Cerebral Ballzy | Interview

Cerebral Ballzy

Our shows are a melting pot of different people, kids with cerebral palsy are coming at this point. It’s crazy.

Still slightly hungover from a heavy night in Nottingham and fresh out of a three hour journey, I’m led up to the venue’s cloak-room for an interview with relentless Cerebral Ballzy frontman Honor Titus.

Hi Honor, how’s the tour been going so far?

It’s been really good, we’re playing new songs, everyone’s really receptive and excited to hear the new album. Radio 1 has been playing our new songs and everyone’s stoked about our signing. It’s been good fun.

The NME radar is a pretty big deal, how does it feel to be heading up such a renowned tour?

The NME have completely touted us since our first day, so it’s a pleasure to play for such a respectable magazine. So many greats have been on the front cover and hopefully we’ll do that on our next album.

It’s an ace bill of bands, what’s it like being on the road with The Amazing Snakeheads?

They’re fun dudes man yeah, it’s hard to understand them sometimes because they’re from up north, but they’re cool.

You mentioned the second album, where are you currently at with that?

It’s going to come out early next year, we’re hoping around February or March. We did it with Dave Sitek [from TV On The Radio] and we’re excited to put it out. We’ve recently signed with Julian from The Strokes’ label.

What was it like working with Dave in the studio?

He’s a fucking mad genius man, he’s a dick in the best possible way. He knows what he wants, he knows how to get it and he stops nothing short of perfection. He’s really talented, and he’s a cool dude, we all love Dave.

Did you go into the studio with a clear idea of what you wanted?

We knew what we wanted because there was a lot of power-pop influence going on with the second one. Dave just really homed in and made it a polished sound for us. Everyone that’s heard the second album in its entirety has just been like, you guys have stepped it up tremendously. From the first song you can hear the difference in approach, I’m not saying it’s slower or different but it’s definitely more developed.

So would you say your first record was more raw?

Yeah, we were nineteen and they were just songs that we were fucking around with you know?

Your signing to Julian Casablancas ‘Cult Records’ has been big news, how did that come about?

Julian and I are good friends back in New York and we were sorting out which label we should do the second album on because we were on a big TV station and what not. We ended up going with Julian because he’s a friend and he really wanted to put it out. It happened really nicely.

On stage you guys really grab it by the scruff of the neck, have you ever had any moments where you’ve thought, this is getting out of hand?

We’ve had a ton of them man, so many times. It happened in Liverpool once, we were playing some festival and a straight up saloon fight broke out. The cops fuckin’ rushed the floor during the set and we had to sneak out, it was crazy.

I heard there were quite a few riots on the US tour?

Oh yeah, we just toured with Flag and every night there was a fucking riot on that one. We played with Trash Talk and that was the same, we’ve had some dangerous nights man.

What sort of crowds do you pull in out there then, is it old-school punk lot or younger people?

Both, I think a lot of people when we first started didn’t get Cerebral Ballzy in terms of what we were doing. We have a melodic punk hardcore thing going; girls come to our shows, old men come to our shows and a lot of people don’t really get the punk thing because they weren’t alive for it. But as we keep progressing more and more people are latching on. Our shows in America at the moment are a melting pot of different people, kids with Cerebral Palsy are coming at this point. It’s crazy.

So what’s the scene like in New York at the moment?

New York is a fucking crazy place, but there’s a lot of affluence there right now. New York is flooded with artists at the moment, there’s ripping bands coming out left and right. My friend’s in a band called Black Marble, they’re really good you should check them out. There’re bands like Predition that are just amazing New York punk. It’s rad, it’s a beautiful place man.

Would you say the city is reflected in your band then?

Of course yes, every facet of us. Whether it be influences like The Velvets or The Strokes even, we uphold that New York candle. It’s not intentional so much but it’s where we’re from you know?

This summer you’ve done quite a bit in the way of festival season, how did you find that?

It was sick, our first album came out nearly three years ago now and for kids to be super excited and to still be waiting for the second one it’s rad. Everyone is so stoked on the new album it’s just the perfect situation.

Will you tour this next album heavily when it’s released?

For sure, there’s a lot of work to be done next year and we’re excited to get back out and be playing with some of our friends again like The Horrors.

What was it like being on the road with those guys last time?

They’re real fans of music like you and I, listening to garage rock and getting drunk with Rhys and Faris all night was good fun. There was some big London nights out!

Ace, thanks for your time Honor, best of luck tonight and with the rest of the tour.

Check out the video for Cerebral Ballzy’s ‘Another Day’ right here: