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Frank Ferrara (BANG): our focus and our belief in ourselves is what made all the difference

Frank Ferrara (BANG): our focus and our belief in ourselves is what made all the difference
BANDS : Bang

Bang is one of the oldest hard rock / heavy metal groups from USA which is still active in 2017. With a tumultuous history that began in 1969, the group Bang is committed to make known its music and to tell their story to the new generation of rock music listeners. On August 15, 2017, The BANG Story: From The Basement to the Bright Lights, written by Lawrence Knorr, with the help of stories told by Frank Ferrara, Tony Diorio and Frank Gilcken, was published. I said this is an opportune moment to invite Frank Ferrara, the group leader to a discussion.

Metalfan: Hi, Frank! Welcome to! Who is Frank Ferrara? How would you describe yourself as a person?

Frank Ferrara: Wow… What a great question! You know, I never thought about it. I guess I would say that I’m someone who TRULY loves making music and tries to live life to the fullest. Someone who tries to see the good in everybody…

Metalfan: I know that your place of origin is Monteforte Cilento, Campania, Italy. If you could subconsciously think at your origin, how would you see yourself? An European or an American?
Frank Ferrara: After all these years … I’d have to say American with a lot of Italian mixed in...

Metalfan: A few years ago, I’ve read somewhere a very interesting thing that a person tends to think different according to the language he/she thinks in. During the years of your existence have you seen this thing at you, the fact that you would think in a way in Italian and in a different way in English?
Frank Ferrara: After age 12… I would have to say more in English … I became Americanized...

Metalfan: The dialect specific to the Province of Salerno, Campania region is the Cilentan. How well do you manage this dialect? It would be interesting to hear more from you on this subject...
Frank Ferrara: We always spoke Italian with my folks when they were still alive… Only a little bit with my sisters… Besides that … If you don’t use it you lose it...

Metalfan: When and how did you discover the music? What did attract you about rock music?
Frank Ferrara: For me it was when I was 11 and saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan… That’s when the passion started.

Metalfan: Which were the first records that you bought? Could you please tell us more about this thing?
Frank Ferrara: Everything from the Beatles to Cream to Jimi HendrixMoby GrapeBuffalo SpringfieldThe Animals… Even Paul Revere & the Raiders… There was a ton of great music that was born in that era.

Metalfan: Was the bass guitar the instrument which caught your attention in the first place or have you tried other instruments in the past? How did it all start?
Frank Ferrara: I thought about playing drums, but decided it was too much to set up so after meeting Frankie, the Bass became the instrument I wanted to play the most.

Metalfan: How would you describe your playing style? Which were the musicians that have inspired you during the years?
Frank Ferrara: I consider myself a melodic rock player… Sir Paul McCartney inspired me the most.

Metalfan: I personally feel that Bang is one of those great bands that should receive a higher recognition for the legacy and the music that you’ve put out. It would be great if you could tell us some of the most important things regarding your history so that our younger readers could learn more about you...
Frank Ferrara: When we first started we rehearsed every night and I mean every night!!! We were together pretty much 24/7… We did this for 18 months… Writing and creating “OUR” sound and style. That’s when we truly became a band and started to believe we belonged. Our focus and our belief in ourselves is what made all the difference. Looking back… I think our music shows that.

Metalfan: In an interview from the 80’s with Frank Zappa, he told something interesting about the music business: “One thing that did happen in the 60’s, was some music of an unusual and experimental nature did get recorded, did get released.” This is somehow in contradiction with the fact that your first album “Death of a Country” (1971) was not released until 2004. Could you please tell us how do you see what did Frank Zappa said?
Frank Ferrara: Well… To a point… Zappa was one of a kind… He was known for being experimental. He succeeded by being so different. He was the exception not the rule. Record companies were just companies selling music… Very formatted in a way. In my heart I wish that “Death of a Country” was released… But who knows… Released or not, it’s a great record… Even today!

Metalfan: Also, it would be great if you could tell us more about how did the things happen back then with the album “Death of a Country”?
Frank Ferrara: Our problem was that our record label Capitol Records was a very commercial label at the time. To them „Death…” was too heavy to be commercial. That’s why they decided not to release it.

Metalfan: How was the Philadelphia rock scene back in the late 60’s and early 70’s? Do you have any memories from back then that you would like to share with us?
Frank Ferrara: In the late 60’s there was a rock scene and a folk scene in Philadelphia. That all changed when Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff started the sweet soul music that became the sound of Philadelphia. Rock took a backseat… Taking our music out of Philly is what gave us the opportunity to showcase our music. We wouldn’t have gotten that chance in our hometown.

Metalfan: I know that in August 2017 the biography of Bang – “The BANG Story - From the Basement to the Bright Lights” was released. Would you please tell us more about this release and the process of putting together this piece of history?
Frank Ferrara: We’ve been kicking the idea around about a book for a few years after realizing we had to tell my cool stories. So, as fate would have
it, I met Lawrence Knorr, an author and also owner of a booking publishing company… As luck would have it, he told me he bought our first BANG album when he was 14. At that point we started putting together the BANG story… It was a lot of work, but it was a blast reconnecting with all the wonderful people whom we were fortunate to meet in the beginning… I describe the book a lot like “Spinal Tap”… Except it’s
true. [Ed. Note: laughs]

Metalfan: At this moment the book is available for order in Europe as well? Please, tell us from where the fans could buy it?
Frank Ferrara: Its available on Amazon… Through Sunbury Press… Barnes and Knoble and also just became availble as an e-book available on Kindle.

Metalfan: Somewhere in the near future, do you think it would be possible to release a documentary about Bang? When I think about a documentary, the first bands that pop in my head are Anvil, Iggy and the Stooges, Pentagram etc...
Frank Ferrara: We hope to do just that in the near future… Trying to put the pieces together for a documentary. We fit in the same category with all those bands… Our story is just as unique if not more so...

Metalfan: Even if we are in 2017 and not the 80’s, I’m still a fan of the mix tapes. It would be great if you could choose 12 songs from 12 different bands or artists for a virtual mix-tape starting from the word “transhumance”. Which it would be the title of this compilation?
Frank Ferrara: We’ll call mine “My Teenage Years”…

01. Paul Revere - Kicks
02. Yardbirds - For Your Love
03. Yardbirds - Heart Full of Soul
04. Strawberry Alarm Clock - Incense and Peppermints
05. Mountain - Mississippi Queen
06. Donovan - Mellow Yellow
07. Cream - Badge
08. Status Quo - Pictures of Matchstick Men
09. The Beatles - Strawberry Fields
10. Bubble Puppy - Hot Smoke and Sassafras
11. Vanilla Fudge - You Keep Me Hangin’ On
12. The Monkees - Steppin’ Stone

Metalfan: Thank you Frank for your time and for your answers! It was really great to talk to you and I have to say that it was an honour! In the end, would you like to add something or to send a few words to our readers?
Frank Ferrara: Thank you for the opportunity to do this interview and I hope that those who don’t know BANG are… To check it out… You’ll be surprised. For those that do know us… Spread the word and... Keep On BANGin’!

Photo: Frank Ferrara / Bang Facebook

Autor: H.
   September 28, 2017  | 0 Comments  | 5098 Views « BACK

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