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APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
Welcome to Appetite for Discussion -- a Guns N' Roses fan forum!

Please feel free to look around the forum as a guest, I hope you will find something of interest. If you want to join the discussions or contribute in other ways then you need to become a member. We especially welcome anyone who wants to share documents for our archive or would be interested in translating or transcribing articles and interviews.

Registering is free and easy.

Cheers!
SoulMonster

2015.07.29 - The Geoff Lenox Show (Stone Chrome Radio) - Interview with Frank

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2015.07.29 - The Geoff Lenox Show (Stone Chrome Radio) - Interview with Frank Empty 2015.07.29 - The Geoff Lenox Show (Stone Chrome Radio) - Interview with Frank

Post by Blackstar Sun Jan 29, 2023 9:57 am

The interview starts at about 24:00 minute mark.



Transcript:

Geoff Lenox: So for those of you just tuning in, we are interviewing Frank Ferrer, the current drummer for Guns N' Roses. This is my first interview, so everybody bear with me. I'm going to do my best. You are still the the current drummer for Guns N' Roses, aren't you Frank?

Frank: I'm as far as I know, yes.

GL: OK, you and I've been friends, you know, you're my most famous friend that I have. And it was like, "OK, I'm trying to get this radio show going, who can I interview that would be interesting to people?" And we were talking about setting this up and then yesterday the whole DJ Ashba thing comes up and-

Frank: Right.

GL: You've heard about that, I'm sure?

Frank: Yeah, of course. Yes.

GL: OK, so like my friend starts blowing up my Messenger on Facebook. He knows that I know you and he's like a Guns N' Roses super fan and he's actually a guitar student of Bumblefoot's. He takes lessons with him.

Frank: Oh, cool.

GL: So he's like, "Did you hear DJ Ashba quit?" It's like, "No, I didn't. I'm getting ready to talk to Frank though." So are you able to offer any information or insight on that or do you have any idea?

Frank: I know there's going to be some news very soon regarding that whole situation. And all I can say is that, you know, Guns N' Roses still exist, they're still going forward. As far as details and particulars, I'm not at liberty to say. I haven't spoken to DJ yet, so I don't have any personal information from DJ. But I know that Guns N' Roses is still going.

GL: Cool, cool. Yeah. I mean, obviously everybody that talks to you wants to talk about Guns N' Roses, and we'll get to that in a bit, but let's talk about you quickly. Because you've done a lot more than just Guns N' Roses. You were with Psychedelic Furs, you played with a number of huge bands. You wanna talk about some of your background?

Frank: Sure, sure. I grew up in New York City. My parents were Cuban immigrants. My father's a Latin percussionist so there was always music in the home, you know. They didn't really want me to play music, obviously struggling musician and stuff like that, they wanted me to be, you know, my older sister Flora is a successful lawyer, my younger sister Hilda is a successful music executive. So they wanted me to go along those paths, you know, but I mean, you know, I just caught the bug. My dad sent me to go see Kiss in 1977, Alive 2 tour at Madison Square Garden, and I was hooked. And I knew that's what I wanted to do. And I got into playing with drum sticks kind of late. I was about 14 years old when I sat behind the drum set, which is really late, especially now, you know, a lot of young, you know, 8-9 year old drummers, you know. And I didn't really get serious with it until I was like 19 when I was like pretty much almost out of high school when I realized, like, "Oh, I'm good enough to play," you know. I was just basically playing in my room by myself, really, you know, for the first few years. You know-

GL: I had no idea that you started so late. You would never know. You know, it's like, I imagine that you were playing from like, diapers or something.

Frank: [?] I mean, again, you know, my father was a Latin percussionist, so there was always rhythm around. And when my father wasn't even paying attention, he would be like tapping out rhythms, you know, with his fingertips on, like, you know, bottles and plates and stuff while he was even having discussions. It was so natural for him. So I always had a really good rhythmic sense, you know, I've always had that since I was born, you know. So even if I didn't sit behind the kit until I was 14 or so, I was very musical and I found a way to be very musical. And then my first band got signed to Warner Brothers, that was 1990, it was called The Beautiful and we did an EP and a full-length record and got signed to Warner Brothers. And I've pretty much been a professional musician since then. I met Richard Fortus on that Beautiful tour, my band opened up for his band in St. Louis and that's how I met Richard Fortus. And then when Richard Fortus came to New York to start working with Richard Butler, he invited me in to audition for Love Spit Love. And I got the gig. I did the audition and I got the gig. And pretty much since then I've been a working musician. You know, Richard and I have played in a ton of bands. I mean, Love Spit Lobe turned into the Psychedelic Furs, which turned kind of into Hunky Toast that got signed to Sony. And then Richard and I played with Tommy Stinson on his solo record. That's how I met Tommy Stinson, when Tommy came to New York, he asked Richard to put a band together for him to do some gigs around town and they called me up and Winston Roy and others, [?] bass player. So that's how I hooked up with Tommy. So I try to play with as many different artists as possible, many different styles, but, I mean, I'm a rock drummer, I'm a group drummer and that's what I want to do. Pretty much I've played professionally since like 1990.

