The Ceremonies
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The Ceremonies

Sherman Oaks, CA | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Sherman Oaks, CA | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Alternative Indie


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos




Here's the video for "Land of Gathering," the debut single and video from this LA-based trio, The Ceremonies. - Noisey

"Meet the Ceremonies"

Meet LA indie rockers, The Ceremonies. They brought you the infectious tracks ‘Land of Gathering‘ and ‘Wolfdance‘ — read on to learn more about the guys in their own words!

Which one of you came up with the name?

It was a combined and prolonged effort – the three of us spent many a moon brainstorming. Ceremonies are communal gatherings that span the entire spectrum of human emotion—events that reflect a sense of communion we would like to convey not only at our performances but also through our art. Our interest is not in playing “shows,” rather, “ceremonies”—gatherings of more substance where people engage in a ritual of understanding and upholding meaning beyond surface.

Were there other contenders?

We also fancied “The Curtains” based on the poem by Wallace Stevens entitled “The Curtains in the House of Metaphysician.”—it’s already taken though. For a short while we went by The Cook Brothers & Bellwethers. We also really liked “The Strangers” after the famous Camus novel (made plural).

Is there one venue you’ve always dreamed of performing at but haven’t had the chance yet?

The first real concert that all three of us went to together was at The Shrine Auditorium. We had terrible nosebleed seats but we didn’t care because it was about the music and the experience for us. We left reinforcing our ambitions to have the closest seats in the house one day — on the stage. Since that day we’ve seen other amazing artists there such as Arcade Fire and even Morrissey; seeing them perform there has reinforced that vision.

If you could live in one era of music history, what would it be and who would you be making music with?

Well, our music is most reminiscent of an ’80s sound–and a lot of our influence derives from that era… but we’d probably find it most interesting to make music in a time where less music had been created, like the mid ’60s. There wasn’t a whole lot of rock music before that time and the thought of creating music free from much prior influence would be a really special opportunity. That was the era where rock and roll really progressed into an unfiltered hyper-creative state. It would be a trip living in an era with such limited technological resources for creation (no synths or even digital recording). Also, though it is a true advancement, what a breath of fresh air to live in a world free from the everyday transparency of social media. In terms of collaboration, we’re thinking of legendary creative minds outside of commercial music like Andy Warhol or even John Cage — oh the possibilities…

Do you each have a favorite guilty pleasure song to play?

We can all three recite every line to the Phantom of the Opera soundtrack. That score is brilliant. You don’t want to know how many times we’ve listened to it. I think our car stereo is upset about it.

Would you ever cover it during a show?

Haha. No…maybe.

Who has your ear at the moment?

We really dig the fairly recent Animal Collective album entitled Centipede Hz. The video art visuals that were released accompanying it were fantastic as well. It’s sort of like the Beach Boys made a new age piece with video artist Ryan Trecartin.

If you set your Spotify listening session to private, what tracks would you be listening to?

We would definitely use the session to musically explore and discover new artists—we’d go on a listening spree weeding out albums we like and aren’t so sure about. That way we can limit what we share to what we are passionate about.

Check out some of the band’s favorite tracks in their colorful “Bouquet” playlist — - Spotify

"The Ceremonies - Land Of Gathering"

Why do we like this?
Hailing from the San Fernando Valley, these three brothers called The Ceremonies offer minimal amounts of information on their history or where they're headed, but they did permeate the indie music stratosphere with a dynamite track titled "Land of Gathering."

After listening more times than I'm willing to admit, I find influences stemming from new-wave to post-punk while seemingly dipping their toes in some indie pop structure. The frenetic choruses and gigantic backbeats break away from the expected and bring forward a refreshing glimmer into an indie aesthetic that I'm loving right now.

When I first heard "Land of Gathering," I immediately recalled an early Local Natives sound in the vocal harmonizing department. It might not be synonymous, but the similarities are definitely coherent enough to make them worth checking out. - Indie Shuffle

"Review: The Ceremonies Impress at The Fonda Theatre"

The Ceremonies brought in a synthesis of amorous indie and poetic alternative rock Tuesday night at The Fonda Theatre in Hollywood; it was their final tour stop for an energetic lyrical performance.

In October, MTV named The Ceremonies an Artist to Watch; this band deserves all the praise and attention they can get right about now.

These are gorgeous guys, who recently released The Ceremonies EP, with absolutely stunning voices and a romantically edgy style going on that you will absolutely crave. Not only do they look deliciously fresh, they carried a fun alternatively rocked out personality onto the stage to top it all off.

Matthew Cook is the eldest of the three brothers and the twins are Mark and Michael. Matthew writes all their lyrics but all three of them play the instruments and sing lead vocals during live shows. Matthew says he gets his inspiration from romantic poets William Blake and William Wordsworth along with The Smiths and The Cure, whose works I believe hold true to the spirit of The Ceremonies’ libretto in all their soul and elusiveness.

The aura that these artists brought to The Fonda Theatre felt like it belonged there, along with the quixotic theme and romantic lighting that enticed the awaiting audience. The Ceremonies’ felt like a cozy fit to a crowd filled of Los Angeles habitants as they were exposed to a flush of artistry through the creative music of the brothers.

On stage the brothers seemed to establish a presence the audience could not negate, as they took each other’s side and were backed by a band of their peers. They performed their first single “Land of Gathering” among their other songs, but my favorite was “Straw Hat”. The chorus of this song consists of a sort of oooiing in unison from the twins but when they were singing, it almost looked like they all were oooing, I still am not sure exactly how many of them were oooing but it was a change in the mood of their songs that I found irresistibly catchy. The tambourine interjected a softness that contrasted the climax of the song when Matthew’s vocals hit a border between rock and an almost jazzy decline into mid-song and then again throughout the second half.

