It was about 11 a.m. on a recent Tuesday morning in sunny Los Angeles, California, and brothers Erik, Warren and Elliott Regan, along with longtime friends Dallas Hosey and Anthony Marchione, were still trying to wrap their minds around what had happened the night before.
The fivesome, widely known as the psychedelic rock band Ceramic Animal, performed at The Roxy Theatre on Sunset Boulevard to an unpredecentedly massive crowd.
“I think we fell just short of selling out,” said Erik. “I think we were like, 10 tickets short of a sellout in a 500-person room.”
Hailing from the suburbia of Doylestown, acquiring such a dedicated following in a major city is an impressive, brag-worthy feat. But the members of Ceramic Animal aren’t letting it inflate their egos. They’re still just “a couple of nasty boys,” as their fans so endearingly dubbed them once upon a time.
Currently, the band is in the midst of a U.S. tour with L.A.’s Spendtime Palace, and will return to their stomping grounds on Tuesday, March 26 for a show at Johnny Brenda’s in Philadelphia.
Ahead of the concert, and on the heels of the Roxy gig, The Times spoke with Ceramic Animal about all it has accomplished since August 2018, when the group was first featured. At that time, the band was gearing up for not only the release of its sophomore album The Horse, but its biggest tour to date.
“It certainly met our expectations as far as turnout and stuff like that. It was our first time to tour for that long, and that much of the country,” Erik said. “Our longest tour before that was probably 12 or 14 days, so that five-week tour was an adjustment, but having the smaller tours under our belt prepared us for the longer haul.”
Standout shows on The Nasty U.S. Tour of Truth included Denver, Colorado, Austin, Texas, and Ceramic Animal’s inaugural performance at The Roxy in L.A. Every night, the guys had the privilege of witnessing fans singing every word of songs like “So Familiar” and “Look for a Lover.” And now they’re doing it all again on a 20-show stretch with Spendtime Palace, which kicked off March 2 in Denver and will wrap up in Chicago, Illinois.
“A little extra driving on this tour just to be able to do it with them, but it’s worth it,” Erik said. “Those guys are awesome. It’s been fun hanging out. They play great music and we enjoy watching the shows. It’s been a good experience.”
For Ceramic Animal diehards, in addition to a second tour in less than a year, they were graced earlier this month with a recorded version of the track “All My Loving.”
“We’ve been performing it live for maybe five years now. We performed it at almost every show we’ve played, even before we were officially Ceramic Animal,” Erik said. “This is a song that we’ve been playing and working on and evolving for many years, and we tried to record it in the past, but it didn’t turn out the way we were hoping. So we kind of scrapped it and moved on, and just kept keeping it as a live-exclusive song.”
But in October 2018, this mindset was drastically changed when the Regans’ father passed away.
“‘All My Loving’ was one of his favorite songs, and he was always pushing us to record it, so we decided it had to happen. We had to just bear down and do it,” Erik said. “And so we got it done and were happy with the result. So far, it’s been really well-received both in the media and on Spotify and Apple Music.”
The 10-minute masterpiece features smooth, jazzy verses and a surprising, hard-hitting chorus, all backed by a constant, driving rhythm. When Ceramic Animal went into the studio this time around, it approached the song in a fresh way. And it worked.
“We changed the method of how we recorded it,” said Warren. “We kind of recorded it in different parts in different tempos, because the song jumps around tempo-wise. So I think that definitely helped.”
In true Ceramic Animal fashion, “All My Loving” will be a staple on its Johnny Brenda’s setlist, and new and old fans alike are encouraged to come out.
“If you haven’t seen us live before, but you like the recorded stuff, you’ll certainly like the live set because we play a lot of those songs,” Erik said. “But it’s also more energy. It gives us an opportunity to embellish or change things up or just take it to another level.”
At the show, attendees will have the chance to witness the talents of Marchione for the first time. An early childhood friend of Warren’s, Marchione began rehearsing with the band in December 2018 just for fun. He had been part of Philly’s The Mysteries, which played with Ceramic Animal several times before.
“He’s a good friend of the band, and we thought it would be interesting to bring on another guitarist. It frees Warren up to do more stuff vocally and they can play off of each other,” Erik said. “And so we had a couple rehearsals to see how it would go and it was working. We invited him on tour with us, and now he’s part of the band.”
Still, it wasn’t official until Marchione received his Ceramic Animal uniform. At each live performance, the band shows off its eye for fashion, sporting matching suits that are reminiscent of early-era Beatles.
“We have some new wardrobe that we’ve unveiled,” Erik said with pride. “Last tour, we were doing the beige linen, which was good, the natural fiber. It’s an ancient fabric, it breathes really well. Machine-washable. But this tour, we have two new suits that have been a hit so far.”
As far as Ceramic Animal’s post-tour agenda, it has plans to release a number of singles throughout the year, with the possibility of a third album. Keep up with the band at ceramicanimal.net and facebook.com/ceramicanimal. ••
If you go…
Ceramic Animal will perform at Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., Philadelphia, on Tuesday, March 26. Doors are at 7 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m. Cost is $14-$16. This show is for guests 21 and older. Tickets are available at johnnybrendas.com/calendar
Samantha Bambino can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org