Three of the founding members of The Ramones may no longer be with us, but the group's longtime drummer, Marky Ramone , is keeping the band's music alive with his own touring band. According to the 56-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Marky Ramone's Blitzkrieg delivers a set that includes 33 classic tunes by his old band. Marky recently welcomed a new lead singer to the group's ranks, party-rocker Andrew W.K. , and Blitzkrieg now is set to kick off a European tour tonight in Novi Sad, Serbia.
Speaking recently with ABC News Radio, Marky says he's thrilled to have Andrew on board. "The party animal," he declares. "He's a great guy. I love his philosophy."
He reveals that he met the singer through a friend and they decided to book some studio time with the other members of Blitzkrieg. "It jelled," says Marky. "There was a really good chemistry, and that's important."
Blitzkrieg will play a series of May shows in such countries as Italy, Spain and Russia. The band will then head to Latin America in early June, before returning to Europe in late June and July. The group also has scheduled some fall U.S. dates, running from an October 2 concert in Washington, D.C., through an October 15 gig in Los Angeles.
Ramone tells ABC News Radio that the ultimate goal of Blitzkrieg is "to get out there and have fun and show the people what we do and make the Ramones fans happy." He adds, " Johnny , Joey and Dee Dee aren't alive anymore, unfortunately, so there's never gonna be a reunion, but I'm keeping it alive and that's my intention."
Meanwhile, Marky also is excited about the recent reissue of the two albums he released as a teenager with the proto-metal group Dust . The hard-rocking trio's 1971 self-titled debut and 1972 swan song, Hard Attack , have been remastered and are now available on a single CD. At the time, Ramone was known by his given name, Marc Bell , and he pounded the drums alongside singer/guitarist Richie Wise and bass virtuoso Kenny Aaronson .
Marky notes that Dust's music was much more complex than the rudimentary yet catchy tunes he would later play with The Ramones.
"We wanted to put everything into the band that three people could do," he explains. "We played different time changes. We played an outrageous lead guitar for the time. The bass playing is like a lead guitar…And I was able to do all my drum fills, which I wasn't able to do [in] The Ramones."
Dust was only together for about two years, and Marky says the band "fizzled out 'cause we were very young. Our parents wanted that diploma on the wall from high school, which we got."
He points out, however, that all of the group's members went on to have successful music careers. "After we broke up, the guitar player went on to produce the first two KISS albums," says Marky. "Kenny Aaronson…played with Joan Jett , Bob Dylan , Billy Idol , you name it -- everybody. And I made a little excursion to CBGB's and I was asked to join The Ramones."
Visit MarkyRamone.com to check out more information about Marky Ramone's Blitzkrieg and the Dust reissues.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio