Dichotomy looms so large for We Are Scientists that it’s almost a provisional member. They’re a California band that’s lived in New York for nearly a decade. The members are inveterate smartasses in interviews and between songs on stage, although their finely honed sense of humor rarely comes through in the music in any obvious way (like, say, They Might Be Giants). And the band has become a sensation in the U.K. (they even have a television show, the fictional reality spoof Steve Wants His Money, on MTV UK) while remaining something of a cultish phenomenon here at home.
“There’s been a sense-making build to it,” says Cain from the band’s current U.K. trek. “We’ve never really gotten a lot bigger than we were on the first record (2002’s Safety, Fun and Learning (In That Order)), in terms of how many tickets we can sell, but our familiarity to the average Brit has continued to increase. Today, our on-the-street recognizability in the U.K. is roughly the same as Harrison Ford’s.”
Still, given WAS’s infectious melodicism and freewheeling Indie Pop spirit, it’s a little surprising that the band hasn’t attracted domestic fans of The Shins or Franz Ferdinand. It’s not like the Brits know something we don’t.
WAS headlines the final MidPoint Indie Summer Series concert on Fountain Square Friday, with Okay Lindon, Hazel Weatherfield and The Seedy Seeds opening, starting at 7 p.m.
Go here to read Brian Baker's full interview with WAS and for more show details.