POZ Showcase: Ramsey
The gentlemen in Ramsey exude the mantra of “good guys.” Whether they would agree with such a statement is an entirely different matter. However, the Massachusetts-by-way-of-Tennessee alternative rock trio play music for the right reasons: that is, they want to get a positive message across to those who are struggling. And as their early success is indicating, their message is certainly being well received by those who have laid ears on their brand of pop-punk. Give Ramsey a listen and feel comforted in their sympathy.
Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Nick Allen – Guitar/Vocals
Chris Hampton – Bass
Alex Hickey - Drums
What’s your hometown (or what are your hometowns)?
Formed in Knoxville, Tennessee, but later moved to Worcester, Massachusetts to work more hands-on with our label.
How did the band come together? How long has it been?
Nick was the booking agent for a music venue in Knoxville and plucked Alex and then Chris from other local bands. The band has been writing/recording/hanging out for 8 months.
Why should people listen to your band?
We’re real and we’re honest. Our lyrical content is something that I think a lot of people can relate to; anyone who has dreamed and failed at something that they’re passionate about. I write about dealing with depression, break ups, alcohol and drinking too much of it, society and the pressure to conform, and anything/everything else that people deal with on a day to day basis.
How have you grown since you started?
We’re breaking away from our influences and starting to really develop our own sound. We don’t want people to say, “Well, they sound like such and such.” We want people to say, “They sound like Ramsey.”
What sets you apart from other bands?
It’s not just a fad for us. Every member in this band has been playing in bands since they were in middle school. We’re writing music that we like, as where maybe the younger versions of ourselves would try to write something that we thought other people would like. It seems that a lot of bands just write songs to sell records. We’re going to try to avoid doing that.
What’s the best part about being in your band?
We’re proud of the music we write. No one can criticize or judge us, because we like the music. When you stop worrying about what everyone else thinks, you can really start to enjoy being in your band.
More times than not, influences tend to bleed through. What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
We all like different bands. Chris loves Sonic Youth, the Beatles, and Minute Men. Alex is your Four Year Strong/Transit kind of guy. And Nick is more into the Drive-Thru era with bands like Senses Fail, Brand New, Bayside, Taking Back Sunday, etc…
What would you say the band has already accomplished and what do you have your eyes set on next?
We’ve written, in our opinion, a solid EP, which landed us a recording contract the day before we played our first show. We are recording a full- length this summer, and plan to tour support it in the fall.
Thus far, what’s a favorite memory or something quirky that’s taken place with the band (in-studio, onstage, or elsewhere)?
While at practice one night, a drunk lady stumbled into our space and asked us to play her a song that she could sing to. At the time, we didn’t have a PA system, but she didn’t care. She tried to sing over the music, we laughed a lot, she got mad and walked out.
Is there anything in particular that you’d like people to take away from listening to your music?
Sit back with your headphones on and feel the words that I’m singing to you. I want you to know that we’ve been there, and we know what you’re going through. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. So just hold strong.
If you could change something about the music industry, what would it be?
Social media. I wish bands wouldn’t depend on it to spread the word. I miss the days of handing out fliers at school and paying $3 to see a band that I’d never heard of on a random Wednesday night in a little venue that’s next door to a tanning/nail salon. I (Nick) recall seeing Anberlin in Claxton, TN for $3 back in like 2002. There were a ton of people there and no one knew who Anberlin was (laughs). It was awesome.
How did your band’s name come about?
I don’t really know. It just popped into my head and never left. No one opposed, so we went with Ramsey.
What’s the biggest mistake someone’s made while playing?
Alex dropped a stick right before the most energizing part of our set. I was bummed, but we made it through.
Any pre-performance rituals?
We take a couple of minutes to breathe and just calm the nerves. Sometimes things are rushed at shows and we try not to get overwhelmed with that.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Come talk to us at shows! We want to know how our music touches people. It’s why we do what we do.
*If you would like your band to be featured on a POZ Showcase, email us.
*This Showcase was compiled, written, and edited by Michael Meeze