Californian duo We Are Scientists garnered critical acclaim back in 2005 with their début LP, With Love and Squalor. Eleven years later, they are due to release their fifth studio album at the end of this month, and Live at Leeds was thrilled to announce that the musical partnership of Keith Murray and Chris Cain will be headlining Stylus on April 30
This Leeds date will come eight days after the release of their upcoming record, Helter Seltzer, and speaking to singer and guitarist Keith Murray ahead of its release, he explains how this quirky album title has both a metaphorical and literal meaning behind it. “I think we are always trying to figure out an answer to the often posed question of what kind of music we play,” he begins.
“Especially now that dance rock specific aspect to our music has moved on and grown, we don’t really know what to say. We have always described our music as being bubbly and upbeat, but in the lyrics there’s usually a bit of darkness. An important secondary aspect is that our band is really into flavoured seltzer waters – I think that was how ‘seltzer’ got incorporated into the definition of our musical interests. We consider the fluid seltzer a heavy influence in our bodies”, he jokes.
We Are Scientists’ brand of indie rock has generally received more commercial success in the UK than in their native US. Murray puts this down to the difference in what passes for mainstream rock music between the two countries.
“In the UK, we were very much on the indie side of radio and MTV, whereas in the US, the differences between commercial radio could not have been more vast. We were a very successful indie band, who cool people who kept their ears to the ground knew about, but our audience in the US was a more niche audience, whereas in the UK we were sort of placed all over the mass media.”
We Are Scientists are playing Live at Leeds as part of their UK tour to promote Helter Seltzer. Despite it being a packed calendar of dates, Keith says they will be doing their best to catch some of the other acts. “I know we will be there the entire day; Leeds is as good a place to kill a day off as any – better than most, I would say. We are playing fairly late in the day, so we’ll at least get to see the bulk of that day’s presentation.”
We have always described our music as being bubbly and upbeat, but in the lyrics there’s usually a bit of darkness.