“We’ve been very lucky to be on this tour, it’s been amazing.” An Interview with The Ramona Flowers (22/03/2013)

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Currently on tour with Bastille Bristol 5 piece The Ramona Flowers took some time out at their Oxford show to speak to The Edge. As a relatively new band I was keen to find out how they started and how they’ve enjoyed their journey so far.

How has this current tour been so far?

Dave: Rubbish, terrible, everyone’s horrible to us. 
Steve: No-one loves us. [all laugh] 
Sam: No, it’s been amazing, it really has. The fans have been incredible actually. We’ve been very lucky to be on this tour. 

Have you had people singing along?

All: We have!
Steve: Especially to ‘Dismantle and Rebuild’ because it had already been released, so people know that one. Towards the end of the set it seems that people are catching the words and singing along to them, it’s been brilliant.

I think I was stood next to some super fans at the Southampton gig, they kept screaming and singing along. They kept shouting ‘take your top off!’ to someone.

Sam: To Steve!
Ed: We shout that at him every night.
Steve: Actually at the end of the set when I got off the stage and went down the front someone started to unzip my jacket.
Wayne: That was my mum! [all laugh] 

What’s it been like touring with the other bands? It was MSMR and Bastille and now To Kill A King and Bastille. How have they all been?

Dave: Brilliant.
Sam: Yeah, really really great. They’ve all been really cool. MSMR were really lovely, the whole band were really great.
Steve: Especially the guy who plays keys. We got on really well with him, he’s a really nice guy.
Sam: It’s a different vibe now though cause they’re [Bastille and TKAK] really close, they’re really good mates and they do a lot of gigging together, so actually it’s much more of a family vibe that’s setting off.
Dave: Well yeah, we’ve only done two gigs with them, but they’re really cool guys. 

Which songs do you enjoy playing the most?

Sam: We’ve just started playing a new one that we’ve never played before called ‘Friend of the Madness’ which is out there actually, I think people get it.
Ed: Yeah, that one’s my favourite.
Steve: We took one out from when you saw us in Southampton and put this one in instead, so it’s slightly different but yeah, as a band, it’s one of our favourite songs and it’s gone down well I think so far.
Sam: ‘Tokyo’ is also really great. It’s quite sexy.  

Because I’m going to be writing an introducing piece on you guys, could just briefly describe how you guys formed as a band?

Dave: Sam, Wayne and I went to college together. I knew Steve, the singer, when I went to London we hooked up and then we got Ed cause he’s a drum whore. 

The Ramona Flowers - Dismantle EPHow has your current EP Dismantle been received? 

Sam: For the first single, we were just totally shocked, Huw Stephens and Ali and Jen played it on Radio 1 and they were tweeting about it saying it was a beautiful track. We were a bit shocked.
Steve: Xfm played it quite a lot. We’re really excited about the next one.

Moving on to the next single ‘Lust and Lies’, which is out next month, how’re you feeling?

Rob: Video goes online next Monday!
Dave: We’re really excited! We’re not in it though.

You’re not in it?!

Ed: They wouldn’t put us in it, for some reason they said we just don’t look good enough.
Sam: It’s like ‘We’re doing a video in LA, but you’re not in it.’
Wayne: But Derek (manager, Rob) can go! [all laugh] Steve: Derek’s in it!
Sam: We’re all really happy with it though, we all had a big part in what it was all about, the whole story, who’s in it, we were really involved in that.
Steve: We’re definitely gonna be in the next one though.

Are you currently still working on a full length album?

Steve: We’ve done a bulk of it but there are a few little bits that need working on.
Sam: The last song we wrote was really great so that’s going on it. We’ll just keep writing, we want it to be the best it can be. 

Do you write while your touring? 

Steve: We have actually!
Sam: We had a day off the other day and we set up in the hotel room and wrote.
Steve: It’s good to use a day off productively.

[At this point in the interview we side-tracked onto a discussion of onesies.]

Do you have any festivals planned for the summer? Are you allowed to tell me any?

Sam: We’re not allowed to tell but we’ve got a lot lined up. 

That’s really exciting, festival season is always great. Did you do any festivals last year?

Dave: We were writing last year, in the studio. So this is the first time we’ve been able to do any.
Steve: Just hope the English weather is a bit better this year, it kinda kills it when it rains non-stop.

Out of everywhere you’ve played, where is the coolest venue you’ve played?

Sam: There was a place in Preston called 52 degrees.
Wayne: It was 53, 52’s next door [all laugh].
Steve: Yeah, 53 degrees, that’s what it was called. That was also a really good crowd. I’m not just saying it because you’re from Southampton but Southampton was the best! Honestly, it was the best.

See, I felt it was amazing throughout the whole night, but I didn’t know if that was just me having a great time?

Sam: You know, as a band you get those nights where all the magic happens and it sounds great, you’re all buzzing and you all suddenly click and the crowd comes with you, that was the night.

Aw that’s really cool! Go Southampton! Moving onto your own music tastes, what are you guys currently listening to?

All: London Grammar!
Steve: I’m slightly obsessed with them at the moment.
Sam: That’s our tour EP. Baths, you should check them out, super cool american writer, but electronic, really really brilliant. That was a big influence on the album.
Wayne: Pheonix.
Steve: A bit of The xx. I quite like their new album.
Wayne: Bastille! I’ve listened to the Bastille album because I’ve got the songs ingrained into my head.

Last question, what are your plans for the rest of this year?

Steve: Touring a lot.
Sam: We’re doing the EP, there may well be another EP.
Dave: Yeah, finish the album off.
Sam: Do as many festivals as we possibly can. Be great if we could, by the end of the year, do our own tour.
Wayne: One album by Christmas.
Ed: Steve’s actually written a christmas album already. 

Have you?

Steve: Yeah I don’t think it’s ready yet though. 

A whole album? Not even just a Christmas EP? Wow. 

Dave: He’s gonna release a musical advent calendar. A different song for every day.

Check out our feature – ‘Introducing: The Ramona Flowers’ coming soon to The Edge.

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About Author

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I’m Megan Downing, an English Literature graduate from University of Southampton. I am the Music, Arts and Culture Editor for The National Student. I am the Membership and Communications Officer for the Student Publication Association, I write about music for 7BitArcade, and contribute regularly to The Culture Trip. I have a passion for live music and this is where I began in student journalism. Reviewing a gig or festival is still where my heart lies four years on. I will be starting at MTV as a News Intern in June 2015. One thing you should know about me is that I have an unhealthy obsession with Kevin Spacey.

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