HIT CHANNEL INTERVIEW: March 2012. We talked to Frank Ferrara, singer/bassist of the legendary US band, Bang! Bang released 3 albums in early ‘70s on Capitol Records. They were one of the first American heavy bands, and they supported acts like Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Rod Steward and Steppenwolf. In 2000s they reunited and made 2 more studio albums. Their first ever recorded album “Death of a Country”, released in 2004 and the “Bang-Bullets” box-set is out through Rise Above Records. Read below the very interesting things he told us:
Υes, I am satisfied. The only regret is that more people have never heard our music. But yes overall it is very nice to feel the love from the fans that we do have.
How you first got into contact with Rise Above Records? Had you ever heard of Rise Above beforehand?
Rise Above Records was put together by Lee Dorrian who was a founding member of the doom metal band Cathedral. Lee was a big fan of Bang and he approached us about doing the box set. We were thrilled to have Lee put together the box set for us.Ηe did an excellent job. But no, before Lee contacted us I had never heard of Rise Above Records.
Is there any possibility for a new studio album and tours?
Yes, there’s always the possibility of both of those things happening. More than anything we need to find management that will enable us to get back on the road. We would love nothing more than to tour Europe, which is something we have never done.
Were you disappointed when Capitol rejected ‘Death of A Country’ or this fact made you work harder?
We were very disappointed that “Death” was never released. Capitol signed us after hearing “Death of a Country”, which was recorded before we signed a deal with them. Not releasing it made no sense to us. We forged our writing and sound putting that album together. We believed in it. To this day we feel it should have been released first. As far as making us work harder, when we were informed by our producer Michael Sunday that the label made a decision not to release “Death…” he gave us just 2 weeks to write all new music. The fact that we were able to compose the “BANG” album in that short of time is unbelievable. So in a way I think it did make us want to prove something. The proverbial ‘chip on the shoulder’. Signing with Capitol, in hindsight was a big mistake. We got no support or guidance from them at all. They had no clue on how to handle us. All they wanted was a top 40 band, but the Beatles were our idols and to be on the same label as them was the deciding factor in signing with them…
We only realized how good the record was when we sat down in the studio to listen to the final mix. The record was recorded in just a couple of weeks so it was busy busy all the time but when the work was done, we smoked some hooch and listened to the record for the first time…When the opening riff of “Lions, Christians” came over the speakers… Ιt blew us away. We were thrilled that we were able to have such a great sound. The credit for the sound has to go to our producer Michael Sunday who took the time to get the right sound for the band, especially the guitar sound. It took a couple days just to do that. What a great guitar sound he was able to capture, after all this time the guitar still sounds amazing, besides Frankie (ed: Glicken) was a fantastic guitar player…
What memories do you have from your show in North Carolina with Black
The biggest memory is that we had a huge fan base in Fayetteville and we were big fans of Sabbath as kids growing up. We were so excited to open up for them. The fact that we stole the show from them made us realize we belonged in the big show. It was extremely satisfying.
Do you like today your second album ‘Mother/Bow To The King’? Is for you ‘Idealist/Realist’ the best ever Bang song?
We were going thru so much turmoil by this time, the reality of the «business of music» was starting to rear its ugly head, with so much going on it was hard to enjoy making the record. We recorded “Mother” less than 6 months after the “BANG” album and you know what, I wish that we would have never lost our original producer Michael Sunday. I think as heavy as the “Mother” album is… believe it or not Michael would have made it even heavier. As far as “Idealist/ Realist” is concerned it is in my top 5 but it’s like your kids you love them all…But “Idealist” was really good. And after losing Tony (ed: D’Lorio), finding Bruce Gary to play drums with us was magical. He was so much fun to play with such a great guy and someone who I miss often. You might remember Bruce from The Knack and a lot of other records that he made. His drumming played a huge part on “Idealist/Realist” and also on our last album, “MUSIC”…
You opened for acts like Rod Steward, Deep Purple, Alice Cooper, Steppenwolf, Mountain, Humble Pie. Who was the coolest guy and who blew you up watching him onstage?
We learned so much from all the bands we played with. They all had their own aura. We were so young and eager with a lot of nervous energy and I remember sharing a dressing with the old pro Dr. John who was napping 10 minutes before he hit the stage. We kept mumbling about how crazy it was that he could take a nap. I remember him opening his eyes and telling us to relax and breathe thru our nose. I remember thinking…this guy has no clue….but the minute he hit the stage, he kicked ass….big time…There’s always a lesson to learn, different strokes…
Bruce opened up for us as a singer/songwriter. He didn’t even have a Band and from what I remember, he was still trying to get his vision together. But no, I never thought that he would become as big as he did.
What kind of music are you listening to this period?
I’m a old school kind of guy, so off the top of my head. The only band that really impresses me is the Foo Fighters. They manage to write catchy tunes with great hooks and still have the heavy «in your face sound». I really like their vibe…
Have you ever been in Greece? Send a message to your Greek fans.
Like Three Dog Night Said… “I’ve never been to Greece but I’ve been to Oklahoma” (laughs)…I know it must be Spectacular. Can’t wait to visit and play for all our fans in Greece. God willing it will be much sooner than later. Thank you for all your support, hopefully we’ll see you down the road, until then «Keep On», also for all things BANG check out our website www.bangmusic.com .. Thanks again…
A huge “THANK YOU” to Frank Ferrara.
Please check www.bangbusic.com