The Bay Area music scene is something for the books. Between glittery pop acts, the occasional thrashing transvestite, and an onslaught of warbling hippy bands, finding your way through the maze can be difficult. Ceremony has made its way out of the small venues of Sacramento and San Francisco and hit the big time with a European tour; they’ve toured with the likes of AFI and have just released their third studio album Rohnert Park. The boys from Ceremony sit down with FUN Artists and talk about their latest musical offering, drunk shenanigans, and Jake’s big, flexing butt; yeah, they keep it classy.
FUN Artists.com: Could you introduce yourselves and tell us about Ceremony?
Ross Farrar: I’m Ross, I do vocals.
Jake Casarotti: I’m Jake, I do drums.
Ross Farrar: Ceremony is a hardcore punk band from Rohnert Park which is a suburb of San Francisco about 40 minutes north of the city. We started out just playing punk songs, fast punk songs, and we’re still playing fast punk songs but they’re a little slower now – let’s just say that. But we’ll probably make it way faster on this next record – a hundred times faster.
FUN Artists.com: So are you in the process of writing the new record?
Ross Farrar: Well Anthony [Anzaldo] has some tracks but we haven’t gone into the studio and actually pieced the songs together yet.
Jake Casarotti: But we’re always making shit up.
Ross Farrar: We’re always making songs. In the next month or two we’re going to start practicing again and writing a new record.
FUN Artists.com: So from Ruined and Violence Violence you went from really fast and angry – really punk rock – to more of an LA skate vibe. How did that transition go down?
Ross Farrar: We wanted to do songs that weren’t as thrashy, not as like power-violence style. We went from thrashy hardcore songs, then tried to do something that was more power-violence, and now we’re going pack to more punk /punk roots. It’s what we wanted to do on Rohnert Park.
Jake Casarotti: The idea was to do one 7” of like older sounding punk songs and then another 7” of like hella weird experimental shit, but by the time we got around to recording we couldn’t tell which songs to put on—
Ross Farrar: So we just combined everything. We were going to do a whole bunch of different genres of music.
FUN Artists.com: The new album definitely sounds like some stuff that makes me want to skate.
Ross Farrar: That’s Awesome
FUN Artists.com: Do you guys normally skate, cause I read the book that comes out with Rohnert Park where you talk about going out and skating a lot. Is that still happening when on tour?
Ross Farrar: I skate as much as I can. I left my skateboard in this girl’s car and I don’t have her number so I had to buy a new one – but when I get the new one I will skate again for God’s sake.
FUN Artists.com: Did you guys skate when you were in Korea?
Ross Farrar: I skated once in Korea. Part of my bearing cracked and broke off and I didn’t find a skate shop for awhile, but I did get to skate for a tiny second.
Jake Casarotti: It was like funnest skate session ever.
Ross Farrar: And it was so fun because we were skating down the street in this weird, I don’t know – paved street, Williamsburg kind of like hip part of Korea, and we were skating through the main part of it like, “Oh yeah this is awesome!” We were all drunk and skateboarding.
Jake Casarotti: Everyone was looking at us like they had never seen a skateboard before and shit; it was dope.
Ross Farrar: Yeah, they were pointing and like “What the fuck? He’s white; he’s not Asian … what the hell?” So that was pretty fun.
FUN Artists.com: You guys are about to do a tour in Europe with Sabertooth Zombie. You looking forward to that?
Ross Farrar: Yeah… Ha ha ha he’s not going [points to Jake].
Jake Casarotti: Yeah, I can’t go.
Ross Farrar: But I’m looking forward to going.
Jake Casarotti: I was looking forward to it. I don’t want to talk about why I’m not going.
FUN Artists.com: Are you more excited about going to Europe or going with friends, because you’re all from the same city.
Ross Farrar: Going to Europe with all of our friends is going to be incredible. It’s going to be the best. We did a US tour with them a long time ago and it was probably the greatest thing that has ever happened to me in my entire life. So going overseas where we get all kinds of food, we get places to stay, we get drinks, we get everything for free – that’s going to be really fun.
FUN Artists.com: Growing up in a small town like Rohnert Park was it hard to get involved in the punk scene? How did you get in?
Ross Farrar: Just a lot of friends of mine from high school were into it. They were into the hardcore scene and I didn’t really know what it was; I was more into Minor Threat and Black Flag and fast punk at that time. But I didn’t know what hardcore was; I thought it was just rock punk that was fast.
Jake Casarotti: Yeah, we all went to the same high school. We went to the same high school as the guys from Lifelong Tragedy and they started the first hardcore band and we were like “What!” and they went on tour, so we were like, “Damn this shit’s fucking proper as fuck.”
FUN Artists.com: And what was it that made you want to start playing drums?
Jake Casarotti: Just that we needed a drummer. I played guitar originally, but there are all sorts of guitarists; everyone plays guitar. All of our friends were starting hardcore bands and shit so I knew we needed a drummer so I got a drum set and learned to play.
FUN Artists.com: So the scene from down here in Southern California is pretty different than up your way in the North…
Ross Farrar: I think Northern California has random influences. There’s stuff coming from all over the place; there’s a lot of weird bands, for example Sabertooth Zombie. They just have all kinds of weird different parts in it, and I don’t think that people from Northern California – the bands especially – listen to another band and say, “I want to sound like this,” they just start making music. It ends up being a band that’s kind of weird but kind of cool, and I think that happens with a lot of bands. But with SoCal, I don’t really know much about the scene. I just know that when we come here we have really fucking good shows, and the bands that I know from here are really cool. But I don’t know; it’s just different from Northern California, I don’t know why but it is.
Jake Casarotti: It’s totally different. Everyone seems like they rock Jordon’s down here and shit.
FUN Artists.com: How did the book that came with Rohnert Park come about?
Ross Farrar: I was taking a creative writing class at Santa Rosa Junior College, and the teacher I had kind of got me into poetry – I wasn’t very familiar with it until I met him. I started writing poems and formatting poems, and making them. I was making poems and he was teaching me how with stanzas and line breaks and I wanted to that with Ceremony lyrics – make poems out of them. Just break them up into different line breaks. I did it and in like a month I called the people at Bridge Nine and was like “I want to do a book, will you help me do a book?” and they said “Yeah sure.” So I did the whole discography of lyrics; I did some normal poems that I had just done for personal reasons, and I did a short story. They said they wanted to put it out and I was like “Cool,” and there are also photos from tour – there’s a photo of Jake jumping off a cliff naked, which is cool – it’s his big flexing butt all like “Ahh!”
Jake Casarotti: Straight action.
Ross Farrar: Straight action shot.