Original Portuguese version at Backstage Music Forum.
Founded in 1989, R.A.M.P. have built a solid career ever since and there’s practically no Portuguese metalhead who doesn’t know their name. In 2012, their first recording ever, the single “The Last Child”, celebrated its 20th anniversary. And since their latest release goes back to 2009, we talked to guitarist Tó Pica and poked through what these veterans have been doing meanwhile.
Backstage Music Forum: Hello Tó. Thanks for talking to Backstage.
Tó Pica: Hi Renata. Thank you so much for thinking of us and for caring in talking to me.
BMF: The first question is about new material. R.A.M.P. fans are used to the long intermissions between the albums, but that doesn’t mean they don’t long for new music. Are there any ideas for the follow-up of “Visions”? Can you give us some general hints, just to spice up our curiosity?
Tó: The ideas never stop flowing. There are always ideas from all of us that are recorded individually, so we won’t forget them, but always as a draft until we get into writing mode. Right now the plan is the release of a Best Of that will include a second disc with some new material in the shape of covers and acoustic versions.
BMF: Whether there’s new material to promote or not, R.A.M.P. never stop playing live, and always with the same spirit. Do you see yourself as a stage junkie?
Tó: As I use to say, everything happens live, it’s where you distinguish men from little boys, and R.A.M.P. is definitely a live band, and that’s why we never stop playing. It’s my favorite part as a musician, no doubt about it. There’s something magical about stepping on stage and let the beast loose…
BMF: What About the audience? With this crisis the country is going through, did you see any difference in the number of fans that attend the shows?
Tó: It wouldn’t be true if I said now, but fortunately I don’t feel it as much as one would expect, which proves metal fans are devoted, no matter if there’s a crisis or not.
BMF: Recently your first single “The Last Child” and your first EP “Thoughts” fulfilled 20 years since their release. Was there any anniversary party? Are you waiting for the band’s 25th anniversary to do something “big” or you guys don’t care about this kind of thing?
Tó: Like I said, there will be a Best Of this year and its promoting tour in celebration of R.A.M.P.’s 22 years of existence.
BMF: It’s curious how “RAMP Metal Faceclub”, site for fans and frends of the band,has more than the double of “likes” than your official page… And there’s also the RAMP Metal Army on MySpace. What do you think of the impact of social networks in music in general? International feedback, is there any?
Tó: Social networks have played, and play more and more a key role in the promotion of bands. We reach further and to more people through social networks, not to mention that we get a more immediate reaction. Yeah, we’ve been getting some international feedback, which is natural, but nothing that big
BMF: Still regarding internet, there’s a poll on your website for the best song in “Visions”. Which is YOUR vote in that matter?
Tó: Well, as expected, I really like the album as a whole, but if I have to choose, then it’s “The Cold”
BMF: You’ve played in two editions of Rock In Rio, in Super Bock Super Rock and Optimus Alive. Besides the greater number of people, which differences do you feel between playing festivals and playing your own gig indoors? Pros and cons of each?
Tó: Well, besides the fact that we reach to more people and to a crowd that may not know the band and will know from now on and maybe like it, the major difference is that in our own gig we’re not limited in terms of playing time and we’ll have our own stage production, etc. , which also creates a certain pressure. There’s also pressure in festivals with other bands, obviously, but in other aspects, like showing the most possible in a shorter period of time and leave our mark!
BMF: Is there any festival or venue – both national and international – where you’d like to play with R.A.M.P. someday?
Tó: LOL. There are SO MANY, eh eh eh. Right now I can think of Wacken, for instance. Wembley… but the list is long and so far we can still dream without paying any kind of tax
BMF: Once again thank you for your time and all the best for R.A.M.P. and your other projects.
Tó: Thank you for the interest and PATIENCE…