We bumped into these 4 lovely ladies at The Cavern in Exeter earlier in 2015 and saw that they were due to appear there again in 2016, what better way to see what has been happening in their world than inviting them along for a chat! I left sufficient time for the New Years Eve hangovers to lift and then we got down to it, chatting about their love of The Ramones, WHY they do it and HOW they manage to do it, here's how it went....
We know you're a Ramones tribute band from London, tell us a fascinating fact about one of the band members….
Although we formed in London our singer Cloey is originally from Edinburgh so a lot of people think we're a Scottish band. We do represent the UK pretty well though with the members hailing from Surrey, East Midlands, Yorkshire & Scotland.
There are loads of bands out there, why did you choose The Ramones?
For us that's where punk started, we're all huge Ramones fans and it's really all about the live show, no one else was doing it in the UK when we started and we just wanted to keep the songs out there.
I guess it's important to try and LOOK like the band you're portraying as well as SOUNDING like them, how much research did you guys do in order to capture this?
Definitely, we have watched a lot of Ramones footage! We obviously can't look 100% like them as we're girls but we aim to capture the energy of the live show and get the moves down with our own twist on it all.
We saw you in Exeter earlier in 2015 and despite only catching the last 5 songs of your set, you blew us away, such energy and passion, how do you maintain it for the whole show?
With a Ramones set it's a matter of once you're in, you're in and you keep going, all of the songs flow into each other with no breaks. A big element of it is loving the songs and having fun, you just don't want to stop, there's also a lot of warming up before the gigs!
I saw on your website a picture of you with Richie Ramone, did you get to chat much to him? What did he think of your set? did you ever meet any of the other members?
Back in 2011 we played a show with Richie which was such a huge honour, he's a great guy. Since then we've been over to L.A to see him and always catch up when he's over here on tour; a friend of ours also plays bass for him. We caught CJ when he was over here in December, again such a great guy!...we're all one big punk family :)
I bet you go down a storm at festivals, which ones stood out for you in 2015?
We absolutely love playing festivals, highlights for 2015 were definitely Wickerman Festival in Scotland and Rebellion Punk Festival. We're also back at Rebellion festival this year for its 20th anniversary.
You said it on your website, the songs are not that hard to play but trying to capture the vibe and essence of the band is hard, how do you do it?
I think it's evolved a lot since we started out, individually we try to emulate each member and keep the show as high energy and visually entertaining as possible. It's the intense speed of the tracks and the downstrokes on bass/guitar that is a challenge at first, it's pretty painful on the hands!
Which social media channels would you say have assisted you the most?
In the early days Myspace really helped us but that was soon replaced by Facebook which has been a big help for us reaching and engaging with fans all over the world. We had a huge surge in followers a few years ago which in turn led to us being more active on all social media platforms.
Do any of you have any Ramones tattoos?
Not yet but we have toyed with the idea of all getting a ramones/ramonas related tattoo together.
The Ramones never had Facebook and Twitter, if these WERE around in the mid 70's do you think they would have been even bigger than they were/are?
It was a different time so it's hard to say but from the help it's given us I guess it could have only aided things and helped them out.
I imagine you all living in the same house with The Ramones playing on the stereo all day long, I'm sure this isn't the case, which other bands do you enjoy listening to?
Along with the usual suspects some newer music we've been listening to includes Louise Distras, Maid of Ace, AMI, Ex Hex, Joanne Shaw Taylor, The Breakdowns, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes and Prinzhorn Dance School.
The Ramones songs are renowned for being very fast and sometimes very short, do you have a setlist planned for every show or is there a theme that you follow?
For the upcoming tour in Feb/March we'll have a set setlist that's the 3rd/4th albums back to back but usually we tweak the setlist every gig. We keep a basic list with all of the classics but like to keep it interesting, sometimes we copy some of the Ramones actual setlists from back in the day.
You've played overseas in the past, which country would you say gave you the best reception? Why do think this is?
Germany really stands out, we've played a lot of shows there, always get a great reception and are well looked after. They have a vibrant punk scene and really appreciate us travelling over, the Ramones were also really popular in Germany and I don't think there are many (if any) Ramones tributes doing the same thing over there.
A tough question but which of The Ramones songs is your favourite?
Ooo that's a really tough question! A few band favourites include Suzy Is A Headbanger, I Just Want To Have Something To Do, Bonzo Goes To Bitburg & Loudmouth.
Have you ever visited the site of 'CBGB' in New York where The Ramones played in the mid 70's? I heard they're re-opening it as a burger joint?
We haven't been there as a band but I did go to New York a couple of years ago to see Joey Ramone Place, Chelsea Hotel and 53rd & 3rd. It would be cool if they opened a Ramones museum in New York.
Looking at your tour schedule for 2016, you have loads booked in already, any plans to play overseas?
We're hoping to head back to Europe later in the year after the UK leg of our Rocket to Ruin tour. Keep an eye out on our website for announcements - www.ramonas.co.uk.
We'd like to thank Vicky for taking the time over the festive holiday to chat to us, we wish her and the band every success in 2016 and look forward to seeing them at The Cavern in Exeter on March 17th!
Why not take a moment and check out their social media channels below, I've also listed all their upcoming shows for 2016, if they're playing in a town or city near you, get yourselves along for a kick ass night of music and general partying!