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Ramones legend debuts solo album

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October 6th 2013
By Jenna Cocozziello - Radio Nation

After years of working on projects such as West Side Story and Ya Know?, former drummer of The Ramones and punk legend, Richie Ramone felt like he was finally ready create a new album.

“In 2006, I played the Joey Ramone birthday bash, which is in New York every year,” Ramone says. “That got my juices flowing. Then I did the symphony work and West Side Story. I don’t know, something just calling me and I started writing.”

Between 1983 and 1987, Ramone was a member of the legendary punk band The Ramones. The Passaic, N.J. native played over 500 shows with The Ramones. He also wrote six songs, making him the only Ramones drummer to do so.

On Oct. 8, Ramone will be releasing his first solo album ‘Entitled’ on vinyl and physical CD.

While the album, which Ramone also produced, features brand new songs, the New Jersey native decided to go back and revisit classic songs from his time with The Ramones.

“I wanted them to come out with my sound of this new record,” Ramone says, “Those are great songs, you know, and I just wanted to redo them again with, you know, My vision, you know what I’m saying? The kids love those songs and they’ve never heard me singing that on the record, so I thought it was fun.”

‘Entitled’ gets back to Ramone’s punk roots, but also has a metal flair.

“The only thing I added - Tommy Bolan, who’s my shredder, lead guitar, and I kind of like throwing in a little of that metal tinge, to give it a little more ‘in your face’, you know,” Ramone says.

Songs on the album included his originals such as “Entitled” and “Criminal”, as well as some Ramones originals including “Somebody Put Something In My Drink” and “Smash You”.

Ramone says he is very excited for his upcoming album and believes it will be the most memorable moment of his career.

“I’m glad it’s still going and everything and I’m glad there’s still a lot of bands from back in the day that are still playing,” he says.

After his time with The Ramones, the Passaic native dabbled with various other music projects, but it wasn’t until recently that he began writing and recording again. Ramone explains that there were few adjustments.

“I don’t think there’s any kind of adjustments when you learn to ride a bike, you can always ride a bike if you never rode it, ever again,” Ramone says, “So, I think this is just something like that. Technology is better, where I have a whole ProTools rig in my studio so it almost becomes easier because I can lay so many tracks all by myself, I don’t have to go into the studio or nothing.”

In 2012, Ramone recorded a five song EP with the Canadian punk rock band The Rock n Roll Rats and became the only surviving Ramone to be featured on Joey Ramone’s second solo album, ‘Ya Know?’.

For Ramone, his biggest challenge was finding the right record deal and working both sides of the studio.

“Getting a record deal takes some time, and mixing takes a long time to get it right,” he says.

When coming up with a name for his album, Ramone explains that the word entitled seemed like a perfect fit.

“It’s so funny now that that’s the name of the record, I hear someone say it every day, or I see it on TV or something,” Ramone laughs. “I just felt, you know, everybody was entitled. I think we’re all entitled to whatever we do in life and don’t get pushed around, and you know, everybody’s special.”

Ramone will be heading on tour later this year and says

he is looking forward to returning south of the equator.

“I’m really looking forward to going back to South America in a couple of months,” Ramone says, “Now that it (Entitled) is coming out, now everybody’s going to have it. They’ll learn the words, they’ll sing the words with you at the show. That makes it a lot more fun.”

The punk legend explains that while the punk scene has changed it is still very much alive and well today.

“The punk scene is different than the punk scene was in ‘75 to ‘85 because it was more of a lifestyle then and I think it’s more business oriented now,” Ramone explains. “You know, it’s what you did and what you ate. That’s what punk was all about, how you hung out on the streets and I think that it’s a little changed now. It’s a little more corporate and people are a little more cautious in what they say and everything, but the music’s all good.”

“I’m glad to see people still performing, you know? It’s rock ‘n roll,” he adds.

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