As We Are Scientists make their way to Coventry and visit the Kasbah Nightclub on their latest UK tour, we thought we would catch up and see what they have been up to and find out about their new releases and tour rituals!
First of all, how the devil are you?
We’re great! Top form. Fighting weight. If we were newborns, we’d be the pick of the litter.
How’s 2013 been so far for the band?
It has been a triumph. We finished an album. We made an EP. We found new management and not one but TWO new labels. All that, and our margarita and sangria recipes continue to inch ever closer to perfection.
You are about to embark on your latest tour of the UK, do you enjoy the UK and playing here?
No. We hate it, but it has to be done. There were some gambling and sex crimes a few years back, somebody snapped photos, now it’s a blackmail situation. Long story, but suffice it to say we have almost no meaningful control over our own lives anymore.
Do you have any pre gig rituals?
The walls, floor, and ceiling of a small room are draped in black silk and the lights are extinguished. A red candle is placed in the middle of the room. The candlestick was made earlier that day in Rome by a sculptor of our choice and flown to the venue. We are seated around the candle. It is in this precise setting that we enjoy a beer or glass of sangria and some quiet conversation until stage time.
What would we find on the We Are Scientists rider?
It’s a pretty standard band rider, really: two medium wicker mats, a map of Belgium, 400 small ice spheres, some yellow paint, peppermint toast points, one extra-tall bar stool, one large triangle mirror, one yarn badger sewn by a member of the venue staff, 24 Coors light bottles.
Your latest release, a special 7″ vinyl featuring the songs “Something About You” and “Let Me Win” was released on July 16. Have you started work on material for the new album?
Started it and finished it, as a matter of fact. The new album — musically speaking — is done. We’ve still got some album artwork to forge and some naming to do, and there are marketing plans being laid that will ensure our efforts haven’t been in vain. But yeah, the new LP has been completed. The songs on the 7″ were recorded after the LP, and in a much more casual manner, with the specific idea of giving the fans something to chew on while they await our simmering masterpiece.
Your first album is called ‘Safety, Fun, and Learning (In That Order)’, and you sing that ‘If nobody moves, nobody gets hurt’ and ‘rules don’t stop me’. Have you ever had an accident at work where you could be entitled to compensation?
Not really. One time, when he worked at an advertising agency in Manhattan, Chris was attacked and mauled by a jaguar that his boss kept in her office. Maybe he should have pursued legal action? It seemed like an innocent mistake. There was also the time when Keith worked in the admissions department at the University of California, Berkeley, and the President of the University dumped hot tar into his lap as part of a pretty straightforward hazing ritual. Keith had third degree burns all over his lower body, and to this day can’t grow hair on his legs, groin, or belly; can’t become sexually aroused; and has to urinate through a tube that runs from his bladder up through his abdomen, out a hole between his 2nd and 3rd ribs. If you start making legal problems for hazers, though, pretty soon all the fun gets sapped out of the world.
What happened to the kittens on the cover of ‘With Love and Squalor’? Did you get to pick them?
Yes, we chose them from among several hundred who auditioned for the photo shoot. Those three particular cats, besides being devastatingly handsome, were real troublemakers. They met their ends not long after WL&S was released, we heard, when they stole a police car and drove it off a bridge into a reservoir where they drowned then were sucked into a dam and compressed and threshed and electrocuted and blasted out and eaten by salmon.
Steve McQueen’s character in The Great Escape is known as “The Cooler King”. Do the band have code names for each other?
Of course. Keith is alternately known as “Lord Falmouth,” “The Chrysanthemum,” “Barney Rubble,” “Agent Provocateur,” “Ginsey,” and “The Cooler King.” Chris is “Keeper,” “The Keeper,” “Keeper of The Dark,” “Knower of Darkness,” and “The Cooler King.”
Do you know any other rock stars who are also scientists?
The Edge has a degree in Veterinary Sciences, if you count that. I believe Caleb Followill holds post-baccalaureate qualifications in both Fluid Dynamics and Molecular Chem. And I don’t know what her background is exactly, but Haley from Paramore has published some fascinating and influential papers on Game Theory and Information Asymmetry in recent years.
Whats your favourite element from the periodic table?
If you wrote a chick-lit novel, what would the title be?
“How to Make a Tourniquet from a Bra Strap: Miss Twister and the Counter-Revolutionary Communist Cat Fancy Collective”
What music is on the We Are Scientists playlist at the moment?
PAWS, a fantastic Glaswegian band who are supporting us on our current tour, have been playing some new stuff at the shows. They haven’t recorded it yet, but it’s on our mental playlists.
Any parting words of wisdom?
If we had some eggs, we’d have some bacon and eggs, if we had some bacon.
We Are Scientist head to the Kasbah Nightclub, Coventry on Saturday 27th July.
Their special 7″ vinyl featuring the songs “Something About You” and “Let Me Win” is out now.