We Are Scientists

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We Are Scientists
We are Scientists.JPG
Chris Cain and Keith Murray
Background information
Origin Claremont, California, United States
Genres Indie rock, post-punk revival, alternative rock
Years active 2000–present
Labels Masterswan
Devious Semantics
Website www.wearescientists.com
Members Keith Murray
Chris Cain
Andy Burrows
Past members Michael Tapper

We Are Scientists is a New York-based indie rock band that formed in Berkeley, California, USA in 2000.[1] Their original lineup consisted of Keith Murray on drums, Chris Cain playing bass guitar and Scott Lamb providing vocals and guitar,[2] before Michael Tapper became drummer and Keith became vocalist and guitarist. The band's breakthrough success came with their second album With Love and Squalor which sold 100,000 copies in the first 6 months. Their second success was with Brain Thrust Mastery[3] which charted at 11 in the UK album chart, with two top 40 singles "After Hours" and "Chick Lit". Their fourth album, Barbara, was released in the UK on June 14, 2010. Their latest album TV en Français was released on March 3, 2014. They have also starred in their own television short Steve Wants His Money.[4]

History[edit]

Formation and early years (2000–2004)[edit]

The original line-up consisting of Keith Murray, Chris Cain and Michael Tapper

We Are Scientists members Keith Murray and Chris Cain met in 1997 at Pomona College, along with original guitarist and vocalist Scott Lamb. Scott would eventually leave the band in 1999, with Keith taking the roles of lead vocalist and guitarist.[2] Keith and Chris met drummer Michael Tapper at nearby Harvey Mudd College, with both colleges being in Claremont, California. In 1999 the members moved to Berkeley, California for a short period of time,[1] becoming We Are Scientists full-time, a name which the band have stated a number of origins for, most notably the song "We are Scientists!" from the pivotal '90s band Cap'n Jazz.[5][6] They have also given the following story: they rented a truck from U-Haul. When they returned it, the inspector, after looking them up and down, asked if they were scientists.[7]

After their move to Brooklyn, New York in 2001[8] the band began self recording their debut album on November 10, 2001[9] before eventually finishing the recording process in January 2002.[9] The album's title was announced on March 14, 2002 on the band's official website as Safety, Fun, and Learning (In That Order)[10] as well as the return of original vocalist, songwriter and guitarist Scott Lamb for the band's summer 2002 tour.[2] The album was delayed for some time, due to issues with their record label Devious Semantics, but was eventually released in June 2002.[11] In October after several months of performing in California and New York, amongst other places the band recorded their first EP, available originally only at live shows Bitching! was released on October 14, 2002, and featured 6 tracks. Later Bitching! was made available online on January 16, 2003.[12][13] In March 2003 the band announced they would be heading to the recording studio with Paolo DeGregorio on April 1 to record a second EP; In Action,[14] which was released through MotherWest records in October 2003, featuring 6 tracks.[15]

A year after recording In Action the band headed once more to the recording studio with Los Angeles based producer Chris Fudurich, where they recorded rough versions of "The Great Escape", "Scene Is Dead" and "This Means War", which would make up half of the band's final independently released EP The Wolf's Hour, other tracks included "Callbacks Under The Sea", "Inaction" and "Nobody Move, Nobody Gets Hurt". The EP was released on November 26, 2004.[16][17]

Mainstream success and With Love and Squalor (2005–2007)[edit]

On January 11, 2005 the band began the recording of their second full length album in Los Angeles with Ariel Rechtshaid and engineering from Rob Brill.[18] The band ended their time in the studio on February 23, throughout their time in the studio the band posted blogs on their official website, many of which told of a cat called Lewis, which would later be used on the album's artwork.[19] On May 15, 2005, the first single from the album was aired in the UK, "Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt", this came after a number of dates in the UK with Editors.[20] "Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt" was released later on June 27 at the same time as their own headline Summer 2005 UK tour.[21][22]

In July the band shot a music video for their second single, "The Great Escape", as well as appearing on MTV2 for the first time to plug their upcoming release.[23] The band also appeared on at Reading and Leeds Festivals for the first time, performing on the Carling Stage, and later the band released the album With Love and Squalor in the United Kingdom on October 17, 2005[24] celebrating with an album signing session and intimate gig in London's Selectdisc on Berwick Street.[25][26]

