Ceremony, NXNE: They're Still Hardcore, But it's a Different Kind of Hardcore
In the music world, especially in the past few years, the rule of thumb has been "evolve or die." It's why Green Day grew from three-chord pop-punk to Broadway musicals, why the Black Keys added bass and keyboards to their bare-bones sound and why Metallica made an album with Lou Reed (we didn't say evolution was always an improvement).
Of course, there are obvious exceptions like AC/DC and the Ramones, who made careers of releasing records that sounded essentially the same. But a band like Ceremony understands the need to keep their sound fresh by trying new things. Their most recent album Zoo isn't a far cry from their earlier hardcore efforts, but its slowed-down tempo and eclectic influences show a band that's gradually maturing, whether they agree with the term or not.
"We are older, we are a lot more mature than when we started the band, but I don't necessarily think that because you aren't as 'punk' or as 'hardcore' as you once were, that makes you more 'mature,'" guitarist Anthony Anzaldo told Spinner over the phone from a tour stop in Florida. "It's just a different style of music. I don't look at different styles of music as more or less mature than others. With that logic, is free-form jazz the most mature style of music? I hate that shit."
Anzaldo's point is taken, but the band have come a long way from the brutal blast beats of their 2006 album Violence Violence. Their youthful anger has been cranked down to a slow simmer and their worldview has broadened along with their musical influences. But, perhaps ironically, youthful restlessness and a distaste for repeating themselves are mostly to blame for the change in