INTERVIEW WITH CJ RAMONE IN 2008

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Copyrightę 2008-> for everything in this page by Jari-Pekka Laitio-Ramone and Bram Van Schaik.

Interview is by Dutch journalist Bram van Schaik: February 2008.
My friend Bram van Schaik did this interview with CJ Ramone after Bad Chopper was released debut album. Album is released by Acme Records. Interview was released in UP Magazine issue #44 in Netherlands.


Bram Van Schaik: How does it feel, finally an album completed?
CJ Ramone: Oh Lord it feels good. I sincerely missed being away from music.

Bram Van Schaik: Who comes first: CJ Ramone or CJ Ward? And why?
CJ Ramone: CJ Ward always comes first because he's (I) a full-time dad.

Bram Van Schaik: Why this name, Bad Chopper?
CJ Ramone: Because it's a damn good name and at the time when I had started the band, I was very much into chopped Harley Davidson motorcycles.

Bram Van Schaik: Are you still a biker and if so, what kind of machine do you ride (customizer, type, engine etc.)?
CJ Ramone: I'm working on plans to build another chopper. Right now I am riding a dual purpose Kawasaki KLR 650 which I have modified.

Bram Van Schaik: After the Ramones retired, it seemed to me you have chosen another than a musical direction. Is this correct? If yes, why?
CJ Ramone: I had put off having a family while I was with the Ramones. Now I have a son (10 years old in February, 2008), and a daughter (7 years old in February, 2008). My son is autistic. So, I have been very busy working with him and have not had much time for music. My daughter, while not autistic, also demands much of my time which I am happy to give to both.

Bram Van Schaik: Is Bad Chopper meant to be as a serious return in the front rows of music business? Including touring on several continents?
CJ Ramone: I am hoping to be able to tour again. So, yes, I guess you could say it is a serious return. I am also working on a book with my wife about my years with the Ramones which I hope to release sometime this year. I would also like to release a tribute CD to the Ramones to honor their memory.

Bram Van Schaik: You were (compared to the other Ramones members then) pretty young when you got recruited to replace Dee Dee. It MUST have changed your life, I figure, so being part of one of the leading punk rock bands, what did it do to you?
CJ Ramone: I was so caught up in trying to adjust to the lifestyle that I never really thought of how it changed me. Looking back now, I guess it probably made me more confident but I still lived the same lifestyle, still hung out with the same people I did before I was in the band.

Bram Van Schaik: You learned a lot in the seven years you spent with the Ramones. What can your fellow musicians learn from you? Are they interested anyway?
CJ Ramone: To take advantage of any opportunity that comes your way no matter how ridiculous it might seem.

Bram Van Schaik: Ever missed the hectic and the attention of the Ramoniac period?
CJ Ramone: Not at all. I do miss touring and hanging out with the fans. But, that's all.

Bram Van Schaik: Are you in for Ramones tributes or similar?
CJ Ramone: There's no one to do it with.

Bram Van Schaik: How you chose Daniel Rey to the producer for this Bad Chopper album?
CJ Ramone: Daniel also produced my previous band, Los Gusanos. I always liked his straight ahead approach to production.

Bram Van Schaik: How was working with him?
CJ Ramone: It was great. Daniel and I are friends for a long time and any time you have the opportunity to work with friends, it is easy to get comfortable quick.

Bram Van Schaik: Can you describe this album? Influences? Message?
CJ Ramone: Most of the songs were written while there was a lot of turmoil in my life. So it is a pretty angry record with a few bright spots. But even the bright spots are pretty nasty. Musically, it ranges from Iggy And The Stooges to the Heartbreakers to the Ramones..., in my opinion.

Bram Van Schaik: Future plans?
CJ Ramone: Right now I am writing a book and hope to put out a CJ solo CD sometime soon.

Bram Van Schaik: Come to Europe? Netherlands?
CJ Ramone: If I get invited.

(Thanks for You Bram and CJ)