Keep up with Ramon here:
Born and raised in Bellflower, CA, Ramon Banda has been playing ever since he can remember. Had a heavy dose of music exposure as a young child watching his Father and Uncles being professional musicians. First got into metal music at the age of 11 with Metallica & Megadeth, then quickly graduated to groups like Slayer and Napalm Death. Ramon asked his Dad, "how do I play like that?", And Dad's response was "there's no tricks to it, you just get on the drums and do it!" That has been Ramon's approach to the drums ever since.
Playing in groups like Flattbush, Phobia, Scrap Metal and Long Suffering, he also had the honor to have a studio jam session with Shane Embury of Napalm Death. Ramon has played on two full-length albums: Phobia’s “Grind You F*cking Head In” and Flattbush's “Smash The Octopus.” Ramon is also featured on four split CD's and five demos.
After several U.S. coast to coast tours and a 5 week European tour, Ramon is now blasting with his current band, 'Consuming Fire' with Robert Davis on guitar. For the past 7 years he has become a follower of Jesus Christ & has found freedom playing in his new group, where he can keep the extreme drumming style he loves and not have to compromise his beliefs.
Ramon Banda Interview:
SDM: How old were you when you started playing?
Ramon: I started playing from day one. My father is a drummer/percussionist so there were drums & other musical instruments all over the house. I had access to all of it 24/7.
SDM: Did you play in a school band or any drum corps?
Ramon: Never played in any school type situations, but I did get together with my neighborhood friends and jam quite a bit. Ozzy, Nirvana & Metallica type stuff.
SDM: Who are your top 5 metal influences?
Ramon: Pete Sandoval when he was with Terrorizer & Morbid Angel is my all time favorite. Dave Lombardo for sure, I had a chance to attend one of his clinics when I was 14 years old, it was a great experience. I really like Flo Mounier with Cryptopsy for his free and loose style. Mick Harris of Napalm Death, I dug his approach, very straight forward no fancy stuff & a great sound.
Mike Hamilton with Deeds Of Flesh for those thunderous bass drums flying through the whole song.
SDM: Who are some other of your favorites?
Ramon: There are so many other players like Gene Hoglan, Emilio from Sadistic Intent, Raymond Herrera from Brujeria, Richard Christy with Death and of course Mitch Mitchell, John Bonham, Clyde Stubblefield, Elvin Jones, Tito Puente, Buddy Rich & Sonny Emory. Other metal drummers I like are Bryan Fajardo (Kill The Client /Phobia) ,Rick Jovel ( Letum Ascensus/ Internal Fixation), Ariel Alvarado ( Scrap metal), Cesar Escobar (Mabrost), Arturo Acosta ( In The Form Of Flesh), Josh Null ( Apathy), D-Muerte (Oscorus), Brett Batdorf, Joe Luevano( Internal corrosion), Orlando Greenhill, William Guerra (Clitorcyst) Christopher Martinez( Servile Conception), Scott Corner, Brian Gonzalez (Dark White) & Jonathan Castro ( Pigeon).
SDM: Let us know 5 CD's that are in your current rotation
Ramon: Right now it’s Luther Vandross Live, Johnny Guitar Watson & Otis Redding. My Dad loads up my iPod with tons of stuff. Muddy Waters, Hank Williams Sr., Afro Cuban folkloric stuff, Coltrane, Miles, Classic Rock etc.
SDM: What do you do to warm up before a show?
Ramon: I try and relax & focus on the music. Play a few rudiments slowly on a pad, nothing fast or crazy. All that comes out on the gig. Don’t forget to breathe.
SDM: Do you read music? Regardless of answering yes or no, please tell us how it might have effected your playing?
Ramon: I do not read music. I’ve never thought about how it would effect my playing. When I’m writing songs it’s usually done with other musicians bouncing ideas off each other. It would be kind of pointless to write out all of this stuff. For me it comes from a different place.
SDM: Can you tell us about the gear you use?
Ramon: Using a Mapex Mars Series kit that I’ve had since 1999. It’s held up really well all these years with no problems. My pedal is a Pearl Eliminator double. It’s really feels solid and takes a beating. I use a variety of crash cymbals but my Ride is a 24” Paiste Power bell that I’ve had many years.
SDM: If you could give one piece of advice to young drummers, it would be…
Ramon: If you love it, stay focused on the music. Learn to play other instruments. Myself, I play guitar & bass also, so that helps me come up with different ideas. Go out & meet other players, ask questions, jam etc. Every time you get behind the kit regardless of the style, play with conviction.
SDM: Who gave the best live performance you've ever seen?
Ramon: I would have to say the West African group FATALA at the African Market Place in L.A. about 25 years ago.
SDM: Aside from drumming, what else do you like to do?
Ramon: I enjoy being a husband & Father to my 3 children. I’m also active in my church with the music and leadership.