After The Ceremonies performed, I decided I would try and find them to get a close up shot, mind you I do not pride myself in my lacking photography skills. Nevertheless, I was able to shoo away a crowd of girls around the brothers in order to snap a quick trio picture of them in all their charming glory. Seizing the opportunity I asked the guys what their favorite song was of their performance that night and the twins said it had to be “Ballroom Bones.” Unfortunately, I couldn’t get anymore out of them because the room was blaring with chatter.

As I left them to mercy of their animated fans, I headed into the crowd filled floor and spoke to a couple of young women who shared their liking of the bands’ music as first timers to the scene of The Ceremonies.

All together, The Ceremonies shook the stage with their mates and with their charm, courted their fans. The Ceremonies are a force to be reckoned and we all should keep our eyes and ears open for their lyrical productions in the LA scene. - Living Out Loud

"Ears Wide Open: The Ceremonies"

The Ceremonies are three brothers who hail from the San Fernando Valley and think really, really big, judging from their first single. Songwriter Matthew Cook, 21, and his fraternal twin brothers Mark and Michael, 19, find their influences in New Wave and post-punk and play musical chairs with instruments and vocal duties. Yes, “Land of Gathering” has one of those pesky “oh-oh-oh” choruses,” and some “ooh-oohs-oohs” to boot, but that’s forgiven once the horns kick in over its relentless backbeat. You can almost see the vista when the brothers harmonize “I’ve got a such a view.” - Buzz Bands LA


Taking the listener on a rip-roaring trip down a treacherous sleazy back alley of bluesy post-punk anthems, The Ceremonies excel on their debut EP. With timbre and inflection similar to that of Ian McCulloch (Echo & the Bunnymen), vocalist Matthew Cook is backed by his brothers and band members, Mark and Michael Cook, that alternatively provide an anthemic sound with tons of theatrics that are reminiscent of Arcade Fire. The songs are dynamic and incorporate varying tempos that give this versatile band a wide range of styles to hone in on, even incorporating a New Order-esque bass line on their track “Wolf Dance”. At times beautiful and delicate, they however always keep a meandering strut and there are plenty of bells and whistles, xylophones, and booming percussion that provide additional compelling elements. Accomplished and confident, The Ceremonies have demonstrated that their music is original enough to crossover in a big way. - LadyGunn

"The Ceremonies Unveil "Land of Gathering" Music Video"

LA-based band of brothers (for real) the Ceremonies take the wraps off their debut single and music video, "Land of Gathering," today via Noisey.

Filmed in black and white and depicting the band's adventures throughout the city, the clip itself is simultaneously hip and nostalgic, hitting on the free-wheeling spontaneity of youth and the memories of choice moments once they've passed. - Pure Volume


The Ceremonies is a band of 3 brothers and a cousin who are based in Los Angeles and make great catchy music with tons of soul. They recently released their new single, “Lovecaught" and we can't get enough.

“Lovecaught” is a tongue in cheek pop anthem that mocks the helplessness of young fandom and the obsessive “sickness” they catch over pop stars and hollywood celebrity culture.

Their lyric video, which you can watch above, is a glimpse of what's to come for the music video itself. The tongue-in-cheek vibe of the song is definitely one that we will be bumping for days on end this summer. A feel-good track that is filled with positivity, depicting strong emotions of falling in love. - IX Daily

"THE CEREMONIES At The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)"

"One time I had a friend come to our house, and, at one point, she started laughing. When I asked her why, she said, 'It's so funny that there is always somebody singing in your house. I've never experienced anything like that.' We never really put together the fact that we were always singing. It was something that was just natural and organic for us," remembers Matthew Cook. "That's when I actually realized that one of us was always singing around the house."

Matthew is the musical architect and lyricist of the Ceremonies, a band that includes his two younger siblings, fraternal twins Mark and Michael. From a young age, their lives have been filled with art of all kinds – music, film, literature, painting – so it didn't come as a huge surprise when the trio selected the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) as the location for us to discuss growing up in the San Fernando Valley, their debut self-titled EP that released in October and art, of course.

The native Angelenos would often come to MOCA for high school field trips and continued to visit the museum as their love for visual arts intensified and Matthew and Michael enrolled at USC's School of Fine Arts. Although Mark chose to major in business administration, he is equally enamored with the arts.

"He's always simultaneously done art with us," says Matthew.

"I went to the fine arts school of Michael and Matthew," Mark jokes, as we walk into the first room with pieces from MOCA's current Room to Live exhibit.

Matthew spies Cosima von Bonin's Untitled (Bikini Loop #1), a gigantic navy blue and white bikini hanging in a doorway, and immediately exclaims, "Oh no, they stole my bathing suit!"

After our chuckling dies down, I ask if they are still able to visit MOCA as often as they would like even though they're on sabbatical from school to tour and pursue their musical aspirations.

"We try to come often," Michael admits. "The last exhibit I came to was Art in the Streets, the graffiti exhibit, and I actually went and saw it four times."

"I check their website all the time to see what's on display. We're most interested in conceptual art, and that's the primary difference between the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and MOCA. There's much more conceptuality here," describes Matthew. "Part of the reason why we instantly thought of going here was it's inspirational to look at other people's work, and some of the best ideas are spurred from admiring others' ideas. It might spark something that's related or unrelated, that's different enough to be a separate entity in itself. In that sense, MOCA's a harbor of inspirational creativity."

We explore more of the Room to Live exhibit, including Samara Golden's video and sound installation The Fire Place, a white, yellow and orange light installation by Mark Handforth entitled Desert Sun and Rodney McMillian's huge Representation of a Landscape as a Wall piece, while Michael names some of his influences as an abstract painter. He mentions Paul Cézanne, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró and Jasper Johns, then adds Banksy's stenciling work as a more recent inspiration.

"What's interesting about contemporary art now is that people work in all mediums, and we're particularly interested in not being so pigeonholed by the notion of being a band. We also like to make paintings as a collective, as well as films or other media," Matthew remarks when I ask about particular field of interest. "In art school, I tried to do the same. When I was taking art film classes I would make the scores for the pieces, so they became more than film pieces. They had music and poetry, multiple mediums."

