Sunday, December 16, 2012


After having the most successful year of their career so far, bay area hardcore heroes Ceremony released one of the years best records, Zoo, and became one of the biggest buzz names in music. From slaughtering live shows, to a tour that had them open for OFF!, and Titus Andronicus and being hand selected by Refused to open one of their reunion concerts, to craze around their single "Hysteria," Ceremony can look back at 2012 and smile. We spoke to bassist Andy Nelson about the bands acclaim, their history and their influences. Take a look.

Unlike many hardcore bands today, Ceremony combines melodies as well as brutal power to your sound. Who are some of your influences?

Wire, Black Flag, The Cramps, The Fall, The Stooges, Gang Of Four are some direct influences on the band.

In the beginning, you used to cover Joy Division’s “Ceremony,” did you play it like the band did or did you make it your own style?

We've sampled it but we've never been brave enough to cover it. We're not that good.

From that song is that where you got your name?

Of course.

Being in the business so long, what advise would you give to anyone who wants to start a band today?

Any advice I would give would probably stunt success for most bands like writing good songs, staying away from social media, not getting caught up with partying. I can go on forever but there are plenty of big bands who don't practice any of those things.

In the seven years you have been around you have managed to release a record nearly every year. Do you ever find you are at a loss of words for things to make music about?

I don't think so. It's actually gotten easier.

The new record, Zoo, has received much praise, how do you respond to it?

We're very excited for all of the positive reviews. We like when people like our records.

You released Zoo on Matador Records, how does it feel to be apart of the Matador family? Who is your favorite artist from the label?

That is a really good question. Belle and Sebastian, probably. Interpol are great. I love the new Cold Cave record. Andy would probably say Chavez.

 Much like Rohnert Park, Zoo is also a departure in your abrasive style; the change has caught many by surprise. Where those your intentions?

Not at all. No change in sound is or has ever been a conscious effort. We write and stop when we think it sounds good.

Your song “Sick,” seems to have been a foreshadowing of these changes in your aesthetic. You mention how you were sick of Black Flag and sick of Cro-mags, were you sick of the scene and genre all together?

No, not really. The Black Flag/Cro-Mags line is tongue and cheek. Sometimes you're just sick of everything.

 What has always been amazing about Ceremony is that you cater to make music for you and not to a certain scene or group of people and if your fans follow you, they follow you. So far it has been successful for you, do you wish you saw more bands adopt this?

I wished I saw more bands that were focused on the music and not all of the other shit that goes along with being in a band. I started playing music for love of the art and performing, not for any sort of status.

What did you learn about yourselves as a band while making Zoo that you did not know before?

I learned that Ross didn't have to scream to sound awesome !

How did you find out you were opening for Refused?

The promoter asked if we would be interested and then a month later gave us a formal offer.

Did Refused have an influence on you when you were starting out?

Not really. I really like Refused and respect what they do but they haven't directly influenced our music.

What has been the best thing about being in this band thus far?

Making 'Zoo'