WE ARE SCIENTISTS Discuss Their Forthcoming Album ‘Megaplex,’ Current Favorite Artists And More!
Posted On 04 Apr 2018
We are Scientists will be releasing a killer new record on April 27th called Megaplex.
This group actually met at Pomona College doing stand up comedy and their humor is very present if you want to get them on the phone! Their love for comedy is what really bound the band together and gave them the personality that helped explode tracks like “Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt.”
Check out the video for the band’s first single “One In One Out” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXPOB-uA9R8&feature=youtu.be
They’re is also hitting the road in June for an east coast tour. You can check out all the album and tour details here: http://mailchi.mp/reybee/we-are-scientists-announce-new-album-megaplex-for-april-27th-release
Learn more about We Are Scientists in the following All Access interview:
So what is one song that you are all loving right now? What is a song that you all disagree about loving right now?
We’re both pretty into the entirety of the new MGMT record. We’ve been long defenders of the albums of theirs that other people seem less open to, but it feels like most everyone is pretty on board with how pleasant this new record is. As for disagreements, I’m not sure that Chris has any active antipathy toward Dua Lipa, but I sure haven’t heard him playing “New Rules” nearly as much as I have been.
How has 2018 been treating you all so far? What is one musical goal that you have for this year?
2018 hasn’t been too shabby. I’m currently at Charles De Gaulle airport on a three-hour flight delay killing time that could have been better spent hanging out in Paris, though, so currently, I’m rueing this entire accursed year! As far as musical goals go, we’ve already created our killer album, Megaplex, so I think our goals have been handily achieved.
Can you recall the moment when you all thought you could be in a band together? Was it hard to come up with a name that you all thought fit your sound and who you are? How did you pick this one?
We sort of reverse engineered the whole thing. I always knew I *could* be in a band with Chris — we’d been friends for years before we ever played music together. Then, one day, we were accused of looking like a bunch of scientists, and we figured that would be a cooler accusation if it simply indicated that we looked like members of a *band* called We Are Scientists, so we went ahead and formed that band.
I love that you all met in college doing stand up comedy! Is comedy still a big part of your lives? Who are your favorite stand up comedians today?
Comedy is a pretty huge aspect of our friendship and ranks very highly on our list of common interests. We love making videos and recording nonsense, but we try to keep our comedic interests from overwhelming the seriousness of our music – we’ve long struggled with our desire to include hip hop-style skits in between our songs on our albums, and our comedic podcast makes only glancing mention of the fact that we’re in a band. Our favorite comedians include Norm MacDonald and Neal Hamburger. Those new Dave Chapelle Netflix specials are pretty incredible, too.
In The 20 years that this band has been around, what has the growth been like for this band since first forming?
It’s been pretty steady, for the most part. We went through a spate of pretty explosive growth in 2005/2006, when our debut album came out, but since then we’ve been fortunate enough to have maintained a pretty devoted fan-base.
How do you think being from your hometown has influenced this group and the kind of music that you create?
Well, I grew up in Miami, which, especially in the late 80s and early 90s, was a pretty brutal place to live, musically. Because Miami is so far away from, well, anywhere else, it’s pretty hard for musical acts to make it financially worthwhile to go down there. So, we had hometown stars like 2 Live Crew and Miami Sound Machine and Marilyn Manson and that was pretty much it. I was very into unsigned local bands, in my teens — I realized later that most of them remained local and unsigned because they stunk.
Let’s talk about your forthcoming album called “Megaplex” that will be coming out next month. What was it like making this collection?
We’ve gotten into the pretty good habit of making records at home in NYC with our friend Max Hart, and this time we sweetened the familial vibe of the process by recording in our friend Tim Wheeler (of Ash’s) studio. As a result, the entire enterprise felt very causal and unforced and, mostly, like a gang of friends hanging out in a clubhouse, playing music. It’s how we’d like to keep making music for the foreseeable future
I know it’s difficult to pick but can you pick out a few of your favorite songs from this albums and talk about how they were written? How do you all generally go about writing your music?
