Byron Fogle : How did you first meet Eric and do you have any stories you can share with us .
Frankie Banali : I am sorry to say that I only had one opportunity to meet Eric. Between Eric's schedule with KISS and mine with QUIET RIOT and session work, our paths only crossed once. This was at a record release party for Judas Priest.
BF: What is your favorite album from Eric's era with Kiss ? FB: I enjoyed Eric's work on all the KISS releases, particularly the Asylum record. BF: What is your favorite song (or songs) that Eric played on ?
FB: "Tears Are Falling" from Asylum and "I Love It Loud" from Creatures of the night were standout performances from Eric. He always seemed to play just what the KISS songs called for. Great groove and feel on Eric's part, the songs would have easily fallen apart without his controlled execution behind them.
BF: What changes do you feel Eric style brought to the Kiss's music in the 80's and early 90's ? FB: A more mature style of drumming which the band has not had before or since.
BF: Back in the Metal Health era there was a rumor started the Quiet Riot was Kiss without makeup circulating in some magazines, probably having to do with the fact that you and Eric looked very much alike (had the same hair, facial features etc) were you ever mistaken for Eric by anyone besides by his family backstage?
FB: At the party I mentioned before in question number one. It was held at the Queen Mary liner that is permanently docked at the harbor in Long Beach, CA. Eric and I were standing talking about, what else, drums. A young fan walked up to us and asked me for my autograph. I was getting ready to sign it and add QUIET RIOT, when he says "I love your drumming with KISS!" I looked over at Eric and he starts to laugh. I said to the fan, well, you better have the real KISS drummer sign this then! Afterwards Eric say's to me "Earlier tonight I signed two autographs for QUIET RIOT fans before they realized I wasn't you," we both cracked up, talked a little longer, hugged and went our separate ways. In retrospect, It's a shame that I never had the opportunity to spend time with Eric, but I have one memorable meeting to reflect back on. He was a genuinely nice person.
BF: Have you seen Kiss live with Eric, if so what are your thoughts on the drum solos he put together.
FB: Unfortunately no, so I have no basis to form an opinion. But with as talented a drummer as he was, it must have been something to see as well as hear!
BF: Did Eric influence your playing or drum sound at any given time during your career?
FB: No, not really. The style of music that KISS played while Eric was in the band called for a more controlled studio sound than I've always sought out.
BF: Have you seen the Inside Tale of The Fox DVD or heard Rockology (Eric solo record) ?
FB: No, I'd like to!
BF: Eric was known for his love of practical jokes and pranks were you ever part of one of witness to him in action.
FB: As I said before, since we only met once, the practical joke was played on both of us by fans and mistaken identity. I do remember saying to Eric that since he was the Fox in KISS, had I'd been in the band the only animal left for me might have been "Frankie the Dog Face Boy" of KISS. He must have laughed for about ten minutes straight! We got a lot in during our brief meeting.
BF: As a fellow drummer what do you think Eric most contributed to the world of drumming?
FB: He was able to make wonderful drumming contributions while in KISS and at the same time bring a dynamic live flair to the band visually which is no easy thing to do when working with Gene and Paul who are bigger than life. He was always a focal point and never just background dressing. He held his own and stood out admirably. 100% star power.
Special Thanks to I AM THE BREEZE of the Kiss.News.de KISS Forum