The Ramona Music Center is a storefront music store with a recording studio/rehearsal space in the back. It’s the only business of its kind serving this small, rural town in San Diego’s backcountry.
Seven years ago the music center put out its own compilation CD, featuring some 16 bands and solo artists based in Ramona.
One of those bands was a metal band called the Dead Serial Killers. Their third album, Devils and Demons, is released this month. It was recorded at the center.
Though the Ramona music scene seems to have tanked, the DSK band tells the Reader they are still going strong.
“There were, like, six or seven local bands back then,” recalls Dead Serial Killers drummer Jake Pucillo. “London Falling, Mother Mae I, PSI, Against the World, One Theory. They’re gone now. As far as I know, we are the only home team left.”
But while local band numbers dwindle, Ramona’s music venues are thriving.
On March 22, DSK will have its CD-release party at a Ramona pub called Molly Malone’s. “That place has been going off,” says Pucillo. “Sprung Monkey killed there. 2 Live Crew played there, too.”
And then there’s the Ramona Mainstage, a 550-capacity music venue in a converted movie theater. The Mainstage has benefited from the closure of Brick by Brick. Headliners Michael Schenker, Lynch Mob, and Dio Disciples were moved to the Mainstage after it was announced Brick by Brick would be closing February 8 for remodeling.
Dead Serial Killers’ Pucillo loves it that some of his favorite bands are playing in his backyard.
“The fact that I get to play with some of the bands that are on my CD player here in Ramona is pretty interesting,” Pucillo says. “But on the flip side, its a bum rap to see one of the great local-music places in San Diego close down. We got to open for Green Jelly at the Brick. It was a great place for local bands to get out there and play with bands I’ve known my whole life.”
I asked him if he thought Brick by Brick would reopen. “In my heart of hearts, I hope so. But I honestly don’t think they will.”
The Dead Serial Killers is also Anthony Lograsso (vocals), Shawn Davis (bass), and Joe Faust (guitar/vocals).
The Dead Serial Killers also appear April 17 with Kataklysm and Aborted at the Ramona Mainstage.