Frank Ferrer is the longest serving drummer in legendary hard rock band Guns N’ Roses, and the drummer in NYC rock outfits Pisser and The Compulsions. Ferrer’s reputation as a hard-working and intuitive rock drummer has seen him not only tour the world as a permanent member of Guns N’ Roses since 2006, he has also been a key member of seminal 90’s bands The Psychedelic Furs and Love Spit Love.
Over his career, Ferrer’s energy, reliability and talent have seen him work closely with a who's who of the rock n roll world, including artists Angus Young of ACDC, Robi "Draco" Rosa, Tool, Gordon Gano of The Violent Femmes, PJ Harvey, Tommy Stinson, Frank Black of The Pixies , Neil Young, Perry Farrell of Janes Addiction and Cheetah Chrome of The Dead Boys.
Ferrer was born and raised in the working class NYC neighbourhood of Chelsea in the 1960s where he surrounded by music in the local Latino community. His father was a carpenter by day and Latin percussionist by night, but the defining moment for the young Ferrer came after seeing Kiss play on TV at age eleven. He begged his dad to take him to see them at Madison Square and his Dad agreed.
Ferrer told Online Drummer in 2011: “That’s when I knew I wanted to play. [But] I thought I wanted to play guitar because they were up front and running around. The drummer just sat there.”
Ferrer finally found his rhythm when he joined a youth choir in middle school armed with only a set of bongos borrowed from his father. Encouraged by his music teacher Mr Gomez, Ferrer progressed to a full drum kit and went on to apply to the High School of Performing Arts (made famous in the movie Fame). Despite the initial setback of not being accepted, Mr Gomez encouraged Ferrer to follow his rock and roll dreams in the clubs and bars of NYC.
A chance meeting in a club in the mid-1980s saw Ferrer team up with Jonathan Lacey and Perry Bottke to form The Beautiful, a dynamic 90s alt-rock band that was signed to Warner Music on the strength of a cassette demo in 1989. Their debut album Storybook (1992) was nominated by Music Journalist Greg Prato (Rolling Stone, Alternative Nation) as one of the most underrated albums of the 1990s.
As The Beautiful came to a close in the early 90s, Ferrer joined Richard and Tim Butler of The Psychedelic Furs and Richard Fortus of Pale Divine to form the band Love Spit Love, and they released their self-titled album in 1994. Their version of How Soon is Now, by The Smiths, is featured in the movie The Craft and is the theme song on the TV show Charmed.
Ferrer’s time playing with the ‘two Richards’ forged strong bonds and he went on to play in The Psychedelic Furs with Richard Butler before joining Richard Fortus in Guns N’ Roses in 2006 as a temporary fill in for Bryan 'Brain' Mantia. Before he knew it, Ferrer was a permanent member of GNR contributing to five songs on the infamous GNR opus Chinese Democracy.
When not touring with GNR, Ferrer plays with not one, but two NYC based bands. In The Compulsions, Ferrer joins long-time collaborator and fellow GNR member Richard Fortus and Sami Yaffa of Hanoi Rocks and the New York Dolls in a rock n’ roll band personally endorsed by Alice Cooper and described by antiMusic as “one of the greatest underrated rock bands of our generation”.
Ferrer can also be found kicking out the punk-rock jams in his personal project Pisser, playing music alongside two of his best friends, Eric J Toast (Honky Toast) and Anthony Esposito (engineer and producer for The Misfits, New York Dolls and The Ramones). Ferrer told The Classic Metal Show in 2014 that Pisser was near and dear to his heart.
“[When I’m playing in Pisser] it comes out of the middle of my chest – it’s pure emotion and love… I’m playing for myself in Pisser – [and] I don’t care if there are 20 or two people in the room.”
Looking back over his career Ferrer points to the city of his youth as the key to his success, “...in NYC, it’s a live thing. It’s a city of live drumming. You’ve got to play live to get put on and to get noticed. That’s how I got my first band... and that’s how I ended up with Guns.”
Frank Ferrer has Recorded, Toured and/or Performed with :
Guns n' Roses
Love Spit Love
Robi Draco Rosa
The Psychedelic Furs
The Dead Daisies
Mars Needs Women