In December 2005 the band made their U.S. Network television debut on the Late Show with David Letterman where they performed "Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt", as well as announcing the release of their second album, With Love and Squalor which would be released on January 10, 2006,[27] although in January the band would be in the United Kingdom on the NME Shockwaves Tour with Mystery Jets, Arctic Monkeys and Maxïmo Park,[28] before embarking on their on headline tour in April and releasing "Its a Hit" on February 20 and re-releasing "Nobody Move, Nobody Gets Hurt" on May 3.[29][30] In September a co-headline tour across the USA with Art Brut and a new split single with Art Brut covering W.A.S single "The Great Escape" and in-turn We Are Scientists covering Art Brut's "Bang Bang Rock & Roll".[31] With their ongoing success in the United Kingdom the band embarked on another full 15 date tour, with two nights at Brixton Academy in London due to demand,[32] it was on this tour that the band released Crap Attack, a compilation album of b-sides and covers, as well as a DVD featuring music videos for all of the tracks on With Love and Squalor and live performances.[33]

Departure of Michael Tapper and Brain Thrust Mastery (2007–2008)[edit]

In January 2007 Murray announced that he had begun working on the band's follow-up to With Love and Squalor in Brooklyn, New York,[34] previewing "Impatience" and "Spoken For" later that month.[35] During a UK tour that February they debuted the songs "Dinosaurs", "Chick Lit" and "Best Behavior".[35][36] Recording of the new album began on June 11 in California with Ariel Rechtshaid[37] and ended on July 19.[37] That August the band made their second appearance at the Reading and Leeds Festivals, performing on the Radio One Stage.[38]

Keith and Chris after the departure of Tapper remained as the only two official members until Andy Burrows joined in 2009, whilst Max Hart remains only as purely a touring musician for the band

September 2007 saw the arrival of Max Hart, who would be providing guitar and keyboards at live shows, in preparation for a UK tour in November.[39] Days before the tour was due to start, drummer Michael Tapper quit the band.[38] Gary Powell and Adam Aaronson took over from Tapper for the remainder of the tour.[40]

For eight of their November tour dates the band acted as their own support act, conducting "self-improvement seminars" under the name Brain Thrust Mastery.[41]

In March 2008 the band announced that Brain Thrust Mastery would also be the name of their new album. The first single from the record, "After Hours", was released on March 3 in the UK. The album was previewed a week before its UK release on NME.com.[3][42] It came out in the United States on May 13.[42]

"Chick Lit" was released as the second single from Brain Thrust Mastery on June 9",[43] coinciding with performances at The Great Escape Festival,[44] Oxegen Festival[45] Glastonbury Festival, T in the Park and Reading and Leeds on the main stage,[46] and a consequent North American tour in July.[47] In the latter part of 2008 the band toured the US as support to Kings of Leon in the USA.[48]

Barbara, Andy Burrows and TV series (2009–2011)[edit]

Former Razorlight drummer Andy Burrows joined the band in August 2009, replacing Tapper. Originally the band intended to use a succession of drummers on their third album before Burrows joined the band.[40][49]

In December 2008 the band said they were in talks to produce a television series.[50][51] "Steve Wants His Money" aired the following year within MTV's Lil' MTV program.[4]

Barbara, the band's fourth album, was announced on February 8, 2010[52] for release in June that year. This was preceded by a sold-out show at London's Hoxton Bar & Grill on February 23, 2010, as part of the NME Awards Shows,[53] and the release of lead single "Rules Don't Stop" on April 5, 2010. The album was released in the UK on June 14, 2010.

TV en Français (2012–present)[edit]

The band announced they had began recording demos for a new record on December 20, 2012.[54] The album was set for release in February 2013.[55] The band sampled seven new tracks live, entitled "Courage", "What You Do Best", "Make It Easy", "Sprinkles", "Slow Down" and "Return The Favor" and "Let Me Win."

On July 4, 2013 We Are Scientists announced their first new release, a double A-side of the songs "Something About You" and "Let Me Win." The single was due to be released on 7-inch vinyl and digital download on July 16. The songs would not appear on their upcoming album.[56] The single release was supported by a UK tour that month.[57]

On the 14th of January, We Are Scientists announced the title and release date of the album, TV en Français, which was released on March 3, 2014.[58] The album was made available to stream on the band's website a week prior to its release.

Style and performance[edit]

Keith Murray has cited the influence of such performers as The Rapture and David Bowie on their debut album. The band has noted that tracks on With Love and Squalor were largely written to be performed live, whilst Brain Thrust Mastery was a more specifically studio effort.[59] Older influences include Brian Eno, Velvet Underground, My Bloody Valentine and David Bowie's Berlin era as well as Hall & Oates and Fleetwood Mac.

