This coming Friday, September 2nd, will be international Ceres day. The Melbourne band will be releasing their sophomore album Drag It Down On You.
Heavily informed by the perils of adult live, the album is sure to be an important addition to Australia’s thriving punk rock scene. Having inked deals with labels overseas, the same can be said for other countries.
We spoke to vocalist Tom Lanyon about what went into this record and what they hope to get out of it. Turns out the band are already chomping at the bit to do it all again. That is, after their headline tour….
The Neversphere: It has been a big gap between drinks for Ceres and fans, how does it feel to know that Drag It Down On You will be out in just a few days?
Tom Lanyon: It’s a trip. It’s really, really weird. It’s one of those things where you have it in your head for two and a half years, you work super hard on it, then you work super hard on recording it, then you mix it. It’s this long drawn out process. Then all of a sudden in a couple of days it’s not going to be yours anymore, it’s going to be everyones.
It’s cool. It’s exciting but it’s a bit daunting. You just kind of hope that you’ve done something that someone will like.
The Neversphere: Normally it feels like artists and their teams prefer to churn out the sophomore album and catch some of the heat surrounding the debut. What made you guys decide to take a bit more time?
Tom: After our first full length, I Don’t Want To Be Anywhere But Here, I can’t remember how much later… only a few months… we released Selfish Prick, which is the 7″ EP… so we got it out of our system. Then after that we just thought ‘ok cool, we can take our time, sit on songs and make sure they’re as good as they can be before we take them to record’.
Now I’ve got that same thing. I’m antsy and I think we should go record a 7″ straight away to get it out of our system…
The Neversphere: Oh, woah, easy now!
Tom: I know! I’ve got a bunch more ideas now and I’m like ‘oh god, I can’t wait to write the next record.’ We’re just constantly writing songs – It’s not like you finish a record and take some time off! [Laughs]
The Neversphere: Two and a half years usually results in a lot of change for human beings. By the time you finished, were you guys a different band from the one that started the album?
Tom: That’s a good question. We look at the music we wrote on our debut, some of it is a little naive. We all grew as people, personally, but as a band we grew as well. We knew our strengths and weakness and how to write our best song. I feel I became a better songwriter, hopefully, over that time.
You do a lot of growing up, and the record is actually about that. A lot about becoming older, the pressure of being an adult and not being a dickhead kid.
The Neversphere: You mentioned before you just hope some people like what you did on Drag It Down. Is that the only gauge of success you’ve put on the release? Or are there other boxes you want it to tick before you can say ‘A-ha! It was a success!’
Tom: [Laughs] That’s another good question. I don’t think of it like that. There’s no way I have a marker of success, ever! I think for me if someone connects with it deeply, if they honestly love it and it helps them with some shit… that’s my mark of success for a record.
Reviews are awesome and sales are great but if it doesn’t connect, then I don’t know, what’s the point of even doing it? It’s hard to quantify though, maybe I’ll never hear if it helped someone out, but if I do it’ll be an amazing feeling and it makes it all worth it.
The Neversphere: The album was produced by Tom Bromley from Los Campesinos, I’ve actually met Tom previously. He’s such lovely, lovely dude! What did he bring to the table?
Tom: Oh that’s awesome! Yeah, he’s a lovely dude isn’t he? I was just a crazy fan of that band. We had the opportunity to get a producer in. I was such a fan of Los Campesinos forever – I only ever thought of him! He’d never actually been asked before, I couldn’t believe it. He’s only done his releases…we asked him and he said yes!
He’s an amazing musician and it’s his mind for music that’s so strange, he can hear things that no one else can. He’s good dude.
The Neversphere: You’ve talked a lot about the next album, did you managed to get him on board for that also?
Tom: [Laughs] We spoke about it, probably 100 times already. We know what we want to do for it, where we want to go. I have a few ideas of how we want to record and what we should do with songwriting, we’re all so hyped. As soon as the last take was done on Drag It Down On You we were already talking about the next one. Hopefully he’ll be a part of Ceres for life now – that is, if he’ll have us.
The Neversphere: So you should probably cool it on the next album for now, you still have to tour this one! You guys are hitting the road soon, how does this one go down live? Will you need to translate some elements from the studio to the stage?
Tom: A lot of translating. We had a conversation at the start that we were going to make a record, throw everything at it and not worry about the live show until we have to. I think that it puts constraints on creativity if you worry how you’re going to reproduce things live.
So there’s going to be a lot of translating but it’s turning out really well. We love these songs so much, they’re a joy to play. We’re really excited about the set now we can add Drag It Down tracks to it.
The Neversphere: You’ve already clocked some solid hours on the road, you’ve supported guys like Violent Soho, Luca Brasi… these guys have some pretty wild touring habits, I hope these didn’t influence your touring behaviour… Or are they super chilled behind the scenes?
Tom: Nah….they’re pretty wild [Laughs]. We can hold our own as well. Those dudes can definitely throw a party. Smith Street as well – We all kinda know what we’re doing there. We just seem to be the most mellow of the bands. We give it a crack, we’re no Luca Brasi, but we have a red hot go at it.
It’s so much fun touring with those dudes. We have the best time with all those bands and it’s cool we get to call them friends.
The Neversphere: Well, Tom man – I’m sure we’ll speak again in a few weeks for album number three!
Tom: [Laughs] Speak then, man.
Ceres ‘Drag It Down On You’ Australian Tour Dates
Tickets available now
Friday, October 28th
Northcote Social Club, Melbourne
Friday, November 4th
Saturday, November 5th
Exeter Beer Garden, Adelaide
Sunday, November 6th
Til The Wheels Fall Off Festival, Launceston
Tickets: Til The Wheels Fall Off Website
Saturday, November 12th
Newtown Social Club, Sydney