Known most prominently as the drummer in Sum 41 since 2016, Frank Zummo has spent 2021 bringing his extensive rock and drumming expertise to dance music. The latest step in this crossover is the release of “On My Mind” featuring Grabbitz, which marks Zummo’s sixth release on Jauz’s Bite This! label this year.

“On My Mind” shows Frank on drums, with co-production from FourNames and Grabbitz, as Grabbitz’s vocals tell an emotional story of having a lost lover on your mind. The accompanying music video gives fans a look into what Zummo’s new solo drumming act would look like. After lockdown stripped away Zummo’s primary form of creative expression and touring with Sum 41, he carved out some new outlets for himself. This included exploring his own solo sound in the dance music space, which Zummo dove into head first to save himself and his mental health. The result includes his latest six releases on Bite This!, including “Sick” with Jauz and “Night Rider” with Neffex. He also launched his motivational drum workshops for kids, Frank Zummo X School Of Rock Workshop Tour, where he toured the west coast with Laird Superfood teaching kids about drumming and live music.

Frank’s rock legacy is undeniable – other projects Zummo has in his pocket include: Motley Crue (filled in for Tommy Lee during a hand injury), Krewella, Gary Numan, Scott Weiland (Stone Temple Pilots’ late singer), Julien-K, Dead By Sunrise, Kayzo, Dhani Harrison, and many more.

How did you find music? Did you grow up in a musical household, or are you first generation?

I was born into a super musical family and at 3 years old, I discovered my father’s drum set and that sent me on my journey. When I was 5, my parents took me to my first concert (Motley Crue & Ozzy). That night changed my life and I knew this is what I was going to do for the rest of my life!

Which decades of music influenced you as a child and why?

70’s Funk & rock, which I was drawn to because of the feel, power and groove. Those James Brown, Sly & The Family Stone, Zeppelin & AC’DC records were so powerful and the beats were insane!

Then 80’s Metal was a huge one for me. Metallica, Maiden, Ozzy and Motley Crue turned my world upside down. I loved how heavy & fast it was and how they had the most insane theatrical productions. It was also great to see how Tommy Lee took the drums to the forefront. I grew up listening to a lot of classical music and that really taught me a lot about emotions & dynamics. 90’s hip hop, rock & Dance was a big one for me too with bands like Rage Against The Machine, Beastie Boys & The Prodigy! The first time I went to a massive NYC club and experienced house music that was an incredible and next-level moment!

Name your favorite artists who inspire you constantly.

From 60s until now: James Brown, Zeppelin, Motley Crue, Metallica, Rage Against The Machine, Beastie Boys, Jay-Z, NIN, Sinatra, Odesza, London Grammar, Sigur Ros, M83, Tycho, Phantogram, 21 Pilots & Illenium.

What makes ‘On my mind’ featuring Grabbitz so unique? What do you expect from your listeners with this release and what is the message behind that you want us to understand?

This is a really special track that has an incredible vocal by Grabbitz with beautiful music and the drumming has a lot of really special & standout moments. I’m really proud of how this song came out vocally, rhythmically & musically. We’ve all dealt with loss and the haunting lingering effects. Music is truly a healer and saves. My goal is to leave the listener inspired and smiling.

Tell us a little bit about your motivational drum workshops for kids: Frank Zummo X School Of Rock Workshop Tour. Why did you start this project and how important is education in music nowadays?

I did my first workshop tour in 2018 in China. That tour was beyond inspiring and I’ve done 1-2 tours each year since, all over the US. The goal is to give upcoming musicians the stage to do their thing, then I jump on stage to perform, chat and then jam with the kids to end the show. It’s all about inspiring the next generation of amazing musicians. I didn’t have these types of events coming up and feel is really important and it’s one of my main passions in life!

When you’re not recording and performing, what other hobbies make you tick?

I’m a health junkie, so I love training, running, boxing, XPT pool training, Paddle-boarding, hot & cold therapy, breathing work and I do love theme parks & island life!

What particular song you have written resonates with you the most and why?

I would have to say the song “Sick” with Jauz because I think it really sonically says what my solo project is all about with combining my love of rock & electro.

How you do approach the creative process of making music?

Since I’m collaborating with a different singer and producer on each track they are each a completely different process. I absolutely love that and it really keeps me on my toes. Some songs have been written on zoom across the world, some in person and they can start with a beat, a riff, or a lyric. A lot of songs have also been written around a concept to get going.

How has the pandemic situation affected your career and how did you overcome this challenge?

I’ve been touring for a long time and to have that stripped away was brutal. I had to channel that energy in another way, so I dove deep into my solo project and wrote a lot of music with so many incredible artists and wound up signing with Jauz “Bite This” record label. I’ve released an EP, 6 singles & 2 music videos with Bite This. I’ve also collaborated with a few artists and guested on their tracks. I had the honor of collaborating with Kodo from Japan and that was a dream in every way! I was able to do a few live stream performances and virtual fan experiences. The live stream was a really great challenge to create a big show for the viewers to watch at home. It’s been amazing to recently play live solo shows and connect with a live audience again. It was also incredible for my family to have this time since I have 2 toddlers and missed a lot due to touring. I had to ramp up my training to get the energy out and all of this together was incredible for my mental health & wellness.

What do you think is the biggest challenge for independent musicians nowadays?

How would you change the toxic system in order to improve more music industry? I would say the biggest challenge is how to stand out from all the noise and how to not let the negative side of social media get in the way of your art.

What is the last song listened from your playlist today?

Jonsi “Vikur”.

A letter to your FUTURE self. What would you write?

Set your goal, stay on your path, stay true to your vision, and don’t stop till it happens! That’s been my mantra and it works, so pass it on!