Murray and Cain often use comedy when talking about the band in interviews, at live performances and on their official website.[60][61] The band come up with all of their music video concepts themselves.[51]

Steve Wants His Money[edit]

Steve Wants His Money is a 7 episode series of television shorts, created by Keith Murray and Chris Cain. The series premiered on October 25, 2009 during the Lil MTV program on MTV UK and was created with MTV production company Ja Digital. The episodes were made available to watch on MTV.co.uk on November 18, 2009.[62] Murray and Cain have stated that a second series is likely.[63]

The series focuses around We Are Scientists owing an American man Steve money and consequently running away to England where they attempt to sell off various marketing ideas to musicians, journalists, music DJs and promoters.[4]

Members[edit]

Current line-up
Current live members
  • Keith Carne - drums, backing vocals (2013–present)
Former members
Former live musicians
  • Max Hart - keyboards, guitars, backing vocals (2007–2009)
  • Danny Lee Allen - drums, percussion, backing vocals (2010)
  • Adam Aaronson - drums, percussion (2007–2009, 2011)

Discography[edit]

Studio albums

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b wearescientists.com (2007). "We Are Scientists Official Biography". wearescientists.com. Retrieved October 28, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c wearescientists.com (March 19, 2002). "You Guys know Scott Lamb, right? Well he's back". wearescientists.com. Retrieved October 28, 2009. [dead link]
  3. ^ a b NME (March 11, 2008). "Listen to We Are Scientists' new album". NME. Retrieved October 29, 2009. 
  4. ^ a b c MTV (October 25, 2009). "Steve Wants His Money". MTV. Retrieved October 29, 2009. 
  5. ^ Contact Music (June 2008). "We Are Scientists Biography". Contactmusic.com. Retrieved October 28, 2009. 
  6. ^ wearescientists.com (July 12, 2001). "Move from Los Angeles to New York City". wearescientists.com. Retrieved October 28, 2009. [dead link]
  7. ^ Ortega, Shawna (October 22–23, 2008). "Keith Murray of We Are Scientists". Songfacts. Retrieved June 12, 2013. 
  8. ^ wearescientists.com (May 29, 2001). "We Are Scientists move to Brooklyn New York where they regularly performed at Luna Lounge on the Lower East Side of Manhattan,". wearescientists.com. Retrieved October 28, 2009. [dead link]
  9. ^ a b wearescientists.com (October 1, 2001). "October 2001 News, Recording". wearescientists.com. Retrieved October 28, 2009. [dead link]
  10. ^ wearescientists.com (March 14, 2002). "Hello to you. From us.". wearescientists.com. Retrieved October 28, 2009. [dead link]
  11. ^ wearescientists.com (June 7, 2002). "News, Friday June 7, 2002". wearescientists.com. Retrieved October 28, 2009. [dead link]
  12. ^ wearescientists.com (October 14, 2002). "Bitching! EP". wearescientists.com. Retrieved October 28, 2009. 
  13. ^ wearescientists.com (January 16, 2003). "Bitching! EP available online". wearescientists.com. Retrieved October 28, 2009. [dead link]
  14. ^ wearescientists.com (October 16, 2003). "In Action EP". wearescientists.com. Retrieved October 28, 2009. 
  15. ^ wearescientists.com (March 14, 2003). "Children of the corn". wearescientists.com. Retrieved October 28, 2009. [dead link]
  16. ^ wearescientists.com (April 19, 2004). "You bashful, bashful others". wearescientists.com. Retrieved October 28, 2009. [dead link]
  17. ^ wearescientists.com (November 26, 2004). "You iron-jawed romantics". wearescientists.com. Retrieved October 28, 2009. [dead link]
  18. ^ wearescientists.com (January 11, 2005). "Recording Day 1". wearescientists.com. Retrieved October 28, 2009. [dead link]
  19. ^ wearescientists.com (January 2005). "January 2005". wearescientists.com. Retrieved October 28, 2009. [dead link]
  20. ^ wearescientists.com (May 15, 2005). "Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt UK Radio, music video". wearescientists.com. Retrieved October 28, 2009. [dead link]
  21. ^ wearescientists.com (May 11, 2005). "Dear Membership, The UK". wearescientists.com. Retrieved October 28, 2009. [dead link]
  22. ^ wearescientists.com (June 16, 2005). "June 27 single and UK dates". wearescientists.com. Retrieved October 28, 2009. [dead link]
  23. ^ wearescientists.com (July 9, 2005). "Video shot The Great Escape". wearescientists.com. Retrieved October 28, 2009. [dead link]
  24. ^ NME (October 5, 2005). "Headline gigs for We Are Scientists". NME. Retrieved October 29, 2009. 
