Thanks to Mike for answering these questions:
What can we expect to see from The Ramps over the next year?
We’ll be promoting ourselves off the back of our first EP 'Plural'. That means sending out the EP to magazines across the country to garner reviews, then booking venues. We’ll also be producing our first video single for 'Cinderella Girl', which is the first song on the EP.
What advice would you like to give to other aspiring musicians?
Work hard. Make the music you want to make. Have fun. Try and have an angle on life. Don’t do what the other bands out there are doing. Do the opposite.
Who are your favourite NZ musicians/bands, and why?
We’re big fans of Kids of 88, Knives at Noon from Dunedin, and anything that mixes dance and rock together in new and interesting ways.
What will The Ramps' next release be?
The 'Plural' EP is our next release. It’ll be available on Amplifier and iTunes within the next month, and in selected Wellington record and clothing stores.
How do you come up with your lyrics?
I think about the emotion the music produces and try and make the lyrics reflect it. Sometimes a few darker thoughts on society creep in. But mostly it’s about people, love, and the juxtapositions we all face as consumer-influenced beings that like to party (we do), but also are supposed to have a brain.
Who would you most like to support live?
I think the Kaiser Chiefs, because they are, indeed, the best band in the world. We’d love to open for Ladyhawke too, or maybe someone with rock pedigree like Shihad.
How do you believe The Ramps fit into the NZ music industry?
We fill the niche between dance and rock. We’re also technically good on our instruments, and that matters when you want to play music that lasts.
What can you never leave home without?
My wedding ring.
How do you describe The Ramps' music?
We’re dance rock. That means dancy rock, not rocky dance. Our lyrical side tends towards the emotional, but musically we’re uplifiting. Like disco grunge. It’s a rad combo.
What is your favourite NZ venue?
So far, I’d say the Garden Club in Wellington. It’s got a great sound, and feels really personal, even though it’s large enough to fit in a big crowd.
What is the best part of being a musician?
Wearing better clothes. Doing something you love.
What NZ musicians or bands would you like to see more of, and why?
I’d like to see a better quality of rock out there. There’s a lot of emulation in that market in NZ, but not enough innovation. That’s where The Ramps come in.
What is in your CD collection at home?
I threw away all my CDs and went fully digital. I love The Damned, The Cult, Duran Duran, Billy Idol, The Dead Kennedys, Orbital, Howard Jones, The Sisters of Mercy, Pink Floyd...
What is your most embarrassing on tour/gig moment?
Leaving my brand new bowler hat in a plastic bag in a pub in Auckland and losing it, without ever having worn it.
What is your favourite place in NZ to be?
On a wave in Tora.
What inspired you to become a start The Ramps?
The need to do music is more like a driving force than an inspiration. Nothing inspired us. We just have to play something or we start going a bit mental.
How did you come up with the name The Ramps?
All the other names on MySpace were taken. No seriously. Also, we go off.
What is the best gig you have ever performed at, and why?
Our recent EP release party was awesome. It felt like our most polished, professional show to date. The audience were gagging for more and we left them chanting our name. That felt bloody great.
How do you keep in contact with your fans?
We use ReverbNation.
What rumour would you like to start about The Ramps?
We’re secret agents from Israel sent to New Zealand to try and imbibe the youth with the sudden urge to give up work and start a kibbutz based on the notions of free-love, drugged-up midnight dancing and playing frisbee.
We play Bowie inspired rock over dance beats with driving, dark-edged basslines and frantic guitars.