Let's get this out of the way right off the bat: We Are Scientists are not actually scientists. Rather, they're a Brooklyn, New York, three-piece that have won a loyal following in the U.K. — and earned tons of blogger buzz here in the States — thanks to their hook-heavy, dance-friendly brand of rock and roll, not to mention their rather tongue-in-cheek approach to making that rock and roll (bassist Chris Cain's truly excellent Tom Selleck mustache has probably won a few fans over, too).
All three of those traits are on display in the video for the Scientists' first single, "Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt," which finds the band — Cain, guitarist/vocalist Keith Murray and drummer Michael Tapper — being chased around the streets of Los Angeles by a killer bear. Or rather, by a man in a killer-bear suit.
"This guy named Chester was inside the bear suit, and inside of him was a tiny little bear," Murray deadpanned. "So it was this strange kind of Russian-doll thing going on."
"We figured we should use it as a public-service announcement, like those [old] 'Stop, Drop and Roll' commercials on Saturday-morning cartoons," Cain added. "There used to be this myth that when a bear attacks, you're supposed to get down on the ground and curl up in a ball, but we're here to tell you that doesn't work. We've lost many friend bands here in New York to that same type of logic."
In addition to performing a valuable public service, the "Nobody Move" clip also serves as a nice intro to the type of stuff found on the Scientists' debut album, With Love and Squalor: jittery, angular guitars, four-on-the-floor drum breaks and yelped, boogie-woogie vocals. Love and Squalor doesn't hit stores here in the U.S. until January (it's already out in the U.K.), so in the meantime, the band is reaching out to fans in another way: via its very own advice column on WeAreScientists.com.
"People are always asking us for advice on how to convince their mom to let them get a dog. And it's not like we're great at answering that question, but we'd like to get some questions from time to time," Cain explained. "Ironically, none of us actually has a dog. So all our methods are untried but true. But there are a lot of factors that go into convincing your mom to get a dog: geography, financial status — the list goes on and on.
"Say you live in the Midwest. You probably work the crops or herd sheep," Murray added. "So you tell your mom you need a dog for your job. You tell her a sheepdog is part of the tradition of sheep-herding, and it will help the family business. And bam — you've got yourself a dog."
When they're not being chased by guys in bear suits or dispensing advice, We Are Scientists can be found on the road in the U.S., playing second fiddle to acts like Hot Hot Heat. It's a far cry from their sold-out shows in the U.K., but the Scientists know that in order to make it here in the States, there's no gig too small. Well, almost.
"We're living a rags-to-riches story," Murray said. "We started in Orlando, and things couldn't be worse. It was basically a ragged little town, and we couldn't leave fast enough."
"In Orlando, no one has ever heard of us — or even heard of music, for that matter — so it's almost like bringing the Ten Commandments down from the Mount," Cain joked. "Whereas in the U.K., they've got radio stations, CD players, the MiniDisc has come and gone. No, I'm kidding. No one in Orlando knows us, so we're just trying to win over fans. Although now I think it'll be tough to win any more fans over in Orlando."