Interview: The Ceremonies
Mon, 27 Jan 2014 09:52:06
The Ceremonies Videos
There's nothing like it when family fuels music. Brothers can lock into a groove like no other musicians can. They've got that blood bond after all, and throughout history that's made for some timeless tunes. Brothers Matthew, Mark, and Michael Cook comprise Los Angeles's The Ceremonies, and the trio turn out an otherworldly brand of alternative rock that's both elegantly composed and entrancingly ethereal. Their self-titled debut EP [iTunes link] is worthy of celebration...Meet your new favorite musical family.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Matthew Cook of The Ceremonies talks the EP and so much more.
Did you guys approach The Ceremonies EP with one complete vision in mind?
We definitely approached the process of the LP with a solid vision. The EP is fragments of the LP that we thought flowed well together like a collection of excerpts from it.
How did you choose the songs that would be on the EP?
It was what we felt flowed best and had a diverse selection of our sound.
Is it important for you to tell stories and paint pictures with the songs?
We have a loose story that we've catered the music to. The visual aspect, the sound effects we've incorporated and the imagery it connotes are just as important as the music itself. It's more about the experience than the actual music just by itself.
What goes into that experience?
This EP and LP are largely rooted in this sort of mental exploration of finding your inner childhood self, maintaining a sense of imagination and childlike wonderment. It's about being able to have several different perspectives on the world and on life in general. The main motif, if you will, of the EP is preserving that youthful wonder and rediscovering it in adulthood.
What inspired that?
It was books and different authors we like to read as well as various philosophers. Also, it was introspection. I think of Aldous Huxley, Herman Hesse, and Albert Camus. Those are the three who we actually had posters made up of as well as t-shirts. We had a road campaign where we were posting our name with pictures of them. They were big inspirations for us. There were others like Tom Wolfe and Ram Dass. Inspiration is found in so many different places, but those are some of the places we found it in.
What's the story behind "Nightlight"?
It's about caving into something that you want to consider unattainable and this mind-over-matter complex you're not strong enough to hold on to. It's partially contradictory. The chorus is like contradicting all the verses. You're trying to ride a higher moral ground and caving in to something you were telling yourself you weren't going to do. It could be caving into a girl or any other notion.
Where did "Ballroom Bones" come from?
It's about being affected by someone else's illness or sense of addiction and being brought down through osmosis. You're trying to stay afloat while another person's problems are trying to pull you with them.
If your album were a movie or a combination of movies, what would it be?
What a great question! We'd say Little Nemo in Slumberland, which is this old animation from our childhood that really inspired us. Each of the songs could fit. That's a good one. Rather than a movie, we've taken a lot of inspiration from childhood novels and stories like Aesop's Fables. "Straw Hat" references The Big Bad Wolf. "Wolfdance" references The Little Engine That Could. There are a lot of allusions to fairy tale or nostalgic books.
Have you heard The Ceremonies yet?