The Ex-Bombers are going to take you on a psychedelic trip from the mid 60’s that will drive you insane when you feel the power of their intense psychotic sounds. This music is delicious and addicting beyond your wildest tastes! The two piece band from Charleston, Illinois have been creating a new sound wave since 2010 and are gaining greater recognition with their music and powerful music that includes Keri Cousins on a drum set sans toms and S M Nancy plays the Hagstrom 8-string bass.
“We are a delightfully sinister psychedelic blues duo who pride ourselves creating suspiciously resonant songs only using a small 1960s Trixon jazz drum set and an electric 8 string bass. Everything you hear on our records is us in the same room recording together live to open reel tape, every note you hear us sing we sang, every word we wrote we lived, and when we play a live show we give you absolutely everything we have on that night. We love music deeply and if you do as well, we might very well have a connection.”
They’ve released a new album on Cavetone Records in 2021 with New Love is Easy to add to their catalog and delivering more fire and feeling than ever before with new vigor. “We call it sinister psychedelic blues. We’ve been tagged everything from “dirtbag spy jazz” to “beatnik punk” to “femme fatale / film noir pop.” We like the blues descriptor. It’s those riffs, those grooves, and those catchy catchy vocals. The blues are wonderful because they’re this launching point, just like punk can be. Bands from Black Sabbath to the Crazy World of Arthur Brown to the Animals just show what that launching point can result in. Our music is dark but catchy, textured but immediate, cerebral but cathartic. It all comes down to the song, because a great song is a great song regardless of genre. We have a crazy big record collection. Around 2500 LPs on those great Ikea shelves, and everything is in there. There’s amazing art punk, glam and glitter, paisley pop, hot jazz, Broadway soundtracks, garage, psych, singer/songwriters, British invasion, surf, vocal pop…. a great song is a great song if it comes from Carole King, Ian Anderson, Sean Bonniwell, Lisa Loeb, Boyce & Hart, Brett Gurewitz, or (our patron saint) Lou Reed. We just love songs, interesting songs, brutally honest songs, songs made with love, based on instincts, played together by musicians. Influences outside of music? I guess it comes down to listening to that inner voice and not shying away from it. For example, I do believe we’re the lone legitimately Femmedomme duo who is out and open about it (PG rated of course). We’re open about it when we play because there are songs about that part of our relationship, and when other people who share our identity hear it, it resonates on a profound level. We have this rule, we never lie behind a microphone, so if we say it, we’re being genuine.”
“Our latest LP “New Love Is Easy” just came out this summer and we’ll be touring on that for a bit. We left absolutely everything on the tape for this album. Whether it was the tracks, the vocals, or a tambourine overdub, there was this electrified energy where we felt this piece of ourselves sticking to the tape and we would get done and just be falling over because there was nothing left after a take. We legitimately love this record. It’s just right all over. The songs are loved and lived-in, it all has this live energy with all the ginger bread that makes an album an album (ex: building a 6 foot tape loop using all this crazy foley for the intro of “Business Deal” or flipping reels around so notes are backwards and swelling). We just take a while on things. I guess agonizing over things is just part of our process. Plus, we really just go the album route. It’s a beautiful place in time, it tells a story, it draws you in, and it lives life with you. You might even fight over it if you break up with your significant other! So then our story becomes intertwined with your story. There is only one continuous groove on each side of a record. That symbolism is never lost on us.”
The Ex-Bombers Keri explains, “It is a metaphor for not feeling like you belong in a space and time. I think we’ve always felt to some degree like we defied classification both as musicians and as people, and that is simultaneously a wonderful and unsettling feeling. What happens to those amazing World War II bombers during the jet age, right? The feeling was one of spycraft, like we live in the shadows, and when we started back in 2010 it was very dark. As time has gone on, we’ve introduced huge bursts of color into these shadows.”
When it comes to performances and most memorable experiences, the Ex Bombers thrive and look at pouring their hearts out for their love of music and performing for their fans. “This is an interesting question, right, because we’ve played some pretty notable shows/places, but music is about making memories. While we started as a club band where you get up there and burn through a 35 minute set, and we still do this occasionally, we mostly play single-band shows. This means we’re playing three sets. The best feeling in the world, when you are just physically exhausted during that third set, is that the people that came during the first set are still there with you, and you all feel like the night is building to this crescendo. People dance, yell, shout. They’re excited to hear the songs from your record that they know, and what we call “shitty covers” which are our perverse arrangements of classic rock and pop songs. And still, at the end of the night, they still want a couple more songs. A little more dancing, a bit more movement, some more glorious shouting. To be part of those memories is just awesome. Also, because it’s recent, one of our favourite fans showed up to a show with the logo we were using during our second record tattooed on her leg. It legitimately made us beam with happiness to see it. We’ve been having more people drive from out of town/out of state to our shows. That’s also pretty awesome.”
And what to expect from the Ex-Bombers? “I guess we’d divide this into The Ex-Bombers live, our albums, and then as people. At our live shows, we will give you everything that we have that night, regardless of the circumstance or of the attendance. We love music, and we just seem to connect with others who love music too. Somewhere some marketing executive is losing their mind realizing that we said our ideal audience is “people who love music,” but it’s true. Loving music transcends genre, identity, and background. For our albums, people can expect a sonic experience. We love to tell a story and paint pictures with sound. Also, we write about what it’s like to be the age we are at that point in life and how we understand the world with our kaleidoscope vision. It’s all organic, so we think it ages well. Also, we only do vinyl, because that’s how we listen to the music that we love. As people, I think we’re just interesting people to know. We think differently, but love sharing common ground as we do so.”
When it comes to creating and drawing inspiration to deliver new music they draw deep from their hearts and souls out of the darkness of their minds keep the duo driving deeper into the vortex of creativity. “That feeling and clarity that only music can provide. It’s where you block out everything and just experience the sound. As per motivation specifically, I guess we just have to believe that the latest songs/album we are writing is the best thing we’ve ever done. To just love what you are doing and to believe that it is the absolute best you can do at that point in time. Also, as a musician, we should love playing the song too, that it should feel good as you play it. To always be trying to write the best songs you can and record them with the sonic love that they deserve is really just about what drives us. For performances, we pride ourselves on being that band you hear on the record, just with that visual element and energy that only live music gives you.”