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Ceremony bucks hardcore orthodoxy to embrace authenticity

Northern California hardcore quintet Ceremony ditches ritual for righteous, stylistically rich progress

Photo: Photo by Jimmy Fontaine, License: N/A

Photo by Jimmy Fontaine

Yet Ceremony’s street cred hasn’t faltered a bit – even the 40-something lifers I know from East Coast hardcore epicenters in Philadelphia and New York City grudgingly accept the fact that the Californian youngsters have, along with bands like Canadian labelmates Fucked Up, re-energized the tight-knit scene and flung it open to more mainstream listeners. But Anzaldo says the band refuses to take too much credit for that.

“It’s just the nature of the times,” he laughs. “Everything is so cracked open right now, with so many bands incorporating so many different styles in with strains of punk and hardcore. For the longest time, things were segregated and cut and dried and that mindset has finally been eradicated.”

When asked about how Ceremony’s fanbase has evolved, Anzaldo acknowledges the band’s much-broadened horizons after the release of Zoo. But like any true punk, he emphasizes the importance of authentic individuality – even if it’s constantly changing.

“Attracting a wider audience is awesome,” he says. “But at this point, if you’re on board with us, then you expect something unexpected. You trust that we’ll do something honest. And that’s that.”

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