There are eight musicians in history who have been privileged enough to have an alias last name of ‘Ramone’. Of those, Richie Ramone is one of the surviving members and is hitting the road flat out playing his new solo punk-rock project.
According to Richie, he doesn’t feel any expectations from fans about the unique Ramones sound they have grown to love.
“I’m not the Ramones – I’m Richie Ramone. Even when I wrote songs for the Ramones, they were harder and they were different; the sound changed, it become harder and aggressive. But I don’t feel any pressure; I am not trying to sound like the Ramones. There is only one of them, and they can’t be beat. I’ll never sound like the Ramones,” he says.
Been a part of the band in the 1980’s, Richie recorded songs on iconic albums such as Animal Boy and Too Tough To Die, and is actually credited to be the only Ramones drummer to solely write songs within the bands catalogue of music. However once leaving the band in 1987, he stopped writing music and has since had a decade long hiatus.
“I took a long rest, maybe ten years. The way I came back was at the party for the Joey Ramone birthday bash – which happens every year since Joey passed. I went to one or two of those, maybe three, and I started getting motivated and I started writing songs and someone said: ‘you should do a record,’ so I did a record and it just snowballed. It just happened and I am glad it did. As an artist you need that release. Everything is falling into place for me now and I am in a good spot.”
Since his return, Richie has recorded two solo albums, including this years addition Cellophane, with Richie feeling very pleased with the final outcome of the sophomore LP.
“It’s a really great record. A lot of the time you will make a record that you’re not sure about but I am really excited about this one.”
Although Cellophane isn’t the established Ramones sound, it still delivers a raw punch of punk rock that you can’t help but get absorbed in. Richie feels it’s a genre that will also be special to him as an artist.
“Punk Rock, rock and roll – it’s all the same. What attracts me is as a drummer (sic), playing aggressive music and watching the audience respond, watching your fans respond and watching them bang their head. It’s exciting, there is nothing like it. It’s just raw, nasty fun for me.”
After a successful Australian tour earlier this year, including headlining Melbourne’s Cherry Rocks Festival, Richie will be heading back this year to play a handful of shows, including Geelong’s own Barwon Club.
“I think it’ll be great. We will roll into town like a welcome home, and whoever comes out will have a great time.”
Written by Alex Callan
When & Where: The Barwon Club, Geelong – October 30