American Drummer, Composer, Producer, Educator, Author.
Born in Rome, New York USA, July 12,
As a drummer and composer, Frank Briggsâ€™ musical diversity is revealed in a body of work that encompasses Rock, R&B, Drum nâ€™ Bass, Jazz, Fusion and New Age.
Born to supportive, music loving parents, Frank spent his formative years learning to play the drums and gigging. His parents owned and operated a teen club called "Hullabaloo" in Rome NY. His first band, The London Tymes, played there once a month along with bands such as Ronnie Dio and the Prophets (Dio), The Sundowners (The Monkees backup band) The Outsiders "Time Won't Let Me", The Brooklyn Bridge and many of others. The Tymes worked every weekend playing local high schools and colleges and was managed by Frank's mother who also transported the band to their gigs... Frank was 12. He recorded his first single with The London Tymes on B & W records (a subsidiary of RCA) the same year. At age 17 he was playing regularly and opened shows for Alice Cooper, Tommy James, and Sly and The Family Stone. By then, he was listening to John Coltrane, Yes, Miles Davis, King Crimson, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Genesis, Chick Corea, Weather Report, Tony Williams, Elvin Jones and Jack DeJohnette (who Frank had the good fortune of studying with).
Jazz Rock Fusion was a sound that would engage him totally. He left college to join a popular local band called 805. Within 2 years 805 signed with RCA records. After 2 albums, a thousand gigs, Billboard, MTV, touring, opening for national acts (Toto, Allan Holdsworth, Bruford, Gentle Giant, Jon Anderson (Yes), Eddie Money, Huey Lewis and The News etc.) Frank decided to head to Los Angeles to further his career. Before leaving central New York he played and/or recorded with Mark Doyle (Hall & Oates, Meat Loaf), Andy Pratt, Fran Cosmo (Boston) and Masters of Reality.
During his first year in Los Angeles he played the NAMM Show for Noble & Cooley drums, landed a gig with the R&B recording group Atlantic Starr and recorded for Higher Octave Records, MTM (Germany) and EMI/Sony (Japan). This led to endorsement deals with Paiste and later Istanbul Agop cymbals, Noble & Cooley and later Drum Workshop drums, Regal Tip sticks and Attack drumheads. Atlantic Starr's TV appearances included Arsenio Hall, VH1, Pat Sajak, Soul Train and Jerry Lewis' Muscular Dystrophy Telethon. They charted number 3 on Billboard's pop charts (just under Vanessa William's "Save the Best for Last" and Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven") for 6 weeks and won a Gold Album. Frank traveled to Japan several times and logged many hours on tour buses and in hotels while sharing stages with Surface, Peabo Bryson, Sheena Easton, Sinbad, The O'Jays, Chaka Khan etc. After 5 tours in as many years, he decided to settle down and stay closer to home.
This lead to commercial and educational ventures which started by recording jingles and film trailers with a Burbank based jingle house. Frank was hired as a composer. During this time he also kept an impressive roster of students which lead to authoring his own teaching materials.
With his first instructional book/DVD, "The Complete Modern Drum Set", Frank consistently heads Mel Bayâ€™s Top 10 selling percussion methods. To date he has 10 books and a DVD published. His instructional materials are used in some colleges (recommended by Terri Lyne Carrington and Kenwood Dennard at Berklee School of Music), In fact Complete Modern Drumset is used by drum schools, private drum instructors and pros worldwide. Frank has also performed and taught seminars at Guitar Center (29 locations), including GC's "Drummers Night Out" which also featured JR Robinson, Stephen Perkins and Chad Smith. Syracuse University, Musicians Institute (Hollywood, CA). Tom Lee Music (Vancouver BC) and many others have hosted Frank in clinic.
Frank has composed and/or performed music for corporate titans American Express, Johnson & Johnson, Eli Lilly, GameStop, SAP, Forest Labs, Sepracor, Lunesta, Lexipro, AstraZeneca and others. He composed 45 minutes of music for acrobats AntiGravity which was sponsored by Toyota and performed at Ceasars Palace, Las Vegas. His band has performed events with Kenny Loggins, Jay Leno, Jeff Foxworthy, Cirque Du Soleil, Caroline Rhea, Riverdance, LiveWire, Earth Wind & Fire, The Answer Guys, Hip Pickles and many others.
Frank is the primary composer for his own band. In 2008 he released China Ranch; a collection of 10 original compositions that feature some of the greatest jazz rock fusion musicians in the world today (Steve Weingart, Mitch Forman, Frank Gambale, Ric Fierabracci, Jimmy Earl and Jeff Babko to name a few) China Ranch has been critically acclaimed as one of the best jazz fusion albums of 2008 by Audiophile Imports.. The album was considered in the first round of the 51st Grammy awards (in multiple categories). China Ranch also won Mr. Briggs a feature and a 4 star review in Modern Drummer magazine (Nov. 08). Speaking of 4 star reviews: all but one of Frank's instructional books received that same honor in Modern Drummer magazine. His book entitled "The Good Foot" also made the best drum books list in the MD readers poll of 2003.
2008 also included a brief stint with Chris Poland's Ohm. Frank is featured on Ohm's latest release "Circus of Sound" on Tone Center Records. He is currently working on recordings for Kit Walker and a few others. Look for new instructional books and a DVD in 2010.