Interview with Holly Ramos; September 2003

Holly Ramos was nice enough to take some time out of her busy schedule to let Glitzine know who she is, and some background information.

Q1. Can you give us an introduction to your background?

A1. I'm from NYC. I lived there my whole life till just this year, when I moved to Los Angeles. Music saved my life as a kid, so I was always a big fan. In grade school I started to get interested in 1977 type punk, The Ramones, Blondie, Patti Smith. And in high school I got into hardcore (Black Flag/Bad Brains etc). I am interviewed for the book American Hardcore, a book about the history of that music. That is when I met Jesse Malin, in high school. We have been friends ever since, we started a party together in 1991 (before D Generation or FUR) called the Greendoor, and I was a DJ there and played the Dolls and the Stooges and Punk and some Glam and Rock n' Roll. We started a big trend in NYC to make parties based around great music. We did that regularly and sporadically till around 1999? We actually did a final party new years eve 2001/2002, but still collaborate on things of that nature.

Q2. In trying to do some research after hearing your demo, I came across a few references to the band FUR. Was this your old band? Was anything ever released? What happened?

A2. I had a Punk band called FUR (1991-1998 approx.) for about 7 years. We had a CD on Blackout Records and singles and some college radio attention. It was poppy Ramones style, melodic and aggressive, had a lot of great press and terrible distribution. I sort of out grew that style/aggression, and laid low for a year or 2 while I studied acting and then I started to write again, and having no idea how to present my music, or how I wanted to be, I just kept at it and wound up with this demo that I want to develop into a full length CD.

Q3. How has Jesse Malin helped with your music?

A3. Jesse is a fan of my talent; we have written a few songs together (Cigarettes and Violets on his recent Fine Art of Self Destruction CD). I asked Jesse to produce me (he had offered to produce FUR when I first started and we made the first FUR single together. The song Sex Drive on the FUR CD is actually from that original session because we couldn't make it sound any better that he did when we went in to make that full length CD) and he helped me get Ryan Adams and all the great musicians who play on my recording.

Q4. You also toured with Jesse. How big were the crowds? Were you nervous at all?

A4. Jesse invited me to do those UK shows. I went alone with an acoustic guitar. The crowds were big and great 500 people, more sometimes. I was never nervous. I love playing out.

Q5. Being relatively unknown, how did you go over live?

A5. People were great. They listened and really liked me. I sold a lot of CDs and got great feedback on my website guestbook (and on Jesse's).

Q6. Have you had any label interest from your demo?

A6. Not yet. I have not fully shopped it, which I am doing now as we speak...

Q7. I think your lyrics are awesome. Did you write all 4 songs on the demo? And what was the inspiration behind them, if so?

A7. Thanks. I write all my songs. Inspiration is just my life. Kiss Like a Waterfall is about going to Niagara Falls with someone I loved. I really love waterfalls. I have an addiction to negative ions, which is an electric charge that forms when water falls. That is why there are fountains in public squares and why Niagara Fall is the honeymoon capital of the world... because it makes you feel great, these negative ions. I am particularly sensitive to them. The rest are just true feelings about different aspects of different relationships. I will write a song about someone who did something to me and then it will evolve into a feeling or emotion much bigger and more important than that person ever was, so I rarely tell people that they inspired a song because I think it is scary and overwhelming, and ultimately the song really isn't about them anymore, because songs are alive and re-invent their meaning and inspiration.

Q8. Have you been working on any new tunes? How are they coming together?

A8. Always writing, always looking for established artists as collaborators. It is all good.

Q9. Do you consider yourself a musician who also acts, or an actress who also sings? Or both?

A9. Oh, both. I sing, act, write and so many other things...

Q10. Who are some of your influences?

A10. I love music. As I said I grew up a punk rocker, rock n' roller, and that is a huge influence but I love most music, I love piano, from Elton John, to Alicia Keys, to Classical and Jazz9Ramsey Lewis. I love Gospel, Latin 1970's Salsa and Boogaloo, Hip Hop/Rap, Funk, Nina Simone, White Stripes, Missy Elliott, Stevie Wonder, X-ray Spex (polystyrene is amazing), Velvet Underground, this great NY singer Anthony Lee, Scratch Perry... I could go on all day....

Q11. Are you planning on touring the U.S. at all?

A11. Yes. I am working on it.

Q12. For anyone that might like a copy of your demo, is it available, and how?

A12. Yes it is available in a limited edition. I am straightening out my P.O. Box.

Q13. Thank you for your time Holly. Is there anything else you'd like to say?

A13. Thank you, I have said enough I think.

Q14. So as not to end on 13, are you superstitious? LOL!

A14. Nope!

One more thing Dan… I wanted to mention that Fur toured the U.S. and we went to Europe in 1996 and there were a few people at every show who knew me/FUR, which was great.

OK Holly, good luck with everything, and thanks again.

Interviewed by Dan Earley

Visit the Holly Ramos Website