Philadelphia-based “garage-yacht” band Ceramic Animal has been making their way across the country alongside Spendtime Palace for a co-headline tour. I spoke to the band before their show at the Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles about the tour and their upcoming shows at SXSW.
ALTANGELES: How did you guys meet and start the band?
ANTHONY: I grew up with Erik since 5th grade, and I met Dallas through this band.
DALLAS: I met them years ago when I was playing on a bill with them with a different band. Fast forward three or four years and I’m a bass player in this band now. Got a phone call from Erik, who asked if I still played the bass. I said yes, he said “Well that’s good news.”
When did each of you start playing music?
ELLIOT: Ten? Maybe eight.
DALLAS: I think I was 12? I’ve progressed.
ERIK: You’ve certainly caught up!
What is your songwriting process like?
ELLIOT: Depends. There’s not really a formula we stick to every time. Sometime someone comes up with an idea or we’re jamming on something and it sort of resolves into something that sounds like it could be a song at some point. And then we flesh it out. Warren is the primary writer for most ideas so he’s always doing the lyrics and a lot of the melodies, but we all contribute with our instrumental pieces.
You often describe yourselves and your sound as “garage-yacht.” What does that mean to you specifically?
WARREN: Well, yacht-rock is sort of a light psychedelic rock. And then garage rock is, ya know, it’s garage rock. So I feel like we’re kind of like a shitty yacht. Like if you went out on the water and you were in a yacht that was kind of old.
DALLAS: It might not even be seaworthy.
ANTHONY: It’s still really fun though, you’re on a boat either way.
ALL: It’s barely a yacht, a large dingy.
What artists do you look to for inspiration?
ANTHONY: I look to the left, I look to the right. And I see my inspiration.
DALLAS: I’m a Beatles guy, I’m a Stones guy too. I don’t have a preference.
ANTHONY: I like The Doors.
Why did you decide to name the band “Ceramic Animal”?
WARREN: It was a series of brainstorming sessions, and basically what happens is you try to find a nice collection of words that seems palletable that ideally doesn’t mean anything else and is easy to adopt.
ERIK: We spent $70,000 on think tanks, but it was all worth it.
How has the co-headline tour with Spendtime Palace been so far?
What is your favorite thing about being on tour?
WARREN: Tickling the boys in Spendtime, we have nightly tickle sessions.
Are you excited to be playing at SXSW this year?
ALL: Yes. Excited to play and bop along with other bands who’ve booked showcases.
What is your biggest roadblock as artists?
ALL: The size of the van.
DALLAS: You feel that every day.
What artist or band would you love to collaborate with?
ANTHONY: I haven’t thought about it, I like to stay in my lane.
WARREN: I look a lot like Rob Grote from The Districts, so probably them. I’d call it “Best Friends.”
ERIK: He looks more like him than us [Erik and Elliot] and we’re brothers.
If you were a cover band, what band would you cover and what would you call yourselves?
ELLIOT: We could be a Seal cover band and call ourselves “Sealed with a Kiss.”
ERIK: Or we could be a Seal and KISS cover band and do Seal songs in the style of KISS.
Are there any new projects you’re working on that fans can look forward to?
ALL: An album, definitely some singles in the queue.
Anything else you want fans to know?
ALL: Thank you, we love you! Tell your friends and family. Come out to shows.
Photos by Donna Borges