THE RONAINS – Scotland’s Finest

Written By Laura Docherty

We’ve told you all about the album release, the music and the stories behind the songs.  Now we bring you exclusives from the people behind the cover and sounds…

On entering a busy Clydebank Restaurant, I found this talented bunch hidden away in a wee corner booth having food and drinks.  Instantly greeted with smiles and hugs from everyone tells you all you need to know about this band…I’ve said it before, and I will never tire of saying it over and over again, they are THE nicest, most genuine people you’ll every come across.  As we sat down to start the interview, we were instantly side-tracked and chatting away about everyday things and the night before’s antics (which I tucked away in my confidentiality file). 

Eventually we decided to put our responsible heads on and get back on track and I got to ask all the questions that the fans what to know about, and thankfully the band didn’t hold back in their answers either, they gave frank and honest answers and didn’t refuse any questions I put at them, the were real troopers and my wordy warriors!

Q. HOW DID YOU GUYS GET INTO MUSIC?

A.

LINZI: I learned to play guitar at school but also found a love for drums, my desire was that strong the I taught myself! I spent many years perfecting my talent in various bands, one of them being a wedding band which was “Not My Scene”.  I was lucky to have made a lot of contacts for which I’m very grateful and as well as being in the Ronains I also teaches drums and guitar too. 

JIM: Listened to music at a young age, mostly Deep Purple thanks to my dad and 70’s Glam Rock which was influenced by my mum.  I learned to play keyboard at the age of 12 and continued with my lessons for 4 years.  I didn’t want to be in a band and even though I had a (A RAW) talent for songwriting which was inspired by my upbringing… I had no plans on doing anything with my music and lyrics.  At the age of 30 with thanks to a gentleman called Finn Patrick, I learned how to play bass guitar and well, as they say…The rest is history!

SHAUN: I was obsessed with music from the age of 4 or 5.  I would sit with a guitar and learn how to play songs by ear (which explains why he so damn good on that fret). At the age of 19 I went to the Academy of Music & Sound and just improved on my (naturally outstanding) talents.  Music has always been a big part of my life and I genuinely can’t remember a time where I didn’t listen too or love music. 

DEBI: I grew up listening to my mums Motown and Elvis thanks to my dad.  I did my fist performance in a school play in primary 6 where I belted out the 2 Unlimited’s “No Limits” and from there I continued with my love of singing with performance’s in High School, Local Musicals, Musical Theatre.  I also studied arts in Motherwell College and went on to join bands such as Shimmer and Platonic before becoming the vocal (goddess) for the Ronains. 

Q. HOW DID YOU GUYS MEET?

A.

ALL: (JIM) I knew Debi for years and saw her singing in a pub in Kilwinning one night. She literally “Made my jaw drop with her voice” after this we became firm friends…When I was 23 I moved to Ireland for 2 years and Debi joined me…I decided to form a new band as the one he had just didn’t feel right, so I followed my gut and created the amazing band they now have.  I created the Ronains around Debi and I knew that I wanted a female drummer and had heard Linzi play so I approached her not once, but twice and she refused him each time.  But being a tenacious character I never gave up and it paid off.  “My Ray Of Light” joined the band.  This was also down to Linzi’s friend from work Gary, as he was responsible for pushing Linzi into speaking to me “The tenacious pest who kept messaging her”!  So, all you Ronains fans owe Gary a pint for his sound advice!  Shaun had been working with Gordy Goudie and had been friends with him for a few years.   Gordy had told me about him and told him to get in touch.  When I called Shaun for the first time, he was in the bath and I had to wait on Shaun returning my call which he duly did whilst naked…. (Calm down ladies).  (SHAUN) Jim answered the call “Jim Reid, Ronains” as he does, and we chatted and got on like a house on fire.  I informed Jim that I was in the buff and Jim duly invited me to the studio where their Bromance continues to bloom each day…And for those of you who have seem the social media pictures, you will know exactly what I’m talking about…

Q. WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE YOU JOINED THE BAND?

A.

LINZI: I was still teaching drums and guitar and hadn’t played in a band for 3 years as I had quit the music industry….(What a loss that was for us all and I for one am glad the Jim and Gary managed to change her mind!)

SHAUN: I was a session guitarist and didn’t want to be in a band as I had just had enough of the drama, tears and tours lifestyle, they had taken there toll.  That was, until Jim called me in the buff!

JIM: I’ve ran a joinery business for years, but in my heart I’ve always been a song writer and someone who naturally good at forming bands…

DEBI: I was broadcasting with William Hill TV and doing awards shows. I was doing musical theatre and had been in a Scottish Television Show called Taggart, I played the part of “Marion McCormack” for 6 months and also made an appearance in Filth alongside James McAvoy. 

Q. WHO IS YOUR MUSICAL INFLUENCES?

A.

JIM: As I said previously, I grew up listening to music from a very young age and developed my love for Deep Purple, the Doors and 70’s Glam with thanks to my mum and dad.  I’m more of a lyrical lover and one of my favourites is Don McLean, I love his work and have a massive amount of respect for him and his talent as do I for Jim Morrison, another talent I love is Bob Dylan and a more modern take on talent that emerged laterally in my upbringing was Oasis.

SHAUN: My obsessed with the blues still exists, from my childhood, I love BB King, Robert Johnson, The Dead Daisies, Motley Crew, Bon Jovi, Joe Bonamassa, John Mayer and Johnny Lang.

DEBI: As well as my childhood love of Motown and Elvis thanks to my parents, I also love the Diva’s with big voices.  Legends like Aretha Franklin, Cher, Tina Turner, Whitney Houston, Madonna, Pink and Beyoncé.

LINZI: I’m a huge fan of Led Zeppelin, Metallica Blondie and, listened to Avril Lavigne growing up, I also love No Doubt and played drums with Adrian Young, The Who, Oasis, Garbage and Marilyn Manson.