The ability to mix various media together is something that sprouts from the Cooks dabbling in several different forms of art since childhood. They all started with piano lessons and experimented with a drum set that was in their house, then Matthew begin playing the violin in fourth grade and played in the orchestra until his senior year of high school. He played stand-up bass in a jazz band, guitar in several other bands and sang in an a cappella group. Mark picked up alto sax, and Michael learned tenor sax before both switched to choir, a cappella groups and musical theater.

"It was musical chairs with instruments," Mark offers. "Michael and I were also into sports. Matt would come to a lot of our games, and the car rides over were always filled with music. Even though we were going to a sports game, we were singing in the car. We were always singing together. Our old choir teacher would do one-on-one lessons at our house, and when he would be teaching one of us during a lesson, another one would be singing from his bedroom. The teacher would always laugh during the lesson because we'd be singing the same song."

When I ask which artist they would mostly sing along to with in car, all three of them instantly respond with "Michael Jackson."

"He's a huge influence for us. There's a photo of all of us wearing his classic hat with our fingers taped up like his," Michael recalls with a laugh. "I also remember both of our parents being into the Beach Boys and the Beatles. We would sing along to their albums a lot on the way to baseball games."

With the Beach Boys and Beatles as some of their first examples, in addition to a cappella and musical theater training, it's no wonder that the Ceremonies' songs boast some amazing harmonies. As the boys began developing their own musical taste, they started listening to groups like Echo and the Bunnymen, the Cure, Joy Division and the Bee Gees. They also started branching out into other art forms.

In high school, I was into web design and graphic design. For me, it was always design, drawing, poetry and music. Ever since I was 12, writing poetry and lyrics was my cup of tea or my coffee, rather, because it's an addiction," Matthew confesses. "I grew up going to this place called Unknown Theater. I played some shows there in bands. There is also this thing called the Two Dollar Shows that one of my peers, Spencer Ludwig, started in high school, and it became a big communal thing. HAIM played there, and Spencer's now a member of Capital Cities. That was the music scene that I was a part of, I guess, if you could call it a scene."

Matthew played in several bands with other people but eventually formed the Ceremonies with Mark and Michael two years ago.

"I had a bunch of songs done that I didn't really have any plans with, and I showed them to Michael and Mark. What I was writing was so harmony driven and we were always singing together, but it sort of never occurred to us that we should be doing something together until we started doing acoustic gigs for fun, just covering songs, and people would come up to us and say, 'You guys should really start a band,'" Michael remembers. "I was always in the headspace of my being in my own bands, and [Mark and Michael] were sort of extras. I would be playing with my band, and the drummer wouldn't show up so Mark would fill in."

"I was the understudy," interjects Mark.

"Exactly, and eventually when that [other band[ fell through, it was pretty obvious we should form one together," finishes Matthew, as we come across Marnie Weber's Giggle of Clowns installation, a room filled with clown statues assembled around a prone body covered in flowers.

"Now, this is cool," Matthew comments. "I'm not afraid of clowns, but I'm sure a lot of people would be scared."

In fact, Mark and I do get a little freaked out when speakers hidden behind the figures let out a demented laugh. We compose ourselves and head into an installation from one of the Cooks' favorite artists, Ryan Trecartin. A room is filled with pieces of furniture to sit on, don a pair of headphones to listen to the soundtrack and view movies by Trecartin.

"We are big fans of Ryan Trecartin, so we're excited to see this," Matthew gushes. "He's almost like a psychedelic video artist. It's cool because he does mixed media, he built all of these prop pieces, and his video pieces are super disorienting. It's like being in your subconscious."

"His videos seem like they look like what Animal Collective's sound is," offers Mark. "It's exactly how you would imagine Animal Collective to sound like visually."

Film is a medium that the brothers, Matthew especially, have really started to explore since beginning art school. David Lynch and Richard Linklater are two filmmakers that he admires. His passion is evident as he describes Linklater's most recent film, Boyhood, in which the writer/director explores the course of one boy's life over a 12-year period. Matthew feels that Boyhood definitely relates to the childhood theme that is evident in many of the Ceremonies' songs. The idea of returning to the innocence of childhood is definitely a concept behind the band and was in their minds as they turned to the works of several artists that they admire when trying to come up with a name for their group.

"The Giver was one of them. Lois Lowry talks about the ceremonies that they have, and the Ceremonies of Three in particular were important to us. Obviously because of the number, but conceptually it was most aligned, coincidentally, with our purpose: capturing that childhood innocence and restoring it in people that have lost it," says Matthew. "In the book, the Ceremony of Three is when kids begin to start telling their dreams and start to calculate what has happened in their dreams.

"We also wanted to pay homage to the Joy Division song 'Ceremony,'" adds Michael.

"And, all of our initials are 'M.C.,' which stands for Master of Ceremonies, so it fit well," says Mark.

"I was reading a lot of poetry and books by Ram Dass and Timothy Leary, 1960s psychedelic culture, that referenced the acts of ceremonies because they're so important in Native American culture and this communal bonding that people in Western society lack a lot of the time because we're all in our own pathways. That's essentially what we would like to cater to with our concerts, that feeling of ceremony," Matthew ponders. "You don't have to go to a wedding or technical ceremony to share that communal bond with people. It's more of a togetherness and sense of shared artistic integrity."

Inspiring creativity through a return to childhood innocence is an idea sprinkled throughout The Ceremonies EP, and is felt most strongly in its first single, "Land of Gathering," which is also featured in a ad. The brothers were able to exercise several of their artistic abilities in the creation of the track's video, which garnered them attention as an MTV Artist to Watch.

"We did a lot of the editing ourselves," says Michael. "We drew and painted some of the animation, so we were really involved creatively."

