Blending artful textures and eclectic instrumentation with the force and emotional impact of a full-on rock band, the Old Ceremony are fronted by singer and songwriter Django Haskins, who was born in Florida to a musical family. Haskins played in a variety of teenage garage bands before leaving Florida to study literature, and then lived in China for a spell, where he taught English. After returning to America, Haskins settled in New York City and formed the group Django & the Regulars, who released three albums between 1998 and 2003. By the time the third Regulars album, Overeasysmokemachine, was released, Haskins had pulled up stakes and moved to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where he began collaborating with a handful of noted local musicians in a combo called International Orange, who cut an EP and toured extensively in the South before going on extended hiatus in 2005. That same year, Haskins began experimenting with the idea of forming a group that embraced a different variety of musical voices, and he assembled the first edition of the Old Ceremony (named for Leonard Cohen's 1974 album New Skin for the Old Ceremony).
Releasing their self-titled debut disc through Haskins' own Alyosha Records label, the Old Ceremony's album and frequent East Coast concert dates drew enough positive press to attract the attention of the independent sonaBlast! label, which issued the band's second LP, Our One Mistake, in 2006. After a number of personnel shifts, the Old Ceremony settled into a firm lineup -- Django Haskins (lead vocals, guitar), Matt Brandau (bass), Dan Hall (drums), Gabriele Pelli (violin, keyboards), and Mark Simonsen (organ, vibraphone) -- by the time they recorded their third full-length set, 2009's Walk on Thin Air. A year later, they returned with Tender Age. In 2012, the Old Ceremony delivered their fifth studio album, Fairytales and Other Forms of Suicide. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi