Interview: Pam and Mark Schaff
Photos: Pam and Mark Schaff
MGM : How does the resurgence of Bang feel? And how has reception been?
Frank Ferrara : You know what it’s been just beautiful, we started a couple years ago and did some really nice things and got to go to Europe for the first time ever, it took us 45 years, and everything’s feeling brand new again. We have a much younger audience than we ever had. In Europe and even here there’s a lot of 20-30 year olds that weren’t even born that discovered us over the years. To see them singing our lyrics and all that stuff is like, it took 45 years but it doesn’t matter it feels like yesterday. And we’re just really proud that the music held up and it still works. We’re just trying to live our dream and play until we die. It’s really pretty much that simple. We’re older now, we’re retired, so if we can play often that’s great.
Frank Gilcken : We’re retired except for Bang.
Frank F : It’s been phenomenal! Simply because the response we’re getting from people and the fact that there’s so many young that discovered us and yeah that’s just terrific. We’re bigger than we ever were in the 70’s. In the 70’s our whole music career lasted about a year and a half. So you know it was a whole different thing back then, it’s all good.
MGM : As big vinyl collectors we see Bang records go for a lot of money. How does it feel to know your albums are so highly sought after by collectors.
Frank G : We get to sign those you know and it’s great, like in Europe and a lot of places people have the original ones. I just talked to Sean from Blood Ceremony the other day and he said that “I just bought one of your albums and it cost $75.”
MGM : It’s got to feel good knowing your music has stood the test of time.
Frank F : I was just sitting next to Dave (Sherman) out back and he went through Future Shock and he went through a few verses and I couldn’t remember all the words, but Dave did. Damn I could use him to be my teleprompter. Thing is that I could probably wing it and nobody would know cause it would be so subtle like the misheard lyric.
MGM : How does it feel to be headlining day two of the Doom fest?
Frank G : It’s pretty cool because usually at festivals we’re not headlining. Yeah we’re sometimes second, because we haven’t been that well know in a lot of areas. In Europe we headlined everywhere, except for the one festival. But we had a great spot, and I think we were like third. And in Paris we didn’t headline, but everything else we headlined. Now this, to be honest with you, I’ve never heard of Doom Fest until JB called us.
Frank F : You know we always considered ourselves a rock band. There’s really nothing doomy about us except some overtones on the Bang record.
Frank G : See back in the seventies, the term heavy metal wasn’t even invented. And we actually found out when we did the Decibel Magazine interview for the decibel hall of fame, the actual term was invented by a writer that did an interview with Humble Pie, and he called Humble Pie heavy metal, which you know Humble Pie is a hard rock/blues band, so anyway back then we were considered hard rock, or maybe soft rock or folk rock or something. Or even a little psychedelic, because that stuff was still happening. And other than that you really didn’t hear these terms, but now it’s really funny because at first years and years ago, we were stoner rock, and we thought that was pretty cool.
Frank F : Isn’t stoner rock and doom pretty much the same thing? The thing about this is they want to put everybody in a box, it’s like c’mon, no two bands are identical, sure there’s a lot of bands that sound similar, but in the same token how can you say, this is metal and this is heavy metal and this is this and this is that.
Frank G : Anyway, years ago, stoner I guess meant that they get high while listening to it. That’s OK, that’s kind of cool. And then all of a sudden we became these heavy metal guys, you know, and at first it was like we’re really hard rock, but now we could give a shit, I mean, we love it. Cause it’s obvious if we’re part of that, and we’re known as some of the founders of it, that’s fabulous for us. We just want play and enjoy it.
Frank F : And the other cool thing is a lot of the younger musicians, since we’re older, give us a lot of love as far as being influential of them playing and doing their stuff. So that’s another piece of the pie that feels really good. Feels really cool.
MGM : Is there any plans for new music?
Frank G : We’ve had a couple offers to do a new record. Nothing yet because, we’re pretty picky you know, and there’s a lot of indie labels out there that are willing to give you a couple grand to do it, but you have limited studio time I’m like, well I don’t know if we can do that, because we did The Maze record back in the early 2000’s and we had unlimited time, our first manager had his own recording studio, and it took us a couple years because of logistics. He lives in Savannah, we live in Philly and Tony lives in Dallas. So it took us a little time for that. But it was unlimited studio time, we’re not in there rushing. I felt like if somebody came up with an idea, we wanted to write a song, we’d write right it there. You can’t do that when your on studio time. You only have so many hours. So we’re a little bit picky about that.
Frank F : But there will be a new record, no doubt. Because we want to do a new record, we did a couple things in a different kind of feel, the Return To Zero record was more of a publishers, writers, kind record. We write a lot of different styles. If you listen to the Bang album or the Mother album, or the Music albums, they’re all quite different. And I like that, and if we had to make the same fucking album every time, it would drive me nuts.
Frank G : So the next record will be back to the more heavier kind of stuff.
Frank F : We’re excited, there’s plenty of bullets left in the barrel here.
MGM : BANG!!