DOORSTEP INTERVIEW: Ceiling Demons | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Welcome to Doorstep Interview, where we find out more about the amazing bands and artists that we have right here in the north east. This time, Psy from Ceiling Demons tells us more about the group’s biggest achievements and what they’re got coming up.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Who are you, where are you from?

We are Ceiling Demons, an alternative hip hop project from Richmond, North Yorkshire. Our line-up consists of identical twin brother MCs Psy Ceiling and Dan Demon, alongside production from Beat Demon (George Ruston) and Newcastle-based Euan Kearney. With deep roots in the North East and Yorkshire, the group has spent time in Newcastle, Leeds and Sunderland crafting their art.

What inspired you to first start making music?

In terms of Ceiling Demons: love and loss. We first came together through bereavement of a close friend, and this theme has continued to permeate our music ever since. Music brings people together, and this unity is the opposite of loss – for us, it is a necessary form of expression with therapeutic qualities.

Who would you say are your biggest influences?

We love music in all its forms. When Mike Skinner said, “Has it come to this?” it opened a lot of doors for UK-based artists marrying words with music, and this has also influenced our sound. Our list of inspiration is endless but some artists we admire, to name a few, include Scroobius Pip, Young Fathers, Ghostpoet, Jehst, Serengeti and Kate Tempest. Production-wise, artists like Nujabes and DJ Shadow have been very influential to the Beat Demon. How would you describe your sound? We would describe our sound as raw, emotive, rural and sincere.

Where do you see yourselves fitting into the local music scene?

We see ourselves as outsiders, but we share common ground with acts like Outside Your House and Absorb. From where we’re from, in Richmond, there’s a lot of musical talent on our doorstep; we’re big supporters of our local music scene and we’ve put on show featuring a diversity of acts, such as Nico Cara, Emile’s Telegraphic Transmission Device, Silent Houses and Pip Mountjoy.

“Music brings people together, and this unity is the opposite of loss”

Tell us a bit about your live performances. What can we expect from a gig by Ceiling Demons?

We like to create an atmosphere that matches the intensity of the music. To do this we often use a menacing double bass alongside tribal masks, which we also use in our videos and artwork, to create a demonic presence on stage. Expect a ritualistic experience: blood, sweat and sincerity.

Can you tell us what gigs you have planned in the region in the near future?

We have a couple of shows lined up in the region. We’re playing the Westgarth Social Club in Middlesbrough on Saturday 20th June, alongside the Scottish alternative hip hop act Stanley Odd. Then on Friday 31st July we’re playing before Funeral for a Friend on the main stage at Richmond Live at 8.45. We’re also playing at Tramlines Festival in Sheffield on 25th July.

What do you think has been your biggest achievement so far as a band?

There are various moments we’re proud of. We’ve had radio coverage from Tom Robinson at BBC 6 Music and Scroobius Pip on XFM. We’ve played some great support shows for the likes of Sleaford Mods, Young Fathers, Buck 65 and Astronautalis, all acts we admire, and we also had the opportunity to play a show in Amsterdam last year. But one of our proudest achievements has been raising money and awareness for the mental health charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), who support the prevention of male suicide – the biggest killer of young men between the ages of 18 and 45 – as this is an issue close to our hearts.

Have there been any major challenges so far in your musical career?

Our producer went AWOL in Asia on the eve of us supporting Astronautalis in Bristol, but our friend Chris Curry stepped in and took over the Beat Demon duties.

What else have you got planned for the future?

We’re currently working on a lot of new music which we plan to release later in the year, including a Ceiling Demons LP and a new project with Outside Your House producer Johnny Swift.

Ceiling Demons play at Westgarth Social Club, Middlesbrough on Saturday 20th June with Stanley Odd.

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