Miami's Own Selebrities Talks Brooklyn, Music, & European Fans

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Amid the plethora of musical acts hailing from Miami, we caught up with the coolest trio from the band Selebrities. Having now relocated and created a name for themselves as a Brooklyn-based band, they caught our eye (and ears) after we discovered their latest single, "Night Heat," a sexy, atmospheric song featuring sultry vocalist Maria Usbeck. But unlike other girl-fronted bands, Selebrities is definitely not just for the ladies. With a new video out, directed and produced by their very own guitarist Jer Robert Paulin, the band's entire style reflects the same voguish summer goth sounds that Max Peterson (drums, synth) produces.
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First question: What do you tell people when you say you're Selebrities. Is that cheesy?
"We usually say 'Selebrities with an S' which implies that we are not celebrities, or we say 'the band Selebrities.' It tends to be in the context of us explaining that we are in a band and that's the name. We've said 'We're Selebrities' before while picking up tickets at a window under that name. Looked like total jerks. We learned quick."
For anyone who doesn't know about Selebrities, how would you describe your music?
"Pop, new wave, Italian disco, a feel of happy melodies followed by sad words. Our music can be something you listen to casually or for a night out. It fits many different scenarios and feelings."
You guys have recently caught the attention of some unexpected patrons like Sports Illustrated. They flew you out to Las Vegas to play for bikinis and suits. How'd you manage to do that?
"They approached us a while back to primarily use the song 'Time' for one of the models' videos. We heard that they loved our music and kept playing it around the office. So, when the festival was put together we were requested to play and were happy to do it! It was really fun, truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience."
On your Facebook fan page, there's a picture of a guy with a handmade T-shirt with your face on it. How the hell did you find that? Run a Google Image search?
"Oh, he is the coolest. He emailed us the photo, so then we uploaded it to give him a shout-out. Jer and Maria used to make band T-shirts back in the day, as well. It's the symbol of being a true fan in our opinion."
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Wearing your own band shirt while you perform: faux pas or faux real?
"Only the Ramones were allowed to do that, and they're all kind of dead now. So, now nobody can."
Is there any method to what you wear when you perform or when you're on tour?
"It was really hard to pack for a 30-day tour through Europe. But we keep it simple: solid colors and a good-looking jacket over it. Nothing too fancy. Pop the collar for a little flavor."
You guys will be jet setting to Europe very soon. Any expectations?
"Massive expectations. We strangely have a bigger following in Europe. We hope someone crowd surfs and at least one person gets on stage. Plus it's our first time [traveling] to many of these countries, [we're] ready to embrace their culture 100%. And, if were not careful, we just may learn a little somethin'."
Do you think Europeans consider Brooklyn a music scene?
"I think Europeans definitely do consider it a scene. And it is. It's surprising. The term 'Brooklyn band' is getting kind of old, but what's the harm in people coming here and making music?"
Selebrities is playing tonight at Public Assembly at 9 p.m.. Tickets are still available for $12 here.
Public Assembly, 70 North 6th Street, Brooklyn (between Wythe and Kent avenues); 718-384-4586.
Photo: Courtesy of Selebrities
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