Interview With The Ripps - 9th June 2007

Photo Of The Ripps © Copyright The RippsAnthony caught up with Patch the vocalist from The Ripps at Fopp in Bath, to talk about the bands musical style, album release and what the future holds for the band.

For those who don't know you, can you give me a brief history of the band?
Sure, we've been together about 3 years. It first started with just me and my brother Raul, then we auditioned Rachel for the drums. She jammed with us for a while, then finally she auditioned properly at Reading Festival. She fitted in beautifully and we've been together ever since.

How did you come up with the name 'The Ripps'?
Basically, we brainstormed a lot of ideas and came up with plenty of really shit ones. To us, The Ripps sounded quite 1970'ish, which is where a lot of the music we listen to comes from. After that, we came up with the idea of just ripping all our clothes up on stage (much laughter)!

What bands would u say influence you and your musical style?
On a personal level, its the same as many people growing up around that time. Bands like Blur, Oasis and Pulp were the ones that made me want to get into music. In terms of the band, we are heavily influenced by much of the punk in the 70's, bands like the Sex Pistols, the Clash, Billy Bragg, the Ramones. (Guitarist of support band Sunset Cinema Club walks in). Oh yeah, and Sunset Cinema Club, who have an awesome single out called Gojira Suit (more laughter)

Where did the idea for Spanish lyrics come from?
Well, we come from a huge Latin influenced background, seeing as both of our parents were born in Chile. They are the type of people who are very passionate about their heritage. For example, they are not fans of Gloria Estefan as she 'sold out' her Latina background. Basically, they hate anyone who isn't a Commie (laughs). But as well as that, we also liked the Spanish thing that the Pixies did, and the Clash as well, albeit their stuff is very badly pronounced!

The album 'Long Live The Ripps': Was it fun to record, how has it been received and do you have any favourite tracks?
Yeah, it was awesome fun to record, we did over 3 stints in Bishops Wood in Staffordshire, which is really quite secluded so we could focus totally on the music. We would play tennis or go for a walk in the morning, then record from 12pm to 12am. It was highly enjoyable.
Critically, it has been received fairly well, but most of the reviews tend to kind of sit on the fence, no reviews really tends to rave about us but we have yet to have a real slating either. Generally, they have all been quite positive. This is all well and good but in a way, I wish we could provoke a reaction where they fucking hate us. It helps to show that we can improve and stuff.
As for favourite tracks, personally i like Vampires, but majority of the public and press seem to love Holiday. However, I don't feel that it is truly representative of what the band is about. I also like Hypocrite and Loco.

Bath, have you played here before? And what is your opinion of the city?
Bath is a beautiful city, and it makes a real difference from Coventry. Its just such a pretty and nice place, where you can walk around and just admire all the architecture and the heritage that the city provides.
Yeah, we played here at the old Purr before it moved to this Fopp cafe, and yeah it was great fun, really looking forward to tonight.

The tour: How's it been going?, Has any weird or funny stuff happened?
The tour has been awesome so far, very tiring but nonetheless still very enjoyable. Its always been my dream to be in a band, and therefore I love being out there living that dream. Much of it does involve travelling from venue to venue and just sitting around. This doesn't mean we get pissed all the time, in fact sometimes I won't drink at all. But the highlight of course is actually playing the shows and meeting all these people who have made the effort to come and see our show.
Nothing majorly funny or weird has happened, but in Leicester, we were given a very generous rider before the show. Therefore, we made our way through a bottle of vodka, a bottle of brandy and half a case of beer. We were pretty trashed by the time we hit the stage and ultimately I was very abusive towards the crowd. They seemed to love it, but its not something I want to do again in a hurry!

Coventry: Do you get a better reception/is it more special? And what is your opinion on the scene in Coventry right now?
Most definitely, not much has come out of Coventry since the Specials and a brief spell from a band called the Primitives, who released a track back in 1987. But within the last year, there has been the emergence of a few good bands, and now the kids have something to cheer for from their home town, Therefore, the reception we get is based on their raw energy, and right now growing up musically in Cov is pretty crazy.
As for the scene, obviously the big breakthrough band to come from here are The Enemy, who are just verging on some major success. Ourselves, we are starting to pick up a larger fan base and grow in popularity. But at times, the scene can be pretty bitchy. Most local bands see the likes of us and The Enemy and feel resentful towards the fact that we're gaining this success. Many of them move away from Cov to try and gain some sort of grounding. We did this to start with, but eventually moved back in to the city, and we feel that supporting Cov music is better in the long run. As well as this, we have a large student scene, seeing as both Warwick and Coventry universities have sites in the city. These students tend to go to a lot of gigs and therefore it has its own distinct atmosphere.
Oh yeah, also check out a band called the Bootleg Poets, worth looking out for! There we go, show some solidarity (laughter)!

Are you playing any festivals this summer?
Just today, we got confirmed for the BBC stage at Glastonbury, which is obviously a great honour. Other than that, not much is happening really. We are playing a small local festival in Cov called the Godiva Festival, which will be packed with lots of good up and coming bands from the area.

You ran a van competition on Myspace to get your new ride named, any funny suggestions and what won?
To be honest, there weren't really any ridiculous suggestions or ones that were over the top. We had the kind of obvious ones, like the Rippster and the Rippmobile, which aren't exactly original but still made me chuckled. I loved one suggestion which came with the Covatron but ultimately, its come down to 2 choices. Not been decided yet, but it will be either Stella or White Lightning. I feel its cos of the alcohol references that we prefer these 2 over the others!

Where do u see the band in 5 years time?
What a tricky question! Let me think, well hopefully we will be recording like the 4th or maybe even the 5th album, hopefully having had a few solo projects along the way. You never want to make assumptions though, so I think as long as we're existing somewhere then I'll be happy.

Final random question: Given the choice, would you be a zebra or a giraffe and why?
(Patch laughs) Hmm, I think I'm going to have to say zebra. Purely for the fact that I'm from Coventry and the whole 2 tone thing, and the zebra is black and white!

Thanks for the interview, and hope you have a good show!
Cheers man, hope you enjoy it as well.

Interview By Anthony

 Band Members

Patch (Guitar, Vocals)
Raul Lagunas (Bass, Vocals)
Rachel Butt (Drums)
 Latest Releases
The Ripps - Long Live The Ripps
Release Date - 19th March 2007
1. Loco
2. Vandals
3. Hypocrite
4. Vampires
5. Stranger
6. Holiday
7. You Don't Even Care
8. Cov Song
9. Nightmares
10. Benefits
11. Bad Influence
12. I Don't Like You Anymore
 Band Related Links
The Ripps Myspace
The Ripps Official Site