Watching Ceremony's lifeline getting drawn is like watching an inverted episode of "I Love Lucy" play out. Instead of an unpredictable chain of events forcing Lucy to squack, everything seems to be working out great.
When Ceremony's demo dropped, they soon after got signed to Malfunction Records and got on one of the United States' biggest hardcore fests (Posi Numbers). The hype recently caught up with them when they released their 7", Ruined. Critics everywhere, from messageboards to record stores simultaneously said/typed, "These seven minutes are kick fucking ass, but we want more!" Before thing got dangerous (keyboards smashed through computer screens) Malfunction announced the Ceremony full length for incision on 06.06.06, titled Violence Violence, which will also contain the songs from Ruined as a bonus radicality.
If music don't mean shit to you and you're all about the live show, Ceremony excels in that department too. Their live set has been compared to No Justice and makes it very difficult to take pictures or stand straight. If you get a chance to see them at their homebase at the Phoenix Theatre in Petaluma, California, you should probably wear a helmet.
ScenePointBlank: What is your name and what do you do?
Anthony: My name is Anthony O(+> and I play guitar.
Ryan: My name is Ryan or Mad Toast. I play with my cat and play guitar in Ceremony.
ScenePointBlank: How did you guys get hooked up with Linas Garsys and Malfunction?
Ryan: We've been friends for a few years, and always talked about doing something together, and this time it just worked out. I'm glad.
ScenePointBlank: What part of the 7", Ruined, are you most happy about? What about Ruined do you wish to build upon the most?
Anthony: I think Ross's voice progressed immensely from the demo to Ruined. My favorite songs we have are the new songs that weren't on the demo. I don't wish to build upon it, we're pretty happy with the way it turned out.
Ryan: I'm pretty happy with the whole record. I haven't really thought about what we'll BUILD on, we're just trying to write good songs.
ScenePointBlank: Lyrically, you seem to have themes of introspection and anger towards the outside. How will this style progress on the full length if at all?
Ryan: Ross has pretty much dropped all that, and all the new songs, lyrically at least, talk about how Emergen-C and Airborne don't work when you use beer to dissolve them.
ScenePointBlank: What are your plans to the follow up of Ruined? What can we expect musically?
Anthony: The full length comes out in June. The new stuff doesn't stray too far from what we've done. I've been listening to a lot of Pg.99 and Tragedy in the past few months, and I think those two bands have some influence on the new songs.
Ryan: We're writing for a "full length" that will be out in June on Malfunction Records. The last two songs we wrote for it are my two favorites so far. It's nothing drastically different, but it's not stale either.
ScenePointBlank: On future releases can we expect songs to exceed the two minute mark?
Ryan: We don't really write that way--we just work on a song until it's done. Usually they're done pretty quick. Doubt it though.
ScenePointBlank: How did your mini-tour to the NorthWest go? Any funny stories?
Ryan: It went really good. We played with Pressure and Lead By Example, check both of them out, especially Pressure. I can't think of any funny stories off hand, other than sitting on top of the van in Portland with a bullhorn, making fun of everyone that walked by. We got paid $1 at that show. Oh yeah, we accidentally picked up a hooker that night too. Obviously we didn't do anything bad with her, we just hung out for a while, she told us some stories, sang to us, some cool freestyle rap, nice platonic stuff. She smelled really bad, and was missing some teeth. She was nice though, we gave her some money for her time and she wished us luck.
ScenePointBlank: What are your summer touring plans? Why are you touring with Lights Out?
Ryan: We're doing 2 tours, the first one is with Lights Out because they're one of the best bands in the Bay Area, and we're excited to see them every night. I love that band.
ScenePointBlank: Even though Ross is opposed to releasing splits, if you could do a split with any band together, what band would it be?
Anthony: I would give anything to do a split/tour/show/rockin jam sesh with Tragedy. Something with Look Back and Laugh would also be incredible. But Depeche Mode would be my first choice.
Ryan: It'd be a 4 way split with Dispute, Life Long Tragedy and Minor Threat. They'd get back together for it.
ScenePointBlank: Is the Hammertime demo going to be rereleased ever? Will a Hammertime reunion ever occur?
Anthony: Spider Ghost aka Sammy the Mick of All Bets Off is releasing a xDuckhuntx/Hammertime split. Let's just say, it's a jungle out there.
Ryan: Yeah, Spider Ghost, a label from SF, is going to re-release it as a split 7" with the Duckhunt demo. If they ever did a reunion, no one would care and they'd just want a Duckhunt show, cause people can't tell the difference between a good band and a joke.
ScenePointBlank: What makes the Bay Area so special?
1.) AFI 2.) 924 Gilman 3.) Rancid 4.) NUG 5.) Best Kids 6.) The North Bay 7.) Some good ass vegan food. 8.) Some of the best hardcore bands going right now. 9.) WWCW 10.) Mike Hood 11.) Rivalry Records 12.) Amoeba 13.) "Hella"
Ryan: It's the best place for shows anywhere. It has the best club in the country. It's beautiful here. People are awesome. My grandma lives here.
ScenePointBlank: What have you been listening to lately?
Ryan: A bunch of shit that would make me seem cool.
ScenePointBlank: Any last words?
Ryan: These are always awkward.
Ceremony Photo Gallery
Interview and Photographs by Zed
Graphics by Matt