How have things changed for you since you signed to Matador?
It’s hard to say really because the record’s only been out for two weeks, but we get a lot more press on Matador – not that we care about that too much, that’s just how it is. I think more people are aware of the band now that we’re on a bigger label. We’ve sold more records than we normally do, but at this point it’s hard to tell. I think in six months to a year the benefits or the cons of being on Matador will really show. Not that I see there being any downfall at all – they’re great. They love music and their only interest is putting out music that they like, y’know? They don’t want any creative control. There are plenty of bands that they could sign who are popular and who a lot of people think are great, but it’s just not their thing. They would rather sign a band like us who, at the end of the day, relatively won’t sell them that many records, but it’s what they’re into. So being on a label like that is great.
How do you find working with them in comparison with Bridge 9?
Bridge 9 and Deathwish are a little more one dimensional, which is fine, both are great labels, but we are probably the smallest band on Matador where as on Bridge 9 we were one of the more popular ones, so it’s just a different dynamic. Matador puts out a lot of different styles of music, and with that you get people talking about your band or being interested in your band that wouldn’t necessarily have heard of you before. Being on Bridge 9 it’s like the only people that are going to seek you out are people who are into hardcore music. Even though there are a lot of people who haven’t called us a hardcore band for a long time – and I don’t agree – for someone who isn’t really into hardcore who maybe would like us, they would never stumble upon us because they would just hear the hardcore tag and not care. It’s not like it’s our goal to reach a larger audience, necessarily, we just respect what Matador does. So the difference really is a more diverse crowd is now aware of the band.
Was it important for you to move away from a strictly hardcore label with “Zoo”?
Probably. We had 4 or 5 songs written for “Zoo” before Matador came knocking on our door, so no matter what we were gonna do the record was always going to sound the way it does now. We did an EP, two singles, and two LP’s with Bridge 9, so I think even if we didn’t get picked up by Matador we probably wouldn’t have gone with them just because we wanted to do something new. But it wasn’t like, “well we need to not sign to a punk label anymore, because that’s not what we’re doing”, we were just doing what we do and thankfully Matador was interested.
How do you think Ceremony has changed with “Zoo”?
Anthony: Going from “Rohnert Park” to “Zoo” was probably our biggest leap. I mean we have a new band member, Andy Nelson, who plays second guitar – he’s in Paint It Black – so whenever something like that happens there’s a whole new dynamic. He’s a killer musician. But really the music is just a lot different. There’s a lot more structure, a lot more cohesion.
You can read the rest of the interview here.