that's quite true. Who wrote the record and how long did it take?
Frankie and I wrote the record. It took about three months as is normal for a record on and off since I don't live in California and we recorded it in Los Angeles. I live in Las Vegas. It was written over a period of a number of years.
So that's why it kicks as much ass as it does.
Oh yeah, because it's the best songs we have over a long period of time.
I understand that you had Glenn Hughes sing on one track.
Yeah, he's one of my dearest friends and he helped us with a lot of the songwriting on the album. He also played on "Evil Woman" on the Spooky Tooth classic from 1969.
So why did you guys decide to do a remake? Oh, because you wanted it '70s sounding.
Well, it happened to be a duet on the original.
That guy has a fantastic voice.
Incredible. He's the best singer on the planet in my opinion.
Yeah, I think you're right about that one. This is a question that I like to ask because I always get some interesting answers. What three songs on your new record do you think describe where Quiet Riot is at right now?
"Old Habits Die Hard" more than anything else.
Why do you feel that song sums up the band right now?
Super retro. The band is really myself and Frankie Banali and whoever happens to be playing with us at that time.
You guys have always been the core of the group.
Yeah, I think so too.
Are you guys planning on doing any kind of touring for the record?
We're always touring. If you look at our website there are always dates. We just did some dates in Florida every weekend last month. We do flyouts is the way we do it.
Oh like on the weekends like L.A. Guns does.
I'm not sure how they do their stuff but yeah.
Yeah, that's how they do their stuff too. I think that's pretty cool.
It makes more sense because it's hard to get a lot of shows during the week. It's not like it used to be. The amount of venues to play is not as great as it used to be.
Yeah, that's true. I know here in Dallas a lot of stuff has closed down. In the past during the '80s you guys released a lot of cool videos with your records. Are you still doing that?
Videos don't really make as much sense to do today as they did in the old days because MTV doesn't really play rock bands from the '80s anymore. No, it wouldn't make much sense.
You guys have definitely gotten some good reviews on the record.
Yeah, people who get it get it all the way. Yeah, absolutely.
You guys have been around for such a long time. What keeps you going? What keeps you staying with the band?
Well, it's a little late in this game to be doing anything new. I really enjoy doing it and I can't see a reason for a career change. We still do very well live. This is what we do. It's a lifelong commitment. It's like a doctor. You wouldn't change your profession in mid-stream. This is what you trained your entire life to do and this is what you do.
Thank you so much for your time.
My pleasure. Thank you so much.