When the “nasty boys” of Doylestown’s Ceramic Animal were last seen in summer 2018, they were competing on an intergalactic dating show, vying for the heart of a gorgeously green alien woman. But things took an unprecedented shift when she obliterated them into thin air, with nothing left behind but traces of green slime…which she quickly ate up.
Ever since this major cliffhanger in the music video for “Look for a Lover,” off the band’s sophomore album The Horse, fans have wondered about the fate of these beloved musicians. Last Friday, they finally got some answers when Ceramic Animal released a video for “Working (Real Hard)” – the first single off its upcoming third album High End.
During their year trapped in space, Warren Regan (vocals/guitar), Elliott Regan (keys, vocals), Erik Regan (drums), Dallas Hosey (bass, vocals) and Anthony Marchione (guitar) ditched their signature Beatles-esque suits for something more comfortable – matching workout shorts and tank tops. Featuring quirky choreography reminiscent of a Richard Simmons VHS tape, the video chronicles the band’s attempt to escape and return to Earth.
“If you couldn’t tell from the smiles in half the shots, we were just cracking up the whole time,” Erik told The Times.
But don’t let the smiles fool you…the guys worked up quite a sweat during their 12-hour days of filming.
“It was a lot of hard work because we are doing real workouts,” added Warren. “The shoots took a long time and sometimes you have to redo shoots. So you’re doing these workouts that seem kind of ‘no big deal,’ but then when you do them for a minute straight and then have to go back 10 seconds later and do it for another minute, five times in a row, I think we were all pretty sore.”
The video was written and directed by Sid Kreitzer, with Matt Noll as director of photography. Both were the masterminds behind the first installment, “Look for a Lover.”
“It was really great working with them. We loved what they came up with and how it turned out,” Erik said. “He [Kreitzer] always does the retro, Sci-Fi kind of look. It’s having fun mixing reality with suspended reality.”
The song itself was written and produced by Warren, with the track recorded at Joe’s Tune Shack – a lakeside cabin studio located across from John Cougar Mellencamp’s estate in Nashville, Indiana.
“I remember when you shared it with us at the cabin, we were all really vibing on it,” Erik told Warren. “It just felt like a good track. It felt like this is a good single, a fun song.”
“Working (Real Hard)” is set to appear on High End, which is scheduled for release at the end of February. According to Erik, Ceramic Animal is releasing the album in a somewhat unorthodox way as a tribute to the Regans’ late father, who passed away in October 2018. Erik explained how his dad used to race to the record store as a kid to buy new records before they sold out.
“You’d only have one friend that actually had a copy of the record, and so you get all excited after school and you’re all going to go to Tom’s house, 10 or 12 of you. You all sit down together and listen to the record together,” Erik said. “We thought that was a really neat thing that you don’t have anymore. Someone releases an album now, you play it on your commute into work or maybe while you’re working out at the gym. But it’s always isolated.”
In an attempt to bring music back to this communal form, Ceramic Animal is releasing High End only on vinyl and CD in February. It will become available on digital platforms throughout the rest of the year.
“We’ll see how that plays out, but that’s the sentiment behind it,” Erik said. “To encourage people to maybe listen to the album in that way, in its entirety with a little bit more focus and hopefully with friends. When do you have something that not everyone can listen to on demand all the time? It gives it a little more weight, which is kind of a nice thing.”
As far as the sound of High End, Warren praised it as the band’s best work yet.
“There’s more energy in this album, I think, than our past two. There’s more upbeat stuff, but there’s also more of a meaning behind it. We cover a few different sounds in it. It sticks with the nature of our previous two albums that we don’t just keep playing the same song,” he said. “There’s really something on it for anyone that likes music at all, anyone with hearts and ears.” ••
Keep up with Ceramic Animal at ceramicanimal.net.
Samantha Bambino can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org