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We Are (not) Scientists

Don't bother trying to figure out if the members of the rock band We Are Scientists are actually scientists. Don't even try to figure out what their name comes from -- they give a different explanation in practically every interview, sometimes claiming it came from a random string of letters that appeared during a game of Boggle. In fact, it's best not to take anything they say too seriously. Bassist Chris Cain holding our January, 2010 issueWith that, I set out to get my own tongue-in-cheek in

By | July 9, 2010

Don't bother trying to figure out if the members of the rock band We Are Scientists are actually scientists. Don't even try to figure out what their name comes from -- they give a different explanation in practically every interview, sometimes claiming it came from a random string of letters that appeared during a game of Boggle. In fact, it's best not to take anything they say too seriously.
Bassist Chris Cain holding our January, 2010 issue
With that, I set out to get my own tongue-in-cheek interview during the band's recent stopover at Philadelphia's Johnny Brenda's, promoting new songs and their 2008 album, Brain Thrust Mastery. One thing that's not in question in the band's success: since their 2005 hit album With Love and Squalor, We Are Scientists has sat atop the Indie Rock heap. You may have heard their big hits, including "Impatience" (a linkurl:video;http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UH-RG1lWc0I for which featured bassist Chris Cain turning into a werewolf) and "Great Escape" (see linkurl:video;http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAxp4I6Nre4&feature=channel here). Even if they don't take interviews seriously, and make jokes about hookers and their glasses prescriptions between songs, they don't mess around with their music and performances, where Cain's calm energy complements the frenetic movements of guitarist and singer Keith Murray. Before their Philly show, Cain spoke to me (his supposedly first interview with a science publication) about their recent experiments, whether it's easier to get laid as a real scientist or as a rock musician in a band called We Are Scientists (the answer might surprise you), and which instrument Charles Darwin would play if he were in a rock band. At the end of the interview, Cain launches a formal request of biologists -- help give the band a mascot. The band is already heavily influenced by various species (see linkurl:the "influences" section;http://www.myspace.com/wearescientists on its MySpace page, normally reserved for musical influences), but he's looking for a species that isn't already "taken" that fans could associate with the group. (I humbly suggested the linkurl:octopus that used a coconut;http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/12/091214-octopus-carries-coconuts-coconut-carrying.html and the linkurl:hairless raccoon;http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local-beat/Hide-Your-Goats-Alleged-Chupacabra-Found-in-North-Texas-82001187.html that people thought was the Chupacabra but I think he'd like to hear your suggestions as well.) FYI, the most plausible explanation for why the band calls itself We Are Scientists is a tribute to the song by influential band linkurl:Cap'n Jazz.;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cap%27n_Jazz Watch a clip from the interview below.
**__Related stories:__***linkurl:Crystals in lab, rock on stage;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/57489/
[3rd June, 2010]*linkurl:A cancerous melody;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55998/
[25th September 2009]*linkurl:Scientific song and dance;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/56138/
[5th November 2009]
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Comments

Avatar of: Jody Mallicoat

Jody Mallicoat

Posts: 1

July 9, 2010

We Are Scientists is a serious band with a playful sense of humor. I absolutely adore them. I actually happened upon them because their name included "scientists". They have a cute song called "The Method" about love in the laboratory. If you haven't checked out their music, I highly suggest it.
Avatar of: anonymous poster

anonymous poster

Posts: 1

July 9, 2010

Two are:\nDenny Zeitlen, http://www.dennyzeitlin.com/, a well-respected jazz pianist and a practicing psychiatrist\nGregory Liszt, the red hot banjo player from Crooked Still, a bluegrass and Old Time band with an attitude, http://www.crookedstill.com/, has a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from MIT.
Avatar of: Vinod Nikhra

Vinod Nikhra

Posts: 48

July 10, 2010

It is good to see these kind of articles from time to time. Scientists are considered serious people often lacking common interests. THOUGH THIS IS NOT A FACT. I too recall an occasion in Kosice, Slovakia. At the Europen Society of Endocrinology meeting during 2006, Prof. Christiansen conducted opera. It was a great treat! In fact, I recorded the event and later sent the CD to him through Dr. Ivika.\nVinod Nikhra, MD\nwww.vinodnikhra.com

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