James Durbin is the latest American Idol alum to land a lead singer role with a major rock band. Durbin has been tapped to headline the revamped lineup of ’80s heavy metal band Quiet Riot, and he’s even got the full support of late lead singer’s brother, according to Billboard.
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Quiet Riot hasn’t been the same since lead singer Kevin DuBrow passed away in 2007. Ill-fated replacements have included L.A. Guns alum Jizzy Pearl and Montrose’s Keith St. John. Now, the late singer’s brother Terry, a plastic surgeon who’s famous in his own right from his stints on The Real Housewives of Orange County and Botched, says the band finally got it right.
“Finally Quiet Riot gets a lead vocalist who will do my brother’s voice justice,” he told Billboard. “Every time I watched James in American Idol I would close my eyes and I would swear he was channeling Kevin. He’s got great range and the gravelly depth that launched Quiet Riot to stardom.”
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James Durban has no intention of filling Kevin DuBrow’s shoes but instead hopes to bring something new to the Metal Health rockers’ repertoire.
“I’m from a different generation, but have a lot of the same influences as Kevin, as I’ve been told,” Durbin told Yahoo Music.
“With my youth, I hope to bring a fresh new energy to Quiet Riot. I will perform these songs and entertain the fans in a way that pays tribute to Kevin DuBrow’s intensity and enthusiasm, only in my own way.”
James Durbin admitted that he was compared to the Quiet Riot frontman early on.
“The first time I really remember hearing Quiet Riot on a video game called Legends of Wrestling,” James recalled. “The game’s theme song was “Bang Your Head (Metal Health).” I remember the game sucked! But I kept the disc to listen to the song — this was before YouTube. Then as I started developing my sound early on, I was compared vocally to Geoff Tate of Queensryche and Kevin DuBrow of Quiet Riot.”
Of course, American Idol fans best remember James Durbin for his Season 10 finale performance with his own idol, Rob Halford of Judas Priest. After a season-long campaign in which he passionately appealed to viewers to “give metal a chance,” James Durbin brought heavy metal to the American Idol finale, and the Fox singing competition was never the same. Durbin finished fourth in that season’s competition, but it’s clear that his efforts definitely got him noticed.
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Quiet Riot was first formed in the early 1970s, but the band’s most successful lineup featured lead singer Kevin DuBrow. The band’s 1984 album Metal Health put them on the map and into MTV’s heavy rotation. James Durbin told Yahoo that he’s “grateful” to be the seventh lead singer of Quiet Riot. Like fellow Idol alum Adam Lambert, who’s currently touring as the frontman for Queen, James Durbin also said he plans to continue to pursue his solo career.
Durbin told Yahoo he is currently working on an acoustic album to be released under his Independent label, Wild Vine Records, and he also performs with the cover band the Lost Boys in his hometown of Santa Cruz.
“My plate is beginning to fill up, needless to say, but I will do my best keep this train a-rolling no matter how many cars are on the track,” James said. “I’m just thankful and grateful to be able to keep on making music and entertaining my fans — past, present, and future. Now it’s time to bang your head and come on feel the noise.”
Take a look at the video below to see James Durbin bringing heavy metal to American Idol.
[Featured Image by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]