Anthemic UK alt-pop group give us the scoop on their new 4-song collection
If you’re a fan of Scott Pilgrim vs The World, then The Ramona Flowers is a name that would sound familiar to you, but for those who are unfamiliar, the band named itself after the female lead, Ramona Flowers, who is a bad*** that can travel through sub-space and has 7 evil ex-boyfriends. She’s pretty epic, and so is the music these four UK-based musicians make under her name.
The band recently released its Magnify EP, which showcases the quartet’s knack for making arena-ready alt-pop anthems with soul. ARTISTdirect caught up with keyboardist Dave Betts to get the scoop on the 4-song collection, how the band got together, and that one time when thousands of Japanese fans sang along to every song at 10:20am.
Hello – Please introduce yourself.
Hi I’m Dave I’m the keyboard player in the Ramona Flowers
Where are you right now?
Waiting for the toilet (restroom).
Please name your fellow band members and their roles… oh, and who has the best dance moves?
Steve Bird- lead vocals
Sam James- guitars, vox and keys
Wayne Jones- bass guitar
Ed Gallimore- drums and samples
Myself- keys, pads and backing vox
Steve occasionally (under the influence of a lot of alcohol) performs a dance we like to call “the wounded Bird.” It’s one of my gig highlights and for me a showstopper.
Tell us about your new EP, Magnify: Who did you work with? Where was it recorded? What’s it about? Is there candy?
Our new EP was recorded in place called the Distillery, which is a studio in the middle of the countryside about an hour outside of Bristol, where we all live. We love it, as it’s one of the very few studios that has huge soundproofed windows overlooking the live room, which means we can get our fix of daylight, and it’s not far from the pub!
For these songs, we kept the producer that we’d used on our second album (Chris Zane), as he’s a very easy guy to work with, shares our style of humour and is also a very talented individual.
In terms of candy, we’ve been introducing our American producer, Chris to all of the old English classics- Palma violets, gob stoppers, pick & mix and Jaw breakers.
How do you describe your music to new friends?
Better than sex.
How did you first meet, and where exactly did you become a band?
Myself, Wayne and Sam had been playing in various bands for a few years and fancied a new project that required a lead singer and a drummer.
I’d randomly bumped into Steve (our singer) whilst at a mutual friends fancy dress party. I was dressed as Freddie Mercury, he was dressed as a vacuum cleaner.
Our drummer, Ed I found out about through a girl at work who’d been out on a tinder date the night before. The guy stood her up, but she said that his profile pic described him as a tall, handsome and a professional drummer. I got his details and fortunately for us one of them was true.
Other than The Ramona Flowers, what should your hometown be known for?
Insambard Kingdom Brunel built a big bridge and boat here a long time ago.
Please look around you right now and please describe the first item or person you see that’s significant to you (and that your relationship with it/them). Can we see a photo?
We’re both waiting for the lavatory. Apparently he’s a singer songwriter?!
What first inspired you to pursue music? If it was a musician or a specific piece of music, please tell us all about why you find it so inspirational…
The majority of my family is musicians – My dad is a singer songwriter, my mum plays Lute, my sister is a vocal tutor.
It was a big part of growing up for me and I kind of fell into it naturally.
What’s the best advice anyone has given you about pursuing a life in music?
Don’t expect to be rich , but expect to be happy.
Not including your current crew, who (alive or dead) would you love to have in your van for an all day drive from gig to gig?
Well, we like to have fun and a few drinks so I’d pick Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Keith Moon and Liam and Noel Gallagher. This lot should be fun and entertaining!!
What song best sums up your life right now?
Maximo Park- “Apply Some Pressure”
What is the best reaction to your music you have experienced so far?
Probably our last gig in Japan. We played Fuji Rocks on the Red Marquee stage at 10:20 in the morning. Now who goes to a gig at 10:20am? Well 4 and a half thousand Japanese that’s who!! Never played in Japan before, but everyone was singing along and going mental. Best reaction so far.
Take a moment to dream – Where do hope to be a year from now?
What’s your next step towards that dream?
Jumping the queue.
For more information on The Ramona Flowers In The Dark visit the hub on ARTISTdirect