We Are Scientists Interview
'We definitely do very well in the UK and we spend a lot of our time here. To call it a second home would be a lie because if I had a second home it wouldn't have a toilet bowl which just flushes out into the street as our tour bus does' jokes We Are Scientist frontman Keith Murray '.actually that's not true, our tour bus has a tank; it's perfectly sanitary.'
The band have returned to the UK with a new album, 'Brain Thrust Mastery' and one less member. Meeting Keith prior to their sold out show at Manchester Academy it's obvious that he and band mate Chris are enjoying being back on tour. 'The tour is going smashingly, literally we crashed the van.no I'm kidding! It's been going very well, it's been broken up into several distinct chunklets I would say' Keith explains 'we did two weeks in Europe which ranged from good to very good, then we moved onto Ireland which ranged from very good to great. Now we move to the UK which range from great to best presentation ever. This is the best presentation.'
The bands debut album 'With Love and Squalor' made the them a household name in the UK music scene. 'We spend enough of our time here that there is a familiarity bordering on the familial. We expect to be treated with respect' muses Keith 'we don't want to be treated with any prejudice.'
It becomes evident very quickly that Keith enjoys joking around during interviews, it is something which is greatly endearing. The comedy is something the band do as they are unsure as to how much they should and can tell their fans about their music, 'there is something, I hesitate to use the work weird because I don't feel it's precise enough but just going into a room and talking about stuff you do always strikes me as a little strange.' It's also a little reassuring to hear an artist saying he feels fans would benefit more from the other peoples opinions, 'I feel like it's good to have a background on a painting and know the genealogy of the painting' he explains 'but having an artist sit down and talk about it, I find is less interesting than someone else talking about it.'
On that front the band have nothing to worry about. Their second album, 'After Hours' has received rave reviews. While the album is still recognisable as the same band, there are obvious advances in sound as Keith explains, 'I think we're no longer interested in doing just up tempo dance rock exclusively, we still like it, we'll still do it but I think our pallet has expanded.'
After finishing the record drummer Michael Tapper left the band, 'He just left because touring can be a pain in the arse and it can wear you down and he was not very keen on touring. When we stopped touring he moved to LA for relationship reasons and was sort of living in LA while we were working on the record in New York for nine months so he wasn't really very involved.' explains Keith 'By the time we had recorded the record and we were talking about going on tour again he just didn't feel passionate about it because he was 3000 miles away while most of the work was being done on it and I think he'd really been enjoying living in LA. I think the idea of going back on tour was pretty daunting to him.'
The band have not replaced Tapper and do not intend to in the near future, deciding to use stand in drummers instead. Arctic Monkeys Matt Helders filled in for the band on one night of their UK tour, 'I'm really crossing my fingers for mammoth success for Last Shadow Puppets so Alex will not return to Arctic Monkeys' jokes Keith 'and we'll just give Matt refuge that way we won't break them up.'
The absence of a permanent drummer has not had an impact on the bands popularity with their album reaching number 11 in the charts (Keith jokes 'as long as you do better than your previous album then you're ok!') and a sold out tour. It's something Keith is relishing, 'shows are usually pretty fun here, people actually come to our shows because they know us, not because they want to check out this We Are Scientists thing. So they usually come knowing what they're going to get into and as a result have a good time or are more pre-disposed to have a good time.'
Tonight, at the Academy that is certainly the case. The bands new material receives a fantastic reception, but it is their early songs which receive raucous cheers, being sung word for word in devotion. The band themselves have an extremely energetic and likeable stage presence, ensuring a close connection between band and fans. They discuss their love of England and obviously enjoy being in front of their adoring fans. Judging by tonight's reception the feeling is definitely mutual.