We caught up with We Are Scientists bassist Chris Cain to chat about touring the UK, secret shows, and scaring costumed women:
You’re in the middle of a European tour! How’s it going?
‘It’s been going pretty well. We’ve been loading up on German caffeinated chocolate and obscenely aggressive lozenges, so even if the shows weren’t absolute triumphs (they have been, though), we’d be coming out ahead, on this one.
Are you excited to head back to the UK?
‘Well, of course! The UK has that excellent curry that we crave. British tours are all about curry acquisition, for us. We jealousy try to appropriate as much of your curry as we can, when we’re there. One thing that’s different about UK crowds is that they seem more satisfied than most peoples, presumably because of all the good curry they get.
Out of every UK show you’ve ever played, which one stands out as your favourite?
‘We played a great secret show with our friends PAWS in Glasgow, once. It was in a tiny bar, and we were on our way to the airport from T In The Park, when they called and invited us to hop on the bill, at the last minute. It was packed and sweaty and loud as hell, and I’m pretty sure we played some Weezer covers. It was better than the festival.
How are the new songs fitting in with the old songs in the set? Any that are particularly fun to play?
‘Oh, they fit in juuuuuust fine. Our only problem is cutting the total number of new songs down, so we can fit some of the beloved oldies into the set. We generally try to play an even sampling of songs from every album, but this album holds all of the songs we’d prefer to play – it’s hard not to be self-indulgent and just play all the new ones.
What’s your favourite song to play live?
‘Right now it’s Buckle, due to its nice, shred-heavy guitar solo. I get to throw some slap delay on the guitar and add some trippy chorus, and, frankly, it doesn’t matter what I play, on that solo. I could just be randomly delivering dissonant nonsense and it would sound great – hell, that’s what I’m doing half the time!
What’s your favourite country to tour?
‘We’re pretty big fans of touring in Spain, because we like tapas and sangria and sunny beaches.
What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
‘We played with Queens of the Stone Age in Rome a few years ago, and that was a pretty sick show. Those guys are beasts on their instruments, and we have the best songs in modern music, so it was a pretty solid line-up.
Which We Are Scientists song are you proudest of?
‘How to choose? Oh, god, how to choose from amongst all of those glorious, glittering gems? I’m fairly partial to Make It Easy – there’s a lot of pride that comes from having recorded a rock song that pleasantly incorporates the use of a triangle.
Out of every song ever recorded, which do you wish you’d written?
‘Pretty much anything from the first two Weezer records, Anne Don’t Cry by Pavement, The 15th by Wire, I Found A Reason by Velvet Underground. I also wish I’d written the theme song to the TV show Full House, because that song definitely made the songwriter a lot of money.
If you could be in any other band, which would it be and which instrument would you want to play?
‘I wouldn’t mind taking over for Johnny Greenwood in Radiohead, who looks like he’s just randomly changing wires on an old-school telephone operator’s switchboard, up there. It seems like you could just hang out plugging and unplugging wires, drinking a nice glass of wine the whole time, and even the other guys in Radiohead would probably never really have any idea whether or not you were actually really getting anything done over there. Seems pretty relaxing.
What’s the strangest thing that’s ever happened to you?
‘Last night, at the hotel in Dresden, I was headed downstairs at like two in the morning to get WiFi information from the concierge, and I accidentally happened upon two women coming out of the elevator who were dressed as animals. Like, full-body costumes. One was a bear, and one was a tiger, I believe. Neither was expecting to run into anyone, I guess, because when I came around the corner, they screamed. Like, full-throated shrieks. Then, they ran off down the hall to what I assume was their room, but who knows? Who knows what the hell was happening, there?
Describe yourself in three words?
‘Frightens Costumed Women.