Matthew adds, "We were so stoked to work with animator Phil Nibbelink because he worked on films for Disney like Who Framed Roger Rabbit?—"

"The Fox and the Hound and The Black Cauldron," Mark chimes in. "Everything that served as a beacon for our nostalgia."

While attending USC, the Cooks lived in Downtown and often passed by an L.A. landmark that also brought them back to their early adolescence, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, where they took part in various performing arts competitions and even had their graduation ceremonies growing up. Aside from MOCA, they would also visit REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/Cal Arts Theater) for various art exhibits.

Although they've moved back to the Valley, they have several favorite spots to hang out at throughout the city.

"You know where we've been shopping lately is AllSaints because we were one of their featured artists," says Matthew. "We really appreciate them because they support indie artists and a lot of new bands."

The trio often eats at Tender Greens, Mendocino Farms and Il Tramezzino.

"We really like Blue Dog. We love burgers, and they make really mean burgers. It's like a tavern and has pictures of people's dogs everywhere. We're dog lovers, so it's nice," Mark says, before informing me that they just got two Siberian Husky puppies. "We want to become vegetarians at some point, but it's hard on the road because nothing's open after a show."

"I don't get why there aren't more healthy places open late at night," adds Matthew. "Seriously, business would boom."

Aside from the lack of healthy food options on the road and their new puppies, the Ceremonies are going miss one important part of life in Los Angeles as they embark on a North American tour with Glasvegas, the weather.

"This is a bizarre place, seasonally," says Matthew. "The fact that it's an escape from normalcy; everywhere else there's seasons, and we just have warm or not as warm."

"It's almost like a drug, everybody's happy and sunny every day," Michael laughs.

We finish up our tour of the museum, and the brothers continue to laugh with one another when I ask if there are any interesting facts they would like to share about each member of the trio. Matthew and Mark easily admit to being huge anime fans, especially of films by Hayao Miyazaki. Matthew can also perform an unusual trick of bending his pinky in a perfect right angle, but when it comes to Michael they have a tough time coming up with something.

"I guess he's just not that interesting," Matthew jokes.

"I tried making my own clothes once. I made a leather vest," Michael offers. "And there was a period of a month where we all got into archery."

"Our dad set up an entire range in our backyard," Mark remembers with a smile. "He bought a big styrofoam block and put a target on it."

"What we're trying to say is that we tried to be Legolas from Lord of the Rings," Matthew laughs.

There is an undeniable chemistry between the three Ceremonies that just can't be attributed to their being brothers. It's born from the fact that they all genuinely love being around each other because they share so many of the same interests.

"Being related helps in small bits, like maybe our vibrato speeds – small technical things – but the fact that we get along well isn't because we're brothers, it's because we have a passion for the same things," Mark says.

"It's just a human connection. It's probably easier to get along because we grew up so similarly, have very similar senses of humor and taste in art, especially music," sums up Matthew. "It goes to prove that you're made of what you surround yourself with."

The Ceremonies EP is currently available. The Ceremonies perform March 4 at the Echo. For more information, visit - Jigsaw Magazine


Band of brothers, anyone? And that’s in the literal sense as Matthew (21), Michael and Mark Cook (both 19 and fraternal

twins) are The Ceremonies. While young in age and existence as a proper band, these guys seem to have the musical wits about them to step a tad sideways and out of the normal path of musicality that one might come to expect from new bands today. Still somewhat under the radar from the Los Angeles area, yet you can hear the possibilities and the bigger picture in their track, “Land of Gathering,” with it’s playful drum beat, horns, and the employment of some pretty high and wide three-part vocal harmonies among them- almost Beach Boys-esque and nostalgic. They’re working on an EP so keep ears out for that and- in the meantime- ladies (and gents- we don’t judge), feel free to ogle their collective classic bone structure while digging the tune. - The Owl Mag


This week, I was in an intense spin class when this song erupted through the insanely loud speakers. The tired, sweaty, skinny ladies around me all of a sudden perked up. Their legs started moving faster and for a moment in time, we felt as if we weren’t going to collapse onto the floor, all because of Ceremonies.

This L.A. trio released this music video only a few weeks ago, and man, does it capture what it’s like to be a very happy hipster in Brooklyn. I am guessing this song will appear on an episode of Girls in T-minus 5 seconds. But damn, if this song doesn’t make your heart skip, like, 8 beats, I don’t know what will.

Fun Fact: The lead singer looks exactly like Russell Brand. - Nerdist

"Track of The Moment"

Sorry, HAIM. You’re no longer the only Los Angeles-based sibling trio on the rise.
Representing the opposite gender and delving into a different sort of sound, Matthew, Mark, and Michael Cook comprise The Ceremonies. Counting dark-wave icons Echo & The Bunnymen and The Cure as inspiration, the brothers formed their band a few years back when twins Mark and Michael were still in high school. Matthew, now 21, writes the songs and plays all the instruments on The Ceremonies’ recordings, but live, it’s a family affair, with all playing various instruments and divvying up lead vocal duties.
Currently working on their debut album, The Ceremonies released their first single, “Land Of Gathering,” on Tuesday. Says Matthew, “‘Land Of Gathering’ is a metaphor for a place you can go in your mind to preserve childhood wonderment. If we can inspire other people to hold onto that appreciation for things that go unnoticed, it would be huge for us.”
Produced by Danny Garibay (brother of Fernando), the ebullient “Land Of Gathering” won’t be entirely unfamiliar to astute listeners. The song soundtracked’s first-ever TV ad, which premiered last September.

Take a listen to another track from The Ceremonies, the wonderful “Wolfdance,” on which the Cook brothers’ love for Echo & The Bunnymen is writ large. There are shades of Suede, too, with Matthew’s vocals resembling those of the London band’s lead singer, Brett Anderson. - Popservations

"Album Review: The Ceremonies – “The Ceremonies EP”"

The Ceremonies consist of the Cook brothers – Matthew (22), and twin brothers Michael and Mark (19), a trio of talented multi-instrumentalist art students. They are managed by Lady Gaga’s own Troy Carter, and they list their biggest influences as post-punk ‘80s pioneers Echo & The Bunnymen, The Smiths, and The Cure.

