- by Pieter Sips
About an hour after their show on the Cannibal Stage at Dour Festival, we had a chance to sit down with singer Honor Titus en guitarist Jason Bannon from Cerebral Ballzy. We talked about the show, their new album and New York. The new album is called "Jaded & Faded" and is out now on Cult Records. If you're having problems remembering the album title, just think of Will Smith's son and of what that kid's career will be looking like in five years.
PRT: I just saw your show tonight, did you enjoy it?
Titus: Yeah it was good fun. It was a party. We played Dour before and it was epic last time too. We're always glad to come and share what we have. It's really cool. People have been really excited. The second album just came out. A lot of kids were singing the song... It was just a party.
PRT: I noticed you seemed quite drunk at the show. Were you actually drunk?
Titus: It was my birthday last night and the stage was super hot, you know.
PRT: You've become a bit more melodic on your new album. You could say that there's some power pop along the lines of the Buzzcocks.
Titus: Totally. You get it.
PRT: How different was it for you guys to write the more melodic songs?
Titus: We definitely took our time with it. The first album, we were drinking and partying and we did it really fast. This time we were drinking and partying and did it really slow. We took our time. Working with Dave Sitek helped us with the melody and the intent behind the songs. So it's cool.
Bannon: It was definitely a different experience than the first time around. Like he said, we were pretty young too.
PRT: The first album you guys were pretty unexperienced.
[laughter] Titus: We were nineteen yeah.
PRT: How did the whole experience change for you guys? Back in the days you were just having fun and skateboarding and stuff.
Bannon: We were just having fun.
Titus: We're still having fun, but we now write big songs. Before it was partying non-stop, but a lot of people caught on to the songs. It's so exciting. There's kids getting Jaded & Faded tattoos on their knees. The kids are really responding. People are so excited. It's very cool.
PRT: You don't see all the touring as a sacrifice?
Titus: Bit of both. We want to produce more and we will, but we also like sharing it. So many people want something different and we're glad to come around and show them something different. There's already so much pop bullshit to listen to.
PRT: How do you like the way you moved on?
Titus: We're just big fans of music. We have so many influences, all of us. We love The Nerves. We love old New York punk rock. A lot of various things. I don't think we'll ever make the same album twice.
PRT: Your last album is inspired by living in New York. What's your view on how New York is evolving right now?
Titus: That's a loaded question. We've been in New York for so long, it's really ingrained in us. We're some of the last few New Yorkers that have been there for more than ten years. It's just hard... Different. It's not a place for an artist as much as it was before. But we love the Velvet Underground, we love the New York Dolls, the Ramones. We walk past those hallmarks every day.
PRT: I know it's really soon to talk about this right now, but how do you see yourselves evolving towards the next album?
Titus: We're the kids that we are man, you know. We're just gonna listen to music and do what we want. Who's to say? We'll keep writing better songs, at least to us.
PRT: Do you like tonight's line-up?
Titus: Yeah, sure [laughs]
PRT: You're just being nice right now.
Bannon: There's some good bands. I want to see Madball.
Titus: Yeah we're gonna see Madball. I would want to see Neutral Milk Hotel, but I think they're not playing.
PRT: How do you see punk nowadays?
Titus: There's a ton of bands but Ballzy is the best doing it. The Spits are another great American band that we really support. We tour with Off!, we tour with Flag. Those guys are big bros. There's definitely a punk rock scene. People just have to go out and find it. There's a lot of ripping bands but also a lot of shit bands. But Ballzy's the best doing it.
PRT: Madball is about to start and I think we have enough. Thanks for the interview guys!