Gimme Your Answers: An Interview w/ We Are Scientists

WASSince 2002 I have been in love with one hell of an astonishing band. We Are Scientists have given me not only music to treasure for a decade, but they have also given me some of my all-time favourite songs. No matter what this band does, they always manage to give it their own personal flair! Whether We Are Scientists are being musicians, comedians or both at the same time, the band are masters of what they do. And with a new album coming out this year, we couldn’t have been more stoked to speak with We Are Scientists’ Chris Cain to see what 2013 has in store for them, and their fans!

AMBY: Hey We Are Scientists! Thanks for taking the time to do this interview. What have you been up to lately?

WAS: Hi! You’re welcome! We’ve been up to lots of stuff, wow… most of it is to do with our next full-length record, which is in the process of being mastered right now. Once that’s done—which I think will probably be sometime later this week?—that’ll be the finish line, in terms of songs. It’s the starter pistol in terms of lots of other things, though. We need to figure out how we’re putting the record out—label? self-release? morse code? Plus there’s artwork to think about, touring plans to begin sketching out… what’s that noise? Are you… are you *snoring*? Uh… okay, well, next question, I guess.

AMBY: Which three songs are the quintessential We Are Scientists?

WAS: Lethal Enforcer, Pittsburgh, and Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt, let’s say.

AMBY: We know you’ve been working on a new record, how’s that coming along and what’s the target release date?

WAS: Haha! You could never have expected that I’d have gotten right into that in my answer to Question 1! Gotcha. (In terms of a release date, we don’t know exactly yet, but we’re aiming for late-summer or autumn).

AMBY: What are the biggest changes in this record from the last?

WAS: Best songs we’ve ever written; that’s one thing. We also, for the first time, worked with producer Chris Coady, who did a fucking amazing job (can you swear on the internet?!). We’re in love with his taste. What taste he has! And then we had this tremendous dude James Brown (not the dead soul singer) mix the songs, largely based on Coady’s recommendation (we had only heard of the dead soul singer), and holy smokes, the man has red-hot pokers for hands—and they don’t stop him from mixing well!!! All told, it’s a monster of a record. A 34-minute monster.

AMBY: What’s your most memorable moment you’ve had while touring?

WAS: Personally, or as a band? I guess I get to choose since your pre-written questions can’t answer me. Personally, my most memorable memory moment (MMM™) is the time I got left at a festival in the middle of rural Switzerland (I want to say it was called “Open Air Gampel”?). It was my fault; I missed an 8:30 AM bus call. Yes, I WAS OUT PARTYING, okay? It was the ONE time I went out a’partying, and look what it got me. What it got me was: starting at like 8:45 AM on the morning I missed the bus, total hell. See, I didn’t have my wallet or cell phone with me; no passport, no money; all in my bunk, on the bus. All I had was my cheap little metal bus key, which probably would have worked on some Swiss kid’s piggy bank, but I hardly had time to go around testing that theory because we had a SHOW IN MUNICH THE NEXT DAY. Yeah, the next day, not that very night, so it could have been worse, for sure. For all I knew I was walking to Munich, though, which would take two very full days, I figured, leaving no time to try my bus key in the countryside’s piggy banks. Anyway, I borrowed money from the festival promoter when he showed up at around 10 AM, got him to give me a ride to the local train station, and tried my luck. Which actually held pretty well, in that nobody ever asked me for ID—not at the local train station, nor at the station in Zurich, nor when we crossed the border into Germany. But my luck failed in that I was super-tired, increasingly hungover, and, since I bought the cheapest seats I could and was booking last-minute, there was no actual seating available during the entire 7 or 8 hour journey, so I spent it huddled up on the floor near this or that train restroom. No book, no magazine, no video games, no movie theater, no live theater, not even present-day Robin Williams doing stand-up. Just a stupid window to stare out of at stupid rolling pastures, mountain passes, and the occasional little town.

AMBY: How would you compare British audiences to North American ones?

WAS: That depends who’s asking. If it were a Brit asking, I’d tell her that obviously the British audiences are better, in almost every way—more energetic, more apt to sing along; more capable, to put it succinctly, of bringing the thunder. If a Canadian or Estadounidense (there just isn’t, weirdly, an accurate term in English, “American” being too geographically vague and “United States-er” being super-awkward and, well, not a real term), I’d say that British exuberance can be almost frightening, and has in our personal experience led to theft of the shoes of our crowd-surfing singer, flung bottles noggining our humble bassist, and countless cumulative gallons of leaked urine filming the floors of innocent club owners. (Okay, I’ve never met a club owner who qualifies as “innocent,” in either the general or legal sense of the word. The rest of that is true.)

AMBY: If you were to cover any song, which would it be and why?

WAS: Well, we have covered a number of songs in the past, so it’s not really a hypothetical question. Phil Collins, Motley Crüe, Devo, Boyz 2 Men, The Pixies, The Ronettes, Sigur Ros, Weezer, to name a few. We’re looking at the possibility of recording a quick-and-dirty EP later this month for rapid release—something to tide fans over till we can figure out how to roll our behemoth LP out into the public square—and I think it’s going to have a cover on it, which will be the first time we’ve actually recorded a cover since first-album days. Haven’t decided what it’ll be yet, though. Suggestions? Ideas? Wait— are you asleep again?

AMBY: If you could create a law that everyone would have to follow, what would it be?

WAS: “GIVE ME YOUR MONEY!!!!” Haha, no, kidding. How childish would that be? Childish and unimaginative. No, I think I would make a law that says people have to do whatever I say when I tell them to do something, whether it be in person, over email, the phone, or a generally-targeted video message on YouTube.

AMBY: If you were a heavy metal band who would you be and why?

WAS: “Were” a heavy metal band? Uh, have you actually listened to any of our music?? Haha, another joke. We’re not heavy metal, of course; we’re rap; we’re a rap band. So if we were an existing heavy metal band? Is that the idea? (Again, the eerie silence…) I guess we might be LUXXOTICA. Is that a heavy metal band? Sounds like one. The reason we would be LUXXOTICA? I guess because they…seem…uh…similar to us…in terms of their mindsets. They seem like good guys, and would probably be a good hang. In fact, we met them once at a festival, and they were a great hang, and by the end of the night, after we’d all had a lot to drink, none of us could even tell who was in LUXXOTICA and who was in We Are Scientists—that’s what similar-minded dudes we are. (How’s that?)

AMBY: Who do you wish would just go away?

WAS: Vladimir Putin, I guess. Rush Limbaugh wouldn’t be missed. And that addled old lady who desecrated the fresco on the church in Spain. Straight to Hell with her.

AMBY: What is the best song of 2012?

WAS: I guess speaking objectively it was a three-way tie between Call Me Maybe, Somebody That You Used To Know, and Gangnam Style. But in terms of the songs that I’ve listened to over and over that the entire rest of the world hasn’t also, I’ll go with Losing You, by Solange; Stay Away, by Charli XCX; and My Better Self, by Tennis.

AMBY: And lastly, what’s something about We Are Scientists that nobody knows yet?

WAS: The date when we’ll be launched into space to play the first extraterrestrial concert. Heck, I wish I knew, just for planning purposes.


Keep an eye out for We Are Scientists’ upcoming album! Also I’d like to say thank you to the band for giving us music we’ve loved for years. And last but never least, thank you We Are Scientists, for giving us your answers!


Alicia Atout

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