Frank Ferrer 101: Everything You Need to Know About the Guns N’ Roses Drummer
Guns N’ Roses fans are thrilled that Slash and Duff McKagan are ready for a reunion with Axl Rose, but they’re not the only guys in the group’s current version of the band. With that in mind, here’s a look at some highlights from the career of drummer Frank Ferrer.
Ferrer released his first major-label recordings with the Beautiful, a New York-based band that gigged throughout the late ’80s and early ’90s while putting out a pair of releases through the Warners subsidiary Giant. Following that group’s dissolution, he joined up with the Psychedelic Furs offshoot Love Spit Love, where he first met his future GNR bandmate Richard Fortus — and when the Furs reunited in 2000, he joined Fortus as part of the group’s touring lineup, performing with them for the better part of the ensuing decade.
Although Fortus quickly went on to join Guns N’ Roses shortly after the Furs reunited, his association with the band — and with Ferrer — continued, both at reunion gigs and via their own side project, the new band the Compulsions. While juggling ongoing commitments to other acts, they managed to cut a full-length Compulsions LP, titled Beat the Devil, in 2011.
That creative partnership came in handy for Ferrer in 2006, when drummer Bryan “Brain” Mantia took a leave of absence from GNR. Given that he’d worked extensively with Fortus — and had also played with Guns bassist Tommy Stinson — Ferrer was a natural choice for Mantia’s replacement, and although the gig was supposed to last for only a couple of weeks, he was an official member by the end of the year.
Ferrer has remained busy during downtime between Guns commitments, performing with an eclectic array of artists that includes Tool and Perry Farrell as well as Wyclef Jean and the German pop singer Nena (also a former employer of Fortus’). Meanwhile, he and Fortus have continued to tighten their own musical bond, with Ferrer joining Fortus’ all-star rock collective Dead Daisies for a 2013 tour and an EP the following year.
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