RUDY SARZO On Playing QUIET RIOT's Classic Songs Again: 'I Am Not The Same Musician' I Was 40 Years Ago
May 21, 2022
Bassist Rudy Sarzo spoke to Al.com about his decision to rejoin QUIET RIOT after an 18-year absence. Asked if he had to relearn any of the material or if that music just embedded in his DNA, Rudy said: "It's such a multi-level question. The challenge was actually — and here's the tricky part — I am not the same bass player. I am not the same musician. I'm not the same human being. It's kind of like taking a photo 40 years ago and trying to mimic the expression that you have on your face for the rest of your life. No, you don't. Every time you go into a studio, that's a snapshot of that moment. And then in my case, 40 years later, you're playing the same songs again. [Laughs]
"I was a member of THE GUESS WHO right before I came back to QUIET RIOT and before that I had played with BLUE ÖYSTER CULT," he continued. "Which is not necessarily known as '80s metal. I've played in so many genres. So all of that is part of my DNA now. Now, if I would've been a lifer, meaning a guy that's only been in one band, that kind of musical path, what happens is you really don't have as many of those outside influences, musically.
"But going back to the energy and physicality involved in what we do (in QUIET RIOT),I work out. I get on the treadmill, I work on my cardio and all of that just to be able to sustain a high-level show that 40 years ago you would go out and on tour, get on a tour bus and do it every night. And that was your workout. You didn't have to go to the gym. So the more shows we do, the more we become that band that people were familiar with from watching us going on tour for months and sometimes a year and a half.
"What's different about QUIET RIOT is QUIET RIOT was the first band — and I'm going back to 1978 when I first joined with Randy Rhoads in the band — that every single individual, we all had the same musical tastes," Rudy explained. "We all liked the same bands. We were all influenced by the same bands. And that is a bit different. That's what really creates a cohesive collective sound, style and a philosophy for the band I like to call a consciousness."
As for what he hopes the people who come to QUIET RIOT's upcoming shows get from them, Rudy said: "That's an interesting perception. Because for me, is not what they get, is what I'm capable of giving. Because they're not gonna get anything unless we give as a band, we present something for them. And my mission, when I go on stage, or even when we have the conversation like this, is to actually celebrate the memory of Frankie Banali, Kevin DuBrow and Randy Rhoads. And to celebrate the musical legacy of QUIET RIOT, what we were able to accomplish and touch people's lives with our music and how they touched us. You know, it's all collective. You can't have the success QUIET RIOT has experienced without a loving audience. We love the audience, the audience loves us back, which to me is the ultimate experience of being in a band. And you've really got to appreciate it and realize the blessing that it is to be able to do this, for so many reasons."
Rudy played his first show back with QUIET RIOT last November at The Groove Music Hall in Thornburg, Virginia.
Sarzo was one of the members of QUIET RIOT's "Metal Health" lineup. He played bass on the classic LP, which sold over ten million copies and spawned the hits "Cum On Feel The Noize" and "Metal Health" and on the follow-up record "Condition Critical".
Rudy appeared in the most notable music videos in the MTV age and toured with the band until 1985 and again from 1997 to 2003. During his years out of the band, Sarzo was a member of OZZY OSBOURNE, WHITESNAKE, DIO, BLUE ÖYSTER CULT, QUEENSRŸCHE and THE GUESS WHO.
Banali died in August 2020 after a 16-month battle with pancreatic cancer.
Frankie's history with QUIET RIOT spanned over 37 years and he had the distinction of being the only member of the band to have recorded on every single QUIET RIOT release from 1983's "Metal Health", which was the first heavy metal album to reach No. 1 on the Billboard chart, through 2019's "Hollywood Cowboys".
Banali resurrected QUIET RIOT in 2010, three years after the death of singer and founding member Kevin DuBrow.