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We Are Scientists - Interview

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 16 / 9 / 2005

We Are Scientists - Interview


New York-based trio and post-punks We are Scientists are just about to release their debut album 'With Love and Squalor' and have just toured Britain with the Editors. Anthony Strutt talks to them about their increasing profile

New York-based trio We are Scientists have released two singles, 'Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt' and 'The Great Escape' in the UK. Their debut album 'With Love and Squalor', which like the singles is being released on Virgin, will come out in mid October. The group, which consists of Keith Murray (vocals/guitar), Chris Cain (bass/backing vocals) and Michael Tapper (drums), have drawn comparisions with the likes of Joy Division and the Chameleons. We are Scientists have toured Britain three times this year. They played support dates to the Editors on their recent tour, and have also played several headlining shows.Pennyblackmusic spoke to them in September shortly before a London gig. PB : I first heard We are Scientists when you released 'Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt' in June. Is that when you first came here to play ? I think you played the Camden Barfly in London on the same day as the Live 8 concert at Hyde Park. CC : Yeah, that was our second time here. We came for the first time in April for about two weeks. KM : And we decided after that tour proved so successful to take on Live 8. God, I think we were a bit cocky. Live 8 did keep a few people away from our gig. PB : How long have you guys been going and have you been in other bands before? CC : We were in previous bands, but nothing major. We never put anything out. We have been together for about five years, since about 2000. MT : We moved to New York four years ago and we were already together. We went to school together in California before that. PB : Why did you move to New York? MT : The cost of living there is dirt cheap. CC : It is the easiest place in the world to get by. KM : We were getting burned out by the pace of life in Southern California. We wanted a milder climate, and a more laid back life style and that's New York. CC : Everyone told us New York-Cheap rent, mild autumns, friendly faces... PB : Is New York safe to live in ? KM : Not anymore. CC : Not if you're human. KM : The rats do very well for themselves. PB : I got turned onto you guys because there is a big new 80's scene on at the moment. Are you influenced by that time in music or is that just the way your music comes out anyway ? CC : Not all the songs we have written sound like that. We all grew up in the 80's and we heard a lot of radio. We are all in our mid to late 20's, and all that stuff which was on the radio then was our first exposure to music. That kind of music has been going on again in New York, for the last couple of years. When we moved to New York, we absorbed it just by being exposed to all the bands there. PB : (Talking to Keith Murray). Your vocals sound a lot like Ian Curtis, although people now say that they also sound like Paul Banks from Interpol. The guitars, however, sound like the Chameleons. I dont know if you know them. KM : No, people have said that to me before, but I need to listen to the Chameleons now because we could be ripping them off (Laughs). PB : You have released 'Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt' already and you have another single 'The Great Escape' on its way. MT : It is coming out on October the 3rd. That will be like a tidal wave. PB : But you have put out three EPs in the States as well? CC : Never with wide distribution. They were done to sell at shows. KM : After we signed to Virgin we stopped selling them and tried to focus on the album. PB : Are you going to use those songs again and re-record them? KM : No, we have got new songs which are better. CC : The last of those EPs was like demos for this album. Those songs will be on the new album. MM : On the others we were exercising ourselves as songwriters. PB : When is 'With Love and Squalor' due? CC : October 17th. PB : What made you sign to Virgin ? CC : We signed to Virgin America originally. They were the first label that was interested in us. They asked us really, really nicely. Others asked but it was hard to say who was in earnest and who was just following the herd. Virgin had shown interest from the beginning and they were open to ideas. PB : What are your future plans ? Will you tour as much as possible and promote the album? CC : Yeah,that sounds like the all of it. You have named both of our plans. PB : Are there any other bands from New York that you can recommend? MT : There's a band called the Double whose album is coming out on Matador. They did some shows here with Interpol and they did a Peel Session. PB : Anything else you would like to add? KM : The onr thing we wanted to say is if you're going to drop out of school don't get into heroin, and if you're on heroin don't go to school. Don't do both ! CC : And if you're going to drop out do it now ! Don't waste any more time. PB : Thank you.

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We Are Scientists - Interview

We Are Scientists - Interview

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live reviews

Academy, Manchester, 15/4/2008
We Are Scientists - Academy, Manchester, 15/4/2008
With their off-beat humour, stage banter and anthemic dance tunes, Helen Tipping asks why hardworking American band We Are Scientists still aren't better known after watching them play an enthralling set at the Academy in Manchester


With Love And Squalor (2005)
Enjoyable 80's-influenced post punk from New York-based trio We are Scientists which is reminiscent of the likes of the Chameleons, Interpol and the Departure
Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt (2005)

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