This week’s guest is Ricky Ramirez, who Milwaukee-area listeners might know as the owner of The Mothership. Since opening the Bay View bar in early 2019, Ramirez has managed to navigate his business through a worldwide pandemic, earn attention by way of The Mothership’s unconventional and unflinchingly honest social media presence, and (probably) sell more Hamm’s beer than anywhere else in the state of Wisconsin. Along the way, Ramirez has brought some interior and exterior changes to the bar and he’s launched an on-site food truck. Oh, and have we mentioned Ricky is also in a band?

Recently, Ramirez welcomed My First Band host and Mothership regular Tyler Maas into his bar to talk about his bartender past, the origin of The Mothership, some challenges he’s faced and lessons he’s learned over the last three-plus years, the decision to start the Gavilán food truck, and goals he has for both ventures in the future. After chatting about the bar business (and reminiscing about the time they watched the Bucks win the NBA Finals at The Mothership), Ramirez told Maas about hiding his hip-hop albums from his religious parents as a kid, his introduction to heavy metal in high school, how he unknowingly auditioned to become the vocalist in Population Control, and some of his favorite experiences from his time in the band so far. You can see Population Control at X-Ray Arcade on Sunday, July 10.

My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth (“The Junction Street Eight Tigers”) and Population Control (“Drowning In The Trenches Of My Mind”).