Ceesau, a little known band doing big things with their music. Consisting of Carmine Giovinazzo, Michael Brasic, John Amedori and Stephen Tecci, they are doing their own thing and doing it extremely well. With a unique and fresh sound, the likes of which we at Cult-Following haven't heard since, well, we can't actually place it, only good things can come from what they are creating. With one EP already doing considerably well and working on new material, we collated together some questions from a few people and from ourselves and sent them over to the band.
It was drummer Michael Brasic and bassist Stephen Tecci who sat down and answered our rather long collection of questions.
(NB: Carmine was unavailable while these questions were answered and DID NOT answer any of the questions that you read below)
Michael Brasic: Carmine and I are old friends that on occasion would get together and just play music, never serious just for fun. Carmine started writing songs with John about 2 years ago, then he brought all of us together and it just clicked. It actually happened pretty innocently, having a band was nothing we decided upon; it just happened! We were in the market for a bassist after Era came out and recruited our buddy Stephen Tecci.
How would you describe each other?
MB: Friendly, caring individuals with this insane desire to make music together.
How would you describe the band as a whole?
MB: A group of guys with similar influences getting together and just making music! End of story!
Ceesau has quite a prolific meaning behind it. Reading the about section on the website, its quite compelling that there is this philosophical meaning behind the name, which you don't really see with bands now. Do you think you could explain a little more about the thought behind the philosophy?
MB: Judge not unless be judged! We love life, music, people and culture! Art music and all flavors from around the world! We are all one race, The Human race! Live it and love it! It’s all good! We represent no borders! One world!
How did you decided upon the spelling of the word 'Ceesau', as it's quite unusual?
MB: That was a Carmine thing from way back! When he approached me with that name it was perfect! We never had long discussions about it! It was Ceesau from day one! He can spell it any way he wants! We are Ceesau!
How did you get started in music?
MB:Same way we all do! The bug fly’s, bites and it’s all over!
John is a little younger than the rest of you in the band, do you think that helps bring a different perspective to the music?
MB:Naw, John is one of us! Age is only a number! Most of the time I feel like John is our age! He’s very bright and mature for anyone’s age!
Do you have a team/individual motto?
MB: HAVE A GOOD TIME,ALL THE TIME! (VIV SAVAGE SPINAL TAP)
What qualities do you each bring to the group and what do you each contribute to the band?
MB: Individuality! It’s our greatest asset!
You all seem to get on really well, but is there anything that annoys you about each other?
MB: Carmine has great abs! And a great gift of understanding people! I’m not annoyed! But you asked!!!
How would you describe the music/sound of Ceesau?
MB: Post modern grunge with elements of 1970’s NY village vibe. This is also a tough question as your asking the spirits to describe the branding on the bottle! We have no idea really? You tell us! PLEASE TELL US!!!
How would you say you've progressed both musically and personally within the band?
MB:Carmine challenges my playing! He’s constantly asking me to think outside the realms of my norm! And always keeps me on my toes! Personally the guy I used to be would shut down to such suggestion as musically it’s easy to do what you know best. But currently this is not the case. So that’s how I personally have progressed in both arenas!
You all have other projects that you work on, do you find it easy to work on other things and then return to working on things for Ceesau?
MB:Absolutely! Most of my other projects are just that, WORK! Ceesau is a passion project for me! So returning to it is always a welcomed venture for me! It’s like coming home in a sense.
Working on your other projects: Carmine and John's acting, Michael with other bands. Obviously the acting is a different experience altogether, but how does playing with The Spyderz and other bands compare to playing with Ceesau?
MB:In other bands I’m one of the “other guys” Ceesau is “our band” so nothing compares to it!
How does Carmines involvement in CSI affect the band?
MB:The band is really not affected…
Does the CSI schedule affect the band?
MB: When he’s there, he’s not with us!
Do you think Carmines involvement in CSI benefit’s the band?
MB: Absolutely! Without it he’s Carmine from the block! The show lends a certain cache that allows us to operate the band on our terms! Something most bands don’t get to do…
Do you feel the CSI link has brought you more fans?
MB:Yes! We have built in Danny Messer following and that’s something none of us are mad at!
You've added more members why did you decide to do that?
MB: We started this band as three musicians, two of which happened to play guitar. So naturally we were in need of a bassist! So we added what we felt we needed! That was Tecci…
Do you find that bringing in the new members has helped and maybe brought something new and fresh to the band?
MB:Member is a strong word! We have involved other players to simply fill out the sound. This is still a baby band, so we are not in any need of freshness! At the end of the day Ceesau as a band is Carmines vision backed by my foundation. Anything more is just icing on the cake!
If an artist you admired asked you to perform with them, who would it be and what songwould you join them for?
MB: It would be Carmine! He’d be asking me to come to rehearsal! We’d play anything we play!
How do you think that the music you listen to directly or indirectly influences the music you make?
MB:We are influenced by everything we smell, taste, hear or see!!! And not influenced at all! Figure that one out!
You come from different backgrounds, would you say that the differences you all have from the places that you've grown up in, make the music more diverse than it would have been if you were to have all had relatively similar experiences?
MB: We are not a traditional Southern California band, so yes!
Do you think that the places you grew up and the experiences you've had in the past influence the writing process?
MB: Absolutely! Everything in life influences writing and art in general!
