In a new interview with Talking Metal, James Durbin reflected on his time as the singer for QUIET RIOT.
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. 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.
Asked how he looks back on his time with QUIET RIOT, Durbin said (hear audio below): "The M3 show [in May 2019] is one of my favorite shows I've ever played in my entire life. I watched that footage recently — a part of it just to remind myself the headspace I was in. That would end up being almost the last time I played with Frankie [Banali, late QUIET RIOT drummer], but he ended up coming [back] when we did the music video — the last video we did. We played two shows that weekend also — which were great shows. It was kind of rough seeing him like that, but they were great shows. And great memories.
"I'm very grateful for that time. I'm grateful for the wisdom I gained," he continued. "I'm grateful for the shows we played, the memories we made, celebrating people's birthdays on the road. It was the first Halloween I've ever missed, not spending it with my wife and kids. And we ended up in Washington on this casino reservation we were playing the next day with SKID ROW, and Alex [Grossi, guitar] and I decided to enter this costume contest they were having there. We won second and third place. We each made it out with two hundred bucks. He was Ozzy Osbourne, and I was 'Macho Man' Randy Savage. Stuff like that. Getting the guys out of their rooms to go to the go-karts and arcade across the street, because I'm much younger than they are and I'm still into that shit. I love just having fun."
Regarding the two albums he recorded with QUIET RIOT, Durbin said: "I don't listen to them. There's things that happened in the production that I don't understand how they happened. And even when I made note of them, they continued with those mistakes. So there's mistakes on both the studio albums that aren't supposed to be the way they are. Like, one of the guys that wrote one of the songs, the vocal I delivered, they somehow moved it. And it works, I guess, if I had sung it that way, but it's not the way that one of the songwriters wrote it. And that always bothered me. There's a harmonica solo on the first album — just different stuff. But, yeah, not my circus, not my monkey… With that, I was given completed music tracks and told, 'Okay, here's what you have. Write to it.' There's no room for changing anything, for fixing anything. I don't call that production."
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 a month earlier. 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.