In the 10 years Celebration has been together, what’s been the most significant change/development in the local music scene?
It’s way bigger now. There are more bands than ever, with more diversity of sound. And now there’s global attention to Baltimore because of so many successful bands coming from here. Pretty cool.
In what ways has that scene—or the city, in general—affected the band’s music?
Baltimore, inside and out, represents hope for the future despite being the underdog, and I think that has balanced and invigorated us to strive for improvement. Also, it’s just weird enough here that I feel normal.
I’ve long been a fan, and this new record, Albumin, feels like a high point. Can you say something about your approach to recording this time around?
We did this record in baby bites. At the time we began recording, we didn’t have a label and were playing shows to pay for each session as we went along. It was cool because we got a chance to test out some of the songs live. I liked the long-range process of making it, as we were growing along with it. Now, we have felt pregnant with it for too long, but we’re excited about its release.
What contributions have Walker Teret (bass/guitar) and Tony Drummond (keyboards/percussion), augmenting the group’s core trio, made?
While making Albumin we did this as a family and a team. Everyone’s roles were different song to song, but they are full-fledged members. These guys are so talented, and we love working together. People still think of us as a three piece, even though we’ve been playing with these guys on and off almost since the band began. We’ve had a revolving door, for awhile, but these guys have stuck it out with us consistently for the last seven years.
The band’s music feels broader and deeper on the new record. What do you attribute that to? And is the sense of spiritual uplift intentional?
Yeah it is. We’ve all been through some intense births and deaths in these last few years, and some big life changes. Our emotional palette has broadened, just through living a life. This is the way I see it: music is the highest form of communication, and every record is an opportunity to improve my skills as a communicator. Music is a way to share this crazy f**king experience of being alive. When you can make people feel connected and not alone, it brings us all more together. UNITY!!!
Why was Matt Riggieri/Digital Cave, who did the video for “Tomorrow’s Here Today,” a good match for Celebration’s music?
I love how the video turned out, but it was an uphill battle to make. We all worked really hard against some big odds to make it happen. Matt rules.