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Interview: The Ceremonies

6 min read

Following the release of a brand new self-titled EP and tour supporting The Fratellis, rising new-wave inspired trio The Cermonies talk to Renowned For Sound about the bands early years, the recent tour and how they define success as a band. Here is the what guys had to tell us:

Brendon Veevers: How are you today and where does our interview find you?

The Ceremonies: Today we are full of cheer, thanks. And we’re writing to you from our abode in Los Angeles.

BV: You have recently released your latest self-titled EP. Can you tell us a little about the collection in terms of what those who haven’t yet heard the EP might expect?

The Ceremonies: The EP takes you on this sort of aural journey, melodically, dynamically, and lyrically. The melodies were written in the name of nostalgia while the lyrics are derivative of an innocent and imaginative child’s perspective on an overly mangled reality. The words are as if this child were to assimilate the troubles and complications of adulthood and approach each scenario with a much more holistic perspective. Our hope for the EP is that it may take the listener to an imaginative place where they too may broaden their view.

TheCeremoniesEPBV: How would you describe your sound and your style to those who may not know the band?

The Ceremonies: I think our style and sound influences reach pretty deeply into several different pockets. In this sort of genre-less era of music we’d probably categorize our sound and style as melodic pop harmonies meet an unconventional structure while maintaining a sort of psychedelic or art rock breed of new wave and rock n ’roll.

BV: Are there any plans to release a full length album at any stage?

The Ceremonies: Yes we plan to release a full-length album in 2014. All if not most of the songs are in fact already written and partially recorded. The EP is a sort of “excerpts” or “selections” piece from the full thing.

BV: Is there a favorite track on the new EP for the band and for what reason is it your favorite or is the love equally shared out?

The Ceremonies: Our favorite track on the EP would have to be Ballroom Bones, because of its energy when we play it live. It’s really an emotionally taxing song to perform because it goes through such ups and downs. When you can see the audience drinking in the words and feeling the music, the vivacity of the song is taken to a whole new level.

BV: Can you tell us about the band’s name – why The Ceremonies?

The Ceremonies: Ceremonies are communal gatherings where people come together to experience a collective sentiment ranging anywhere along the entire spectrum of human emotion—anywhere from the mourning of a funeral to the joyous nature of a wedding. We feel this concept reflects the wide range of emotions present in our music. The name is also a reference to Lois Lowry’s “The Giver,” in which the children go through “ceremonies” of ages—specifically the ceremony of three (there are three of us) during which the children begin dream telling. Our name also alludes to one of our favorite tunes titled “ceremony,” by Joy Division/New Order. In addition our initials are also all M.C., which is the acronym for “Master of Ceremonies.”

BV: Can you talk to us a little about the bands early years and how your success has developed. Who started the band and how has it evolved since forming?

The Ceremonies: The three of us have been singing together ever since we were young. Matthew had several bands throughout his teens, and Mark and Michael would fill in instruments whenever there were missing band mates on rehearsal days. Later we decided to start singing as an acoustic trio at various events. That then progressed into taking Matthew’s demos into the studio with Danny Garibay, forming The Ceremonies and beginning the recording of our full-blown studio record.

BV: Who would you say are the bands influences and for what reasons are they regarded as such influential artists to you?

The Ceremonies: We think that influences tend to be mostly the artists that one appreciates most and derives the most joy from listening to. If an artist is truly “influenced,” their work should just have a subconscious familiarity, as opposed to just being a “derivative” work. With this being said, our favorite artists range across the board from The Smiths, The Cure, Echo & the Bunnymen, Beach Boys, Joy Division, Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, Michael Jackson, The Doors, Tim Buckley, this list goes on and on. Each of them have surely shaped our taste, and therefore affect our sound. Our influences are continually expanding as we discover more music and art.

BV: What do you think The Ceremonies brings to the musical table that makes you so unique to other artists?

The Ceremonies: We see music as only a part, albeit a large part, of our art, and consider ourselves not just musicians but thinkers and artists of multiple mediums. We try not to be limited by music and the culture that surrounds being as a “band.” For example, each of us wore many hats in the music video for Land of Gathering. Matthew directed and edited it, Mark and Michael animated scenes and painted the backdrops, and all three of us were largely involved in the production design. Another example is that we just self-published a small book which is a collection of our poems and drawings in addition to the lyrics of the new EP.

BV: How will you know when things have really taken off for the band – how did you define the bands success?

The Ceremonies: Success is so subjective, but we measure it by quality of how we can affect people’s mindsets. The greatest success we could have would be to inspire creativity, encourage people to be open-minded to the many perspectives of the world, and to live genuinely.

BV: How would you describe the personality of each member of the band?

The Ceremonies: All three of us can be pretty spontaneous and goofy, but were often fairly contemplative and serious-minded. Not that we don’t kid around a lot, we find life is more enjoyable with a balance of the two. It sort of just depends on the situation.

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BV: You recently supported The Fratellis on tour. What was that like?

The Ceremonies: We were very excited to tour with the Fratellis, not only because we enjoy their music but also because it was our first experience touring across the U.S. As for how this came about, we were connected by our mutual talent agency WME.

BV: Had you previously met the guys from The Fratelli’s?

The Ceremonies: We had never met them but had talked to them over social media, and has heard continually that they are a fantastic group of guys.

BV: Are there any dates or venues on the tour that you were particularly looking forward to playing?

The Ceremonies: Portland – because a lot of our family is from there but we’d never got the chance to go farther north (where the venue is). Also the Fonda in LA. There’s something special about playing in our hometown.

BV: Where can we keep up to date with the band’s plans, tour dates and general going-ons?

The Ceremonies: Our website, theceremonies.com, has everything; tour dates, photos from past concerts, lyrics, poems, and art. We also update our social medias daily, so you can find information on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

BV: What else is on the 2013 calendar for The Ceremonies?

The Ceremonies: For the rest of the year we will continue performing and incorporating more multimedia elements to the shows, as well as working on our debut LP. We also have lots of different ideas that we look forward to executing in various fine art mediums within the coming months.

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