GL: OK. OK. So about 1990. And let's roll it back to there and a little bit before. So you're talking like late 80s is when you're getting out and mingling in the New York rock scene, right?

Frank: Yeah, absolutely.

GL: And what was it like back then? I mean, how are you getting plugged in? Were you just a fan showing up at shows or how did you get going?

Frank: Yeah, pretty much. Pretty much. I was a 18 year old, 19 year old kid, you know, living at home with his parents so I was out every night. I went out every single night.

GL: Yeah, I spent 18 and 19 in Ohio. So you're lucky, dude.

Frank: And you know what? I appreciate that, I totally feel super lucky to have grown up in New York City.

GL: Oh. absolutely.

Frank: I saw all my favorite bands. I got to see them all. Every band came to New York, you know.

GL: Sure.

Frank: And I didn't get [?]. Yeah, I was very lucky. I was. I [?] insane drummers. I became friends with, you know, some of my favorite drummers became my friends, you know, because we were in the scene together, like Sterling Campbell who, you know, ended up playing with Bowie and Duran Duran and Soul Asylum. And [?] was up playing also in B52s. You know, Steve Jordan, you know, [?] the Letterman Band. You know, I got to be friends with some of the greatest drummers in the business, you know.

GL: Right. Yeah. No, I mean, I was always jealous of kids... you know, it's fine if, you know, the rest of the country is fine for other things, but if you're an artist, it's like you need an artistic scene and we didn't really have one around us and you know, kids that grew up in New York or LA or something, they have so many more opportunities.

Frank: Yeah, I agree. I agree. I mean, I got to see [?] at the Cat Club, you know? I mean, I got to see all these bands in tiny places, you know.

GL: That's awesome.

Frank: Pretty much for 20 some odd years I've been a professional musician.

GL: Right. Yeah. And so from the Beautiful you and Richard teamed up and pretty shortly you're in with Richard Butler, who I think I told you when you and I were in the studio together, Richard Butler is like my favorite lyricist of all time because it's-

Frank: That's awesome.

GL: I don't like rock and roll when you're too poetic, because sometimes I think you can get away with just writing complete nonsense and then if it's too dumbed down and straightforward, then that's kind of boring. And Richard to me just walks that line better than anybody, like, it's poetry and you don't know exactly what he's talking about but he still paints a picture and, you know, it really means something to you. That's where I first saw you, was with the Psychedelic Furs.

Frank: That's perfect, that a perfect description of what kind of lyrics [?].

GL: I'm jealous of that guy's abilities.

GL, voice-over: Fuck. This pains me to listen to, you know, because I didn't think it was going down like that, like [mumbling]. I thought it was going down like what you're hearing right now. Anyway, that was me and Frank talking about his time in The Psychedelic Furs. Huge, huge alternative band from the 80s. Post punk, I don't even know, let me not throw around terms that I don't even understand. But they are definitely influenced by punk bands and, and I meant what I said, you know, Richard Butler is one of my favorite lyricists of all time. Let's play one of the Psychedelic Furs songs. They've got so many that it's almost... and of such varying degrees of like punk to pop, that it's almost hard for me to choose which one to to play for you. And I guess the best way to go is just like go with one of the ones that I think is the greatest. This is a little on the poppy side. They've got others that are way more dark or venomous but there's no song better than this. This is Heartbreak Beat by the Psychedelic Furs.

GL: So the first show I saw you at was some theatre in Midtown, you were playing with The Furs, I think Richard was in the band at that time, I don't remember. I remember seeing you because you had that distinct look. You know, the big shaved head and I think you're wearing sunglasses during the show and you always look like a monster behind the kit. [laughter] I mean, you left the distinct impression on me, like, "Man, that guy hits hard as fuck." You were a real visual presence in those days. Last time I saw you, you're slimming down quite a bit. [laughter] We gotta keep you big and scary, man.

Frank: That's what kids do to you [?].

GL: Don't diet too hard. If I have to, I'll run out there with the testosterone needle and pump you back up.

