They are a hit on Myspace, have hundreds of fans on Facebook and are enormously popular in the Cree Nation. Hot of the heels of launching their first full-length album, CerAmony’s frontman Matthew Iserhoff is proud of the road he has traveled with bandmate/ songwriting partner Pakesso Mukash, even though their journey has just begun.
Having come together as musicians and friends back in 2002, Iserhoff describes their eponymous-titled album as an embodiment of the last eight years of the band’s songwriting career.
While it was a long time in the making, the time frame had more to do with the band’s desire for perfection and musical control than a desire to shop around for the best folks in the industry to work with. Instead, they went it themselves, recording a week or two at a time over the course of a year, and employing the services of a music engineer only towards the end of the album’s recording to help out with the mixing.
“We wanted to have a hands-on approach with our album because we knew the kind of sound that we wanted. We felt it would have been too long of a process to be working with producers who would be directing us when we knew what direction we wanted to go in. It is a self-produced album,” said Iserhoff.
In terms of musical direction, Iserhoff said the album is like the band’s personal “mix-tape” of all of the work they have ever done. The album is also as diverse musically as it is thematically, exploring hip-hop, rock and even reggae sounds and issues from their own backyard to the outside world.
Iserhoff explained that as songwriters, the band’s ethic is to go with the flow and that it is not necessarily about expressing one particular emotion but more about what feels right.
“This album has a lot of different styles on it that, we always like to say that the songs write themselves. If it feels like it’s going to be a hip-hop song and there’s a lot to say in it, then we’ll make it a hip-hop song. If it feels like a rock song and we just want to rock it out, then we will make that a rock song. We even have a reggae song on the album and for us that just felt right with the context of the song to have the reggae feel to it,” said Iserhoff.
While other musicians, like current bandmates Shihbastit and Anthony Moses, have joined the band for recordings and performances, when it comes to the creative output the songs are a collaboration between Iserhoff and Mukash.
Having a reputation for being political on stage and in their music, Iserhoff explained that the album is not a political album for as much as they do hit upon Cree politics, and situations in the U.S., the Middle East and other places around the world.
“We did not feel as though we wanted to constantly bombard the audience with just politics and social issues, we also wanted to have a balance between the good and the bad in life. The music also stems from our views as Cree people and as well as our universal views,” said Iserhoff.
Bringing the album back to the people, CerAmony launched their album on March 13 in Chisasibi to a packed audience filled with Crees from all over the communities.
From Iserhoff’s perspective, the launch went “fantastically,” and the band was overjoyed to have been able to share that experience with the community of Chisasibi and all of those who traveled from other communities to catch the show. But above all, he said they were grateful to all of their fans for their support.
While not every CerAmony fans was able to get up to Chisasibi to see them, Iserhoff said not to worry as the band is planning a tour that will include other communities as well as a few possible gigs in western Canada and southern Quebec.
For the time being, the band is focusing on getting their album out there to those who want it and getting themselves out there for new fans to enjoy.
To keep up with where CerAmony will be playing next, where to get the album and to get in touch with the band, check them out at: www.facebook.com/#!/ceramony?ref=ts