The album starts off with “Wolfdance,” the prominent bass line playing along with the keyboards that give off a strong ‘80s sound and by the time you get to the chorus you won’t be able to help but hum or sing along. This is a song that would get crowds singing and waving their arms, and their sound is larger than life, perfect for a kickoff track. On “Land Of Gathering,” if the thumping beat of the drums don’t get you off your feet in the beginning of the track, the roaring chorus is sure to sweep you off your feet and hook you into their majesty of music. The song has so much going on that you get drawn in deeper the more you listen. “Straw Hat” has a great ‘80s indie-pop sound that has brightness and emotion that is overwhelming and is a true standout on the album. “Ballroom Bones” has a sound that would fit in with The The and their album Infected perfectly, with its millions of sounds, tempo changes and inventive sound. “Night Light” ends the EP with another soaring song that ties everything together and makes for a very satisfying listening experience.

With the amount of talent that these brothers show on this taster, you really get a feel for the love and pure enjoyment that they have while playing their music and it gets right into your heart and brings that feeling into you. If they can keep up the high standard started with this, they will be headlining stadiums and putting out classics for a long time. (Rick Ecker) - New Noise Magazine

"The Ceremonies "Land of Gathering" (Clarence Fuller, dir.)"

The brothers Cook - Matthew, Mark and Michael - are out exploring the snowy streets of New York, and oh look, someone just happened to bring a camera along. Director Clarence Fuller showcases his fashion world bonafides with a moody black and white approach that complements the impromptu vibe the band is going for. They wander the city, meet pretty girls, somehow avoid catching those subterranean homesick blues - and their hair always look great! - Video Static

"the ceremonies release new ep; becomes hit within alternative genre"

It’s not often that you hear a band cite William Wordsworth and Aldous Huxley as major lyrical influences; actually, it’s not often you hear a band say much of anything about their lyrics. But then again, there’s not a band quite like the Ceremonies. They have a style, sound, and philosophy that could only have come from the hot, swarming, hazy streets of LA. The band consists of three brothers, Mark, Michael, and Matthew Cook. Mark and Michael look like modern models, with short cropped hair in the style of Sam Smith, while Matthew, the lead singer and main songwriter, with his leather pants and wavy, long hair, is a spitting image of Jim Morrison circa 1967. The band released their first eponymous EP last autumn.

It’s hard to compare the Ceremonies to any group that I’ve heard; but maybe that’s good. When we make comparisons, we partition artists into comfortable categories that ultimately take away their originality. And it seems, from a recent interview that Tap Songz conducted with the group, that partitioning, conditioning, and compartmentalizing are not at all the intentions of this group. With the advent of the digital age and the ever more one-dimensional aspect of music, it’s easy to forget that music itself is an art, one aspect of that great human ability to express emotion and thought. In order to capture the beauty that comes from art as a whole, the Ceremonies aspire to be an art collective, “[utilizing]…social media platforms for small written/image pieces to confront the way people think creatively” and “[integrating] multiple mediums into [their] live “ceremonies” such as painting/sculpture/poetry/etc.” It’s a fresh move for a young group, but obviously a sign of a band that has a point, a directive, and a purpose. Let’s hope that it stays that way.

The original influences of the group, as they cited, were the Beatles and Michael Jackson. As they grew up, they began to “[dive] deeper and deeper into the musical hearts of those eras”, being inspired by such bands as the Beach Boys, the Zombies, the Cure, and the Smiths. These inspirations are clear in their music; soaring vocal harmonies are reminiscent of the Beach Boys and the Beatles, while their musical production is something similar to 80s rock pop and The Wall of Sound, which Phil Spector was so famous for. But this, of course, isn’t to go against my previous statement that it’s hard to compare them. I think what’s so successful about the Ceremonies is that they blend these styles seamlessly, so that you’re left with a piece of art that’s entirely original but clearly points to its influences.

So what else should you know about the Ceremonies? The band’s favorite song off of their EP is “Ballroom Bones”, a bouncing song with a driving drum beat, a pounding chorus, and a xylophone that brings to mind a skeleton playing its ribcage. Undoubtedly, however, the band’s most popular song is “Land of Gathering”, an anthemic ode to ecstasy (the feeling not the drug), a place where there are no boundaries and no endings, nothing definite. There’s a palpable excitement and energy in the song that speaks of this endless possibility and it’s addictive. Fittingly, it seems worth noting here, the brothers consider themselves “wonder junkies”, philosophers in the true sense of the word, who love watching documentaries, reading, and creating are of all sorts. They also love social experimentation videos. Finally, the Ceremonies named themselves such because they see performances as communal experiences, gatherings that harken back to our ancestors, and times to express art in all its mediums.

The Ceremonies ensure us that there is more music to come. I will be looking forward to it. - TapSongz

"Subliminal Stunner: Commercial ft. The Ceremonies “Land of Gathering”"

The Ceremonies steal our hearts with a Whoooaaaa!

I’ve seen the commercial for maybe just a few times; however, it features a song so damn catchy that it sticks with you throughout the day. While appears to allow you to decorate your life with attractive surroundings, The Ceremonies will decorate your life with their hook-heavy song, “Land of Gathering”. It’s another instance of the song outshining the product that it’s selling. Watch the commercial for below and then listen to the full song, “Land of Gathering”. - Ear Buddy


The Ceremonies, a trio of brothers hailing from Los Angeles, kicked off The Fratellis’ November 1st show at Webster Hall. Boasting a sound similar to legendary acts like The Cure and Joy Division, the brothers proved that modern rock still has a lot of potential for progression.

