In a whirlwind year for We Are Scientists, their popularity and fanbase has grown at a rapid rate, and now after 20 months of touring, the end is in sight for the trio. Room Thirteen caught up with Mike Tapper (drums) about life on the road and what the band could be doing if they weren't making music.


R13: Hi Mike, good to see you, how has the tour been going?
MT:Its going really well. We're in our 20th month of touring so it's been a long haul but this is the last one before we take a break so its all good. It's probably the best one so far, its certainly our biggest and quite a big production, which we've taken with us. We've opened and supported on tours like this but never really did it for us. It's been amazing at times.

R13: Has there been anything that stood out in particular?
MT:The crowds have been great. Why do they come along so early? I don't get two things. Why has the show been sold out for 6 months, I don't know what city I'll be living in, in 6 months, how can people buy gig tickets? And, why do kids get there so early? We played in Chicago and that was a small venue for us, and it was so cold, the kids were huddled around with blankets, 5 hours before doors opened. I felt like I was responsible for them, go find shelter.

R13: Its pouring outside and there's a bunch of kids outside already, how does that make you feel?
MT:I woke up this morning and there were kids outside the bus so I talked to them. I looked in one of their bags and there was a bottle of Lambrini. And we were like why do you have that and they said, its empty we've already drank three bottles. Man, I had just woken up.

R13: Welcome to Glasgow.
MT:Yeah, good city!

R13: It is indeed, what is the thinking behind the new album 'Crap Attack'?
MT: Basically, its all this stuff that we had over the last year or two but never released. We made videos for every song that was hopefully getting released with the album but the record company said yes but then no. And the videos are funny so we wanted to put them out. So we had some B-sides, some covers, a Sigur Ros one and a great cover of a German guy and then the live stuff, so we thought, lets put it out. We were going to sell it at the shows but the record company says, we'll put it in stores. And I was checking on line and it's a great price, around 8 or 9, so that's great.

R13: You've mentioned the videos, what about other technologies? Do you get involved with tour blogs and suchlike?
MT:It comes in ebbs and flows, we've updated some stuff recently but at times its hard. In the UK most of the venues we play have Internet access but that's not the case in Europe, so that's hard. A combination of being tired and working, writing and reading, sometimes the web stuff falls by the wayside. When we stop touring it will be updated regularly.

R13: Talking about when you stop touring, do you have many plans?
MT:We've got some ideas. We were maybe going to write a play but that was before we got signed and has slipped off the radar. We might want to do a book as well. One idea was a coffee table book of the best ideas we've had on our website.

R13: It seems as though you have a few ideas away from music, would you like to get away from music and branch out?
MT:We've never had any grand plan but we now we've made a breakthrough and we can maybe do some other work, we'd all like to make it in the movies.

R13: In what way, would it be like 'A Hard Days Night' or 'Help' with The Beatles?
MT:No, not a We Are Scientists film, preferably an action adventure or a bank robbery movie. That's kinda cool.

R13: The band has been together since 2000 but its only really in the past year or so that you have really taken off in the UK. How has the change in the bands fortune or how they are perceived affected yourselves?
MT:If you looked at our success over time, it went really slowly for so long and then theres a huge spike to where we are now .There is an element of overnight success to it but we've been playing for so long that's its not changed us. We've made some important life decisions, we went to college together and moved together and lived together so it's just another experience and change for us, rather than being a massive thing. We're not the type of band who only wants to be in a band or who said we have to sell so many records or we're fucked. The band was a side-project for a while and now it's a massive part of our lives that we love but it's not everything.

R13: Back in January, you were part of the NME tour playing similar venues to this tour, albeit being third on the bill. What was it like then, as it was when the whole country was wrapped up in Arctic Monkey mania?
MT:It was awesome and crazy. We loved it; we could watch the crowd react to the Arctic Monkeys. They went mental and it was a fun, thrilling thing. Like a bungee jump you can't help but be taken in by the excitement. And it's great watching a crowd get super-excited, even if its not for you. It was great to be there every day. It was a cultural phenomenon that we got to be around.

R13: Brilliant, and now you get to come back to the same venues and headline in your own right, that must be cool?
MT:Yeah, that's really exciting when you think about it.

R13: Thinking about the next record, do you have any plans for it?
MT:We have some ideas, we have a couple of new songs in the set but we're trying to figure out what we want to do. The last one was written in advance and everything was very specific before we got to the studio and it was made how we wanted. This one we want the creative process to be different but we're not sure how.

R13: That's the new album but as for the last record, were any cats harmed in the making of the album cover?
MT:The one that Chris was holding was really scared, that was a scared little kitten. None of those cats were overly friendly that day, they are all my cats. The little one is the runt of the litter that the rest pick on. It probably wasn't an enjoyable thing for they kittens but they don't remember. They wouldn't have been alive if it wasn't for me; I rescued their mum off the street about 3 months before they were born. I never knew she was pregnant and it was winter, so who knows what would have happened.

R13: The bands name came about when a delivery man asked if you were all scientists, what would have been your favourite profession to have people think you do?
MT:That's hard...wealthy international men of mystery

R13: That'll tie in with your movie career as well.
MT:There's a few threads that run through it all but wouldn't that be a nice thing to have people think about you or come and ask you?

R13: Well Mike, thanks for your time and hopefully the rest of the tour will continue to go well. Have you any last messages for your fans?
MT:We will be back so don't worry about that and don't let your guard down.

They may have a desire to be known as International men of mystery and they do have a history of saving cats but its for their musical skills that We Are Scientists have found themselves in the spotlight for in the past year or so, and the band now seems set to take a break and regroup in order to please their fans again.