The Ramonas are an all-female tribute to our favourite cretins from Queens, The Ramones. While these lovely ladies have made a name for themselves by playing tunes from Ramones albums, they have also released a full-length entitled First World Problems. I have listened to and reviewed this album and I’m here to tell you it’s fantastic. Chock full of high-energy punk rock, First World Problems is a perfect introduction into this band’s own ideas and writing skill. Read this interview, buy the album, and be a much happier person for doing so. Hey ho, let’s go!
Interview by Jim Dodge
MM: How did this phenomenon known as The Ramonas come to be?
Victoria: A mutual friend of ours originally started the band in 2004. Myself and Lisa joined in 2008 and it’s been evolving ever since.
MM: Did you expect it to have any longevity or was it supposed to be a temporary thing?
Lisa: There was never a plan or any kind of expectation when myself and Vicky joined the band. It was only ever meant to be a few shows. Then a few more gigs came and so on. Things just somehow snowballed after that into what we do now.
MM: Is the current line-up the original line-up or did you have a bass player leave to start a hip-hop career?
Lisa: The band when it was formed initially was a revolving line up. However we settled on a consistent line up that was constant for years. Myself and Vicky have been in the Ramonas now for 10 years this year!!! Although in the last few years we have had a few changes with drummers and guitarist. The line up now is solid and that is what has spurred us on to do the originals.
Victoria: I often think is it time to shave my hair and do the whole rap thing but it hasn’t been the right time…yet, ha, ha!
MM: How did you come up with your Ramonas nicknames? Were there any discarded ideas that were just too funny to use?
Lisa: The names were chosen by Clare who started the band in 2004, however we did add ‘Cammy’ to the names when Camille joined the band in 2016 as a replacement to the previous ‘Margy’.
MM: What has been the best response The Ramonas has had from an audience? The worst?
Lisa: It’s difficult to pick one gig out as we are lucky enough to have had lots of amazing shows. One of my personal favourite gigs was when we played The Empress Ballroom stage at Rebellion Festival in 2016. The worst show was probably back in 2009 when we played at a venue in Mansfield where the venue had forgot to advertise the gig.
Victoria: Empress Ballroom at Rebellion was definitely a highlight as was the whole of the last European tour. Since we’ve started to introduce our own songs into the set everyone has been really supportive, we really do have the best fans!
MM: How have your fans reacted to your album, First World Problems?
Lisa: We have had an amazing response from fans about the album. We are pretty overwhelmed by it. There has actually been requests for us to play more of our own music at gigs which is really flattering.
Victoria: We’ve been totally blown away by all the positive feedback and support. It’s also opened things up to people who weren’t necessarily fans of the tribute side of things which is great.
Camille: Amazingly! It’s been really great! Especially as our style, whilst being reflective of the Ramones influence, is actually quite different. It was a nice surprise to have as positive a response as we did, so thank you!
Maxine: We definitely weren’t expecting it to have such an awesome response. We’re really proud of it and to have other people enjoy it just as much is so lovely!
MM: Will you work on/are you working on new material for a follow-up release?
Lisa: We are currently working on new material. We are doing an acoustic session next week for some of our songs off the album and maybe potentially adding in a few new songs too.
Victoria: Lots of new things coming up including some new music videos.
Camille: We’re currently writing the new album now and are planning on a release to bridge the gap too, so keep your eyes and ears peeled!
Maxine: Yep, it’s a very exciting time in the Ramonas world!
MM: What is your favorite Ramones song to play live? Are there any Ramones tunes you don’t like?
Lisa: My favourites to play live are Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue and Rock and Roll High School. There are not any Ramones songs that I don’t like and I still don’t get sick of hearing or playing their songs.
Victoria: Love them all and my favourites are forever changing but it’s been fun playing Animal Boy and Warthog recently. Always love playing Suzy is a Headbanger too.
Camille: There are none I don’t like to be honest! My favourite to play live at the moment is We Want the Airwaves or Psycho Therapy!
Maxine: One of my favourites to play is Somebody Put Something In My Drink. What a tune. To be honest I even kinda love Dee Dee’s hip hop stint- it’s hilarious for all the right reasons. So no.
MM: When the time comes to retire from the stage, what songs will the set list include?
Camille: ABBA!! No I’m just kidding. Lisa would kill me.
Maxine: I don’t plan on retiring but Living On A Prayer by Bon Jovi. I don’t care it’s a tune!! Hahaha.
Victoria: Retire? I’d have to consider the rap career first, haha!
MM: Will there ever be an extensive world tour?
Lisa: We would absolutely love to do a world tour. It’s just a case of financing it really. Hopefully one day someone will want to arrange it for us!!
Camille: We can only hope! We’re desperate to play Japan and South America!
Maxine: Yes, yes, yes. The second someone books us
Victoria: That is the dream!
MM: What famous last words will be engraved on your tombstone if “hey, ho let’s go” isn’t available?
Lisa: “I don’t wanna be buried in a Pet Sematary”
Victoria: Adios Amigos
Camille: It’s Alive!!
Maxine: Bop ‘Til You Drop
Go on an endless vacation with, and find out more about, The Ramonas here