Q. IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT WOULD YOU DO DIFFERENTLY?

A.

LINZI: If I was to go back in time I’d tell myself to do some things differently in my personal life growing up…

JIM: I wouldn’t change much to be honest, if anything I’d have had more sex.

DEBI: I wouldn’t change a thing, if anything I’d have held onto loved ones a bit tighter…

SHAUN: If I was to change anything it would have been to have met Jim earlier

Q. DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY AS A CHILD?

A.

JIM: I’d say I was a very “OBSERVANT” child growing up.

LINZI: Growing up I was a very “SHY” kid.

SHAUN: I was an extremely “TWITCHY” kids growing up.

DEBI: Oh I was definitely an “EXUBERANT” child growing up, still am.

Q. BEFORE A PERFORMANCE, DO YOU HAVE ANY BACKSTAGE SUPERSTITIONS/RITUALS?

A.

DEBI: I always make sure I have a tea before going on stage and I never drink any alcohol.

SHAUN: I suppose I do now that I think about it, I stand and rub my guitar pick between my fingers as I prepare to take to the stage.

LINZI: My ritual is to have a beer before I go on stage steadies the nerves, she says laughing.

JIM: Then flamboyantly interrupts saying he doesn’t have or needs rituals because he’s always ready to go on stage without them, but we all laugh and joist with him about a wee tonic wine to which he gives a grin and shakes his head at.

Q. FOR THE MEN IN THE BAND TELL ME A WEE BIT ABOUT YOU, SOMETHING DEEP AND PERSONAL?

A.

SHAUN:  I grew up in Ruchill and it was good man, it was full of good people and filled with lots of love, I had some great times and I’m still friends with some of the guys from the street with the exception of maybe a few ex girlfriends, in fact, I saw one the other day she gave me the finger he says laughing.  I then went through a terrible time in my twenties with my mental health and the only thing that kept me going was music and being on stage.  Being able to take my emotions out through music was a huge relief and still is to this day as I still have an ongoing daily battle with my mental health. Some would say that I’m a dour faced “C” he said with a laugh.  (I personally having met and worked alongside Shaun, would totally disagree! He’s an absolute gem of a human being).   One of my highest points in the bands life was playing the iconic BARROWLANDS” it was epic, I’m enjoying every minute of the Ronains and for me there has never been a low point. 

JIM:  Life was brilliant for me growing up in a council scheme, I still miss the people I was surrounded by to this day and I hope I’m doing them proud.  There have been many tough times in life and the track “When it comes around” is a very personal song to me as it’s about a time in my life where I had to make choices and choose a path in life.  I never had my real father growing up but was lucky enough to have a fatherly role model and losing my very special “Father Figure” to cancer was a really difficult time for me.  Throughout the years I have suffered hurt from friends who have double crossed me and watching family members fighting each other which is what actually influenced these lyrics in the track.

Friends come and go down a long winding road they’ll stab you in the back and tell you its been a pleasure…

My family are worse, their jealousy a curse, they walk on by…Just another stranger.

It’s not all been gloom and the day my son was born was one of the happiest moments in my life, I never had a father, so it was great to finally be one who was there and didn’t runway like my coward of a father did.  Along with that the band life highs have been playing the Barrowlands, selling out the O2 ABC and the Hard Rock Cafe.

There hasn’t been many low points in the band and we are all like family, so yeah we can have disagreements and fall out sometimes, it’s mostly Debi and I because she’s too fucking nice and goody two shoes, but she is my first love which I remind her of on a daily basis. I remind her of how gutted that she must be that she let me go…She could be having this body on a regular basis, but she fucked it all up (he says laughing).

Q. WHO HAVE YOU ENJOYED WORKING WITH THE MOST?

A.

JIM: GORDY GOUDIE he’s an amazing guy and always a pleasure to work with.

DEBI: Definitely GORDY GOUDIE, I love working with him.

LINZI: I’m the same, it’s GORDY for me too, he’s a cracking guy and great to work with.

SHAUN: GORDY, definitely GORDY for me too.

I have to say I understand why Gordy would get their vote, he’s such a lovely guy with an amazing energy about him and one of those guys that would definitely be at your lunch table if you had the choice, just a very special  human being that you could listen too all day…  The band then also discussed others that they liked working with and THE JAKS and PELIKAN ROUGUE made the list too.

Q. WHO HAVE YOU LEAST ENJOYED WORKING WITH?

A.

After much laughter and a few names being mentioned the band decided on a unanimous answer to say “TOO MANY TO MENTION” with a big “LOL” to be added at the end…

Q. SO WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU GUYS?

A.

ALL: We’ve had an amazing year so far with the Album Release (Love Drugs & On The Dole) in March, the tour of America, our gig in Liverpool’s famous Cavern Club along with Festival Season and a new secret project in July along with a few other exciting productions that we can’t talk about for now….

Q. DO YOU HAVE A MESSAGE FOR YOUR FANS?

A.

ALL: We’d like to say a HUGE thank you to all our fans, especially the ones who travel all over to watch our gigs and buy/wear our T Shirts, we appreciate their support and can’t thank them enough.  Look out for our new summer hit, it’s something a little different for you all.  Get yourselves on our mailing list to make sure you get an extra special preview!  Sending you all our love and thanks…The Ronains x

I would personally like to thank the Ronains for taking the time to do this interview with me in the middle of their busy schedule, it’s always a pleasure to meet up with these guys and I personally wish them every success in the world and can’t wait to hear the new summer track, watch out for it’s release guys, it’s sure to be a winner!!

With special thanks to:

Debi Ronain, Jim Reid, Linzi Ronain and of course Shaun Scott (affectionately known as “Fudgy”)

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