Steven Tecci: I once heard this quote, that said, we are all a product of our environment, that we should then try to make our environment a product of ourselves; I think that describes us well; we all play our individual styles from what we learned, and with the music we in turn try to make our environment a product of what we believe through the music.
What is your writing process?
MB: We get in a room and go!
How do you come up with ideas for both music and lyrics?
MB: They say real estate is location, location, location? With us it’s Carmine, Carmine, Carmine!
There is a uniqueness that comes across in the music as well as in the vocals style , do you think that this helps to define the band and set you apart from others who are doing similar things?
MB:Who’s doing similar things? No one I know! Ceesau has a definite sound but you can’t really put your finger on it! I like that about us!
Your EP is called Era Of The Exposed why did you decide to call it that?
MB: Carmine was noticing how everyone’s life was being exposed via through reality TV or the media! He said “man we are living in the Era of The Exposed! I think I want to name the record this. I didn’t argue! It was perfect!
How did you decide on what songs would go on the EP
MB: The great ones made the cut! The good ones hit the floor!
The sound is quite raw and a quite different to most things that you hear nowadays, was that something that you set out to do on the record?
MB: Not at all! We are what we are! The EP is raw Ceesau! Not much more!
Is there anything about the sound of the record that you think shares similarities with anything out there already musically?
ST: Well, Mike is Mr. Discography! Play a riff, sing a melody, whatever and he knows the year, the album and name of the song! So I think every time Mikes drops a “Hey That sounds like the riff from that album 1973...”We tend to shy away from it…So there is probably more that doesn’t sound like anything else than stuff worth noting that does…
Do you have a favourite track from the EP?
ST: Before I was in the band, Mike asked me to do a radio edit for ‘Wrote the Longest Word’ . When I was working on it I had no problem looping the song and listening to it 300 times; with a lot of other bands I will mute the track and work off the Pro Tools graphic for edits. So yeah that song is my personal favorite!
MB: I like Tear To Spare! That one just does it for me!!
Do you have a favorite lyric or a lyric that stands out in your head as being the best?
MB: “Sad something dark is what it takes to wake you up” (Wrote the Longest Word”) On a personal level, that lyric speaks loud to me!
How is the next record coming along?
MB: We have 9 songs completed, we intend to pen a few more and then start shopping producers
Knowing the material you have so far, how would you say it differs or is similar to the EP?
MB: The new stuff sounds nothing like Era! Yet it sounds very much like Ceesau!
How has the writing process been for the new material?
ST: I think I have the easiest part of this process! I get to come in after Mike & Carmine have the basis of the song and add my parts to tie the vocals and guitar back to the drums. Of course the big pressure is not to screw that up!!
MB:The process has been smooth! As always Carmine comes in with a riff and we build on that! It’s an organic process that we have some how perfected? I wouldn’t change a thing!
Can you describe the sound of the new material?
MB: Raw Melodic and wonderful! it’s everything you’d imagine! and nothing you’d expect!
Do you think you could possibly give us a sneak peek at some lyrics for the mew material? Or even a first listen to something?
MB: Awe I’d love to but then we’d have to kill you! We have to be fair here! You’ll hear the album as soon as we do!
Best word or phrase you've heard?
MB: “it could be a crack head, Got a hold of the wrong stuff and got up in a tree and told him to be a leprechaun“.
(Google: Leprechaun, Mobile, Alabama)
If you could give yourselves alter egos what would they be and what would your aliases?
MB: We would be Kiss! Our names would be Paul, Gene, Ace and Peter!
How do you think your past/the experiences you've had growing up have influenced you career wise and musically?
MB: Well you can only write what you know right? So we write about life! Our lives! So past and present experience always play a key factor!. As far as career wise? I dare you to cross this band of brothers! We are fully Aware of the business! It’s up’s, it’s downs, and all between! Don’t get me wrong! We are nice people, however let’s just say sell your snake oil elsewhere! We don’t need it!
What other artists do you admire or have influenced you in your music?
MB: Oh man all the greats! Dillon, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, The Stones, Zeppelin, The Beatles, The Ramones.. You name it! If it’s moved us? It’s improved us!
Are there any recent artists that you like?
MB: I personally like Silver Sun Pickups, the Raconteurs, and think Rhianna is great! This is a broad question with so many answers, as all of us are into so many styles that I could go on all day! But of-course! If it’s good and inspires emotion, we like it!
Any that you particularly dislike?
MB:Nothing comes to mind?
What do you think of the music that's around today?
MB: There is some interesting stuff out now as there always is! The pop airwaves are some what cluttered with the flavor of the year as usual? And Rock music is seemingly dead at the moment, whatever? Nothing new here! We do what we do and don’t really consider anything else! Current or past! We are inspired by yesterday, today and tomorrow! So in some ways good or bad it’s all relevant!
Do you think there will be a time when you guys will get to come over to the UK?
MB: We would like to think so!
Your fan base is very international, with people from all over the world supporting you. Did you ever think or anticipate that Ceesau would have support from around the globe?
What do you think about that level of support?
MB: It’s amazing! I had no idea it would become what it has! We made this record for us and it became something that appeals to much more then that! We are completely surprised and pleased! We’re all the same around the world right?
If you could say anything to the fans what would you say?
MB: THANK YOU! THANK YOU THANK YOU!!