Wednesday 8 August 2012

Leeds Festival Preview // Ceremony Interview

When Californian hardcore punk outfit Ceremony came to Leeds on a recent UK tour it is safe to say it was one of the most riotous shows that Est.1987 has ever attended! 
The boys are back in August playing at the Reading and Leeds Festival so to read what happened when we caught up with guitarist Anthony Anzaldo click below; we chatted all things fans, recording the new album, "Zoo", and isolating social media...

Recording the new album was the first time you’d worked with a producer (John Goodmanson) and recorded outside of LA. How was that experience and how did it help shape the record?
Yeah, we recorded it in Seattle. It was awesome! John Goodmanson is really good at what he does and it was a new experience, he was like the sixth member of the band. When you’ve been working with the same people for so long it’s easy to get caught up in the same common practices, so it was nice for someone to bring a fresh take on everything. And, recording away from home was great because it’s all you have to do; work on the record, concentrate on the record.

Rohnert Park” was a very different album to your previous, and again “Zoo” is very different to everything that came before it, which I guess has split your fans. Do you intend to provoke that reaction?
No, we don’t. I mean we know what’s going to happen when we write these, but with everything that we do we know we are going to lose fans. There are people that stopped listening to us after our demo, and also with punk and hardcore in the States the turnover is so quick. I was talking with our tour driver and he was saying it’s interesting because in the UK the people who were into punk thirty years ago and in the 70s are still into that. Whereas in the States you’re into it for five to seven years and then you move on. I bring that up, because we don’t concern ourselves with fans we’re going to lose because if we stayed the same people would be like “that’s the same old s**t again, f**k them!” We are constantly changing and evolving as people and we don’t try to write certain things, we just go into practice space and stop when it sounds good. If that means it’s different then it’s not contrived.

You don’t have Twitter, Facebook or Myspace. Why did you decide to isolate social media and do you think it’s at times harder to get yourselves out there, or that is actually makes your message and music stronger?
Yeah, the less you have out there that isn’t in relation to your music, the more your music is going to stand out on its own. If you have a Twitter, a Facebook, a Myspace, a Tumblr and this and that, a website and a record it’s like “what?” It’s like “no, we come out with albums, there’s a website and you can find our shows.” We make music because we want to make music not because we want people to see us tweet “cool show tonight” or “we just watched Back To The Future in the van today”. It’s like who gives a f**k? We have no status concerns at all. We make music and we are honest and passionate about it, that’s the end of the story.

Lead singer Ross Farrar in the crowd at the Leeds show
It kind of takes it back to the good old fashioned days, some may say, of it being just about the music.
Yeah. I see bands in the exact same position as us who have Facebook and Myspace and Twitter accounts and it’s obviously not helping them. It’s going to make it more accessible maybe for your fans to find out certain things; but I don’t think anyone is going to be about us, “no they didn’t post about their show in Twitter so it must not be happening”.

Hardcore as a genre seems to take itself too seriously at times. You don’t really get that sense when listening to your records and they have that accessible side. Do you agree?
Yeah, I mean I think as time has gone on we have become more accessible, but it’s just rock music at the end of the day. We are all really passionate about music and we all have this creative urge and that’s why we do the band and that’s pretty much where it ends. We don’t have an existential message, and there’s nothing wrong with that but we’re just music snobs and nerds, that’s all it is.

And finally, what do you make of the current hardcore scene?
I mean in the [San Francisco] Bay area it’s really localised. A lot of the bands where we live just stay there and it’s special that way, but like I said earlier it’s constantly changing; the trends and the styles and sub-genres are constantly recycling. What’s cool now is going to shift out in five to seven years and there will be another fad. Lucky for us when we started out the stuff that we were doing was something that people were interested in, this fast short, abrasive brand of punk and hardcore was something that was popular at the time. It is what it is, we try not to break it up so much; music is music for us and there’s constantly stuff of all genres that we’re into. There’s a band from the UK called “Flats” and they’ve got a new record out soon and they’re f*****g amazing, so that’s probably the hardcore record that I’m looking forward to the most.

Be sure to catch Ceremony play the Lock Up Stage at Reading on Friday and Leeds on Saturday.

To read the full interview and see what you can expect from the live show when they play Reading and Leeds click HERE

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