Bombing the music industry

Ex-Bombers bring vinyl-only ethos to SPT

By Christian Roerig

Photo: Scott Walus and Keri Cousins of the Ex-Bombers will perform at South Park Tavern on April 30

These days, most music lovers are completely inundated with links to videos, overwhelming Spotify playlists, and in general, too much. Because of this, it can be very hard for new artists to make an impression. Enter the Ex-Bombers, a drum and bass duo who understand and recognize all that vinyl has to offer. Musically, the band calls upon anything from the experimental sounds of the Velvet Underground or Sonic Youth, with bassist Scott Walus and drummer Keri Cousins sharing vocal duties. Walus also runs an all-vinyl record label, Cavetone Recordings, on which they release their music. And with all that on their plate, they still manage to release, record and tour very frequently – and just so happen to be headed to Dayton.

Can you tell me who the Ex-Bombers are?

Scott Walus: The Ex-Bombers are a seedy, beatnik pop duo from Charleston, Illinois. We make sultry, dark and narcotic sounds and pair them with flippant lyrics about the awkward years of adulthood. I play the 8-string bass, which is octaved – and not one of those fusion-band things. I also vocalize.

Keri Cousins: I play drums, adequately. And sing, adequately.

What can people expect from an Ex-Bombers show?

SW: We get called “punk for beatniks” or “jazz for dirtbags,” I think both are fairly accurate descriptors. The show has some elements of cabaret and theatre in it, but without any of the pretension. Also, you’ll hear sounds unlike any other. The 8-string bass/drums and shared vocals combination is something that is unique to us. Double also, we write good songs that will stick with you for the week.

KC: “Pyrotechnics,” and lots of ‘em! Why the quotes around it? Come and find out.

Is the vinyl-only attitude shared with your other artists on Cavetone?

SW: Think about how music has become a burden on social media. A friend posts a link on your wall/timeline/chat and asks you to listen to their music. You might view it as an inconvenience, or if you know the person well, you’ll scrub through the song, or maybe even listen to a full one. In any scenario you’ve made your judgment of the music within 1-3 minutes. I have always found that the bands that I loved took a while to find their way into my heart. However, if someone gives me a physical record, I will listen to it in its entirety at least six times. This means that with an LP, I will spend three hours with it. Then, I can make an informed decision if that band is for me or not. Our thought in The Ex-Bombers was that it would take someone a few listens to connect with our songs and sounds. Most Cavetone bands share this philosophy. Although the bands are free to record and release wherever they like, their vinyl releases will always only exclusively be available on vinyl. Even I do not have a digital master of my songs.

What is your relationship like with Dayton?

SW: We adore Dayton. Any time we are heading east, we stop in Dayton. In the same way that we seek to make art without pretension, Dayton’s entire existence embraces this philosophy. Dayton has always been so incredibly welcoming, both in terms of the venues that we play and the afternoons and evenings we spend waiting to play.

KC: I can’t say enough positive things about Dayton. You have good bars, good coffeehouses, good record stores and public parking. It’s the perfect place to visit or live.


SW: The Ex-Bombers are a culmination of a lot of the cult bands that I love. Sound-wise, there’s certainly a good chunk of the Velvet Underground mixed in with some Black Sabbath, Girls Against Boys and Sonic Youth. But the feel and subject matter is from that very cold but very human ’80s synth pop, bands like Soft Cell, Depeche Mode and Human League. Mash in a little sultry jazz, and you get The Ex-Bombers.

KC: Pet Shop Boys! Dead or Alive! The Zombies! Lou Reed! The Monkees! Dusty Springfield!

What’s the best way your music has ever been described?

SW: We’ve had some incredibly nice reviews from people who connected with our LP. With most of the reviews, you can tell that the writer spent time with the record. They thought about it as a whole piece of art. For example, Dan Wright out of St. Louis wrote a beautiful review for Eleven magazine. He saw us play in St. Louis, bought two copies, wrote the review and even mailed us the magazine. We’re even playing his birthday party down there this year in May. That’s just one example of this connection. We don’t do this for fame or money. We do it to make uncompromising records to mark where we are at in our lives and to make friends in the process.

KC: One reviewer said our music was like something out of a Tarantino flick. I thought that was a cool and accurate description.

The Ex-Bombers will perform on Thursday, April 30 at South Park Tavern, 1301 Wayne Ave. Admission is $5 and music will begin around 9 p.m. For more information, please visit

Reach DCP freelance writer Christian Roerig at

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