When Quiet Riot guitarist Alex Grossi and American Idol finalist James Durbin released their debut project, Maps To The Hollywood Scars – Volume 1, little did they know that their collaboration would become even more substantial. The duo's five-song EP, which sheds light on the lives of two of the hardest working artists in Hollywood also became somewhat of a catalyst for Durbin being invited to join Quiet Riot as new lead vocalist.
Durbin’s arrival coincides with the upcoming release of Quiet Riot’s new album, Road Rage. It’s the band's first studio album since the untimely death of founding front man, Kevin DuBrow nearly ten years ago.
Quiet Riot is: Frankie Banali (drums), Alex Grossi (guitars), Chuck Wright (bass) and James Durbin (vocals).
AXS recently spoke with Grossi about his collaboration with James Durbin as well as got an update on the new Quiet Riot album and more in this exclusive interview.
AXS: This year marks the 10th anniversary of the death of Kevin DuBrow. What are your best memories of him?
Alex Grossi: I have so many great memories of him, most of them involving him and Frankie's unique sense of humor. Those two guys together were always up to something [laughs]. On a serious note, I look back fondly at Kevin showing me first-hand the little "ear candy" and subtle guitar parts, and recording tricks that made the "QR" guitar sound. He had a great ear for big guitar tones (obviously cutting his teeth with Randy Rhoads was a huge factor), but he always went the extra mile to make sure that the band sounded great.
AXS: What prompted your new collaboration with James Durbin, Maps To The Hollywood Scars?
AG: I first met James back in 2011 when he was on American Idol. I checked out a few of his LA area shows and was blown away. Not just at his voice, but his real love of metal. We ended up re-connecting in Las Vegas last fall and I sent him some demos. He delivered some amazing material on them and after about ten or so songs we decided to go into the studio. Frankie Banali was very supportive of the project as well as a fan of James from his time on Idol and really liked what he heard.
AXS: Is there a message or meaning behind the new album?
AG: There's no real meaning per-se. More of a common theme, which is the record biz and all that surrounds it. We’ve both been through a lot both personally and professionally, and I think Scars reflects our collective experiences. We didn't mean for it to be that way, but after taking a step back and giving it a listen as a whole it all made sense.
Click here to see lyric video for Hollywood Scars' "Till Death".
AXS: Do you see this collaboration as more than just a one-off album?
AG: Yes, we have Volume 2 about 80% done. It will probably be out sometime in late spring.
AXS: What were some of the circumstances that led to James joining Quiet Riot.
AG: Shortly after we released Scars it became obvious that Quiet Riot had to let our singer go. And since James had always been our first choice for QR and was available, it literally fell right into place.
AXS: What can you tell me about the band's upcoming album, Road Rage?
AG: It’s going to be the first “real” release since 2006's Rehab with Kevin DuBrow and we’re very happy to have James on board to handle the vocal duties. If anyone was born to do this, it's him. I think people are going to be very impressed with what we deliver.
AXS: Are there any other projects you're currently working on?
AG: I just put the finishing touches (guitar-wise) on a re-mixed/re-mastered and somewhat re-recorded version of Beautiful Creatures’ sophomore album, Deuce. We originally put it out in 2005 but it never got a proper digital release. So we’re giving it a worldwide one on March 31. I also have a clothing line based around Hookers & Blow (the cover band I do with Dizzy Reed of Guns N’ Roses). We just released a cover of the Elton John classic, "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting" It's available via Forgotten Saints in Hollywood, and they ship worldwide!
Quiet Riot Tour Dates
March 18 - Wichita KS - The Cotillion
March 24 - Savannah, GA - The Stage On The Bay
March 25 - Toledo, OH - Rock The Arena
March 30 - Sault Ste. Marie – Ontario - The Machine Shop
April 7- West Palm Beach Fl - Bowery Live
April 23 - Hollywood, CA - Rainbow 45th Anniversary Party
April 28 - Laughlin, NV - Avi Casino
June 2 - Lincolnton, NC - Court Square
June 11 - Farmington Hills, MI - Motor City
June 23 - Lynchburg VA - Phase 2
June 24 - Big Springs, TX - Funtastic Fourth Festival
July 1 - Junction City, KS - Sundown Salute
July 15 - Lake Ozark , MO -The Horny Toad
July 21 - Las Vegas, NV - Golden Nugget Showroom
July 28 - Imperial, NE - Chase County Fairgrounds
August 11 - Greenville, TX - The Texan Theater
August 12 - Longview, TX - Maude Cobb Event Center
August 25 - Le Roy/Rochester, NY - Jam At The Ridge
August 26 - Stateline, ID - Cruisers
September 23 - Newkirk, OK - Southwind Casino
October 28 - Brownsville, TX - Rock The Park Festival
October 29 - Pekin, Il - The Avanti’s Dome