Frank: You know, I'm not dieting at all. I mean, I have, you know, I mean, I'm an older guy now, you know, I'm in my late 40s, man. It's like [?] sugar and dairy [?]. You know, older guys. No, we're [?] anymore now, you know.

GL: I like my drummers big, bald and scary. I have a real thing. I think that bald drummers, they make the best drummers for some reason. You know, Chris Slade-

Frank: Or drummers just end up bald, eventually. Singers make you pull your hair out. [laughter]

GL: It's a rule, I don't make the rules, that's just how it works. Alright. So, you know, you and Richard Fortus have been a team for a long time. I would go follow you guys and see you with Pisser. I've seen you with the Compulsions as well. And that's how you got into Guns N' Roses. And you know, you get hit with Guns N' Roses questions all the time and I think you get hit with the same stuff. They wanna know what's going on with the band. When's the next album coming? That kind of stuff. And a lot of times you can't even really answer those questions. And what I think guys should be asking your current members of Guns N' Roses is what that's like to be in Guns N' Roses, because it's just such a unique world. You're in such a weird private thing. You know, being one of the new Guns, it's like you're in the FBI or the Secret Service, you're a Man In Black. And the rest of us wanna know what that secretive world is like. I'd like it if you could just, you know, well, I'll ask you a few questions and you can walk me through what it's like being a current member of Guns N' Roses.

Frank: Absolutely.

GL: So, Richard Fortus brought you in, right, you know, more or less?

Frank: Richard and Tommy, the combination of them both, Richard and Tommy.

GL: Because the three of you are a team now, really. I mean, you and Richard have been close for a long time and now it seems like Tommy's brother number three kind of with you guys.

Frank: Yeah, yeah. I just finished doing a bunch of things with Tommy.

GL: Cool. I told you what an influence The Replacements were on me, maybe in a bad way, you know? It's like, "Hey, let's try to be the second drunkest band in rock'n'roll." That didn't really work out real well for us.

GL, voice-over: Ah, the Replacements featuring Tommy Stinson. We're talking about there is Frank Ferrer is close friends with the bass player from the Replacements, Tommy Stinson, who went on. He's now the bass player for Guns N' Roses. And they're both part of this little trio of Richard Fortus, Tommy Stinson and Frank who are like close buddies and they play in all kinds of different bands together. And The Replacements were a huge influence on me. If you don't know anything about them, they're an 80s and early 90s punk band that is notorious for the amount of drunkenness that went on on stage and in their regular lives and and backstage. In TSI [?], my old band, we aimed for that for a little while, which was maybe a bit reckless. Here's one of my favorites from them. This is Bastards of Young by The Replacements.

GL: So he pulls you in, what happens? Do you go audition for Guns N' Roses?

Frank: Well, OK, so from my perspective, I audition, right? But I was later told that I was already like pretty much had the gig but I didn't know them [?] personally. So I just [?] audition, you know. It's funny because I was just learning [?] tunes. Because, alright, [?] gives me a call and it's like, "Yo, Ace Frehley is really putting a band together. You should be in a band." I'm like, "Motherfucker!" Can I cuss on the show?

GL: Yeah, absolutely. You can say whatever you want.

Frank: I was like, "Fuck, yeah!" you know, so we actually did a couple of rehearsals for Ace's band. [?] The thing we were gonna do was, "[?] let's start rehearsing."

GL, voice-over: Frank Ferrer as drummer for Ace Frehley. Do you guys know how fucking sweet that would have been?

Frank: So I actually took a couple of rehearsals with [?] Forteeze's band. And then during that time, I got a phone call from Tommy. And he's like, "Yo," I'm like, "What?" He's like, "Why don't you learn Appetite For Destruction?" And I'm like, "OK, why? He's like-

GL: It's a weird request.

Frank: I know. "Brain has to leave the tour for a couple of weeks. He's gonna have a baby and he wants to be with his wife and we have to have somebody, you know, ready if he has to like break out right away or, you know, he'll come back, you know, something maybe like two weeks, maybe like four or five shows, maybe eight shows tops." I almost had a heart attack, you know. They were [?] out in LA but they were gonna be in New York rehearsing in like a month's time. And sure enough, I went and I learned as many songs as possible, you know. And I went and played with them. It was great. It was at S.I.R. at 25th Street in New York City.

GL: OK.

