How’s the tour going so far?
It’s going well, we played in Norwich last night. Keith is feeling a bit sick at the moment so he’s lying down, sleeping on the floor of dressing rooms. It’s like having a sick puppy and having to put newspaper down.
You’ve played many times in Manchester before- what is it about the city that makes you keep coming back?
There are really passionate fans here which is great. It’s actually the only city that I’ve had a bottle thrown at me and hit me in the face. Luckily it was a time where I was wearing sports goggles that basketball players wear on stage rather than glasses.
This current tour is titled the ‘American Barbarians’ tour- what’s the most barbaric thing you’ve ever done?
I think it would be fishing, that’s pretty barbaric- hooking a fish through the mouth and gutting it. Our poster for the tour shows me and Keith last summer keeping trim. It was actually a period when we took up Greco-Roman wrestling.
One of our listeners said she found a beanie baby kitten at one of your gigs that someone tried to throw onstage- what’s been the craziest thing you’ve ever received onstage?
We get a lot of women’s underwear with extensive notes attached inside them which is nice, but it does take away the mystery that it may have been removed from a woman’s body during the gig. Seems less salacious. Just a tip for any woman going to a rock gig…
You guys are on your third album now called ‘Barbara’. Who is Barbara?
It’s actually not so much a person; we wanted to name the album like you would name a ship and so ended up with ‘Barbara’.
With the album it sounds like you have taken the best bits from ‘With Love And Squalor’ and ‘Brain Thrust Mastery’. Did you have a clear idea of how you wanted it to sound before you went into the studio?
After the second album we definitely wanted to get back to the sound we got with a three piece. It’s great playing as a four-piece to get a fuller sound to the arrangements, but also playing as a three-piece is great because it sounds a bit more ‘edgy’. Going back I wouldn’t change playing as a four because we got to work with a guy called Max Hart who’s an amazing keyboardist and is now playing with Katy Perry. No regrets.
Alongside the album you also recorded in the studio an England World Cup anthem ‘Goal England!’. Do you think the reason for England’s World Cup failure was down to this not being the official song?
Yes, that is the option that I would prefer. There’s another view though which is that the crossing of nationalities, Americans doing a song for an English team, cursed it in some way- sport is a very superstitious thing.
Aside from music you’ve also been known for your comedy. Will there be any follow-ups to your series for MTV, Steve Wants His Money?
As far as that series goes, there won’t be a follow-up. Not to spoil the ending for those who haven’t seen it but Steve does get his money so that story is concluded. In the past it’s only been available to view in the UK and only for a short time on MTV’s website, but we’ve recently been able to show it internationally now and the seventh episode has just gone up on YouTube. Will there be any more audio-visual comedy from We Are Scientists though? Yes!
After this UK tour you’re doing more dates in Europe. What’s next for We Are Scientists?
We go home on December 5th, and after that we’re looking to start doing a bit of writing and recording. We want to try and break the cycle of doing a year recording an album, then a year promoting it, then another year recording the next one, so we hope to be bringing out a short EP next year and maybe doing a bit of touring in Spring for that.
[Interview conducted 20th November 2010]