Rock drummer Troy Patrick Farrell is one of the most driven musicians in the business. His hard work has paid off, as he has traveled the world with twelve national tours and seven international tours. Farrell is a current member of ‘80s rockers White Lion and has been vocalist and founding member Mike Tramp’s drummer since 2001. Farrell has performed with C.C. Deville (Poison, Samantha 7), Mick Sweda (Bulletboys, King Kobra), Jani Lane (Warrant), Dizzy Reed (Guns ‘N Roses), Alex Grossi (Quiet Riot) and John Corabi (Union, The Scream, Motley Crue), just to name a few. In a recent interview, Farrell talked about how he got his start in music, where it has taken him and what he is working on now.
At the 12, Farrell took up the drums. He fondly remembers the first time he realized his passion for music, “My big brother took me to my first concert, which was DIO. I remember being so blown away with the drums.” The drummers that influenced him the most in the beginning include Bun E. Carlos (Cheap Trick), Vikki Foxx (Enuff Z’nuff) and Joey Kramer (Aerosmith). He grew up listening to bands such as Cheap Trick, Bon Jovi, WASP and Bulletboys.
Farrell is originally from Chicago, and moved to Los Angeles after high school. “It was an easy move and I had just turned 18,” he said. He learned early on that networking is the most important thing for a musician to do. “The first real rock star I met was Tod Howarth (keyboardist from Frehley’s Comet), and that was because I answered an ad. That was the first band I actually got into,” he said. Farrell starting building his circle of networks and he met more and more people. “You also have to put your money where your mouth is as well…it’s important to be an all-around good guy,” he explained. He always takes the initiative and takes pride with being able to book shows and be a tour manager as well as being a good musician.
Farrell met a lot of people while hanging out the famed Cat Club on the Sunset Strip, which is now closed. This is where he met C.C. Deville and worked with him in his solo band, Samantha 7. Farrell has also toured with Pretty Boy Floyd while the band was celebrating the 20th anniversary of the release of Leather Boyz with Electric Toyz.
In 2001, good fortune was in his favor when a friend was unable to take a job as drummer for Mike Tramp’s (White Lion) solo tour. Farrell landed the job as Tramp’s drummer and in 2005, Tramp decided to put White Lion back together. Farrell played on White Lion’s fifth studio album, Return of the Pride, which was released in 2008, as well as the live album released in 2005, Rocking the USA.
Farrell has had many memorable moments in his career. He recently was asked to perform at Bonzo’s Birthday Bash this past May, which is the ultimate tribute show to the late, legendary Led Zeppelin drummer, John Bonham. Of the event, Farrell said, “It was awesome. The drummers were all the ones I grew up loving and watching. It’s such a cool group to be a part of, and there’s such great camaraderie. Drummers are just different that way…” He also looks back fondly at performing in India with White Lion in 2008. “There were 42,000 people and they sang all the words to every song,” he said. The band members also took the time to travel and see the city, and they even “met some really good people” at an alcohol rehab center there.
When not performing with Tramp or White Lion, Farrell keeps busy with many projects. One of those projects is an all-star cover band called Lost Angels which features Farrell on drums, John Corabi on vocals/guitar, Eric Dover (Alice Cooper, Jellyfish, Slash’s Snakepit) on guitar/vocals and Muddy Stardust (Gilby Clarke, L.A. Guns) on bass/vocals.
Farrell definitely keeps busy. When not working with White Lion, he is working on one of his many other projects, is in the studio or works as a sideman. He is also the tour manager for Venrez Boys and recently went out with them as they opened for Alice Cooper and Fuel on two separate tours. Ready to get out and play himself, Farrell will be doing a run of shows this summer and fall with Gilby Clarke, and will be performing with him on the Shiprocked Cruise this winter. He is particularly excited about performing at the Sturgis Rally in South Dakota on August 10th and 11th with Clarke. They are riding motorcycles to and from the event.