Frank: It was great. I'm gonna play. They were like, that's awesome. Brain, instead of, played some of the new songs, I obviously hadn't heard any of the new songs, so I got off the drum kit, Brain got back on. He played a bunch of new songs, you know, like Better and that kind of stuff. And then it was like, "OK, we'll see you in Europe in June." You know, I lost my mind. [?] temporary thing, like a couple of weeks. So I actually was on the tour for like two weeks before I actually sat on the seat. I was on tour with them for two weeks, just, you know, travelling around with them, watching the shows every night, watching the pacing, how Axl, you know, calling songs out, you know, you're just learning the show, pyro and all that kind of stuff, because I think it was two soundchecks, I think I got two soundchecks and then I was on stage. So I didn't even have a formal band rehearsal, you know, [?] to learn all the new songs. You know, Robin, Richard... I think Robin, Richard and maybe Tommy, came into my room the night before my first show. We went through the whole set, you know, acoustically, and me playing drums on the pillow, you know, [?]. But basically it was two soundchecks and then I was on stage, in front of 80,000 people by the way [laughs].

GL: Right. Now the whole time that that's going on, this interaction, when you said you meet with them and stuff, did Axl talk to you at all yet? This is just talking with the band, right? Is that what you mean when you're-

Frank: At this point I'm around but me and him haven't had a conversation yet. I mean, I guess from what I learned later on was he was kind of nervous, too, you know, about being amidst tour jumping on a drummer he didn't know. [?] Del told him, you know, Del and I had become really friendly so Del told him everything is cool, his management was like, "Frank is the right guy." But yeah, till this point, for those two weeks, I couldn't sit down and have a conversation with Axl, yes. But the night after the show, I mean, right after the show, we were in our room, chilling, talking, laughing and that was [?], but I guess he just wanted to make sure that, you know, he didn't have to send me home [laughing] [?].

GL: [?] yeah, sure.

Frank: But it seems like it worked out fine so far so.

GL: And when you say "Del", you're talking about-

Frank: And I always try to put this in every time I talk about Axl, which is not really much, but from day one, I mean, he made... I was a band member from day one. I mean, there was never once where he treated me, you know, like a crew guy or whatever or not part of the core. As soon as I walked off that stage from the first night, I was in, you know, he's always treated me that way. Not one time that I've been like an outsider, felt like an outsider, since I've been in the band, you know.

GL: Yeah, that's, I mean, these are the kind of questions I think that people don't hear from you guys a lot because, you know, a lot of things in that band seem to be handled right, like as it's like, you know, there's an organization that you're talking to and stuff, you know, it's like here you're on stage and you haven't talked to Axl. It's the band, the band has told you you're on stage or that you're in the band and that kind of thing. I'm not judging it one way or another, I just think it's fascinating and I think other people would find that really interesting.

Frank: I's a unique situation, Guns N' Roses is a very unique situation. I mean, not that I've played in other big bands, Guns N' Roses is the biggest band I've ever played in, to me it's, you know, it's a unique situation and I treat it as such, you know, I treat it as something that's very unique and very special and very precious. That's why I don't really talk about it much. You know, I love the guys in the band, you know, I mean, I know the whole DJ thing is kind of throwing everything for a loop but until this point everybody in the band gets along great. I mean, I get along great with DJ, we've had tons of fun on the road.

GL: Yes, certainly, I'm not trying to get you in any trouble with your job or anything-

Frank: No, no, no-

GL: Anything we need to go back and edit, we totally can. But I'm trying to give people an inside look into your, like, this very secretive band, you know. And like you said, I mean, it's the biggest band you've ever been in, but it's probably one of the biggest bands that anyone could be in, you know? It's like-

Frank: Right.

GL: Very few bands... I would imagine there aren't many bands out there that have the money to... how do I want to say this? Like Guns N' Roses, in my mind, is the closest that's still doing that Led Zeppelin, super rock star type of lifestyle. And I'm not talking drugs and alcohol, but like, you know, these taking your own jet places and having your own private section here, and this and that, and everything kind of like... To kind of see inside that as much as we can, I think it's fascinating. So tell me about like a day-to-day touring experience. You guys fly on your own plane?

Frank: You know, it depends, it depends. We've flown a lot with Axl, we flown a lot, like tons, like this last run we had last year when Duff was on board with us, when we where down in South America, we pretty much flew the whole time with Axl on his private jet, just the whole band, you know, everybody like huddled up in corners in this little tiny jet, you know. But it depends. It really just depends, I mean, I've been in situations where we chartered a flight and we all flown in a flight, in a situation where the band moves on and Axl moves on later. I've been in a situation where Axl goes out first, goes to a town or city first. So it just depends. It's really, it depends, it's hard to... We've flown charter, we've flown regular, and we've flown private. I've done all three since I've been in this band.

GL: Right. OK, cool. Yeah, I mean, I wondered about that. It's like, am I gonna bump into you guys as I'm passing back to the coach section on American Airlines one day or something, you know?