  25. ^ wearescientists.com (September 6, 2005). "Back from the UK". wearescientists.com. Retrieved October 28, 2009. [dead link]
  26. ^ NME (January 24, 2006). "Meet We Are Scientists". NME. Retrieved October 29, 2009. 
  27. ^ wearescientists.com (December 21). "David Letterman, USA Release of With Love and Squalor". wearescientists.com. Retrieved October 29, 2009.  [dead link]
  28. ^ wearescientists.com (January 24, 2006). "NME Shockwaves Tour". wearescientists.com. Retrieved October 29, 2009. [dead link]
  29. ^ NME (January 19, 2006). "We Are Scientists announce UK tour". NME. Retrieved October 29, 2009. 
  30. ^ NME (March 23, 2006). "We Are Scientists announce new single plans". NME. Retrieved October 29, 2009. 
  31. ^ NME (August 30, 2006). "We Are Scientists and Art Brut Split 7" completed". NME. Retrieved October 29, 2009. 
  32. ^ NME (May 8, 2006). "We Are Scientists announce extra tour date". NME. Retrieved October 29, 2009. 
  33. ^ NME (October 16, 2006). "We Are Scientists to release new CD/DVD". NME. Retrieved October 29, 2009. 
  34. ^ NME (January 5, 2007). "We Are Scientists start work on new album". NME. Retrieved October 29, 2009. 
  35. ^ a b NME (January 22, 2007). "We Are Scientists preview new album tracks". NME. Retrieved October 29, 2009. 
  36. ^ NME (February 27, 2007). "We Are Scientists debut new material". NME. Retrieved October 29, 2009. 
  37. ^ a b W.A.S (July 19, 2007). "Album finished". WA.S. Retrieved October 29, 2009. [dead link]
  38. ^ a b wearescientists.com (June 4, 2007). "You Rumpled Old Octopi". W.A.S. Retrieved October 29, 2009. [dead link]
  39. ^ wearescientists.com (September 18, 2007). "Who is this Max Hart?". W.A.S. Retrieved October 29, 2009. [dead link]
  40. ^ a b Click Music (2009). "Ex-Razorlight Drummer Joins We Are Scientists". Click Music. Retrieved October 29, 2009. 
  41. ^ NME (October 31, 2007). "We Are Scientists line-up strangest support act ever". NME. Retrieved October 29, 2009. 
  42. ^ a b NME (March 7, 2008). "We Are Scientists announce UK tour". NME. Retrieved October 29, 2009. 
  43. ^ MTV (May 6, 2008). "We Are Scientists New Single". MTV. Retrieved October 29, 2009. 
  44. ^ NME (May 17). "We Are Scientists play secret afternoon barbeque gig". NME. Retrieved October 29, 2009. 
  45. ^ NME (July 13). "We Are Scientists sing for 'free beer' at Oxegen festival". NME. Retrieved October 29, 2009. 
  46. ^ NME (August 23, 2008). "We Are Scientists and 'special guest' cover Ace Of Bass at Reading Festival". NME. Retrieved October 29, 2009. 
  47. ^ NME (May 23, 2008). "We Are Scientists announce North American tour". NME. Retrieved October 29, 2009. 
  48. ^ NME (November 5, 2008). "We Are Scientists on Obama win: 'It's like Christmas for adults'". NME. Retrieved October 29, 2009. 
  49. ^ NME (December 5, 2008). "Razorlight's Andy Burrows to record solo LP and join We Are Scientists". NME. Retrieved October 29, 2009. 
  50. ^ Soccer AM (December 5, 2008). "The festive season is upon us and that means only one thing, lots and lots of football!". Sky Sports. Retrieved October 29, 2009. 
  51. ^ a b "December 5, 2008". Soccer AM, Soccer AM. Season 1. Sky Sports.
  52. ^ Gregory, Jason (February 8, 2010). "We Are Scientists To Release New Album In June". Gigwise.com. Retrieved 2010-02-09. 
  53. ^ "We Are Scientists announce comeback single release". NME. February 8, 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-09. 
  54. ^ https://twitter.com/andywburrows/status/281701557953765376
  55. ^ http://www.nme.com/news/we-are-scientists--2/66632
  56. ^ http://neongoldrecords.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/nothing-to-complain-about.html
  57. ^ http://wearescientists.com/news/new-u-k-tour-july-why-would-we-lie/
  58. ^ http://www.musicweek.com/news/read/we-are-scientists-to-release-new-album-on-march-3/057261
  59. ^ Peterborough Today (November 14, 2007). "Interview: Keith Murray". Peterborough Today. Retrieved October 29, 2009. 
  60. ^ "We Are Scientists presents…". Wearescientists.com. Retrieved 2011-07-04. 
  61. ^ NME (April 21, 2008). "We Are Scientists: The Pyramids Centre, Portsmouth: Wednesday April 5". NME. Retrieved October 29, 2009. 
  62. ^ Lil' MTV › Episodes › We Are Scientists mtv.co.uk, November 18, 2009
  63. ^ C: ...that last night's episode of SWH$ was the *penultimate* -- not final -- episode. (We're 80% sure.) Chris Cain on Twitter, November 30, 2009

External links[edit]