The latest new musical act to make it on my “What’s Next” radar for 2012 is Brooklyn trio Selebrities. They turn out the kind of hopeless-romantic jams that were the backbone to every awesome 80s teen flick you’ve seen, and honestly, the world could use more music like that todayeveryday.
We caught up with lead singer and keyboardist Maria Usbeck, guitarist Jer Paulin and drummer Max Peterson after their performance during theSports Illustrated Swimsuit Beauties & Beats Music Festival (which surprisingly featured tons of great indie acts like The Black Lips and Delta Spirit) at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas last week to get the 411 on the tubular trio.
After just listening to only one or two of their songs, it’s easy to hear influences from 80s post-punk and new wave bands like The Human League, The Cure, The Psychadelic Furs and New Order. It came to no suprise when the band specifically called out The Chameleons, The Cure and New Order when asked who were some of the group’s most influential musical acts.
As far as influences for their songwriting and musical themes goes, it was an even bigger no brainer when Maria mentioned that movies played a big part in the way they sculpt their seriously-hard-not-to-love sounds.
With the band automatically citing movies as a reference to their song writing, I naturally had to tell them that I thought their songs could have easily comprised of just about every John Hughes movie soundtrack, which then lead me to ask what their favorite 80s teen flick were…
“Sixteen Candles.” “The Breakfast Club.” “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”
After hearing those answers straight from the mouths of Maria, Jer and Max, I knew I was on to them the first time I heard one of their songs…
Their mutual love for movies wasn’t the only thing that brought the band together to create some great tunage and shape their nostalgic sound. Before starting Selebrities, Maria, Jer and Max had been friends back in art school, and used to go to local shows to see bands perform all the time. Nowadays, seeing live shows is even still a major influence for the group.
“…Every time after every single show we would tell each other, like, ‘Come on, man! We really just got to start making some music right now. We can do this,'” mentioned Maria.
After seeing all of these shows back in their art school days, the three of them finally then bought their first musical instruments and taught themselves how to play just after a few jam sessions. Not too soon after, Maria et al all moved to New York City for work, and continued to record demos since 2010 and get their music out there on the local indie music scene.
And in doing so, it looks like they managed to make a few fans over at Sports Illustrated who reached out to the Brooklyn threesome to have one of their songs featured in an exclusive behind-the-scenes video for the annual Swimsuit Issue, as well as fly them out to Vegas to play at the coinciding, indie-rock-only music festival.
With swimsuits on the brain and the bathing suit seasons quickly approaching, I was also intrigued to find out what the three of them prefered to don when hitting the waters.
Maria quickly answered by stating her preference for bikinis, while Max mentioned swim trunks and Jer saying he actually wears “cut-off jean shorts” into the water, which kind of threw me off guard a bit (denim in the water…doesn’t sound very comfortable to me).
If you weren’t able to catch their dance-tastic performance last week in Las Vegas, and you happen to live in Europe, then you’re in luck as they’ll be performing thirty shows in thirty days throughout the continent starting March 22nd, touring with fellow indie act Slow Magic.
Trust me when I say that these kids are going to have their moment in the spotlight this yearwith or without swimwear.