Science is clearly a hell of a lot more fun than math, especially for Chris Cain, who appears to have lost count of the number of drinks he’s ingested, but retains the ability to describe his alcoholic absorption in grave detail. Cain “plays the bass and calls the shots” in the trio, We Are Scientists, which is wrapping up a six-week tour of the U.K. and Europe before heading back to the U.S. for tour dates, which included a stop at South by Southwest music festival and conference in Austin.
Currently, according to Cain, “We’re in Oslo and it’s a 24 hour party experience. It’s cold here, but that doesn’t stop the people from observing the 24-hour party policy. They’re all about black metal here.”
With their take on neu-pop infecting the world with acknowledgeable success, it’s curious what focuses brought these young scientists together. Cain tells me about his focus, and drifts off a bit before I get answers regarding the rest of the group.
“I was probably best at biology, if memory serves me right. I currently excel in the digestion of alcohol groups. I don’t know whether you’d consider that chemistry or biology, because it is chemicals reacting with other chemicals, enzymes breaking down complex sugars; but it’s all happening in my stomach. I don’t have to put any thought into it. I mean, I have to choose, ‘what am I going to have to drink?’ I have to choose, ‘Will I have dark rum with diet coke or will I treat myself to a Coca Cola Classic maybe with some Jameson Irish whiskey?’”
The Scientists play constantly. After a brief tour back home in the U.S., they return immediately to the U.K. and continue touring through the summer. This formula seems to be working for the group, but it must get old. According to Cain, that’s generally the very point when things start to come together.
“The best shows tend to be the shows where we have written the show off for one reason or another—because someone hasn’t shown up, or we’re feeling shitty… Once we cross that threshold and we decide the show is blown, we’re able to have an incredibly good time on stage, just really relax and play a really entertaining and solid set.”
Unfortunately, due to the band’s growing success, shows have been going so smoothly that the opportunity to “write off” a show seldom arises. “We probably haven’t had one that meets that set of circumstances in a couple of months because we’ve reached a level of respectability that seems to be hindering that situation. And that’s a shame;” according to Cain. “It’s a goddamn shame.”
Presuming We Are Scientists have likely followed the recent Olympic competition while touring in lands that produce so many of its competitors, we asked what sport the band would excel at. According to Cain, that would be “fire-fighting.”
“I believe in the upcoming Olympics it’s no longer going to be a demo but rather a full-fledged sport. Yes, Fire-fighting: fighting fires; pulling lengths of hose up ten flights of stairs in records time; getting sand-bag dummies out of third story apartments.”
This reference to dummy-dragging begs a relevant inquiry. “Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt” is the most recognized single on the group’s debut album, With Love and Squalor. Its repetitive chorus is “My body is your body / I won’t tell anybody / If you want to use my body / Go for it, yeah.” When asked what Cain would do with this writer’s body, if it were his, he unhesitatingly plans an extreme make-over.
“I’d take your body out to a tanning salon because right now your pallor is just not cutting it. You lack the golden shimmer that I find necessary in any corpse treatment. So I’d take you to a tanning salon or a beach or lake resort. Then, we would probably go to the mall and get you some sweet new duds to off-set the new glimmer that you have received. Finally, a hair-cut—something angular, modern and hip. Straight from the pillow, yet very consciously sculpted. Then you’d be my wing-man! We’d hit the clubs and net some pretty serious fruit.”
Interested in being said “serious fruit”? If you didn’t catch them at the Spin Party or at the Fox and Hound in Austin at this year’s SXSW, they’ll be here in Denver at the Hi-Dive Saturday, March 25 along with many of the We Are Scientists’ endless tour dates.