TROY PATRICK FARRELL (LOST ANGELS) INTERVIEW:
June 23, 2010
Websites: www.drummertroy.com – www.myspace.com/drummertroy
Interviewer: Reg Davey
Troy Patrick Farrell, legendary drummer with ’80s bands White Lion and Pretty Boy Floyd, is certainly a busy guy. Having an impressive resume which includes duties for C.C. Deville, Dizzy Reed and Jani Lane amongst others, he is currently involved with the Lost Angels, a glam supergroup which includes John Corabi (ex-Motley Crue), Eric Dover (Alice Cooper) and Muddy Stardust (L.A. Guns). After kindly agreeing to answer my email on Father’s Day, Troy gave some great insights into what it’s like to be one of the most established drummers in the glam and hard rock scenes.
Sleaze Roxx: Good Day Mr. Farrell. How are you today?
Troy Patrick Farrell: I’m doing great! You happened to catch me on Father’s Day as I spend a little time with my iguana Thelma. Rocking a little “Everclear”, a Vodka/Cran and just took a call from some fans and friends in Shillong, India wanting to know when I can come back — kind of nice to have good friends in India, big hearts there. So, yeah… doing pretty ‘great’ today!
Sleaze Roxx: Obviously you have been a member of a few famous bands — White Lion and Pretty Boy Floyd spring to mind — but I see you’ve also been musically associated with several famous musicians, including John Corabi and C.C. DeVille. What’s it like working with so many different legends in the scene?
Troy Patrick Farrell: I’ve got to tell you, it’s great. It’s nice that I’ve been able to call a few of these guys friends and have been able to tap them for priceless stories and lessons learned. You get a guy like Corabi, (Mike) Tramp, C.C. or even Jani Lane, they have done it and some are still doing it on different levels. It’s a great way to gauge what your possible future could be, by trying to avoid ‘their’ mistakes and watch how they reinvent themselves. It’s an honor to play with the guys I used to watch on MTV, or see playing live in Chicago when I was just a kid. It’s the true ‘School of Rock’ for sure.
Sleaze Roxx: Even though you are hardly an unknown musician yourself, have you ever been particularly star struck by anyone?
Troy Patrick Farrell: Of course! I had the pleasure of playing with Ronnie James Dio at the Bang Your Head Festival in 2005. White Lion played just before Dio. Dio was my first concert in ’83, and to now have played on the same stage and share a glass of wine with the legend Ronnie James Dio — it was a treat to say the least.
I played a gig in Las Vegas and Ace Frehley showed up. I got a pic and got to rap a bit with him as I used to be in a band with his former guitarist/singer Tod Howarth. I happen to be a huge King’s X fan, so whenever I see dUg Pinnick it’s very cool. White Lion has afforded me the experiences of sharing the stage with Motley Crue, Aerosmith, Dio, Thin Lizzy, Velvet Revolver and more. I’ve been around the world playing festivals and it’s like a working field trip every time. If I could put a price on my experiences, I’d be a millionaire over and over.
Sleaze Roxx: Having been in the scene for a long time, you must have seen your fair share of rock star excess. What’s the one excess that really springs to mind — one that, to you, sums up the whole ‘rock star lifestyle’?
Troy Patrick Farrell: Las Vegas, 2006 — because of my relationship with Dizzy Reed (Guns N’Roses keyboardist), I was invited to the after party in Axl Rose’s suite at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. It was the first time Axl and Steven (Adler) spoke in over a decade — there were dancing girls, a bowling alley, booze and rock n roll. No TV’s out the window or crazy sex stories, but to be in that suite — Las Vegas, Guns N Roses, scantily clad women bowling, Adler and Axl chatting at the bar as if it were old times… that is Rock N Roll! I’ve met Axl a few times and spent more than just a passing ‘hello’ with him and he’s been very cool and laid back every time I’ve met him. But hey, he ‘is’ Axl fucking Rose!
Sleaze Roxx: Who is the biggest musician you’ve ever been asked to work with, and do you have any fond memories of working with them?
Troy Patrick Farrell: I guess that’s all relative. Big or small, every experience has been priceless. It was a blast playing with C.C. DeVille, but it was more of a ‘jam’ situation doing some Samantha 7 songs for fun. I was really looking forward to my time with Jani Lane, but he was in such a bad place, the road wasn’t where he should have been and after a couple of weeks, that faded. I hold him in such high regards as a musician and songwriter, it was a shame I couldn’t be a part of him recreating a career for himself. It’s upsetting because that guy is so talented, unbelievably talented — it was an opportunity lost, I think for both of us. But I’ve played with many other great guys, Gilby Clarke, Mick Sweda (BulletBoys), Eric Dover (Slash’s Snakepit, JellyFish)… I’ve managed to learn a little bit from each situation.