One In, One Out is a big favorite of mine, and it was one of the songs that was transformed the most in the pre-production process. It began its life as a fairly straightforward guitar-rock song, but when I sent the demo to Chris, he essentially performed a remix of the song. He chopped up the vocals and added synths and electronic beats, and the song immediately felt more vital to us. That sort of pre-record remixing approach is responsible for a lot of the final arrangements on the record – “No Wait At Five Leaves” transformed from a dirge into a motorik rock anthem, “Properties of Perception” went from a spare, acoustic song to a Smiths-influenced pop song, and KIT started as a minimalist ballad and got transformed in to a weirdo, 80s synth maelstrom.
How did you approach the process of putting “Megaplex” together? How did it compare to the making of your previous six albums?
We recorded this one in a couple of small chunks, rather than in one long burst. For our last record, Helter Seltzer, we build our own studio in Brooklyn, and gave ourselves three months to record the album. That kind of freedom let us be tremendously creative, but the lack of limitations sort of turned into its own curse, because it became impossible to come to any final decisions until the very end of the process — The was *too much* freedom. By contrast, we recorded this whole album in three weeks, one week at a time, and as a result, the whole process felt relatively easy and casual, and I think the fun we were having shows up on the recordings.
I am curious to know what motivates you to make music after all these years that you have been together in this band?
We still just love writing songs. It’s what I’d be doing, anyway, even if I weren’t in a professional band, and I like our most recent albums way more than our earlier records, so I feel like as long as our quality is only increasing, we ought to go ahead and release the records.
Do you have any touring plans coming up this year?
Oh, yes, we do. We’re essentially on tour in the US and Europe from May 1 – through the end of August. Please see our website or socials for a thorough list, and be prepared to have your eyeballs physically bulge from your skull, in awe.
Where do you think you are all happiest- in the studio recording new music, on stage performing or elsewhere? Do you have any upcoming touring dates scheduled?
I think our favorite parts of being in a band are songwriting and performing. When we record, we tend to have all of the ideas fleshed out before we enter the studio, so that part of the process tends to feel the most purely industrious – we’re just trying to get the best representation of our ideas down. When we’re writing in pre-production, though, we can be carefree and playful and stumble upon all sorts of weird ideas and mistakes that encourage unexpected directions, and that whole part of the process is amazing. Playing live is also a treat, because I can turn my amplifiers up to a higher volume than would ever be accepted in my house.
Who are you all listening to these days? What artists have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
I’ve been listening to the British band Dream Wife a lot, and Superfood and Ringworm. The MGMT record was getting a lot of play, recently as well. I also like listening to Top 40 radio – I feel like a lot of the producers making pop music are doing some pretty cool, inventive stuff, and I’m also just a big fan of huge hooks. I wouldn’t mind making a track with Andrew Maury.
What advice would you give to a young band just getting started today?
I guess that my advice to a young band would be to post a lot of photos that make it seem like you’re someplace cool with a famous person.
How important do you think social media has been to this band? Do all you help to maintain all your sites or is one of you more into it all? Or do you rely on your PR/management team to handle it all?
Obviously, social media is a huge part of expanding and communicating with a band’s fan base. I think we’re pretty bad at using it as a business tool — we mainly like to post funny videos or photos with clever captions, whereas we notice that a lot of other acts who are very successful on social media tend to only post photos of themselves strategically looking like they’re someplace cool with somebody famous.
We are living in a trying time right now so I am curious how you think being in this band gives you the most joy in life today? Do you think that music being created today is going to reflect this challenging time?
I think it’s important to have an exultant escape. I spend a huge part of every day worried and disgusted by politics and international affairs and just living in outright angst, so it’s nice to be able to deliver small nuggets of joy and pleasure with our songs.