Ceremony Begin L.A. Residency With Third Guitarist John Reis!
Starting Thursday, May 18, Ceremony will begin a three-day run at the Echo, their first ever residency in Los Angeles. The series will feature an array of acts, from Sabertooth Zombie and Antwon to Cold Beat, as well as DJ nods from Tamaryn, Beth Cosentino (Best Coast) and Rob Moran (Unbroken). Possibly the most fascinating aspect is that Ceremony's lineup for the shows will include a second guitar from none other than the legendary John Reis (Drive Like Jehu, Rocket From the Crypt, etc.). Tickets are still available for the Thursday and Saturday gigs.
With Thursday fast approaching, we talked to Ceremony about their three-day weekend, what we can expect, Reis joining on second guitar and their secret to longevity. We even got Reis to say a few words about hopping onto the dates. The full interview is below.
Whenever a band makes a seismic shift in style — especially in the narrow-minded world of punk — it usually spells the death of them. How do you think Ceremony have managed to do it so many times, and effectively?
Anthony Anzaldo Jr.: Our music is honest. The shift in sound is a direct symptom [of] us evolving and growing as people. When that honesty is apparent and the audience sees you're not contrived or following the trends of the day, they're willing to go on that journey with you and embrace that change.
Why the residency?
AAJ: I've had the idea for the residency for a few years now. All of our records are so different, and we've been a part of so many different scenes and have played with so many different kinds of bands that I thought it would be fun to showcase all of that. But we haven't been in a place to look back or be "retrospective." With The L-Shaped Man approaching its second birthday, now seems like a fun time to finally do this.
Los Angeles has been very good to Ceremony over the years — even the most recent video of you guys at Sound & Fury is positively insane. What do you think was your most memorable show that you played in L.A.?
AAJ: Sound & Fury 2017 was amazing. The L-Shaped Man record release at the Echoplex was great, as was the Zoo record release with Nails and Chelsea Wolfe in 2012.
It seems like the lineups are very much "family" in that they're scattershot in regards to genre, but still very much in the indie / punk world. How did you approach the support? Was it just mostly due to friendship and then aligning what you had from there?
AAJ: Not necessarily. There are some bands that are playing that we don't have a personal relationship with, like Initiate, the Coltranes and Leisure World, but we are fans of their music and think they would be a great fit. Then you have artists like the World, DJ Tamaryn and Rob Moran, Antwon and Cold Beat, who are dear friends and bring a lot of diversity to the weekend. Bethany Cosentino is literal family, and then, of course, there is Sabertooth Zombie. Us and STZ are from the same town, and we all got into punk together around the same time, and we started our bands in the same year and have played together countless times. Them being a part of this residency was clear and obvious.
For these shows, you will have none other than John Reis on guitar. How did that happen, and what did his approach to play with you guys mean to you?
AAJ: John will be playing with us for the Thursday, May 18 show, and we couldn't be more excited. He produced The L-Shaped Man and practically joined the band during the recording process. He was very involved in the creation of those songs, and it feels like he is the sixth member of the band at this point. Since recording that record, we have stayed in close contact, and in a recent three-hour FaceTime conversation, the idea of him playing came up, and that was that. We want all three of these shows and sets to be different, and John joining us on Thursday will absolutely make that performance special.
John, what about Ceremony attracts you to them? Why did you feel compelled to join the boys for the dates?
John Reis: I love the their restless evolution. Their creative process is exciting, and I consider them a brave band. They are also people that I connect with, and I consider myself fortunate to have them as friends.
What's next for you guys? Are there any recording sessions mapped out? More dates in the summer and into the end of the year?
AAJ: Well, that is confidential information.