The Ceremonies strongly launched into their set and, unlike many less-than-stellar opening acts, managed to command the attention of every person in the room. The group exuded energy while pairing poetic, well-written lyrics with infectious rhythms. The Ceremonies seem to be an example of contemporary rock music at its best, providing a sense of purity with their effective harmonizing.

The group is probably best known for their debut single, “Land of Gathering,” which features synthesizers reminiscent of ‘80s post-punk bands. However, their sound seems to be wide-ranging, and a later tune even featured the incorporation of chords similar to the tones of surf rock.

The show was perhaps a sign of things to come for this group, and when their quick set concluded, an air of excitement filtered through the venue. The Ceremonies have only released a five-song EP, but already, they’re beginning to take audiences by storm. There’s very little reason to wonder why this band has been deemed an “MTV Artist to Watch,” and are often referred to as a highlight of 2013’s CMJ Music Marathon. If you have a chance to catch The Ceremonies, do yourself a favor and give them a try. - Rukkus

"The Ceremonies Interview"

I cannot quite explain to you how jazzed I was to have had the opportunity to interview our next artist of the week: The Ceremonies. You can hear their song Land of Gathering in the commercial which we wrote about here.

First, how would you describe your music?

We’d like to capture an emotional blend along the lines of a joyous daydream meeting a nightmare. It is a yearning for a sense of communion and enlightenment. Generalizing sonically, it is a sort of combination of new wave, pop and rock—with an integration of orchestral ensembles and three-part vocal harmonies.

You guys are a family band (three brothers – Matthew, Mark and Michael Cook), how did you get started playing and who writes what?

We’ve grown up singing together—so it’s always been around the house or performing at charity events/school gigs. We started playing together as a “band” a few years ago but refrained from performing as The Ceremonies to concentrate on producing our songs to their full potential. Matthew, the eldest, writes the music and lyrics and is guided by the feeling of nostalgia.

Matthew: In much of our music thus far, I venture to capture grown-up ideas told through the perspective of a child. When I write melodies, I aim to capture a sense of familiarity for a time passed that, in actuality, does not exist. A vivid memory that never happened—music ready to stand for a new experience.

You guys are born and bred in LA, how do you feel that has influenced your music?

The sounds are, simply put, outward reflections of introspection. With that being said, our specific experiences in LA have most likely helped shaped our mindsets and our route’s for discovery; however, our music tastes are derived from a love for artists who reached popularity generations back—therefore we mostly attribute the influence to the internet and its potential to allow for a discovery of times passed.

What’s the story behind your name?

We wanted our name to embody an extension of the experiences composing the entire spectrum of human emotion. Ceremonies are communal gatherings that can span from the happy/ celebratory nature of a wedding to the sad/ mournful reality of a funeral. They are more than mere performances or events; they are metaphors embedded with significance and purpose.

What do you want people to know about your band?

Above all we value creativity, thought, and genuinity—which isn’t a proper word, but very well should be. We hope that anyone who listens to our music will have/garner similar values.

What has the reaction been like since that commercial came on the air? Are a lot of people searching you out?

We’ve been really pleased by the supportive response it has had. We’re most proud of the fact that people tend to report the song evoking an emotion that feels “all encompassing or liberating.” We’re also very glad that the commercial emphasizes creativity and really speaks to the imaginative concept behind Land of Gathering.

If you could have your song featured in any commercial for any product, what would it be and why?

Probably for some type of eReader like the Nook or Kindle. We value reading in the highest and feel sort of troubled by its decline in popularity among our generation and those coming. Though the feeling and tangible nature of a paper book is invaluable, the technology of eReader’s really have the potential to make significant change for the environment and truly inspire excitement back into learning and the opening of the mind.

I saw on your twitter that you are currently in the studio, when should your fans be on the look out for more tunes?

Our debut EP is set to release soon, but fans can also hear more tunes by joining us at our live performances. We also tend to release new songs on a whim via social media announcement, so just staying tuned to updates would be the best way. We’re really excited to share what we’ve created, and hope that people may use it to grow with as we have. - What Song Is In That Commercial


This week, Noisey premieres the newest video from The Ceremonies for “Land Of Gathering.” The exuberant “Land of Gathering” is all soaring harmonies, airy synths, and bright horns set to an insistently chugging backbeat. It’s a blend of cinematic, melodic pop lushness, ’80s New Wave nostalgia, and cutting-edge alternative rock aesthetics, reflecting the band members’ love for such classic pop tunesmiths as Michael Jackson, The Beach Boys, and The Righteous Brothers, as well as current tastemakers Arcade Fire. But The Ceremonies, working with producer Danny Garibay, are clever and talented enough to transcend their influences and create something entirely their own. - GHETTOBLASTER

"Glasvegas Makes It’s Triumphant Return To Seattle’s Columbia City Theater"

I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived at the Columbia City Theater to catch the Scottish indie rock band Glasvegas perform at the small venue. I was blown away by their opening act, an American rock band called The Ceremonies.

Despite the seemingly unimpressed crowd of 30-somethings and older who started out at least ten feet away from the stage and barely tapped their feet, these young brothers’ eventually had them all standing, hooting and hollering. I can honestly say these Los Angeles boys and their tremendous talent pleasantly surprised me. I watched them trade instruments back and forth and even managed to include a saxophone, an extra drum, tambourines, and multiple guitars as they performed.

The very young ’80s hair-band-styled lead vocalist Matthew Cook displayed a wide vocal range. Coupled with his younger fraternal twin brothers’ harmonies, they created a sound that was absolutely incredible. But, seriously, that hair!