Sleaze Roxx: Is there anyone you have had to turn down an offer to work with?
Troy Patrick Farrell: Juan Croucier (RATT) has asked me to play with him on a couple of occasions.
Sleaze Roxx: Any particular reason why?
Troy Patrick Farrell: I had clashing dates and I don’t know that his gig would really be the ‘right’ situation for me anyway.
Sleaze Roxx: That’s enough about the past. I see you now have a project called Lost Angels with John Corabi, Muddy Stardust and Eric Dover. How’s that all going?
Troy Patrick Farrell: It’s a pretty simple, but fun, gig. Our debut shows were in India of all places! We are now going out on a run (June 25 to July 2) in the Midwest that will hit Detroit, Chicago, Green Bay, the Milwaukee Summerfest, Toledo and Pittsburgh. I plan on taking the band back to India — perhaps in November. It’s a band that hopefully will only do special gigs here and there. There is an abundance of ‘All Star’ bands out there, some all intertwined and incestual, it can get into the ‘joke’ range of things… and not that this is any more special, we’re just trying to keep it from being so played out. We do songs from each of our catalogs, of our associations, and songs we all dig. We’re doing some Queen, Thin Lizzy, David Bowie, and of course some Corabi, Alice Cooper, Jellyfish, Slash’s Snakepit etc. It’s a good time with three of the best singers out there. It’s a little known fact that Muddy (Burning Tree, L.A. Guns, Gilby Clarke) has got quite a set of pipes on him too!
Sleaze Roxx: Do you guys ever clash, or is it all one big happy scout camp?
Troy Patrick Farrell: We clash over who is flying in the business class seats over the coach seats… that’s about it. Sure, you get four guys and we all have our own opinion on how things could or should be done, but in the end it’s important that one guy points us in one direction, and the rest sort of support that with the cool little things they can do individually. I generally handle the business and (try to) make the tour make sense. Muddy is the music director and Dover and Corabi sort of dictate the songs as they have to sing the majority of them. It just seems to work out for us and I’m looking forward to the eight or so shows in a row we have. The ‘India’ run was just a little taste and sort of a first run for Lost Angels. I expect when we go back, it will be 10 times better.
Sleaze Roxx: Is there anything coming out soon that you would like to plug for the public to look out for?
Troy Patrick Farrell: I am on the Tribute to Buckcherry (Lit Up/Versailles Records) that came out late last year. Pretty Boy Floyd is working on a new album, the ‘real’ follow-up to “Leather Boys”, if you will, later in the fall. I’m working with the India promoters to obtain both the White Lion and Lost Angels India documentary footage to provide that in some way to the fans. There’s great stuff there!
Sleaze Roxx: Is there anything you feel you have yet to achieve, or are you pretty content with what you’ve done?
Troy Patrick Farrell: Once you get content, maybe you should pack it up. It’s funny you asked this question, as the last few days I’ve been feeling a little restless about my ‘career’ if you will… a little uncomfortable about it. “Water seeks its own level” is a term that comes to mind. What I mean is that it’s easy to become content in what you’re doing, even if it isn’t the right thing, because perhaps it’s occupying your time. Then you sort of ‘settle’ as a player. Imagine if you’re playing AAA baseball and you’re happy there and life seems ok. Who’s to say that you’re not an ‘A’ league player, or even a Major League player? I sort of want to get myself in a situation that scares me a bit — a machine that is demanding that forces me to be the player I’m not quite yet. So to answer your question, yes — there are things I’ve not completed yet on this little rock n roll journey, and I’m looking for the scary gig that I know I can do. I’m just not doing it yet for one reason or another.
Sleaze Roxx: One final question. Have you been naughty or nice? Santa will need to know.
Troy Patrick Farrell: My Ma always taught me to be nice. People remember nice and keep your number, they discard naughty and lose your number. So yes, tell Santa he’ll have cookies waiting for him again this year!
Sleaze Roxx: Cheers for that dude, catch you soon.
Troy Patrick Farrell: Thanks for including me at Sleaze Roxx! All of my nonsense is at www.drummertroy.com and www.myspace.com/drummertroy — and you can search for me at Facebook as well. Twitter feels left out, I’m at www.twitter.com/drummertpf. The Lost Angels will be out this summer, and if you’re in the Midwest of America check out www.lostangelslive.com, and for the many Pretty Boy Floyd dates popping up, check out www.prettyboyfloydband.com. We’re doing Rock N America in July, some local dates in Vegas and So Cal (July 10, 15 respectively) and launching a fall tour (Nov/Dec) in Sweden, UK, Italy, France, Switzerland and Spain… many dates with Tracii’s L.A. Guns. See you soon and many thanks…