Drummer Andrew Kerr has lived most of his life in South Florida. But the four years he spent in Brooklyn proved to be well worth the time. The rent was high, but, hey, he got a band out of it.
While on his northern sabbatical, the Delray Beach-bred Kerr joined forces with Brendon Avalos and Britton Walker to create the trio known as B Boys, a group that, despite its name, is definitely not hip-hop. No, B Boys got its moniker from a more practical approach. "We were practicing in a shared space in New York," Kerr explains. "We had to put a name on the schedule. Since both my bandmates' names start with B, they put the name as B Boys. It just stuck."
Though Urban Dictionary defines a "b boy" as "a young man involved with hip-hop culture," these B Boys opt for an angular rock 'n' roll. "Postpunk is what most people call us," Kerr says. "We get compared to everything from Devo to Wire."
The band's first EP, No Worries No Mind, came out this past March. Its eight songs, Kerr says, were recorded in a manner fitting the EP's title. All of the music was recorded in a single day at a friend's apartment. The next day, they returned to lay down the vocals. Then it was over. It's a refreshingly simple approach that acts such as Frank Ocean could benefit from. But it was less a purposeful act of efficiency for Kerr and more of an organic approach. "It was us coming into ourselves," he says. At the time the EP was recorded, B Boys was in its infancy. So it was somewhere in between a jam session and a proper recording. "We had only done like five shows at that point and didn't even know what we sounded like."
B Boys plans to record some new songs after their Southern tour, which takes them to Wynwood's Gramps this Friday. After that, B Boys will snake up to Tennessee and through his bandmates' home state of Texas before returning to his home county's Respectable Street October 28. "You'll hear some new songs," Kerr promises. "I'm excited about everything. The songs from the EP haven't started boring me yet. The new stuff is more raw. I can't tell you many stories about the new songs because I don't know all the lyrics. We're shaping them still."
Though Kerr recently moved back to Delray Beach after growing nostalgic for palm trees and the sound of the ocean, Thursday's concert marks the first time he'll be able to show off to his local friends what he was up to while in Brooklyn. "It will be nice to share this band with my local community," Kerr says. It's a community that shaped his musical style more than any other place he's been. "I grew up listening to punk rock, but growing up in a Haitian area, Haitian music was influencing even the punk stuff. There's a lot to pull from South Florida with our tropical vibe."
B Boys. 9 p.m. Thursday, October 13, at Gramps, 176 NW 24th St., Miami; 305-699-2669; gramps.com. Admission is free.
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