June 6, 2023
I'm doing ok. Keeping busy
Thanks for having me. The QUIET RIOT thing happened in a weird way. I've played with Alex Grossi in Hookers & Blow for a few years at that point. QR was going to be performing near me in Dallas. I knew Frankie Banali was going in for treatments for his cancer. I had offered to help him out so that he could save his strength for the show. I had offered to Alex if there was ever a time where Frankie wasn't up to playing, I would fill in for him if he wanted. I never expected that to happen. Alex called me 2 days before the Dallas show asking if I could do it. After that, I was doing more shows with the band. Before Frankie passed away, he was setting things up so that the band would continue on. He wanted me to continue with Quiet Riot after he passed away.
We play mostly on the weekends. It's a lot of flying. There aren't any plans at the moment to do any kind of long-term touring. But the schedule for the rest of the year is looking very busy. There aren't any plans for new music with this lineup at the moment. We've talked a little bit about possibly doing something down the road. But it's just talk.
It's great having Rudy back! At first, I was pretty nervous about playing with him. He's such an accomplished musician, I wasn't expecting to stay in the band long after he joined! Playing with him is a great opportunity for me. He makes me want to do the best that I can every night. What's great about Rudy is that he's one of the nicest people you will ever meet.
This project is something that I'm pretty excited about. Aside from playing in bands with Kenny since we were teenagers, I've known Kirk and Todd for almost 30 years at this point. I'm a fan of CROWBAR and DOWN. Having the opportunity to play with them was great! I wasn't sure what was going to come of it. But I really dig what we came up. The song was basically written in a day. We tracked it the following day. It was a very natural, organic experience. The single is being released on June 2. We shot a video for it which will also be released the same day. I hope people like the song.
We're going back in the studio at the end of June. The plan right now is to write and record more songs. I don't know how we're going to release those songs. Maybe a full-length record or maybe release a song at a time. We'll have to see how that goes. Right now, there aren't any touring plans. But those things change all the time. There might be something booked and someone forgot to tell me!
On paper, it looks impressive. There's a few other bands and projects besides those. But I'm a person that likes to keep busy. I enjoy playing with different people and doing different things musically. After TYPE O NEGATIVE ended, I had no idea what was next for me. Thankfully, it's been ok.
When I first joined, it took a little bit of time before I found my place in the band. Working with Type O was an experience with all of emotions. Making music was fun. I always admired Peter as a songwriter. He was really an outside thinker. Working with them was a great learning experience. I didn't really have any issue with any of the controversy the band had. I think a lot of it had to do with people not seeing the humor and sarcasm that was all over our songs.
Peter was just Peter to me. I knew him for a number of years before I joined the band. Type O was one of my favorite bands at the time. I was thrilled to just be in the band. I had no idea what was ahead for us. I knew the band had potential. But I never thought that the band's music would have the staying power that it wound up having.
I've always got along great with Glenn. He's pretty easy to work with in the studio. We have a lot of laughs when we've toured.
It wasn't putting a metal spin on it that was important to us. We approached a cover song with perspective of how this song would have sounded had we written it. We didn't want to just cover a song. There were songs that we had played around with and scrapped because they sounds too much like the original. Not every cover worked out. But the ones we did were pretty interesting.
I don't really see much of a difference. I'm more focused on trying to do better than I did the last time I performed it. It's more about the people I'm playing with than it is the type of music I'm playing. Drumwise, there's something similar going through the types o music I'm associated with. In a way, it's kind of like doing the same thing but in a different context. Does that make sense?
I was raised on THE ROLLING STONES and THE BEATLES. My father then introduced me to KISS and that changed everything. From there I discovered LED ZEPPELIN and then BLACK SABBATH. I loved all the metal that was happening in the 80's. From JUDAS PRIEST to SAXON to MOTERHEAD to VENOM to CELTIC FROST to SLAYER and of course METALLICA. After that I went back to the classics and bands that sounded like the classics. ALICE IN CHAINS and SOUNDGARDEN had a big impact on me as well. But my main influences were John Bonham and Bill Ward. Then there was Tommy Aldridge, Cozy Powell and Tommy Lee too!
There are many I consider underrated. The first that comes to mind is Bill Ward. Despite the fact that he was in BLACK SABBATH, he is basically the blueprint for heavy metal. He truly is an incredible musician. More than just a drummer. What he brought to those classic records is unbelievable! Another one that comes to mind is Phil Rudd from AC/DC. His discipline and instinct are second to none! He's the heartbeat for that band. He knew exactly what to play and how to play it to make those songs great!
For a drummer, I try to do my part in doing what I can to make the song the best it can be. I try to see a song beyond what the drums are doing. I try to do what's best to support the song. To give it a solid foundation. For me working on songs is a learning process. Sometimes what you think will work doesn't. Sometimes, the first thing you came up with was the best thing for the song.
Tough question to answer. Depends on my mood. Today, I think it would've been great to had played in HUMBLE PIE! Steve Marriott was one of the greatest vocalists ever!
I'm grateful to have been a part of some pretty cool records over the years. But truthfully, my favorite one is the upcoming SILVERTOMB record. I tracked all the drums in my little studio in Dallas. It's been a great learning experience. It's been great being able to work out the songs on my own without getting yelled at by anyone! I was never a fan of the studio. But learning how to get sounds and really focus on getting a good performance on my own had turned out to be a lot of fun!
That was a turbulent time for sure. Losing people you love and care about to me is a part of life. It comes with the territory of getting older. I miss them terribly. But it's important to me to keep moving forward while keeping memories of them dear to me
I've always been a student. There are so many aspects of drumming that I continue to work on in my playing. I've always felt that I was an average drummer at best. To be able to stay in the game, it's been important to me to continually improve every aspect of my abilities. I try to be smarter with how I use my hands and how I get what I want out of the kit. Now, it's not just about hitting as hard as I could to be heard over the band. But hitting in a way where the kit still has some teeth to it without destroying everything! I've been putting a lot of time into building hand speed. There's always been an emphasis on being consistent and staying in time.
The internet and computers changed everything. It's an entirely different game now than what it was 30 years ago. Starting with how music is created, recorded, promoted all the way up to how it's purchased. Some of it has made some of those things much easier to do. But some things have certainly hurt the music industry. Particularly, the artists. To me, music has become disposable. When I was younger, going to the record store was a religious experience. You studied every single inch of a record when you brought it home. Now, you can barely name a song that you like which you probably forget about by next week...
Rock & Roll has always been on the outside looking in. There were a couple of moments where it was cutting edge and topping charts. In certain ways, it's expanded quite a bit over the years. I think we're at a time where it's due for some reinvention.
I most likely would've gone into the automotive field. I love old cars and have always wanted to get my hands dirty with them
There's always something that needs to be done. If it's something with music or something around the house. There isn't too much downtime.
I'm a huge fan of Sigur Ros! (Icelandic rock band)
I think I should be thanking you.
Thanks again! Take care!
Interviewers note: you can check out my zoom interview with Johnny on Facebook under my name Fred Bonanno