For our next artist spotlight we chat to legendary punk drummer, Richie Ramone (of The Ramones, of course) about his life, career and his forthcoming UK tour which stops in York and Hull.
S] Hi Richie, how are you doing today – what are you up to?
R] “I’m doing great. We are gearing up for the UK and European tour starting November 25 in Italy.”
S] What things – people and places, for example – keep you motivated to make music in 2014?
R] “There is not one particular thing that keeps me motivated, but more of a feeling that comes over you to tell a story. You can go for weeks without being inspired, but then something clicks and you have to get in the studio and let it out. It could be something that someone said or even a dream that wakes you up, and you have to write it down.”
S] How are you looking forward to playing smaller cities like York and Hull on this tour?
R] “I really enjoy playing the smaller markets because the fans are so appreciative that you even consider coming to their small town. Just because they don’t live in a big city, they still deserve to have bands play in their town. It is more intimate like having a block party in your backyard. Also the food tends to be more traditional which is always fun to experience.”
S] Any places you are looking forward to visiting the most?
R] “I am looking forward to every city on this tour because I have not played overseas with my own band. So the whole tour will be fresh and inspiring, like playing live for the first time.”
S] How does this most recent solo album challenge you in new ways as a musician?
R] “Singing and playing drums is the most difficult thing because of all the energy needed to pull it off. You have to be in top form and conditioned to make it through an hour of non stop aggression. If you are not in shape, you won’t survive the madness.”
S] Talk us through the ideas, influences and overall experiences that led up to the creation of ‘Entitled’?
R] “I took a few years off away from the music business because I needed to recharge my batteries and get the intensity flowing through my veins again. I came back and played a few Joey Ramone birthday bashes in New York City, and that got the juices flowing again. I started to write some songs, and that led to making an album. Things just started to click, and ‘Entitled’ was born.”
S] What ideas helped form ‘Criminal’ during the writing process?
R] “The record talks about many things that happened to me personally in my life. Criminal is based around my nasty divorce and how someone could throw you under a bus when given a chance. It really is amazing how something in your life can be so positive, and then can turn on a dime and be so horrid and cruel. I’m sure many people have had this happen to them at one point, but you learn to deal with it and put it behind you. You will learn a lot about Richie Ramone just listening to this record.”
S] Thanks so much for your time!
“Thank you, and I look forward to meeting everyone on this tour. I will come out after every show and greet my fans, take pictures and have a drink. I don’t like to hide and want everyone to be a part of the party. We’re a happy family….peace.”