Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted on Mar 9th 2010 4:48AM by Simona Rabinovitch
We Are Scientists are big in the UK. Definitely. Well, they're pretty hot on the other side of the pond as well, but in 2005 their clangy, danceable rock debut 'Love & Squalor' sold 100,000 units there. Fast forward to today and these California natives now live in Brooklyn, N.Y., and are readying their third album for a June release. Frontman Keith Murray had a lot to tell Spinner in advance of the band's SXSW 2010 appearance.
Describe your sound in your own words.
Without getting into too much analysis of the angularity of our guitars or bounciness of our basslines, I'd just say that we sound like a bunch of guys trying to filter their desperation to create pure pop music through their crippling historical fixation of indie rock, college rock, shoegaze and other genres that kind of ultimately can be reduced to Pavement and My Bloody Valentine. We like hooks is all; we like dancing and we like harmonies.
How did your band form?
As part of a long-term curriculum of art forms that Chris [Cain] and I had been attempting to exploit since we'd graduated from Pomona College and moved to San Francisco. We went through a phase being screenwriters, novelists, actors, magazine entrepreneurs. Music was just another joint creative outlet that happened to work out.
What are your musical influences?
Mine include Pavement, Hall and Oates, Weezer, Velvet Underground, and Poison. Modern inspirations are Wild Beasts, Foreign Born, Lightspeed Champion, Oxford Collapse and the Whigs. Because Chris is not around at the moment, I will confess his inspiration for him: Dave Matthews Band. That's it.
How did you come up with your band name?
You are correct in assuming that We Are Scientists is not a person's own personal name! The name was actually derived from an experience in which an employee of the U-Haul corporation sized us up while examining our returned truck and guessed that we were either brothers or scientists. Strangely, since then I've frequently found myself on the receiving end of questions from strangers regarding whether or not I'm in a band. No stranger since that U-Haul fellow has asked about my possible employment in the sciences.
What's your biggest vice?
Booze, no question about it. There was a period during which I was really into playing dice, but booze still had the edge even then. Our collective second-worst vice is bad movies. We'll watch anything, as long as there's popcorn. If there's also booze at the movies that's a major plus.
Who was your first celeb crush?
Probably Michael J. Fox. I think I was confused about how straight dudes' celebrity crushes were supposed to work.
What's your musical guilty pleasure?
Dirty Projectors. I seriously feel like a whore admitting that I think they're pretty good.
What's the craziest thing you've seen or experienced while on tour?
The thing about touring that strikes me as most remarkable and possibly "crazy" is that, in six years of touring and probably 200 trips to Heathrow, I don't think I've ever arrived at that airport without being hungover or still actively drunk. It defies probability.