“I’ll know in a couple of weeks how my schedule is gonna roll for me,” says Mark Huff, the new singer for ’80s headbangers Quiet Riot. (Original vocalist Kevin DuBrow died from a reported cocaine overdose in 2007.) Huff is a veteran of two local tribute bands, OU812 (Van Halen) and Deeper Purple. He also sings for L.A.-based VH tribute Atomic Punks and their spin-off, Sammy Hagar–era salute 5150.
With former members such as the late Randy Rhoads and star bassist Rudy Sarzo, Quiet Riot was the first metal band with a song in Billboard’s top five, a cover of Slade’s “Cum on Feel the Noize,” while their 1983 LP Metal Health was the first metal album to top the charts at number one. Having last performed in 2007, founding drummer Frankie Banali reunited a latter-day version of the band this year, along with fellow former Rioters Chuck Wright (bass) and Alex Grossi (guitar).
The 46-year-old Huff lives in Carlsbad and still maintains his local day job as foreman for a house-painting company. “If you go to the official Quiet Riot [web]site, you can hear the rerecordings that I did for three of their hits. We did ‘Cum on Feel the Noize,’ ‘Slick Black Cadillac,’ and ‘Bang Your Head.’ It was awesome.... We recorded up in L.A.” According to the group’s website, the rerecordings are “not intended as replacements for the original versions. They will not be used for commercial exploitation.”
Huff and bassist-singer John Osmon left OU812 earlier this year, though both still occasionally play with Deeper Purple. “We only do it a few times a year,” says Osmon, who doesn’t anticipate any scheduling conflicts. “Right now, even with Quiet Riot, they’re not out on tour yet.”
Regarding Huff’s new gig, Osmon says, “They announced it a couple of weeks ago, but he’s been working with them for a while.... Even when they had Kevin DuBrow...they were kind of playing smaller venues. I don’t know how cool it’s gonna end up. But, you know, at least he’ll be able to say that he sang with Quiet Riot.”