Frank: Yeah, yeah, of course, of course. You know, I mean, it was also... when we're not touring together, obviously we're together, but, you know, when we're not touring, everybody lives all over the place. So, you know, at the end of the tour everybody's at the airport flying out in different directions. And they treat us really well, Guns always treats the band really well. So yeah, we do fly comfortably and they always make sure, you know, "Hey, some of us aren't going to go straight home, we're gonna go here and stay there," and they always make all the arrangements. So it's pretty dope, pretty awesome.

GL: And when you say "They," there's a Guns N' Roses' management, which is... who is that now? It's a company with his close friends, right? Or something?

Frank: Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's Fernando Lebeis and Beta Lebeis, are pretty much the managers now.

GL: We talk about living all over the country and away from each other. How do rehearsals work? Do you guys have a set spot where you go for rehearsing? Or sometimes it's in in New York, sometimes it's in LA?

Frank: Yeah, when run starts we all end up pretty much, we all end up in LA and rehearse in LA, pretty much. It's been that way since I started. I can't, you know, I can't remember any other place [?] wanna rehearse in Vegas when we started that run. But most of the time we all meet up, like at Center Staging in Burbank, you know? We all meet up there and rehearse there.

GL: Yeah, this is interesting. And like I said, you know, very few bands would have the money to run the way Guns N' Roses does. And even those that do, I think that nobody's as likely to go as out there as Axl is, you know, in terms of, like, jets and hotels, after parties and that kind of stuff. Like even the bands that have the money to do it, he's one of the few that I could think of that actually seems interested in spending it and doing it that way.

GL, voiceover: You know, I meant to go on here and but this is my first interview and I fucked it up a little bit and I wanted to dig a little deeper, push a little harder, you know, get some info about these crazy stories and rumors that we hear about on the road. You know, about Guns N' Roses getting their own section on festivals and stuff and no other personnel are allowed in, and nobody's allowed to look at Axl and, you know, whatever crazy dinner demands and that kind of shit. But, you know, I forgot. And the other thing too is I'm just grateful that Frank is giving up as much information as he is giving up you know and I certainly don't want my buddy to get in any trouble and I will get better at interviewing as I do more of them. Anyway, let's play one of the songs that Frank worked on Chinese Democracy. This is Chinese Democracy.

GL: Talking about, you know, Guns N' Roses and  your experience, I mean, I hope you realize that - I'm sure you do - but you're probably one of the guys living the last, like, rock star experience, you know, that Led Zeppelin style, you know, or the closest to it in this day and age. And so, private jets, sometimes, sometimes, you know Axl is doing his own thing. Is there still like insane... Like, I know that a lot of you guys are family members and you don't have to comment on what goes on with any individual person, but like, let's talk about the possibilities that could happen. Are there women still like, throwing themselves at you after shows and stuff? Is that still go on?

Frank: [laughing] Oh my God.

GL: You know what I mean? Like, if you you walk off an airplane. Is there some lady... Is there a lady that, like you know you can have sex with with saying like three sentences or less to her? Does that still happen?

Frank: [continuously laughing] I mean, you know, come on, man. You're in music.

GL: I'm not that lucky, dude.

Frank: It's not going to happen [?]. Not me specifically. I mean, is there more opportunities because I happen to be the drummer for Guns N' Roses? [laughing] All I'm going to say is that I think that's a possibility for any musician, for any person that's like in the spotlight, you know, a celebrity is actually... All all I can say is that I'm off the market. [laughing]

GL: Oh, I know, I'm not trying to get personal stories of you or the band, but, you know, it's like, what is the climate like out there? Are they still just tearing their clothes off and throwing them at you or those days gone? That was kind of my question-

Frank: It could be, it could be nuts. Yeah. I mean, yeah, that's possible [laughing] But you know what I would say, though, what I could say, because of Guns I've got to meet a lot of different women from different cultures, which is very interesting, obviously, you know. You know, I was single for a long time, so I got to meet a lot of women from different cultures, which, you know, makes, you know, great perspective if you're like a single guy and, you know, you're trying to get to know women, you know, so when the right one comes you spot her. So I mean, Guns N' Roses has taken me to a lot of great cities and a lot of great countries. So, you know, it's nice to have a perspective, and nice men, too, men and women, you know, both, you know. Makes you a well-rounded person when you are able to come in and out of different cultures and, you know, apply it to your own life, you know? So I mean, and on a serious tip it's nice meeting a lot of different kind of people, women and men also, from different parts of the world.

GL: Sure. And then when you get there, they want to have sex with you, even though you don't speak the same language, that's what you're saying?

