Like many of their contemporaries, Brooklynites Maria Usbeck, Jer Robert Paulin, Max Peterson – Selebrities to you and I – are infatuated with the atmosphere-soaked, purple hued pop art of the 1980s – hand-illustrated movie posters, rainbow lit discotheques, dry ice and the rest. They even go as far as to cite “the haze before the TriStar Horse appears [at the start of films]” as an influence, and spoke to Wonderland ahead of the release of their newest EP, Night Heat – a carelessly mystical, melodious floor filler.
How, when and why did you form?
While attending art school, Jer and Maria met and attended many shows together. One day they decided to start playing music. The early demos of Time and Audition were made. A few years later in New York, Jer met Max at work. Max then produced these demos and created some serious jams. So Selebrities was born, the band exists due to our passion and
love for music.
Are you sick of the “80s synth-pop” comparisons, embrace them or greet them with indifference?
By now it almost feels like the comparisons have been stablished well enough. We don’t necessarily believe in the term “80s music” – for us, this genre and style has never really left the scene. It’s pop, it’s new wave, it’s post-punk – it’s just music.
If the 80s hadn’t happened, what five bands would you compare yourself to?
Good question. Aesthetically, we have been called “the sweet Yeah Yeah Yeahs”. Musically, you could say we resemble a bit to Craft Spells, Chairlift, Erika Spring, Plastic Flowers.
Explain the ideas, themes and mood behind “Night Heat”.
We went in wanting to do something a little slower, since most of our tracks are fast-tempo pop songs. It’s really inspired by movie soundtracks as well, we wanted to do a track that seemed like it was made for a movie that never existed. It’s most definitely the song that plays during the sex scene.
Does it serve as an accurate prologue to the album, coming out next month?
Actually Night Heat is a 7inch single (and digital) which includes “Night Heat” and a B side. We’re working slowly on a second full length album. But right now we only have ideas – after our tour in Europe, we’ll start working on demos and what not.
Name your top five cult movies.
Ms. 45, Troll 2, The Howling 3, The Warriors, Donnie Darko
Night Heat is out on the 20th March.
Words: Jack Mills