INTERVIEW WITH JOEY LUUMÄKI, NE
Copyrightę 1998 -> for everything in this page by Jari-Pekka
Ne Luumäet is probably the most legendary Ramones cover band, even
more than Screeching Weasel and Vindictives. They did a long career and a
bunch of Ramones covers (their first album). Later studio albums didn't
contain actual Ramones covers, just "borrowed" titles or themes for songs.
Ne Luumäet is also contained in the tribute album Blitzkrieg Over You
with song Siinä On Punk Kari (Sheena Is A Punk Rocker). Ne
Luumäet always had finnish lyrics. Their singer Joey looked the same
as Joey and is even nearly of the same height (Joey L. is 6'8" or 204 cm).
Their song Onnellinen Perhe (in English: Happy Family) was number one on
the finnish single chart-list for six weeks. Other bands have made covers
of their songs and Joey has written some lyrics to other bands like to
Pojat: Siipi Lonksuu Niin (Ramones song: She Belongs To Me). They did
really funny lyrics, especially Joey.
Their first record was cover album of the following 14 Ramones songs in
finnish: Somebody Put Something In My Drink, Oh Oh I Love Her So, Cretin
Hop, Sheena Is A Punk Rocker, I Wanna Be Sedated, Suzy Is A Headbanger,
Pinhead, Blitzkrieg Bop, Teenage Lobotomy, Beat On The Brat, Rockaway
Beach, Commando, I Don't Wanna Walk Around With You and Today Your Love,
Tomorrow The World. Their live album was called Se On Live (It's a Live)
You can find Joey Luumäki's interview from my Rock In Peace:
Dee Dee And Joey Ramone book.
1) Your thoughts of the Ramones influence generally?
The Ramones set new standards to rock music. They are the right standards
for a great many people. If somebody says it's too simple, I say that he
should try to top the Ramones. That is not so simple & easy. If you want
to learn to play electric guitar you should start with Ramones songs or
something else as basic and clever. No use in copy-catting slick guitar
licks and so on, in my humble opinion.
2) What Ramones things have influenced you the most?
Playing fast, loud and short. Having a pop living room inside a rock
building. Keeping the faith, baby. The same thing as with the likes of
Cramps, Motörhead, Stray Cats, Tchaikovsky and Sibelius.
3) Ne Luumäet is planning to do a new collection album and even
some new songs. How about comeback gigs?
Well, we are planning to release a mess of a compilation some day: "hit"
songs, rarities, previously unreleased tracks and maybe a couple of brand
new songs. Nothing's set and the new songs don't exist yet. In '93 we set
a nominal comeback money limit to 100 000 FIM per night (around $20,000).
Nobody wanted to pay, I doubt anybody will. Maybe we'll cut the limit down
to 20 000 FIM, then. But it wouldn't be a comeback, just a
4) What do you think of the line: Ne Luumäet is probably the most
legendary Ramones cover band?
It's reasonably good English. But really, nobody has seen them all, or
heard all the legends. Everybody has the right to his/her own opinions
and even to express them. Most people just don't give a shit: "What's a
ramones?". Of course we all who know better are still spreading the word.
5) Your own Ne Luumäet favourites?
I really don't know.
From the three latest albums it might be Motelli, Tule Hulluksi and
Samaa Rataa. Maybe, and just for the time being. Samaa Rataa (Same Old
Track) is highly autobiographical: it's about this straight-A's guy
not being able to change a smallest thing in this world.
6) Have you heard many Ramones cover bands?
Just a few, to be honest. But basically all bands I go to see are the same
kind: fast, loud and short. Influenced by the Ramones even if they don't
confess it themselves. Rock brothers, maybe? The Ramones songs are not
the only good music in the world but they definitely are among the best
7) What do you think of this Blitzkrieg Over You -album?
Have not heard, have not seen. I'm totally out of the scene. It's great
that the snowball keeps rolling and growing.
Just telling by the songlist this blitzkrieg phenomenon still seems to be
as universal as it used to. And people still make songs ABOUT the Ramones,
not only covers of their songs (one of my most cherished memories is when
I first heard Eastern Dark's Johnny and Dee Dee). Oh yes, and finding a
name for your band can sometimes be a real headache.
8) Do you member some special memories of the Ramones cover recordings?
When we did the Ramones cover album (our first LP) we had a weekend of
studio time for the whole album. After we had played everything in we
noticed that the Somebody put something... -cover was way too slow. We had
no time to redo it and we had to crank it up with a half tone. So I had to
"sing" a bit higher and I'm not a tenor (well I'm not much of a singer
anyway). I got a little angry and just yelled red-faced. It still seems
to lack energy. We had no producer, no production.
9) Ne Luumäet was an opening band for the Ramones.
I remember one time, in Helsinki 1994. We had already quit the business,
but this was an offer we couldn't turn down (even though there was no
money involved!). It was the manager of the club Tavastia who first wanted
us to be there and he had to negotiate the whole thing out with the
Ramones tour management. We had strict rules: no cover songs whatsoever,
stage time not more than 30 minutes and show at a set time. Still it was
one of the good gigs to keep well in mind.
10) What did Joey think of that you're same looking?
When we first met in '88 he looked twice and just looked stupefied. He
didn't make any remarks though, maybe because I was covered in mud and
didn't actually look like a humanbeing at all. In '91 (or '92?) we both
played at a festival. He invited me to their backstage caravan for a chat
after the guys peeking out of the caravan for a few times. In '94 he just
waved a hand.
11) How did the Ramones comment your songs?
We sent our first LP to the Ramones management back in '86 - no comments.
But the band probably never saw or heard it (good for them!). In '94 they
peeked between the curtains and smiled. It was a great compliment from the
I can help if you wanna buy Ne Luumäet-CD's. Just E-mail to
(Thanks for Joey and for the one of the most legendary Ramones tribute