Fun loving hipsters. We are Scientists are no strangers to these shores having toured extensively throughout Ireland over the past ten years. A band born to party; founding members Keith Murray and Chris Cain have become renowned for never taking interviews too seriously and adding a comical element to their work. They have released three albums to date each with an iconic pop/ indie sound and are set to embark on a tour across Europe this summer. State caught up with Keith to see if the bands dynamic has changed after the permanent addition of Andy Burrows (ex Razorlight) in 2010 and to find out what is in store for fans at the Camden Crawl in Dublin this weekend.
So Keith, what have you and the guys been up to lately?
Well Andy Burrows has just moved over from London to New York and we are currently establishing a band base here. It’s weird as it’s the first time that We are Scientists as a band have all lived in the same town concurrently in years. The last time was when we recorded our first album.
Has Andy influenced the writing style or the way the group have been working on the album then?
It is hard to attribute the album change to Andy but definitely the way we have been working on the album construction has changed. With the last album, Andy was living in London and working on his own album while we were living in the States. We only ended up sporadically getting together to work on the songs at weekends or over the phone. So all of the work was hurried, and involved us all working or listening independently to MP3 tracks and choosing ones to work on.
How is the album progressing?
Right now we are working on arrangements for the songs which have been written and we are messing around in our rehearsals stage. So the whole writing experience is really fun right now.
How is the album sounding? Have you stuck to the last albums style or adopted any new elements?
Well it’s a slightly mellower album then what people normally associates us with, but nothing mellower then what we have produced before. I think most people associate us with big dance sounding, up tempo numbers and it definitely contains songs like that but the average BPM of the songs have slowed a bit and it’s gone a little more atmospheric then we normally do. But do not worry it is still all pop songs.
Are your lyrics focused on alcohol driven frivolity still or have you changed the tactics a little as you have matured?
(Laughs bemused) Hmm, I think the explicit promotion of alcohol is at a low on this album, but the spirit and volumes consumed have maintained its rigorously high standard of excellence. However lyrically it may not be as rampant but there is still time for me to crowbar and influence it.
Do you think your musical tastes have influenced this album?
This album is less influenced by specific bands, as previously I would have always been able to name bands which were influencing tracks on the albums. For example the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs, Franz Ferdinand, Hall and Oates and Fleetwood Mac have all influenced previous albums but I do not think we have ever recorded a song which totally sounds like any of them.
This new (as yet untitled) album is different. We have been listening to a lot of electronic pop recently as Brooklyn is very much into synth pop at the minute, so it is been slightly inescapable. Living here and being interested in local music, you can’t not be influenced right now. I am sure some synth stuff may creep into the album but it’s not what the album will sound like. It may just be a stylistic influence as no one is going to be hauling out a keyboard on stage.
So will there be a slight Grimes influence on this album then?
Ha, ha, yeah I love that Grimes album and I have been listening to it a lot. We have pretty similar musical touch downs but it is definitely not going to influence our sound.
Do you have a timeline for releasing the album?
We are scheduled to start recording at the end of May and we are hoping to be finished in mid-July with an autumn release data.
Will you be showcasing the new tracks at the Camden Crawl in Dublin?
That’s the plan. We have not really showcased any new songs yet at shows. I think I am always a little squeamish about playing new songs for multiple reasons, so we always reserve the rights to change lyrics and compositions afterwards. I always start sweating after we play a new track live as it’s suddenly out there, in the public consciousness. It instantly gets uploaded to YouTube by fans, which definitely ruins the concept of road testing songs. Hence, I tend to avoid reading online comments after we play a new song as I am definitely highly susceptible to the commentary.
I am definitely one of the reticent ones in the band who insists on playing all the old tracks and singles, while Chris hates that sentiment, and always pushes to play the new songs.
Touring, recording or writing, which do you prefer?
I really like sitting in a writing space and writing songs, I also love touring but I dislike the process of tearing tracks apart and implementing enforced edits until we think a song is right. It’s a really stressful process watching your songs being dissected. I tend to hate being in the studio and going through multiple takes of a voca which will be on our album for ever, while everyone is hanging out in the recording room chatting. The part where you are creating music for prosperity is my least favourite section and it actually makes me want to throw up.
However this time will be different as we are recording in New York for the first time. It’s with a friend which should make it more bearable, as we can pop out whenever some random snare drum beat is being perfected. So hopefully it will be a breezier process.
Memorable gigs or festivals ?
We had a great show in Dublin several years ago where we had a stage invasions and kids starting knocking over Chris’s bass amplifier over which is incredible heavy and tall. They started attacking one of the bouncers and it got terrifying apocalyptic which I thought was great.
Ah hopefully this Friday Camden Crawl Dublin gig will be just as memorable. We are Scientists plays the Camden Crawl Dublin on 11th and 12th May, venues to be announced on the day. Tickets are on sale now priced €40 for the weekend, €25 per day.