Interview with We Are Scientist

HELTER SELTZER, our fifth and freakiest album, is out now. Order it from our internet boutique below, or from your preferred online music trafficker. In the UK, physical specimens are in stores now — the rest of the world will have them in early June. ¶ And if you’re the type of person who likes to go do things with your friends, let us suggest that you grab tickets to one of our upcoming shows in the U.S., Europe, or the U.K. (More announcements are coming soon!). ¶ Assuming you’re not reading this at night, enjoy the rest of your day. Meanwhile, enjoy my encounter with the band;

1_What is the music essence of We Are Scientist?
We’ve never made any two records the same way. If we talk about our music, I must confess the music for Sous La Mer for example, was recorded over two days, in my basement, and then I recorded the vocals in my closet, by myself.  It was definitely my favourite method of tracking vocals. I think we’d like to consistently approach recording the way we made TV En Francais, Sous La Mer and Helter Seltzer, but finding a functional, private studio space is incredibly difficult, especially in a city as expensive and crowded as New York City. 

2_How born your cd “Helter Seltzer”?

I don’t think we’ve ever had a grand scheme for where our music is headed.  Like every other healthy music fan, our musical tastes evolve and shift, and we become inspired by developing sounds and genres.  Every album is representative of our interests at the time – there’s never any real grand scheme.  That said, we always think that our newest album is our poppiest one, yet. Maybe the fact that other people seem to agree that this is the case with Helter Seltzer means that we’re simply getting better at realising our vision.

3_Which is the song most energetic and the most personal of this album?

Every record has been recorded under hugely different circumstances, but there was something the felt very comforting in the making of this record. Forging our own creative space was revelatory. With every other album, we’ve been on a deadline that was based upon budgets or studio managers, but with Helter Seltzer, we made the studio our clubhouse.  Every day, for three months, I got to meet my best friends in a room full of guitars, drums, and microphones. There was no time pressure, there was no creative deadline. There was only the pleasure of spending time with inspiring people.  Every album should be made this way.

3_What are your musical influences most importants?

We really enjoy the taut, kinetic aspect of being a three-piece rock band. When we stopped incorporating Max as our keyboardist after our second record, it was only because we thought that we worked best as a small band.  We had a wonderful, two-album stretch during which the band was a trio with Andy Burrows, who has been the truest third member of our band, having written and recorded two records with us. Now we have Keith Carne, who, apart from being a great drummer, is a likeminded friend.  We work great as a three-piece, and we find that when we’re a tiny gang having fun together, our shows are at their best.

4_The greatest pleausure and challenge of recording this album?

Recording with Max. Max spent something like three years playing keyboard for Katy Perry, and has developed an intimately keen insight into what makes a pop song work. He was a true inspiration and partner on this record – we spent almost every day for three months meeting with him and playing around with synthesisers and guitar pedals and microphones and send effects and song structures.  Because he’s one of our best friends, I think the aspect that he brought (apart from his tremendous musical expertise) was a sense that what we were doing was meant to be fun, and to be approached with joy and interest and curiosity. I would make every record with him.

5_A song for the soundtrack of your life?

Only one?

6_What is the story about your song “Too Late”?.

The fact of the matter is that YouTube is the #1 way that people listen to music, these days, so it’s in our best interest to make sure that our songs are available on that platform. For a lot of bands, though, that means making something cheap and easy like a lyric video, or just playing the audio over a still photo, which just seems like a wasted opportunity, to us.  If we’re going to put a video up on YouTube, it should at least have some character. Bees and dancing tiger ladies are a helpful accompaniment to any song, I find.

7_How you remember your start in the world of music?.

Youth, excitement..

8_A  book, disc, song, and a theatre play that have most influenced you?.

Tons of them!

9_What is your ideal plan for a perfect day?.

Each day it changes.

10_What is your secret for the happiness?.

I think it’s only important because it’s a very “true” aspect of our friendship and partnership. Above all else, I think Chris Cain is the funniest person I’ve ever met, and I like to think that I know how to make him laugh, as well.  Humour is such a fundamental part of our communication that it would be actively misrepresentative for us to suppress that aspect of our relationship within the parameters of the band.

11_What dreams and challenges have for this year?.

We still do best in the UK, but our US audiences have remained the most constant. I’m writing to you from a plane on my way to begin a tour of continental Europe, though, so I can give you a more up-to-date answer about Europe, overall, in about three weeks.

12_You can send a message for this digital magazine?

See you all at the shows. Thanks for your support.

Esther Esteban, Madrid 

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