Interviews

Ceremony: One of Punk's Most Unpredictable Outfits on Rising, Raging and Changing

By Reyan Ali Finding a young, lesser-known band in the pages of Rolling Stone is not a noteworthy event. However, seeing a review of Ceremony's new record, Zoo, in the magazine recently still constitutes one of those I-can-believe-it's-happening-but-I-still-can't-believe-it moments because Ceremony are not the kind of up-and-coming group Rolling Stone usually elects to cover.

Once known as Violent World, the Rohnert Park, California-based band have spent seven years playing (and playing around with) rough-edged hardcore punk that seems custom-made for excellently unhinged circle pits and stage dives. Ceremony have been on Deathwish Inc. and Bridge Nine -- a pair of hardcore labels Rolling Stone usually wouldn't touch with a 10-foot pole -- and they've always maintained a fiercely DIY, enigmatic aura that makes them a bit unapproachable. (They don't have Twitter, Facebook or MySpace pages, which is a pretty ballsy move in 2012.) Before this year, Ceremony never appeared in Rolling Stone, and, unsurprisingly, guitarist Anthony Anzaldo never maintained any overt or serious desire for that to happen.

"We didn't start the band thinking that we were ever going to be in Rolling Stone or wanted to be in Rolling Stone or anything like that," Anzaldo says. "We weren't just like, 'Oh, cool, we're going to be in Rolling Stone' [when the review ran] and then it never came up again."