Punk Globe: Can you tell
me how you came up with the spelling of Ripovs and who does what in the
MIKEY: I came up with the name and the oddball spelling. I wanted it to
sound like somebody's last name (a la The Ramones), and "The Rip Offs"
was already taken. It also sounded like some kind of cheap, shitty
vodka...which is also appropriate for us. As to who does what: I play
guitar and sing, Lord Jim plays bass, and The Mighty J plays drums, and
also does double duty as the true Heart and Soul of the Band. And
EVERYONE plays loud, of course.
Punk Globe: Having only seen you twice it seems like your music is
generated a lot from 70's Rock combined with Punk Rock.
MIKEY: Yeah, that's very true, thanks. We ain't exactly getting any
younger, and we all remember that bygone era when True Rock ruled the
airwaves. So like most guys our age, we're still big fans of '70s hard
rock, in addition to the un-Holy Trinity of Punk: The Ramones, The
Sex Pistols, and
Punk Globe: Do any of you have side bands you play with?
MIKEY: Lord Jim was in a blues/funk band as a side project for a while,
but I think he's done with that gig for now. And all three of us also
sometimes appear as "The Soho Shitestorm", backing up local punk legend
(and our pal and mentor) Steptoe T. Magnificent.
Punk Globe: Can you tell me what some of your influences are?
MIKEY: The usual suspects, ca. 1954 - 1984 or so: Elvis,
Little Richard ,
Jerry Lee Lewis,
Buddy Holly, etc., etc., up to and
including The Replacements,
Iron Maiden. But the band that brought it all home for me was
the Who. When I was thirteen, I got my older sister's record collection
when she moved out of the house, and it was mostly, like, the Mamas and
the Papas, Petula Clark, Herb
Albert...that kind of thing. Pretty dull. But there were a few
Beach Boys and Beatles albums in
there, too, so it was just a short slide from those bands to
The Who, The Stones,
The Kinks -- and then on to Dylan,
CCR, the MC5, the Stooges, Mott The Hoople, Alice Cooper, The New York
Dolls, early Springsteen, Thin Lizzy, Creem Magazine, KISS, The Ramones,
The Sex Pistols, The Clash.. And once I heard the REALLY good
stuff,there was no turning back...I became a total rock junkie. Lord
Jim's tastes are a bit more eclectic...everyone from the Police (and
Sting of course!), Hendrix and Kurt Cobain to Jeff Buckley,'80s metal,
old-school punk, and James Jamerson (in Jim'swords, "THE Motown
bassist"). And Mighty J is the true wildcard: he digs Van Halen,, '70s
soul and R&B, '80s pop, Madonna, Janet Jackson...even some of the
American Idol singers. So we're all over the map!
Punk Globe: What is the Baltimore Punk scene like? Do you play a lot
MIKEY: In one word: "Friendly". The Baltimore underground has been VERY
kind to us over the past few years. It's like an extended family,
except that you don't hate them and hope that they don't show up to your
picnic. I think we played around 20 shows or so locally last year...not
nearly as many as some bands...but we're older and uglier, and need more
beauty sleep!!! And we're also lucky as shit to have a club like the
Sidebar in Baltimore. Matty and the rest of the crew there genuinely
understand how fragile this whole Rock-and-Roll thing is these days, and
they bust their asses to create a supportive and positive environment
for everyone. It's just a first rate venue...I really don't even want
to think of what Baltimore would be like without it!
Globe: Do you play a lot with touring bands?
MIKEY: Sometimes...no really huge names, but I was surprised when we
got back into this a few years ago by just how many really cool,
hard-rocking young bands are out there on the road right now. One of
our favorite out-of-town bands are The Jukebox Zeros from Philly. Great
tunes,great guys. You should check them out!
Punk Globe: How about DC the scene? Is The Black Cat still doing
shows? White Trash Debutantes played there I remember. Tell us about
MIKEY: We've never had much luck booking shows in DC, but that probably
says more about us than it does about what's going on down there.
Another of our favorite regional bands is The Hall Monitors -- they're
based in DC, and play there a lot (at the Black Cat and elsewhere). If
you're listening, DC, we're available!!!
Punk Globe: I know Richmond VA has a cool scene do you play there?
MIKEY: No, that's news to me. We'll have to check it out! There's also
some good vibes brewing up in Harrisburg, PA (at a club called
Smalls).The crowds there are fucking nuts, too. We've played Smalls a
few times, and it's always a great party.
