"I write songs about girls that wouldn't go out with me in high school..."
A product of the far south side of Chicago, Steve Ramone has been a mainstay in the city’s thriving music scene for almost a decade. His mix of blue-collar, pop-rock-n-roll is informed by the environment in which he grew up, and it is in his music where you’ll have to look for insight into his thoughts and feelings on his upbringing. From the outside Ramone comes off as fun loving and mild-mannered, on stage he’s entertaining, but much more focused and precise – a workman-like demeanor that belies the tradesmen tradition that was ubiquitous in the world he grew up in. The plumbers, carpenters and concrete workers he grew up with play prominent roles in his songs and stories.
Ramone got his start playing in clubs on the East Coast and his hometown of Chicago. The New York punk scene was taking off and moving across the country from East to West. It was a great time to hone skills, develop his songwriting abilities and make the musical relationships he has nurtured into the current incarnation of The Steve Ramone band.
“I was born in a crossfire hurricane. Supposedly the weather was bad.” This kind of vague, mildly plagiaristic response is standard operation procedure for Ramone. He saves the intimate, thought out responses for music and music only. Ask him about his musical childhood and stories of Elvis Presley simulcast from Hawaii come pouring out of him. He can speak endlessly on his summers spent in Puerto Rico and the Salsa, Merengue and Latin Jazz he was exposed to at an early age. Add to that the Beatles, 70’s AM radio and an affinity for 3-minute pop songs and you have only scratched the surface of the kind of music he likes to make. “I don’t think I’ve written the song that puts me in perspective yet.”
“I just want to play, record and shop at pawn shops that nobody else goes to. That’s it. I know I’m supposed to care what Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. think about me – and I don’t want them to hate me or anything, but I just feel dirty when I let those things alter my feelings one way or another. Having said that, don’t forget to check out my new website…”
It doesn’t take long to figure out that Ramone is actively deflecting when it comes to social media as all his social media outlets are tidy and up to date. He swears it just magically appears that way but it’s painfully obvious from our short time together that this is a guy that puts in the work whether it’s on stage, in the studio or just talking to a journalist looking to get some insight