Here at Psyko Steve, we want to recognize some of the amazing bands in the Phoenix music scene, so we started Psyko Steve’s Local Spotlight – a regular feature where we get to know and highlight some of our favorite local groups. For the next installment of this series, we’re featuring Celebration Guns. Click here to check out last week’s spotlight on Outsiders!
Celebration Guns is a pleasant blend of dream pop and twinkly indie rock. The Arizona natives challenge themselves to take their various musical influences and apply to their writing, to create songs that are busy, complex and compelling.
Founding members Justin Weir (Vocals/Guitar) and Timothy O’Brien (Drums/Bells/Backup Vocals) met via Craigslist in 2012 to play on a project that never got off the ground. In the summer of 2013, they decided they wanted to utilize the unused GarageBand demos they had to start a new project. Weir knew Ryan Miller (Bass) from high school and a former project, so they reached out for him to join in. The three then turned back to Craigslist to find Christopher Blanco (Guitar) to complete the band.
We spoke with Justin Weir ahead of their show next week opening for Caspian at The Rebel Lounge. Check out what he had to say about the Phoenix music scene and some encouragement he has for new bands:
Psyko Steve Presents: What do you like about the Phoenix music scene? What would you like to change?
Justin Weir: I appreciate the fact that a music scene exists at all in Phoenix. It feels great to live somewhere that you can easily find venues and promoters that are willing to give bands of all styles a chance to play, and feel validated in doing what they love. I’m pretty sure that’s not the case everywhere, but it’s easy to take for granted. The first thing we did as a band was to send the GarageBand demos to local cassette label Rubber Brother Records, and when they agreed to put it on cassette for us, it made a huge difference to have someone care about our music and feel part of their scene. I don’t have anything specific I would like to change about the music scene here, but I do hope that the 21 and under crowd have enough spaces where they feel comfortable to play music or watch bands and, if not, more all-ages venues will start popping up.
PSP: What is the best advice you’ve been given about your band or your art? And what advice would you give new bands starting out in Phoenix?
JW: Just make the call, send the email, do whatever you’re holding back from doing with your band or art because you assume you won’t get a response or you’ll be rejected. You definitely will (we definitely have), but there have been plenty of times I took that advice and just sent off an email to play a show or for some other opportunity that was a longshot for us, but ended up working out.
PSP: What’s next for your band?
JW: We will be releasing our next album as two separate EPs, to be released in 2020 and 2021. We will be releasing songs from these EPs once a month starting in February! We hope to get on the road more this year, and we are already starting to work on songs for whatever we release next.
You can listen to Celebration Guns on any major streaming platform and find them on social media through the links below.
FFO: TTNG, Delta Sleep, Maps & Atlases, Minus the Bear
Catch them opening for Caspian next Friday, January 31st at The Rebel Lounge. Click here for more information and tickets.