Interview – Brats On The Beat: Ramones For Kids by jimmycanuck
October 16, 2006, 5:07 pm
Filed under: interviews, music


This past week I was lucky enough to stumble across something that no punk parenthood should be without – Brats on the Beat: Ramones for Kids. Playing a sample for my two year old made her go absolutely batshit – like an epileptic in a mosh pit. Even though she’s always reacted well to music, she’s never taken to a tune so completely. It was like she was possessed, and we loved every minute of it. Her bopping around like a maniac reminded me what makes being a parent so much damned fun.

Of course, being forced to sit through the unholy songs of Barney & Friends every morning ad nauseam, I had to find out more about Brats on the Beat. I was fortunate enough to get in touch with Greg Ross, founder of Go-Kart records, and had a virtual sit down with him. Here’s what he had to say;

jimmycanuck – What was the inspiration for this album?

Greg Ross – A friend of mine told me that he thought his daughter was asleep, so he put on the Ramones. About 15 minutes later he saw that she had walked in the room and was dancing. At around the same time I realized that my sister was imparting her horrible music taste upon my nieces and nephews…I had to step in and save them!

jc – Why the Ramones?

gr – Partially from the answer above, and partially because the Ramones songs work so well for children. We did throw around some another names, but in the end we kept going back to the Ramones.

jc – You were able to get a lot of big name performers (members of Pennywise, The Donnas, Queens of the Stone Age, et al) to contribute to the album. How did everyone become involved in the project?

gr – Most of the credit here goes to Jennifer Precious Finch (The Shocker/ex-L7) who worked like a crazy person on this. I told her my idea and she just took off with it. She opened her phone book and started calling everyone she could. We also got some help from some people who loved the idea like Jeff Abata at Epitaph, Joe Escalante at Kung Fu and Greg Werkman at Ipecac. Everyone has been really supportive so there are too many people to mention who helped. We should also thank all the Ramones, their families and their management who gave us their blessing.”

jc – So where can people go to purchase the album?

gr – It should be available at their favorite record store (if there are any left when it is released – just a little joke there about the horrible state of the retail business). I know most of the major chains like Best Buy, Transworld, Borders, Amazon etc. will have it. But as always we hope you go to your favorite mom and pop record store and support them! They are the lifeblood of this industry.

jc – Will it be available through any online music stores (iTunes, Napster, etc..?)

gr – Yup – all of em. As well as on the Go-kart website (www.gokartrecords.com)

jc – A portion of the proceeds from this album will be going to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Why St. Jude’s?

gr – I made a decision to do a series of releases to benefit different causes, starting with this one. I choose St Jude’s Children’s Hospital because it seemed appropriate – after all, this is a record for kids. It is also one of the leading cancer research institutes in the country, and since Joey Ramone died of cancer it seemed even more appropriate. Since this (work on the album) started, one of the employees here at Go-kart was diagnosed with MS. So our plans have changed slightly. We will focus on benefits for MS research going forward.

I for one can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of Brats on the Beat. The album will be released on November 21st. And remember kiddies – you can pick up some great tunes and help support a great cause at the same time. Both your children and your Raffi-riddled ears will thank you.

Samples from Brats on the Beat can be heard on the album’s MySpace.com profile.