“What Covid has done is open a curtain and now we are seeing what the wizard looks like” Guns N Roses drummer Frank Ferrer is in a jovial mood however the directness of his comments hit hard when talk turns to the Black Lives Matter movement. “I think all these issues that are going on socially and politically in this country had been swept under the rug for too long and Covid has lifted that rug.”
Ferrer though is here to talk with me about his bands new upcoming album. No not his other band, the band affectionately titled PSSR (Pisser) from Ferrer’s birth town, New York City.
“It’s New York City. It’s Lower East Side. It’s The Stooges, it’s The Dolls.” An excitable Ferrer describes his bands music when asked who they are. PSSR have been around in some form for quite some time however it’s only now the stars have aligned for a release.
“Back in the late 90s , (frontman) Eric J, Richard Fortus (GNR guitarist) and I had a band called Honky Toast signed to Epic Records and we did a record in 98-99 or so. Anyway we got dropped so Richard and I started doing other things. Out of the ashes of Honky Toast, Eric formed PSSR with a couple of other New York bands that were breaking up at the time. I came into the fold early in like 03-04 and I started kicking around with PSSR.
PSSR is an extension of Eric’s personality and is a band that is always playing with any given different bands members at any time. Especially cause Richard and I were working a lot. It definitely became a lot more focussed around 2015 – 16. We got together and got a bunch of songs done and recorded it. Then a few years later Mark heard it at Golden Robot and wanted to put it out“.
PSSR is Eric Jakobssen’s brainchild and Ferrer, who knows a thing or two about frontmen, is effusive in his praise. “We definitely ride on Eric’s wave. At any given moment he can go off on some tangent and we have to be there on it. If you come to our shows to hear the record note for note, don’t!! Stay at home because it will be a whole other experience. It’s Eric energy, he’s the greatest frontman that no one has ever heard off in my opinion. We just vibe off his energy.”
The new ten track album and music itself evokes old school CBGB’s vibe complete with the sneer, the attitude and the anarchy. “Yeah, it’s very punk rock. It’s got some grimy stuff. There’s some funky stuff. It’s going to sound like you’re taking a stroll on Avenue A on a Saturday night. It’s very much filtered through Eric’s ears and eyes and we enhance the vibe.”
Latest video release is the ballsy Last Time which implores an hopeful message to all “The chorus is when was the last time you had a good time and basically that song was written obviously pre Covid. But it’s about making sure that no matter how fucked up or shit your day is, you gotta see the silver lining and still have a good time no matter what.”
Ferrer makes it clear he loves Australia and even shouts out local Adelaide establishment Midwest Trader. “I know Adelaide and they had that really cool store, that place is great.”
However I couldn’t let the chance to speak with a member of one of rock music’s greatest bands ever and not ask about any new Guns N Roses music. Ferrer laughs knowingly, “Everyone is working towards the same goal. Obviously we have to get over this pandemic first but if you don’t mind, I’ll let management handle that type of question.”
Interview By Iain McCallum