Part punk, part geek, part cool and a little awkward. Meet Hoey, Joannie, Fe Fe and Tammy—known collectively as the Whoremones. An all-girl band who recreate the spirit of famed punk pioneers the Ramones, the band delivers a unique take on the beloved “brothers” who spawned from New York’s CBGB in the mid-1970s.
Playing straight-up Ramones covers and a few originals, the Whoremones have been performing around town for the past eight months to a growing fan base that ranges from crowd-surfers and moshers to grandmothers and kids alike.
“We had a little 9-year-old girl come up and sing ‘The KKK Took My Baby Away,’” says Hoey. “It was a touching moment because the little girl learned all of the words just to sing it with us.”
As far as learning the tunes themselves, the Whoremones basically reinvented the Ramones from scratch. Even though the Ramones were not known for their musicianship per se, these four musicians with limited (if any) formal training found the task of working up the songs to be a labor of love.
“Fe Fe was re-learning bass while I was taking drum lessons off of YouTube,” says Tammy Whoremone (Lara Lee Williams). “And since Hoey can only sing the songs in the various keys she can hit, the music has a nice unique sound that is the Whoremones.”
In fact, writing material in the same vein as their heroes has taken them in directions the Ramones might’ve never seen coming. Their current 13-16 song live set includes a varying mix of the raw songs off the first two Ramones albums together with the more pop-friendly material of latter records. But whether an original or cover, each song has its own unique Whoremones stamp.
“A girl singing ‘Something To Do’ adds a little more energy than the original,” says guitarist Joannie Whoremone (Joan-Michelle, who also plays in local favorite Prophets & Kings). “And when learning ‘Today Your Love, Tomorrow The World,’ we found that limiting the guitar part during the verses added a cool dynamic to the original song.”
When asked what inspired their formation and passion, band members agreed that in addition to a love for the Ramones, each wanted to help recreate a live show by a band many of its current fans never had the opportunity to experience themselves.
“It’s about letting go without perfection,” says bassist Fe Fe Whoremone (Lauren Haynes). “Just like the Ramones, our main goals were to just create a scene and play the songs we love. We’re less ‘tribute,’ more ‘parallel universe.’ ”
Thursday, March 8
Collective Clothing Warehouse
3933 St. Elmo Ave. (423) 488-0631