Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Jonah Livingston of Ramming Speed

Ramming Speed make up their own rules and follows nobody else's. These boys will play harder and party harder than most things breathing. Here are some words I had with Jonah awhile back. He gently reminded me that we did this, so here ya go. Oh checkout this video of them too. . . . Video.

1) When you think of tour what are the first three things that you hope to accomplish on such a journey?

- New experiences - seeing a beautiful landscape I've never seen, hearing a great new band, eating an incredible meal..

- Making new tour friends and getting to catch up with old ones. Some of the best dudes I've ever hung out with have been through totally random show experiences in places I never thought I'd go. I have friends in Reykjavik, Boise and Berlin that I would drop anything to help out. Most of them we are lucky to see even once a year, but they are a huge part of why the road is so important.

- Playing as hard as possible, as often as possible, in front of large and receptive crowds. This might sound obvious, but at the end of the day this is why we're here and it's important to stay focused. Even though it's
only 30 minutes out of every 24 hours, your set is your time to prove yourself. One excited and attentive crowd can make up for so many hours on the road, aching bones and restless nights.

2) I've heard tales of biker bars, kidnapping, insatiable ragging on your magical trips, give us some insight on what the party is like in the Ramming Speed hot wheels.

Generally everyone in the band parties like complete morons for the first two weeks of every tour. Pete is often found naked on rooftops, sleep is rare and god is cursed at every opportunity. After that we settle into the swing of things and only half the band will look like a pile of shit every morning. I never saw myself cramming chips into my pockets next to a Reno blackjack table at 6 in the morning with a kid named Lunchbox, or handcuffed at gun point by a roadblock on the side of I-5 in California, but it's all part of the adventure. You get in the van and you see where
you end up!

3) What was one of the best and worst show experiences you have had while on the road, for worst I'm not looking for someone canceled the day of, I'm looking for complete disaster. It's always easier to remember the worst shows than the great ones, so pick your fav. and why?

It's worth noting that every band thinks they have the worst luck on the road. The reality is that it's tough on anyone trying to DIY it on the lone highway. We all deal with sketchy promoters, van problems, and German secret police...

That said, my bands really do have the worst luck, haha.

Maybe not the worst show I've ever played, but the most depressing was in Yuma, Arizona. Yuma is basically a dry butthole in the middle of the desert occupied only by an Army base and a bunch of strip malls. The show was outdoors, it was 5,000 degrees and of the 10 or 15 bored youth that decided to give the gig a chance, 3 or 4 of them were chubby teenage girls. The only other band on the show spent the majority of their set sending shout outs to "all the fat bitches in the crowd" and talking about how much they love fucking "big chicks" and how they were psyched to hang with all the ladies after the gig etc etc.. The girls spent their share of the 45 minutes nervously glancing at each other, staring at the ground, and trying to not appear horrified. The band were all older bigger dudes themselves, which I guess is the irony of it all. If my memory serves me I'm fairly sure there were also sprinklings of homophobia and racism in the singer's lovely diatribes. It was so uncomfortable I wanted to die and obviously most of the kids left before we even set up. We played to a couple of cactus's and the stench of teenage depression.

Oh, and I think there were some amp problems. Of course..

Off the top of my head I have two favorite shows. One was in Leipzig Germany and the bill from top to bottom was Misery Index, Government Warning, Wasted Time, Inepsy, Ramming Speed. It was at Zoro, one of the best venues/punk squats in the world. They made the most incredible vegan feast, gave us all we could drink, and after the show, hosted an 80's dance party till the sun came up. I may or may not have put my balls near an Inepsy member's forehead before passing out.

The second one was Fluff Fest in Czech Republic and the crowd was the best I've ever experienced. We were one of the only metal bands on what is largely a straight edge hardcore festival. When we played at 3 or 4 in the afternoon there were probably 2,000 people watching, half of which circle pitting and stage diving non stop. I've never been so shocked and felt so welcome in a (literally and figuratively) foreign place.

Weirdest show ever goes to Fusion Fest in Germany, a techno festival with 70,000 people that we ended up playing last summer. I saw astronauts with flame throwers, saw a demon jump from the canopy of the laser forest and met rasta Jesus on the highest ground I could find at sunrise.

4) What's more important on the road clean underwear or clean socks? and why?

I'm gonna go with underwear. Most of us only bring two pairs of pants on tour and I'd rather put off the inevitable butt stench as long as possible. Feet pretty much smell like feet no matter what you do..

5) Preference, overnight drive or wake up early drive?

The dudes don't let me drive much because I always try and read comics or make sandwiches behind the wheel. As far as the backseat goes I'm more into early drives. It feels like time traveling if you black out at 5 or 6am and wake up in a new state!

1 comment:

  1. Ramming Speed is a great all-round band experience. Fantastic blokes and Jonah is a dear friend and one of the best human beings I met in my whole life. Fun interview. Thank you all.