Q&A: Cerebral Ballzy

Cerebral Ballzy is a punk band from Brooklyn, that can more accurately be described as a party. From their beginnings of living off of cheap beer and pizza, the band has grown up a bit, but still stays true to having a blast on stage and bringing on new fans to hang out with them. They will be playing a show at the Space in Hamden, CT on Saturday, February 8. I chatted with guitarist Mason Orfalea.

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Cerebral Ballzy’s first self-titled record dropped in 2011 and earned some serious buzz. Their second record, Jaded and Faded is slated to come out later this year. In between, they’ve released a few 7-inch vinyls and cassettes. Since this is an analog beer blog after all, I asked Mason the most important question, whether or not their new record would be out on wax. He said something that I definitely agree with; “I’ve always liked being able to go into a record store and come out with a handful of awesome records.  Their is something different about being able to tangibly hold a record in your hands.  I think a lot of great material gets missed as a result of our fast paced download culture.” So their latest will definitely be out on vinyl, and you can pick up the “City’s Girl”/”Another Day” 7-inch here and now.

another day

The show at the Space, as well as a few of their other upcoming gigs, are all ages. I asked if there was a difference between playing for the all-ages clubs versus 21+ venues, but Mason says no;  “When your at a Ballzy show normal rules don’t really apply. You think we give a shit what the drinking age is?”

Rules certainly don’t seem to apply; after all, I was advised not to have any expectations of Cerebral Ballzy’s latest tour, dubbed a “nepotistic art tour”. As Mason states, “Expectations lead to disappointment, and Cerebral Ballzy never disappoints anybody ever.”

The band has been a hit on the festival circuit taking them around the world the past several years, playing fests like Leeds Festival in the UK, Summer Sonic Festival in Japan, and Pukkelpop in Belgium. This year they’ll be on SXSW, as well as the epicness that is Punk Rock Bowling in Las Vegas. Mason sent me a video of the last time the band was in Vegas…

Another fun fact: Lead singer Honor Titus is the son of Dres from the legendary hip hop duo Black Sheep. I asked if hip hop had an effect on Cerebral Ballzy’s sound, but Mason says not more than any other kind of music, “We listen to all sorts of music. Obviously we like hip hop, but it hasn’t influenced us any more than other genres of music.  We like good hip hop, but there’s a lot of shit out there.”

Mason tells me, “When we first started the band we would live off of 1$ Coors 24’s and 1$ slices of pizza.  We kind of had an unofficial rule that it was unacceptable to spend more than a dollar on anything.  Now we’ve moved on to drinking Cristal out of Dixie cups.  Classy shit.” Classy shit indeed. The show at the Space is sure to be a good time, with local openers Political Animals, whom I have only seen live once, but it was inside a skate park so that’s kind of a testament to their awesomeness. Rumor has it Black Sheep is going to play a set as well, since they will be performing with Cerebral Ballzy on the tour. So check it out, punk rock, hip hop, all inside a music venue that’s been bringing some of the best new artists to CT for 10 years and running. Plus tickets are under $20! Click here to pick them up ahead of time.

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