Are these pre-teen surfers the next Beach Boys? Only time will tell...But one thing is certain: their hair is on point. We caught up with the So-Cal boy band to talk skinny jeans, Justin Bieber, natural 'surf spray,' and why they refuse to get tattoos.
Emily : So, tell me about The Negotiators.
Oliver [left] : We’re a band. I play guitar and sing, my brother Elliott plays drums, and my friend Colin is on bass and sings, too.
Emily : How old are you guys?
Oliver : 11
Colin [right] : I just turned 11. I turned 11 on March 1st.
Elliott [middle] : Nine. About to turn 10.
Emily : Does being different ages matter? Does it help the band?
Colin : I feel like we are all the same age. We don’t really feel any different.
Emily : What musicians do you think look really cool?
Oliver : The lead singer of Two Door Cinema Club. He’s just cool because of what he wears. He wears a blazer. But we all have our own style.
Emily : How do you guys decide what outfits to wear?
Colin : We wear t-shirts with names and bands on them. This one has Kurt Cobain. It says ‘grandma take me home’ on the back. And there is a picture of him.
Oliver : I don’t like wearing pants that don’t stretch. They are more comfortable than regular pants. We usually get them from Trico Fields.
Colin : I like tight pants. If I get big pants then I will go somewhere and take them in to make them skinny. They aren’t saggy pants.
Emily : Is that what Justin Bieber does?
Oliver : [Laughs] That’s not cool. I think it makes you look sloppy.
Elliott : One time I saw a guy with baggy pants and they were so low I could see the whole butt.
Oliver : He was just walking out and I saw his butt. And someone looked and he was like, 'What are you looking at'?
Emily : So the rule is that you should never see the underwear. That’s good. That’s very classy. How do you feel about Justin Bieber having tattoos?
Elliott : I don’t like him.
Oliver : I don’t like tattoos.
Colin : I think he’s cool but I don’t like tattoos.
Oliver : I don’t like them. I think they ruin your skin. Don’t like them. Make you look like a weirdo. And it hurts!
Elliott : How do you know?
Oliver : Just because.
Emily : So you’re not into the whole tattoo rocker thing? You’re trying to be good credible rockers without tattoos. But you have classic rock-and-roll long hair.
Oliver : We like having long hair. Sometimes it’s annoying when it’s hot and sometimes they call us girls but I don’t really care.
Emily : Do you put your hair up in a ponytail?
Oliver : No, but I would.
Colin : No, because then you would look like a girl! My sister calls it something. A man bun. A MUN.
Emily : Colin, why do you choose to stay short-haired?
Colin : I have a little bit longer hair. It’s not super long. My hairdresser told me it was cooler shaved so I tried it and I like it. And it keeps growing back but I’m going to keep shaving it.
Oliver : We don’t put product in our hair everyday but sometimes my mom might spray it up a little bit.
Elliott : We only wash our hair.
Emily : So, you shampoo. Do you have a favorite kind?
Colin : I take a shower almost every morning.
Oliver : One time I went to the beach four days straight and today I went to the beach. I went surfing and I showered after because there is also sand in my hair.
Emily : You know girls spend hundreds of dollars to buy products so it looks like they have been at the beach all day.
Oliver : Really?
Elliott : Why don’t you go to the beach? It’s less than 100 dollars.
—as told to ITG
The Negotiators photographed by Emily Weiss in Beverley Hills, CA on August 13, 2013.