Meet... No Ceremony///
“The only agenda we have is to make the best music we can.” No Ceremony/// have a perhaps unfair reputation as a reclusive and non-conforming band. The second part is certainly true. The misconception about their wish to remain anonymous is something that they speak of with understandable reason, “The first thing to make clear is that we never actively set out to be ‘mysterious’ or ‘secretive’, it just seems to be something we’re associated with due to our unwillingness to engage in that side of being in a band.” They continued, “When we first released [earlier single] Hurtlove, we just wanted to get the track out there, and didn’t really see the need or point of writing a bio or getting some press shots taken. The way we see it we’re musicians - we just want to make music, and the rest shouldn’t really matter.”
That may come across as slightly indulgent but there’s a serious point that they’re making. “I think music in general is becoming more and more concerned with the personality selling the music and less about the quality of the music itself,” and certainly that can’t be denied in the wider framework of chart music in particular. Why do we fall in love with bands? Is it because the people are so compelling? Well, yes, but their most compelling characteristic is the music that they create and therefore that should be the only real concern.
No Ceremony/// have a somewhat unique approach, and a successful one at that. We only know them from their music and there are, as they said, no agendas or preconceptions - it’s just a creative process which values music as the profound art form that it is. After all, what more can anyone ask? “We see a definite romance to people experiencing our music purely on its own merits. We’d hope our fans appreciated the fact that rather than details of our life stories, we prefer to offer them regular free music to download.”
Their music is what they really want to talk about. “We appreciate our fans and definitely want to have a relationship with them; we just want the music to be the forefront of that relationship.” The same unscrupulous beliefs are what drive the songwriting of the band as well as their approach to the ‘business’ of being in a band. They hold themselves to the same account as they expect, “We’re both very meticulous and very instinctive. We may focus on four bars of music for a day, or we may write and complete a song within an afternoon. We approach and develop them with an incredible amount of precision. We will never release anything that we aren’t completely satisfied with.”
Speaking of the process they seem to be at the mercy of their own determination. “Each song has a different path, some starting as ideas, improvisations, atmospheres and some as fully written songs which then may be deconstructed and put back together in another form. We take a very brutal approach and try to be as unsentimental as possible with what we choose to include. We’ve worked on over twenty-five tracks now and the process of creating each one of them has never been the same.” This approach could suggest a lack of emotional connection - treating each piece as a removed concept - but that’s actually what allows them to create the most affecting music possible. Their very impartiality allows them the scope to judge what is or isn’t powerful and by refusing to pursue bad ideas motivated by vanity they prevent such works.
Their thoughts may also account for the wide spectrum of atmospheres which they create, “It is a completely open concept. Although we all agree that each track must fit into a wider atmosphere that we want to inhabit, we are committed to never limiting ourselves and we will always be willing to follow a song to wherever it leads us. It really is the song that determines what we do to it, not the other way round. All we strive for is that the track we’re working on is the best it can be; has some connection with the previous one and has scope for a connection with the next one.”
So where do they draw all these instinctual and impulsive ambitions from? “With regards to our music we’re very introspective. We have a very clear vision of what it is we want to achieve and take most of that from our internal drive.” They expanded: “It would be ridiculous to say that we’re not influenced by a hundred different things every day, but we don’t really see what we do as a reaction to anything specific.” It’s a fascinating insight, and one which encourages the listener to consider what that actually means. They draw on an internal perspective which translates into a purification of emotion. Nothing new there, but it removes any ambiguity of their position. Music to them, it may seem obvious, is a form of expression. And that expression is as varied as the emotions that we as humans can feel, giving their music a truth which we can all relate to.
They take a profound approach to what they do and are consequently creating a definitive sound. Their meticulous approach is to use subtle layers which listeners can interpret and immerse themselves in to an infinite degree. The craft of tracks such as WearMe are exquisite, complex and beautifully arranged. The tempting hooks evident on HoldOnMe offer further appeal along with a sound which is densely packed with opposing elements of abrasive guitar, soothing melodies and thumping beats. But that doesn’t graze the surface of the elements they choose to explore. Deliverus defines the variation and complexity which they can employ and still remain relevant to their aesthetic.
No Ceremony/// don’t apply limitations to their creativity. They are a force that play with romantic concepts and elevate their meaning beyond pop music – something which has been absent for a long time. While their sound will be generally appealing, they show a deft ability that adds subtleties to tracks and consequently distances them from other ambient/dance counterparts. As stated earlier, they are non-conformist but from a philosophical perspective. The manner with which they have released their music is not only brave but an example to the rest of the music business. As they said, “we just want to make music, and the rest really shouldn’t matter.” It’s a profound statement, but the truth usually is.
No Ceremony/// recommend: “We recently had the opportunity to work with Joey Santiago which was a great experience. He’s certainly someone who we’ve admired for a long time – he has such a recognizable sound. We respect anyone who succeeds in doing something unique and iconic like that.”
For more information, visit www.noceremony.com.12 November, 2012 - 16:03 — Matt Bevington