Ceremony plays post-punk direct from Rohnert Park 

click to enlarge Onward and upward: Ceremony has jumped to a bigger label for its newest recording, “Zoo.” - COURTESY PHOTO
  • courtesy photo
  • Onward and upward: Ceremony has jumped to a bigger label for its newest recording, “Zoo.”

Rohnert Park proto-punkers Ceremony may have left the Bridge 9 indie imprint for big-time Matador with their new, more post-punk effort “Zoo.” But there are no regrets. The band has gotten some grief for the move, says guitarist Anthony Anzaldo, 25. “But no matter what we did, people were going to say negative things — if we signed another two-album contract with Bridge 9, people would have said, ‘When are these guys gonna grow up?’ So in the end, you have to make decisions for you and not worry what anyone will think.”

So what happens up in Rohnert Park? It’s like a suburb of suburbs. So we would just run off to San Francisco and Berkeley any chance that we got. It’s definitely that cliché place, as in “There’s nothing to do here but go to parties and get drunk all the time.” But luckily, we drove 40 minutes and we were in the most exciting city in the country. Or one of them, at least.

Does Ceremony still refuse to have Twitter, MySpace and Facebook accounts? Yeah, because we’ve never seen the point. And a lot of fans think we want that to be our slogan, but really the reason why we make that known is because there are Ceremony Twitters, Facebooks and MySpace pages out there that we don’t operate. So it’s us saying, “Hey guys, if you read or see anything on any of these pages, we have nothing to do with it.” Anything we do, we want rooted in our music, and those media outlets can distort that.

Isn’t it all just white-noise distraction? It really is. I was at my girlfriend’s house over the holidays, and her 3-year-old nephews were on their parents’ iPhone, playing these games, and they knew exactly how to open the phone, get to the games and play them.

“Zoo” feels like 1979 all over again. Is that Public Image Ltd.’s “Second Edition” floating around in there as an influence? That’s a common comparison, but it wasn’t conscious. You have these things that you’ve been listening to since you started getting into music, and they create this filter, until any influence that you have passes through that. But we’re not shy about where we come from, who our influences are.

What influenced “Zoo,” specifically? A huge influence was Wire. And what first-generation, late-’70s, early-’80s punk bands weren’t obsessed with Wire? Or their maturity from “Pink Flag” to “154”? So anyone who isn’t liking our band for the evolution we’ve achieved? Hey — that’s a very childish mentality, that where a band starts is where they have to stay.

IF YOU GO

Ceremony

Where: Amoeba Music, 1855 Haight St., San Francisco

When: 6 p.m. Tuesday

Tickets:
Free

Contact: www.amoeba.com

Where: 924 Gilman, 924 Gilman St., Berkeley

When: 7:30 p.m. March 10

Tickets: $12

Contact: www.brownpapertickets.com

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Tom Lanham

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