We Barbarians is a three-piece indie rock band based in Brooklyn, NY, originally from Long Beach, California. The band consists of David Quon, Derek VanHeule, and Nathan Warkentin. Their debut studio album, There's This There's That, was released on December 15, 2009. The band's latest EP, Headspace, was released August 30, 2011.
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We Barbarians is composed of three friends who grew up playing together in Long Beach, California. They formed in 2007 after their previous group, The Colour, disbanded. The band's indie bluesy-rock sound has often garnered comparisons to early U2 and The Clash.
Their first EP, In The Doldrums, was released November 1, 2007. Their debut full-length album, There's This There's That, followed on December 15, 2009.
On August 30, 2011 the band released their sophomore EP, Headspace. The album was produced by Dann Gallucci (of Modest Mouse and Murder City Devils) and received critical acclaim.
We Barbarians have toured with Foster the People, Cold War Kids, Local Natives, and Passion Pit. They performed at the 2011 SXSW Festival. The band has received praise for their live performances from numerous press outlets and is currently embarking on a headlining tour in support of Headspace.
During the summer of 2011, We Barbarians returned to their artistic working-base of Brooklyn, New York, where they were the opening act for the White Rabbits. This show was the first in a newly introduced bi-monthly free concert series called Converse Rubber Tracks Live. Attendance is based on a first-come, first-serve basis. It was held on June 30 at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, where the crowd gave a warm welcome to the group--one deserving only to a native Brooklyn band. Brooklyn fans have really opened up to the group, generating an inspiring acclaim not only in the indie rock scene in New York, but especially on the west coast as well.
Their latest LP, There's This There's That, comes housed with "vivid imagery, zealous intensity, and a whole medley of rock revelry" according the last.fm. Although alerting similarities of songs from bands such as U2 may run throughout the album, We Barbarians certainly makes the traditional indie-rock band sound their own. With electric rhythms and harmonious echoing guitar, the group suckers many listeners into thinking that the trio is anything but a three-piece band. They have great bass and drum grooves that support a strong and expressive voice.
The band derived its name from an early 20th-century German war play that explored the concepts of humanity and industry. The same thoughtful minimalism is apparent in the group's dynamic. With simplistic yet catchy riffs, the group is successful in maintaining it's aesthetic. In addition, the album art created by hand and the post-punk musical leanings have validated the group's name.
Early on in their career, before they relocated to Brooklyn, We Barbarians developed a reputation for its boisterous live shows and thus garnered praise from outlets including the Los Angeles Times and KEXP of Seattle.
With similar artists such as Razorlight, Cold War Kids, The Morning Benders, and Delta Spirit, We Barbarians is expanding its post-punk sound to other alternative and ambient tastes. The band is known to be influenced by The Strokes and The Spoon Benders.
Similarities have been drawn to Bruce Springsteen's New Jersey and Joy Division's Manchester in the sense that the industrial coast of the band's native home of Long Beach inspires an urgency within their sound.
It is also important to note that the Headspace EP consisted of a collection of songs worked on by the group while preparing for the move to Brooklyn. The EP combines the band's driving sound with a unique clarity of melody and structure. The songs have a very clean feel to them, separating them from several other indie punk rock groups.
When a reporter asked Dave Quon after a show in Urbana at the Canopy Club about the amount of energy in such a small venue, he pointed to the band's passion as a motivator. "No matter if there's one thousand or one person in the room, those people matter and for us to play with no emotion is an insult to them. They're here. It's not about the masses, it's about the individual."