Frank: [laughing]

GL: So yeah, and you've already stuck up for Axl quite a bit and you're dispelling a lot of the rumors. He's been nothing but nice to you. He doesn't hit you guys or anything, does he? You could tell me, Frank, I'm your friend.

Frank: He swung and missed a couple of times [laughing] On a serious tip, no. Actually, he's super friendly, super loyal to the band members. We've been texting, you know, this whole DJ thing, so we've been texting back and forth and everything's cool, he's cool, he loves DJ, everything's cool, you know. He's in a good spot right now so hopefully you will hear some good news soon.

GL: So he's never just come into your, like, dressing room and like cleared your buffet table with his arm and flipped it over or something, that never happened?

Frank: I mean, band members have done that. [?] That's part of being in a rock and roll band you got to [?] a little bit of habit. Don't get me any [?]. Food will be thrown about. But Axl, no. That's regular [?].

GL: So, this DJ Ashba thing, I know you can't comment on it, and you might not know, only he knows what he's doing, but my friend and I we have this speculation that maybe you guys got a call from Guns N' Roses about what's about to happen and what's not about to happen or something and that's what made him quit. Did you guys get some new news, or anything lately?

Frank: No, no new news other than we're still forging ahead. But not any, like... I mean, its not really news, it's like there's a plan in place that is happening and that's all I can say. I haven't spoken to DJ, but apparently DJ would just, like… he'd rather do other stuff right now, which is cool. I mean, everything he said in that letter is true. I mean, he has a great relationship with the bandmembers and with Axl. Everything's good.

GL: What can you say about the stuff that we haven't heard yet, that's laying around from Guns N' Roses? Is it more of the same from Chinese Democracy or does it go down a different path?

Frank: I think it's consistent with Chinese Democracy, it's consistent with that. That's the best way to describe it.

GL: Alright, cool. I think that covers our Guns N' Roses [?], you made it through the burning ring of fire. So tell me what else is going on for you right now? Who else are you playing with? What else are you doing?

Frank: I'm dropping off some things with Tommy. I've been working from home, you know, Tommy lives in upstate New York so I've been driving up to Tommy's house, we've been putting ideas together and writing. Just going up there and playing music, you know, drinking tequila and he's drinking, you know, [?], and we're putting music together and he's got a bunch of songs together and replaces a choir right now so he's gonna put out a little record. And he's booking dates in the Midwest, we're gonna do Riot Fest. I'm just, you know, I'm playing with my friends, playing music with my friends, with Tommy. So I'm doing that right now. A couple of local bands. I still do the Compulsions, still do Pisser. So I'm kind of busy.

GL, voiceover: The Compulsions and Pisser. These are the two bands that are local to New York that I used to go watch Frank in. And usually most of the time Richard Fortus is there too. I mean, sometimes he subbed out because he'd be on different tours or I believe he lives out in LA now, but. Great bands. I mean everything that these two were in, like you knew you could go there and it was gonna be awesome. Let's start with Wifey by Pisser, followed by Down On The Tracks by the Compulsions, two local NYC bands featuring Frank Ferrer and Richard Fortus, both of Guns and Roses.

Frank: I'm gonna go down to [?], Australia, do a little promo vibe, meet some people, you know, I love that country. I love Australia. I mean, I can see myself grow old in Australia. And I'll go down and do this promo thing, make some contacts, make some hook-ups. So in my later years I can go and [?] Australia. So I've been to Australia, at a place called Whole Lotta Love. Jamming with some local musicians, getting to know people. And I leave on August 11. I'm doing that, on Friday, August 14. And then I've also been working in the studio, recording sessions, stuff like that, you know? I've gotta keep busy, you know.

GL: Yeah, I wanted to talk to you about that, you know. You and I worked together. You did an amazing job on my record.

Frank: [?] your record is cool.

GL: He just killed it. It was awesome. So as a session drummer, you know, do you get nervous about all this drum programming that's going on? And you know, are you worried that you're going to be sniffed out of the picture? You know, as as a drummer, I think now that they've got this technology.

Frank: I don't really worry about that at all. I mean, you know what I did worry about, it was actually in the 90s when everybody was programming drum machines, you know, like, it was all drum machine, you know, and then in like the late 80s, I'm telling because of the drum machine we got like the best crop of rock drummers ever, man. You know, like Stephen Perkins and Matt Cameron and a couple guys that played with Nine Inch Nails. You know, some dope drummers, you know, Fish for Fishbone, Pearl from Bad Brains. You know, some bad-ass drummers came out of that whole like [?] drum machine thing, you know. I was more nervous then, I'm not nervous now.

