Got on a Good Day: An Interview with Ceremony
Ceremony are still experiencing praise and success from their well-received 2008 opus Still Nothing Moves You. As such, expectations are high for their new full-length record that they are set to release sometime in 2010. In addition, the band is heading out on a west coast tour in support of AFI. Despite the busyness, guitarist Ryan Mattos (also known as Toast) was able to answer a few questions I had for the band about the past, present, and future.
This is kind of going back a bit, but were you surprised when AP named you the #1 band to look out for in 2008? Did you even know about it?
They didn’t name us number 1, just one of the “100 bands you need to know” or something. We might have been #98 or #99, I don’t know, they didn’t rank it. I heard about it shortly before the interview for the story.
Still Nothing Moves You was hailed by punk fans everywhere as one of the best records of 2008. Were you guys as happy with it as everyone else?
Definitely. I really like how that record sounds and all the songs on it.
I went to see you guys here in Toronto a while back, but you weren’t allowed over the border. What was the reason, besides the border sucking?
That’s enough of a reason.
Do you guys have jobs outside of Ceremony?
We always will. we all go to school or work. www.ArcticInk.com .
As a pretty big band in the hardcore scene, how do you guys feel about the direction the style is going in? Especially compared to the 80s, the last 10 years or so have seen so much variety within the genre.
Have they? Maybe people are jumping to new variations quicker. Maybe there WAS this much variety in the 80s, but a lot of it doesn’t hold up years later, so we only remember/talk about certain stuff. Maybe there’s a lot more room for growth as the genre develops. I have no idea what direction the style is going in, so I can’t comment on that. it’s like driving when you can only see a foot in front of you.
Okay let’s get a bit more current: you guys have a new record coming out. It was described by your guitarist as ‘very simple straight ahead early punk rock, but other songs are pretty obscure, almost Death In June sounding’. Is this an accurate view in the eyes of the entire band? What else can we expect?
That quote is a good reason that I had said I wasn’t going to do interviews anymore, because things often get taken out of context or whatever, and next thing you know people think you’re writing a neofolk record. But you got me on a good day. So no, that’s not accurate. You can expect good things.
Are there any lyrical or musical themes on the new album? I know you have said in the past that cops aren’t really a lyrical theme for you guys, but you have tackled religion – a common theme in hardcore music.
Only ross knows about the lyrics, and he’s not answering his phone. You have a deadline here, lets move on.
Any bonus info you can give us on the record? Album name, track titles?
Nah, not yet. We start recording Saturday though.
You have a tour coming up with AFI, certainly an interesting, but great opportunity for you guys. Any other tour plans after you guys record your new record?
I’m not really looking at it as an opportunity so much as fun. Once the record is out, we’re going everywhere. Except Canada probably. Sorry.
Will you be pissed if anyone downloads the new album when it leaks?
I make it through my life by not getting pissed about things I can’t control.
Any cool packaging/vinyl plans yet?
Yeah, but if we change our minds, as we often do, this will look weird, Talking about future plans in Ceremony, you always have to stay vague.
Do you have any favourite records from 2009? Any bands worth mentioning that people may not know about?
I do like that Blacklisted record. And the Hope Con 7″. And Fever Ray. And AFI, I’d say that even if I wasn’t contractually obligated. Sabertooth Zombie put out 6 awesome records this year. Vacant State did 2 great records.
Any awesome holiday plans? New Years?
Yeah, come over to RJ and Shalons. See you there.
Thanks for your time dudes, good luck with everything you have going on in 2010.
You too bud. Tell that Gabriel dude on your guys’ About Us page he looks like Kenny Powers illegitimate kid with a funny hat. He probably already knows though.