Premiere: Rituals - Mesmerized

Rituals, a fantastic and fuzzy band from Toronto, have a brand new video for you. We also sat down with them to chat about casinos, nearly broken video cameras, and stolen effects pedals.

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Mar 4 2013, 5:25pm

Halifax native Adam Christopher Seward's solo, hazy bedroom project Rituals has grown impressively into a full band who are putting out some of Toronto's best, fuzzy (and buzzy!) rock music. We sat down with Adam to talk about his past life where he worked in a casino, getting booked on a show in a room full of embalming fluid, and how to avoid breaking a camera when near water. Oh, and of course, check out the exclusive Noisey premiere of Rituals' latest video above. It's great.

Hey Adam. Do you have any weird stories from living in Halifax?
I worked at a casino in Nova Scotia, doing banquet service there for about three years. You’re working shows for washed-up stars. A lot of the time they’d leave their shit behind so we would grab all their gear and use it. I ended up keeping Trooper’s drum hardware after the show. Also, one of my vocal pedals for Rituals belongs to Tom Cochrane’s guitarist. It’s an effects pedal, but it’s kind of garbage.

Would that be the extent of Tom Cochrane’s influence on Rituals?
Yes.

So do you have any good small-town gig stories?
Not with this band, but definitely with my last band. We played Tillsonburg, Ontario once. And that was a total weird one. No one had been there before. The town has, maybe, a thousand people in it.

Wikipedia says there are 15,000 people there.
Ok. Well anyway, we drove up to the venue and there’s a sign that just says: “BANDS TONIGHT” in handwriting, off the side of the highway, and we’re like, “Oh great, this is going to be a well-rounded show.” We get in to the room and it’s an old funeral home. And they’ve converted it so the basement is a youth centre. Then there’s this tank of…

Embalming fluid?
Yeah, there were remnants of that shit there, and there was this metal band playing who were pretty awesome, and –

A bit more suited to the environment?
Yeah, exactly, they were perfect, but we were just like, “this is crazy.” We ended up outside talking to a bunch of locals, and they were just racist rednecks. They were making jokes that were super offensive, and one of the guys in our band was gay, so it was really uncomfortable. He was sort of pretending not to be who he is, because he was a little bit scared of these guys.

And then, when we were getting ready to play the show, the sound guy was like, “You know what, I just want to go home.” He wanted to leave so he could watch some fuckin’ TV show, so he paid us out and then he was just like, “Go home. You guys can go back to Toronto.” And we were like, “Yup! Sure.” We took the money, got in the van, and just got the fuck out of there.

That’s crazy. I think some people outside of Canada may not understand that if you’re in a touring band in the States for example, you can play so many cities somewhat comfortably in a van, but up here it’s just college towns, Hamilton, and Montreal if you’re on the east coast.
Yeah, there’s a big gap. Ontario’s good because you have a pocket of eligible places to play shows. That’s what you have in the states where you can sort of go from city to city. Ontario’s good, but in Montreal you’re kinda screwed. You play Montreal, and you can either go further east or go far west. It’s the same in Halifax. You’re kinda stranded over there. It takes 18 hours to get to your next gig.

Without trying to hard to push some trendy city narrative, there is something to be said about Toronto at this point in time. How do you think the city, if at all, has sort of helped Rituals and develop?
Toronto’s great, and I have lots of friends here. It’s a good community and it’s challenging in a creative sense, which is great. That definitely motivates us more to just want to work harder and refine everything.

Yeah there’s a healthy competition here. What other projects in the city are inspiring or motivating you right now?
Metz is awesome. Dusted is doing very well. Beliefs, definitely, Odonis Odonis… This video is actually made by myself, and Dean from Odonis Odonis.

Oh right, cool! Were there any unexpected challenges during production?
This was basically my first video project, so there were obstacles there. But I guess the biggest challenge was trying not to get that camera wet underwater. We just kind of used some baggies to protect it.

Glad that all worked out.

Go see Rituals IRL:

April 3rd, Toronto @ the Drake w/ Odonis Odonis and Elsa
April 5th, Guelph @ Kazoo fest w/ Dusted
April 6th, St Catherine's @ Mansion House w/ Beliefs
April 7th, Hamilton @ This Ain't Hollywood w/ Dusted and Blackburn
April 12th, Ottawa @ Pressed w/ Dusted and Ell V Gore
April 13th, Montreal @ Silver Door w/ Dusted and Ell V Gore
April 26th, London @ APK, w/ Dusted, SM
April 27th, Toronto @ Parkdale Library w/ Dusted