GL: I hear so many of these new new like metal records especially and it's like you could just tell that, you know, if there ever was a live drummer involved in that track, there's nothing left of him now, you know, it's like they've moved everything around and replaced, [?] sample replacement or maybe just even programmed the whole thing right from the beginning and it's just like... What you did with us, we added a little bit of sample replacement over your snare, mixed in, just on the snare and other than that, that's just pure you. And and everything it just sounds so much better to have a real human being with real feel. Yeah, I wonder, you know, so it doesn't worry you at all?

Frank: It doesn't worry me. I mean, especially if you're talking about metal drumming, like, heavy metal drumming, I mean, you still gotta get somebody to play it live, though, right? [?] There's some sick drummers out there. You know, it doesn't worry me. I haven't really thought about it to be honest with you. I've been lucky enough to work... And I have a particular style that I don't know if you could really get out of a drum machine, maybe you can-

GL: No, you can't.

Frank: -but I'm a groove drummer. I like to groove. My [?] are like [?] Charlie Watts and Phil Rudd and Keith Jordan, guys that just sit in the pocket all day, you know. So, you know, for my style of drumming, [?] metal drumming, maybe a metal drummer should worry about it, but for my style of drumming, whoever hires me knows you're gonna get a groove drummer, so, you know, I'm not too worried about it to be honest. I mean, and I like sampling drums, I like the live feel but I don't mind it. I like, you know, yeah, man, you know, you could just give me a sample of When The Levee Breaks snare drum and put it on my snare. I don't care-

GL: Yeah. We just-

Frank: As long as that shit sounds dope. [?]

GL: Right. Yeah, I guess maybe I should fill in for for people who aren't musicians that we were talking about the practice nowadays where drums are clicked together on a grid in the computer and maybe not played at all. Or if there is a live drummer, what they'll do is they'll clean up his timing and make it almost too perfect. And then they will replace all of his drums with a recorded sample of the drum that they want to hear so that it sounds, you know, completely different and-

Frank: [?] you know, the day of the recording studio, they'll [?], bro. Most people are cutting their teeth in their basement and stuff because of that technology. So a lot of times they have no choice.

GL: Sure, sure. But well, the major record labels are doing it with the metal records though, for sure. You know that like there's no-

Frank: I mean, you know metal is such, you know, so intricate. So [?], you know, making sure that every little [?] to hit right on that click. I mean, that's a whole different genre of music. And that kind of music usually is not a soulful type of music, there's actually no room for movement in that music. [?] but she goes in and plays the shit out of that stuff.

GL: My complaint is that probably a lot of these drummers could play it and that the record labels don't let them, you know, "No, no, no, we're gonna click, it's faster. We're gonna click it all together for you," and there you go. Nobody knows the difference. It doesn't make any difference. I argue that it does. And certainly on a rock record and like you said a guy playing with feel. That's like my favorite quote/unquote from you ever when you were in the studio with us that you said [that] all you wanted to be was the Malcolm Young of the drums. And it's like, "Yeah, dude, yeah!" And I think you totally are, you know, you just got that in the pocket, keep it pretty simple, you can play crazy fills and stuff when it's needed, but you really hold it back and you keep it, you know, simple and steady and pounding. You're one of the hardest hit-

Frank: [?] I'm sorry.

GL: I was just gonna say you're one of the hardest hitting guys I've ever seen. I mean, I saw that right at that first at The Psychedelic Furs concert. It's like, "Wow, this guy's bashing them!"

Frank: I love songs, man, I'm a fan of the song, man, and to me that's always the first thing. I always play the song, you know. And playing great drum riffs that's fun and it's great but, you know, if it doesn't make the song better then, you know, it's not necessary, you know. I love songs, that's my favorite thing. As a drummer I wanna play on a great fucking song, man. That's why Ringo star, you know, he played on great songs. Phil Rudders played on great songs. You know, Charlie Watts have played on great songs. I wanna play on a great song. You know, Matt Sorum has played on a great song, you know. Steven Adler has played on great song. I wanna play on a great song. You know, that's all I wanna do.

