Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

New Wave

The Exultant Return of Ronnie Stone + Interview + New LP

Ronnie Stone

In my half-eyed doomscrolling the other night, I came across some footage of a leather-clad badboy on a motorcycle under the grain of a skipping VHS tape. He was hanging with rockin babes, lookin tough, and partying hard. With a penchant for style and a curiosity for every young bopper, I had to know what his music sounds like. Let me be frank (or Francesca if you’re into that), I was blown away by the slamming the dance-grooves straight out of Miami Vice but with such precision, the nails were immediately sunk into the coffin.

RONNIE STONE is known around NYC for his former band THE LONELY RIDERS, but they haven’t been heard from in almost a decade. I felt the clawing aching in my fascia to know as much as possible right away, and as it so turns out, Rondon is releasing his first album in eight years TODAY. We sat down for a cold cuppa hooch to talk the latest digs:

Hey Ronnie, what’s the word?

The word is that we’re putting out a record called, Ride Again. It’s the first record we’ve done since 2015. 

I see here there’s about a decade gap here on your resume. You didn’t release any music for 8 years. Do you care to explain this?

[laughs] I was starting to feel a little bit burned out towards the end of the last release cycle. It felt like the live experience was not quite as enjoyable as it used to be because there was so much going into the production. I was having a lot more fun going out to clubs and partying, listening to music. Rosa and I would go to various raves and parties and for a while I didn’t see live music as something that appealed to me. I was also so used to performing with a band that it felt odd to go off and do it on my own without them. I’d built it up in my head that people wanted the experience of the full band and I didn’t know how to make that sustainable. Lots of people would come up to me and talk to me about how I came out of the coffin, or how I rode my bike into a venue, [if you’re unfamiliar with what went into the live shows of Ronnie Stone & The Lonely Riders, let’s just say they were a lot] and I’m still appreciative of what we accomplished, but it felt like the expectations of the project were getting ahead of what I actually cared about doing. I had to take the project back and think about what I was trying to achieve. In the interim, I did some producing on the side and got involved in some other projects that are currently top secret. I started DJing and experimenting with VHS videos with Rosa. But, it wasn’t really until covid that I had the headspace to work on my own music again. Once the record was written, I started working with Rosa on a new iteration of the live show that aimed to be more music centric, and more in line with the minimalism of the club scene. Lights and haze, baby.

What brought you back to releasing music?

Covid. I had a break from the grind as well as club life. I was able to finally start writing again. I hadn’t written lyrics in a while so I sort of had to figure out how to do that again. I always knew that writing was something I wanted to get back to, but there were so many distractions it was hard. I also finished up some other projects I was working on, so covid was the perfect storm for Ronnie Stone. An important moment for me was in 2018 I went to one of Andi Harriman’s parties called SYNTHICIDE at Saint Vitus. I had been to the parties she did at Bossa Nova Civic Club, but this one was different because it wasn’t just featuring DJ’s. I saw Light Asylum, Anatomy, and Neud Photo – I just remember it being such a well curated experience. It was such a vibe, and there was such a performative element, but also had the atmosphere of a rave. It didn’t feel like a regular old show, it was really special…there was community there. Light Asylum (Shannon) is just a next level performer, seeing someone who could stand up there and bring me to tears performing to backing tracks. It caught me off guard – I connected with the power of a performer. I’d forgotten how good you feel when you see someone who gives you all that energy. I’d forgotten about performance energy and I regained interest. I was like, “I wanna do something like that…”

Outside of the obvious, is there anything that inspires your music that doesn’t get 

attention?

Hopefully this isn’t too obvious, but I like the beginning of the 80’s when dance music really started breaking off from disco into synthy music. As synthesizers evolved you had all these amazing new styles coming out so rapidly. New Beat, EBM, Italo-disco,  New Wave, Electro, Techno, House, New Jack Swing – the list goes on. To me, the 80s were the most creative decade in terms of sound (and because of MTV, fashion too). I also like that there was still usually a vocal and/or a melodic component in what was being made. Minimalism was being explored, but it wasn’t taken for granted. It was such an inspiring time for music. I’m really drawn towards the exploration of different sounds with synthesizers. Sounds and funky grooves that are out of the ordinary, vocals and lyrics that are subversive and break norms in one form or another. Getting into DJing has contributed to me wanting to make more of a certain kind of music. The more I DJ, the more the music I write reflects something I’d want to play out. There are certain tracks I like to DJ that I never get sick of. I look at these songs as models for my own work. Writing a dance floor hit is actually pretty hard, it’s an ongoing work in progress. 

New York is a big place with every imaginable genre of music playing around you. How did you hone in on this one moment in time?

I don’t think it’s one moment in time. It’s hard to wrap your head around all the musical diversity there was in that decade – even when just looking at dance music. I’m still discovering stuff from then I never knew existed. These days, since there’s really not much direction of the music industry anymore, you just find what stuff or niche(s) resonate with you. The 80s came and went so fast that I believe there are still a lot of creative ideas that haven’t been pursued all that much. To me it feels purposeful to make a specific type of music that is underrepresented. It also helps that during that time you had stand out artists like Depeche Mode, Madonna, and Prince who were amazing songwriters while simultaneously being tapped into the newest trends of the time.There was still a sense of artistry in what was considered mainstream and Capitalism didn’t seem as toxic as it does now. Those artists all had a fully formed aesthetic vision and an organic authenticity that I’m trying to achieve for my own work.

You recently signed a deal with Chicago’s Feeltrip Records. When can we expect a new physical release?

Now! Feb. 2, 2024, the vinyls are pressed, but there won’t be another eight year break before the third Ronnie Stone album. You might even find us trying out some new-new material at our live shows.

You did a US tour in 2022 but it flew under a few radars, namely my own. I hope there’s more in the upcoming future. Will my dream come true?

Yeah, thanks for asking! We have a whole U.S. tour planned this spring. We’ve already announced many of the dates, but we’ll be adding more as they’re confirmed. The tour starts in late March and runs through June. Checkout our website for updates www.thelonelyriders.com

Is there anything you’d like to tell the people before you skyrocket to global stardom?

Look sharp kids.Grab some leather and lace, watch Johnny Mnemonic, Purple Rain or some Tech noir. And don’t tempt me with your drugs because I’ll probably take them. Stay away from powders, carry narcan, and remember to wear a condom.

Written By

Life, death, plants and music. Direct all bullshit to shindig109[at]gmail[dot]com

“IRON
Sentient 51423

You May Also Like

PUNK

For our 5/45s feature, we ask musicians to walk us through some of their favorite singles. Whether they be influential, impossible to find, or...

Music Videos

What time is it? It’s time to turn y’all on to this ice-cold New Wave project Natural Privacy. Right here and now, I want...

Music Videos

Last year, Sean wrote a feature on 5 post-punk bands to blow your mind, and one of them was VELVET CATHEDRAL. Fast forward a...

Noise Rock

Generating their cacophonous sound in their namesake town of Turin, Northern Italy’s The Turin Horse is set to release their new album Unsavory Impurities...

Copyright © 2020 CVLT Nation.