These mysterious newcomers to the Berlin indie scene describe themselves as making “trebly indie pop for expired adolescents”. There’s quite a buzz going around about them, that’s for sure, and we’re very excited to finally see them live and in the flesh at the Basement Bash Vol. XII next Thursday 27.9!
indieberlin: Tell us a little bit about your musical background
The Usual Boys: Although none of us would’ve been friends in our teenage years, we all now share a love of blue note era jazz, 60s british beat rock and modern indie. Our lead singer Aleksi spent most of his teenage years trying to be Bob Dylan and later Mac Demarco, our lead guitarist Ethan was determined to be a Scottish Coltrane with a Jaguar and all the while our drummer Pat was stockpiling a vast wealth of knowledge from across genres and continents.
indieberlin: How did you come up with the name?
The Usual Boys: There’s a späti on Warschauer straße that we went to on most days during the brutal winter last year. One day we walked in the owner yelled ‘Ah! The usual boys!’. Despite not being able to really communicate with him, we have now become good friends and he gives us special glasses for our sternies.
indieberlin: How did you get together as a band?
The Usual Boys: Well we all started playing together last year during the winter. After a few weeks of messing around in rehearsal spaces and heading straight to the späti after, we realized we were on the same frequency. From then on we started writing and kept drinking and playing together.
indieberlin: How does the songwriting process look like for you?
The Usual Boys: Usually one of us comes in with a riff or some sort of idea what they want to hear. From then on we throw in some elements from other songs until it starts sounding like it should. I think when we write we always think about playing the tracks live, as a 3 piece no one gets to take a back seat.
Berlin is a pastiche of weird shit that never sits still
indieberlin: If your music was a movie what genre would it be?
The Usual Boys: A Tarantino film possibly, although we wouldn’t care for any Weinstein associations.
indieberlin: Where do you get your inspiration from?
The Usual Boys: The initial spark usually comes from songs that really shake us. Often times ideas also come up from the one liners that stick out in our conversations. The city is also a big inspiration, Berlin is a pastiche of weird shit that never sits still.
In colour but a little bit fuzzy
indieberlin: What was the last concert you went to?
The Usual Boys: Besides seeing friends play and other bands in the music scene here:
Aleksi: Anna Burch playing at monarch here in Berlin supported by Strandchild.
Ethan: Happy Meals, a French/Scottish electronic duo playing at SWG3 in Glasgow.
Pat: Omar Souleyman at Else, Berlin.
indieberlin: How do you feel about covering a song?
The Usual Boys: We’re into it if we can bastardize it into something that sounds cool.
indieberlin: Do you see your songs in colour or black and white?
The Usual Boys: In colour but a little bit fuzzy
indieberlin: What was the nicest compliment you’ve gotten?
The Usual Boys: Probably when one of our friends said that she felt a bit nervous and tense watching us stumble all over the stage.
Noel Maurice is one of the founders of indieberlin. Originally from the UK via a childhood in Johannesburg, he has been resident in Berlin since 1991. Describing himself as a ‘recovering musician’, he is the author of The Berlin Diaires, a trilogy detailing the East Berlin art and squat scene of the early 90s, available on Amazon and through this site.