GL, overview: This is who this guy is, you know, I know that because I've been in the studio with him. He did an amazing job on my record and just because of where I was in terms of trying to call it my own name and my own solo project and, you know, not really having a lot of money to pay players and that sort of thing, my album was kind of Frankenstein-ed together. And then Frank came in, Frank Ferrer, and just like solidified the whole thing and smoothed it out. He was playing over guitars and bass that had been cut and recut and chopped and edited and moved around, and he made the whole thing just flow and sound as much as [?]. I believe all albums should be recorded as a band but if you can't do it you gotta get a drummer like Frank Ferrer who's gonna seam it all together. And he did on my record. And there were so many songs that like they weren't working or they just they... I had felt like they should be better and they weren't sounding better yet and he made them better. And some of it was like, "Yeah, that's exactly like it was supposed to be" or "You just nailed it" And then there are other times where we weren't able to figure it out. Me and Joe Hogan, who was producing, we knew it wasn't right, but we didn't know what needed to happen. And sometimes he figured that out and just made it better than ever. And this may not be like the most exciting song on my album or anything, but I was trying to think of a really good example of where Frank Ferrer came in and made the drums and in turn made the whole song better than we could have ever imagined. We fucked with the drums on this song before when that we were working with was programming him out over and over and over again, because it has a real tendency to sound like a waltzing ballad. And I don't write fucking ballads in my band, you know? I don't make songs for you to go make out with your girlfriend to. You want that shit you got to go find another band. I mean, if I write anything that resembles a valid, it's about getting like, you know, the kind of song, getting wasted and feeling sorry for yourself, you know, like Hank Williams or something. And we couldn't get this right. Joe Hogan had this kind of idea of like, the drums need to be like Alice In Chains. He didn't really know what that meant, but he knew they should sound like Sean Kinney, the drummer from Alice In Chains. Because that would stop it from sounding like a swingy, happy ballad and sound darker and like, you know, sad or the way that I wanted it to. Joe tells Frank, "Alice In Chains," and Frank comes in with this and it made the song 100 times better. This is Trail of Tears off of my album Into The Light, featuring Frank Ferrer.

GL: Alright dude, well thank you so much for calling in, man. It's good to hear from you. So yeah, you've got a new website. I looked that over. I'm proud to be listed in your discography. That's a big feather in my cap. Go ahead, tell everybody where to find you.

Frank: Yeah, frankferrer.com is my website. @frankferrer66 would be both Instagram and Twitter.

GL: And then from there they can find everything else about you on the Internet?

Frank: Yeah. Yeah, pretty much. Pretty much.

GL: Well, dude, thank you so much. Thanks for making my record so awesome. You wanna pick a song for the show tonight? Anything. Hard Rock, anything really. Doesn't have to be any genre. Just what song you want me to play?

Frank: Any song?

GL: Yeah. Any song.

Frank: Oh, god damn. What do you do that to me? I can't think of... How about Custard Pie from Led Zeppelin?

GL: You got it, dude. You got it, man. Alright. Thank you, man. Thanks so much.

Frank: My pleasure. My pleasure. [?] to your family for me, please.

GL: Thanks and same to you. Alright, man, I'll talk to you soon, OK. Take care.


Last edited by Blackstar on Sun Jan 29, 2023 10:06 am; edited 1 time in total
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2015.07.29 - The Geoff Lenox Show (Stone Chrome Radio) - Interview with Frank Empty Re: 2015.07.29 - The Geoff Lenox Show (Stone Chrome Radio) - Interview with Frank

Post by Blackstar Sun Jan 29, 2023 10:02 am

Excerpt from Blabbermouth:
-----------------------------------

Guns N' Roses drummer Frank Ferrer was interviewed on this week's (July 29) episode of "The Geoff Lenox Show" on Stone Chrome Radio. During the chat, Ferrer discussed his career, the recent resignation of Guns N' Roses guitarist D.J. Ashba, and gave an inside look at life as a current member of Guns N' Roses.

Asked about some fans' speculation that Ashba exited Guns N' Roses after getting news from Guns N' Roses lead singer Axl Rose about the future of the band, Ferrer said: "No, [we did] not [get any] new news, other than we're still forging ahead. But not any, like, you know… It's not really news. It's, like, there's a plan in place, and it's happening, so that's all I can say."

He continued: "I haven't spoken to D.J., but apparently D.J. would just, like… he'd rather do other stuff right now, which is cool. I mean, everything he said in that letter [announcing his departure] is true. I mean, he has a great relationship with the bandmembers and with Axl. Everything's good."

https://blabbermouth.net/news/guns-n-roses-is-forging-ahead-following-d-j-ashbas-departure-says-drummer-frank-ferrer
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2015.07.29 - The Geoff Lenox Show (Stone Chrome Radio) - Interview with Frank Empty Re: 2015.07.29 - The Geoff Lenox Show (Stone Chrome Radio) - Interview with Frank

Post by Soulmonster Fri Apr 07, 2023 7:25 am

Finally finished transcribing this. It was difficult because Frank was hard to hear, so some parts are missing.
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