Punk Globe: What are your favorite locals clubs to play?
MIKEY: Hands down, The Sidebar and the Talking Head (which was closed
for a while but now it's open again). Great people, great energy,
cheap booze, and fun fun fun...it's amazing to me just how many serious
"musicians" in this town have no fucking idea that these places even
exist. And for that, we can be truly thankful...
Punk Globe: Any releases out on Vinyl or CD?
MIKEY: We put out a four-song demo/EP on CD last year ("Kick it Out")
that we give away at shows. If anybody wants one, they can ask for it
through our Myspace page (
www.myspace.com/loudassrock ) and I'll
send it out for free.
Punk Globe: Any tour plans for the readers who do not live in the
Baltimore area to see you?
MIKEY: We should be doing something in Philly soon. Harrisburg, too.
I'll keep ya posted.
Punk Globe: Mikey- as I mentioned in my review of The Freaker's Ball
you look alot like Steve
Marriott of Humble Pie during his prime. You mentioned you have gotten
that before. Are you a Humble Pie fan?
MIKEY: Ha! Yeah...I have heard that before. But I think I'm taller than
he was! What I loved about Marriott was that he always looked like he
was having the time of his life in Humble Pie. I always dig a band that
remembers to smile on stage sometimes. I mean, this is supposed to be
fun, right? I know that some people dump on a lot of that loud-ass '70s
boogie music, but gimme it any day over about 99% of the depressing
drop-tuned "heavy" garbage or pretty boy "indie" bullshit I hear on
mainstream "rock" radio these days. At least that old school '70s stuff
(Humble Pie, Foghat, Grand Funk...even Boston!) had balls, and wasn't
all about laying some big, dopey, fake aggression trip on everyone.
KISS and Cheap Trick were great bands, too, especially in their prime,
with fans galore, and yet they still managed to have a sense of
humor--something that's sadly lacking in Rock today. God how I miss
Punk Globe: Have you always been a three piece band? You all make a
MIKEY: Thanks...yeah, that's the goal...I guess we get lucky sometimes
and actually hit it! We trimmed down to a trio this spring, when our
other guitar player left to start his own business. He's an old friend,
we all miss him a lot, but the show must go on, y'know?!?
Punk Globe: Who writes your material?
MIKEY: I come up with most of the raw material (lyrics and chords,
etc.), and Lord Jim has recently contributed a new tune, but the songs
themselves are all VERY much a collaborative effort.
Punk Globe: Do you play NYC? and what is your favorite club to play
MIKEY: I wish! We've all been to New York a bunch of times...but have
logged exactly ZERO hours of Rocking up there. One day maybe!
Punk Globe: If The Ripovs could play any show what would be your
MIKEY: I think it would be cool to open a show for ZZ Top. That would
Globe: Describe your best and worst shows?
MIKEY: Sometimes I think we only have "worst" and "less worst" shows.
Not sure about "best", but if we're having fun, and the audience is
partying and having a good time, that's cool. We're just happy to
still be doing this at all at our age! And our worst shows are pretty
much when I get drunk and forget how to play my own simple ass songs.
That happened to us once at the Talking Head...I did a bunch of shots of
this really bad rail whiskey right before we went on. Forty minutes
later it hit me like a ton of bricks, and I completely fucking blanked
out on our last song...I just stood there like a moron, with my guitar
feeding back, and everyone looking at me like "what the fuck is wrong
with this idiot." Fortunately our old bass player saw I was in trouble,
and smashed his bass to smithereens to cover for me. Pretty damn cool.
Come to think of it, that might have been both our best AND worst show.
Punk Globe: It was fun playing on a bill with you... Although the
band I played with only had one full band rehearsal and it was so
fucking hot we did not practice that long. You All Rawk any last words
that you may like to add to the interview?
MIKEY: Thanks, Ginger (and thanks again for inviting us to the
Freaker's Ball, too)! We had a blast, and are flattered as hell that
you dig what we're doing and are giving us some space in Punk Globe!
The next time you're in Baltimore, please look us up...and don't forget
to take in some shows by some of our favorite local bands if they ever
make it out your way: The Fishnet Stalkers, Chelsea Graveyard and the
Midnight, Blondsai, and The Living Wrecks. Baltimore may be the crime
capitol of the northeast, but there's definitely no shortage of kickass
Rock-and-Roll here by the shores of the Chesapeake Bay! Thanks again,
and ROCK ON!