Standing beneath the red neon Slim’s sign, which glows against the old fashioned brick exterior of the venue, I meet Michael Bauer, front man of the Useless Keys, a Los Angeles based space rock band. We head inside and meet up with guitarist Michael Regilio and they lead me downstairs into the bowels of the venue. As I set up my phone to record the interview, Regilio slaps his iPhone onto the table too. He declares that he will also be recording the interview to listen to later in the van. I’m instantly at ease with them; we all share a dry sense of humor, love of artsy music, and skepticism of the future for our corrupt Western society.
Tell me the story of how you met and formed the band?
Bauer: I was in a band called The Front and my band played shows with [Regilio’s] girlfriend at the time – The Pity Party. And I met him because he came to see his girlfriend’s band. And then my band broke up, he broke up with his girlfriend, and we formed a band together.
Regilio: He’s the closest thing I have to a girlfriend now, and that’s very, very depressing.
Michael Bauer, Michael Regilio, Jerry Roe, Davin Givhan (from left to right); Useless Keys. Photo by Jasmine Safaeian.
Bauer: When we started the band it was just us two, in a bedroom for like 6 months, writing songs, then we found a bass player and a drummer to play with, and we had them for about a year and a half, and we ended up with a new bass player and drummer. We really kinda screwed around the first year and a half of the band. We didn’t really see the band going anywhere. And as people reacted to it we were like “Wow, we could do this!”
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