By the end of their set, the crowd had finally caught on, and nearly everyone was “Shakin’ All Over,” or at least starting to really get into the music as The Ceremonies covered The Guess Who’s song. Keep an eye out for these young brothers, I have a feeling this will not be the last we see of them! - Seattle Music Insider

"The Ceremonies"

The Ceremonies is an awesome band made up of three brothers. They released their single 'Land Of Gathering' earlier this year, which I think is a huge hit. This is definitely a band you need to keep your eyes on because they are on their way up. - Sam We Jam

"Los Angeles: The Ceremonies – “Tonight is the Night” (Live on Mulholland Drive)"

LA based band The Ceremonies are back with a some fresh new visuals as they perform “Tonight is the Night” live on Mulholland Drive. The guys will be playing new songs on June 29th in LA at Bardot-Hollywood — RSVP at - Ground Sounds

"The Ceremonies by The Ceremonies"

Are you sick of those over-rated boy bands, who are nothing more than too tight skinny jeaned, lip-syncing, highly hormonal, teenage boys? And you finally have fallen out of their spell that millions of girls are under? Well thank goodness, me too. If you’re really looking for a boy band, one who should be the one that millions of girls should be head over heels for, give a listen to The Ceremonies, did I mention they’re madly good- looking brothers? Their beaming good genes, make you gleam in your cheeks, and once they open there mouth and sing some good tunes, you can’t help but stand there with your mouth open in awe. Not only is their music one that makes you want to dance idiotically on the sidewalk, with their songs blasting in your headphones, they possess more than fetching faces, and resplendent melodies and harmonies, these three brothers are rising up and breaking down the barriers of music, and showing the world what they have to offer. Older brother, Matthew Cooke had the chance to chat with me, and had me sitting there with my cheeks gleaming pink and my mouth and eyes in awe.

Most surreal experience since you started music?
One of the most surreal experiences was performing at the Universal Music Group at SXSW and seeing a good chunk of the audience sing along to Land of Gathering -- it was a unifying experience.
The first time we heard Land of Gathering on the radio, our dad called us while he was in the car and put his cell phone up to the speakers. That was a very special moment to be able to share with our dad.

What is your advice for upcoming musicians and young teens that want to pursue their dreams?
The most important characteristic, over talent, over connections, over luck, is an infallible work ethic. And the best fuel for that diligence is having passion.
The most important thing is just having a drive, or finding something that you want to stand behind. The things that appeal to us the most are things that are dignified with meaning and with a sense of change embedded in them. I think our advice would be to concentrate on not only perfecting your craft, but also making sure that what you’re doing has purpose.

What is your philosophy in regard to music?
As one of many mediums of art expression and emotion exploration, music is one of the purest and most beautiful forms of communication. It's really impossible to completely understand the absolutely true feelings behind people's words in everyday language, (because language is flawed by nature), but with music we can get a little closer to understanding each other.

If you could play at one festival, which would you choose?
Sundance Film Festival, where our performance would be a mixed media piece featuring an art film we would create that is narrated by songs, poetry, and narrative.

If you weren’t making music what would you be doing?
Pursuing another passion involving writing, novels, short stories, poetry. But as a more obvious career path deviation, possibly pursuing a professional baseball career (as youngster Mark and Michael envisioned they always would).

Your music has been described as 80’s New Wave meets Alternative Rock, would you describe it like that as well?
Sure that could be; however when given the choice, we'd prefer not to categorize our music with one genre. We feel the pigeonholing notions associated with genre labeling can limit a band to one certain type of music, and furthermore one form of art. We see our music and group as more of a mixed media art collective.

What has been the inspiration for your music?
The EP has been largely influenced by the notion of nostalgia, disguised in the costume of a melody.

I have read your inspired by your favorite poems, novels, philosophies and songs, what would you say are your current favorites?
Some current favorites are: Kafka on the Shore by Murakami (book), and Broken by Ours (song).

You guys have called yourselves “ The Ceremonies" and detailed further because its where” communal gatherings where people come together to experience the entire spectrum of emotion." Could you explain in further detail what that all means?
As you said our name represents the notion of a communal experience, and through that ceremony we hope to engage the ears, eyes, and minds of our audience members. Through our ceremonies we strive to encourage nourishing the imagination by means of creating and digesting art, living with open perspective, and being a genuine human being.

I was reading some of your influences include ’80s post-punk pioneers Echo and The Bunnymen, The Smiths, and The Cure. How have they influenced you and your music? What makes them more significant than any other artist?
Musically, all three of them deviate from pop structure and aren't afraid to make a song a journey--yet they also have written fantastic pop songs. They also all have similar undertones in their production styles that we are particularly fond of. The lyrics however are just as an important piece of the collective that is a song. Ian McCulloch, Robert Smith, and Morrissey are all three poets in their own right whose words have impacted how we live our lives. We admire the potential to touch people with voices and words.

Any hints of future albums or songs?
The future albums will have songs and the future songs will have music! Haha we plan on releasing more music, whether it's another EP, another single, or our first album, at some point later this year. We're fans of meaningful thematic works so our future releases will definitely reflect that.

Words really can’t describe how astounded I am at the notion I was able to interview Matthew from The Ceremonies. The Ceremonies have surprised me yet again, on how talented and genuine they are not only with the striking music they produce, but the qualities they compel in themselves that shine from within. Matthew absolutely stunned me, not only does he bear musical talent, he is well spoken, and well thought out, qualities that seem rare in society, let alone the music industry.

Apart from the music interview, I felt I took out more than knowledge of how to reach success in music, but rather success in life. Matthew states the “best fuel for that diligence is having passion”, which goes hand in hand with my phrase, “ when you have passion for something you pursue it with your whole heart”. Although I’m only sixteen, I’m old enough now to begin thinking about what I want to pursue in life, because in a few months I’ll start applying for college, which brings along the responsibilities and plans for what I want to seek in my future. I look around me, while I’m sitting in my room at 2 AM in the morning on Saturday with my cheap candles burning that dreadful grape scent, the lights dimmed, and lavender extract on my pillows, and I start to think. How am I going to spend my life? What am I going to do with the life I am given? Am I going to take a chance with the career I really want to pursue despite the constant bellowing in my head to give it up, or am I going to play it safe and never take the risk at something that could have been successful if I choose to be contingent? I guess that question lies in myself, but this interview has proved to me again that doing something with purpose and following your passion despite the hardships that come to play is a part of life. It’s like the thought of never leaving your house, because you’re scared of the evil outside, you’re scared that the life outside is not what you think it will to be, and you’re horrified at the thought of the truth, reality. But like this paraphrase, as they say, some people just merely survive, but who can actually fully live? If you took the risk and took a step outside, you would see the beauty of life, from the radiant sunsets, to the alluring stars that shine at night. Because smelling the roses, but taking the risk of being stung by a bee, in my perspective is worth the risk.

