Q&A: Ramona Muse


Ramona Muse is one of the craftiest ladies we know! She draws, she paints, she sews, she sings, and she has mad dance skills. She even hosts one of the most entertaining pub quizzes around. (Check out her blog to see what she’s up to.) But if you haven’t seen her live on stage, you’re really missing out on one of Iowa’s most clever and real musicians around. With lyrics everyone and their moms can relate to, simple and super catchy beats, and stage presence that instantly makes you feel like you found your new best friend, Ramona is a must-see. Catch her February 24 at the Vaudeville Mews for a solo set! (Event dets here.)


Band Bombshell: You’re playing your second solo show at the Mews on Sunday. How is your solo act different than your Ramona and the Swimsuits act?

Ramona Muse: My solo show is a little more heavy than my other stuff. I mean, I wear flat shoes, no hair bow, and I close my eyes more. I will dance, though. Also, I get more nervous than ever when I am solo. I can’t even believe how nervous I get.


BB: Where do you get inspiration for your songs?

RM: My nana gave me a rhyming dictionary when I was 10 and I have been writing verses ever since. Here is a breakdown: excessive sensitivity+death+new love+living+heartbreak+word play+rhyming-sense=my songs.


BB: Some people would describe your shows as a comedy act. Do you agree?:

RM: I am just trying to be honest about stuff and I think sometimes that is really funny. Reflecting on our experiences is healthy and I just like to do it publicly, because sometimes other people can relate to it and it releases some tension for everyone. I have had a lot of years of finding myself and let me just say the pressures of adulthood are hilarious!


BB: When did you first know you had musical talent?

RM: Oh, I don’t. I took years of music lessons and failed. My father was a musician and while my brother inherited his skills, I did not. I just like holding microphones. Leslie Hall taught me how to perform, she taught me all about showmanship. My dad apparently used to perform on rollerskates though, so showboating is in my blood.


BB: If you could sing a duet with any living person, who would it be?

RM: Kimya Dawson. She has been a hero of mine for the last 12 years, love her more all the time.


BB: Some people picture their audience naked. What do you picture your audience wearing?

RM: I just go cross eyed and try not to focus on anyone.


BB: What do you love about the Iowa music scene?

RM: I love how it evolves. One thing leads to another, leads to another, and so on. Sometimes it is bands forming other bands but then there are bands like the Poison Control Center. They’ve been one of my favorite bands since I was 17 and they are better than ever, they just keep evolving into grander greatness.

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