The Ceremonies lure us in with the music they harvest, the 80’s new wave sound embedding our ears when we listen, but like Matthew suggest, music is open to just one genre for an artist, but it’s rather no limitations on what a artist can triumph in. From their debut and recognition with MTV, to their jaw dropping performance at SXSW, there’s no denying that these three brothers can accomplish anything they set their heart on. Their song “The Land of Gathering” does more than make you want to chase the sun in hopes of a brighter tomorrow, but hope that tomorrow can be brighter with these three brothers showing us the way. - Teen Ink

"The Ceremonies - Lovecaught"

Une pop électro qui électrise les coeurs de mouvements énergiques, mordus d’un chant séducteur qui attrape les corps, voici The Ceremonies avec Lovecaught.

Ici, pas de répit, mais des cascades d’un groove pop électro habile qui glissent sous des percussions électrifiées et des vagues d’une rythmique emmenée par des synthés endiablés offrant des résonances bouillonnantes. Avec un sens du rythme tumultueux et des notes agitées de remous tempétueux, The Ceremonies offre une mélodie imparable, gonflée d’une ardeur contagieuse. - Pause Musicale


I’m not sure these guys can be classified as indie or whatever other parameters we might place on them. “Land of Gathering” is just good music. The Ceremonies look to be headed well off the indie path in a hurry. Three handsome brothers and a big, bombastic and catchy single plus a decent video to showcase #1 and #2 together will do that for ya.

I feel like we might be hearing this pop back up a few months into the future as a huge single, kind of like how “Thrift Shop” and “Somebody That I Used To Know” did previously. - Sirens of Decay

"Song of the Day: The Ceremonies - Lovecaught"

Lovecaught marks a return for The Ceremonies and it is an energetic piece of music to say the least. Lively and fun, it is extremely hard to stop listening to this track once you start doing so and that quality speaks to just how good it is. Check it out! - The Tell Tale Mind

"The Ceremonies - Land of Gathering"

A dreamy song with an old school feel from this new LA based group. - Live Music City Blog

"The Ceremonies - Lovecaught"

Los Angeles’ The Ceremonies make a mighty return with new single Lovecaught, a sexily smooth and buoyantly funking electro popping anthem. Lovecaught crackles and sparks, one of the most boldly hooking new songs I’ve heard all year, propelled energetically by the band’s swooning, lively falsettos. The Ceremonies is gearing up to play a slew of live shows, and I can only imagine how catching Lovecaught will be when they perform the song live. - I Heart Moosiq

"PAPA + The Ceremonies"

The Ceremonies are three brothers whose vocal harmonies are as beautiful as their leather jackets. Their single “Land of Gathering” is so catchy and addictive we guarantee you’ll be playing it all summer long. - Student Committee for the Arts at UCLA


Lovecaught (single)

The Ceremonies EP:

  • Wolfdance
  • Land of Gathering (single)
  • Straw Hat
  • Ballroom Bones
  • Nightlight



We’re a four-piece band from LA called The Ceremonies (three brothers and family friend). We are currently an independent group and are completely hands-on in every aspect. We write and self-produce our songs, and also direct, shoot, film and edit our videos. We are thoroughly involved in every element of our art and work to see our creative vision through in every medium.

Arcade Fire meets the Strokes meets the Beach Boys, with an 80's twist.

Since the release of our EP, we have continued writing, recording, and working with different producers to get their self written material ready for release-- including Tommy English (Borns, Ladyhawke, New Politics, 5SOS), Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes, Weezer, Local Natives, Julian Casablancas, and Drew Pearson (OneRepublic, The Veronicas, Lights, Katy Perry).

We have simultaneously continued playing shows while maintaining an active social media presence and releasing Youtube covers in the interim.

With a full album’s worth of songs, clear direction, and solidified layout, we are now beginning to build a new team for 2016 and beyond.

Social Media Sites:

More Information about us:

  • Our influences include 80s new wave & post punk: Echo & the Bunnymen, The Cure, Michael Jackson and The Beach Boys. 

  • The video for our first single “Land of Gathering”  was premiered by Noisey and featured on: Indie Shuffle, BuzzBands LA, MTV, Urban Outfitters Blog, Nerdist, Pure Volume, Video Static, & Amplified Mag
  • Our other intro video we debuted with VEVO for single “Land of Gathering” (currently disabled) garnered more than 700,000 views in the first week of showing.

Film/TV Placements:

  • Our music has been featured on a commercial, MTV’s Catfish and Friendzone, VH1, and American Idol, among others.
  • Our new song “Young Lovey” is the title track in Fox Digital Studio’s Mono movie.  


  • We held the #1 spot on KROQ “Locals Only” for 4 consecutive weeks
  • Our song Land of Gathering is played on Sirius XM’s Alt Nation and made it to the top Alt18

Live Performance: 

  • We have recorded live recorded performances at MTV, Alt-Nation, All-Saints, KTLA – Los Angeles, WGN – Chicago, and WNYW – New York. 
  • We have played at Firefly Festival in Dover, at Webster Hall in New York, The Fonda in Los Angeles, and many others, including SXSW and Coachella while on 2 national tours. 
  • Some upcoming shows include: Hands-Off Festival in Austin, Claremont McKenna College, The University of Alaska at Fairbanks, The Satellite in LA, SOHO House in LA, and others.

Band Members