Q: First question – how did this band start? You guys all seem to be pretty kooky individuals. Tell me the origin story.
A: We Are The Physics: Origins is actually the fourth film made ten years after the original trilogy, and acts as a prequel to the events of the first movie. It details the problems we had to overcome in our childhood to form We Are The Physics. We all sort of grew up together, but the first thing that brought us together as a band was the Italian horror film Tenebrae. That’s it.
A: We had a lot more time to do it, so we definitely wasted more of it trying to perfect tiny tiny noises nobody ever notices. In that way, it was an indulgent process that can end up being quite detrimental to the finished product – you can over-tweak things. The first record we finished in about a week, and there’s a rawness to it. But I think if we’d done exactly the same thing again, after four years, some people may have tried to lynch us. I like that this one is more thoughtful.
Q: What were the main influences on this album? Musically, socially, culturally… Etc.
A: Lots and lots and lots of things – it’s a record we’ve been writing for a couple of years now. Musically, we were listening to a lot of Brainiac, Mocket, Ex Models, Plot To Blow Up The Eiffel Tower, Atari Teenage Riot, Prodigy, Hives, Devo, Gang Of Four and Magazine and, if there’s any sort of theme that joins it all together, it’s ideas that seem good at the time but, in retrospect, turn out to be terrible. Just like our band in general. There’s a mixed bag of stuff on there, but we have a tendency to fall around topics with a sophomoric inelegance. There’s songs on there about the redundancy of the male genitalia, mutual manipulation, weight imagery, radiation poisoning, the impending responsibility of adulthood… . So it’s a bit like that S Club 7 Best Of.
We Are The Physics’ Goran Ivanisevic
Q: What’s the craziest thing that has happened on tour?
A: Not sure how crazy it is, but one time we turned up and played a gig and nothing went wrong.
Q: What is the future for We Are The Physics? How do you move on from Your Friend, The Atom?
A: There’s never really any pressure on us to do anything further, which is always a nice thing – there are very goal-orientated bands with labels and management teams who are continually wanting to ‘get to the next level’, and they see each step as a graduation, or a promotion. We’re not musical careerists, and I think both our label and management understand that. We Are The Physics is what we do, and there’s no logical next step on how successful we are. We’re not aiming to work with Timbaland or get a number one smash album, we’re just continuing to be us, and I think there’s a conviction that’s as equal parts a noose as a freedom. There’s nobody breathing down our necks to have a hit record, so we likely never will. We’ll just write some new songs and see what happens. I think we’d like to take it to America, every time we play with American bands they insist we come over, but their flight cases can’t hold human bodies.
Q: Does the name Michael get confusing from time to time when around each other? Since there are three of you, I can see some confusion there.
A: We’ve learned to cope with it, and you can too.
Q: Somewhere online, I read you got tired of your last album’s songs and moved on to create this album. Is there a chance you might get tired of these songs?
A: I’m sure it’s the same for most bands, you write and practice songs so much before they ever even get gigged that by the time they’re recorded and people hear them, they’re already months old in your head – we’ve been tired of Your Friend The Atom for about eighteen years. We don’t get a chance to play a lot from it live because we’re still a band at a level nobody wants to hear us play for more than half an hour. We cram as much as we can into 30 minutes (that’s the entire length of our first record), but don’t get a chance to play some others – so there’s some on Atom that still feel relatively new to us. I think there’s probably a vocal take lying in a bin somewhere of us screeching “I NEVER WANT TO HEAR THIS SONG AGAIN!” for every single track on the album though.
Q: And an important question. How do you view sites like OurVinyl as putting your music out? Do you think it is important that sites like us do this?
A: I definitely do – people who are investing their own time into their own sites and indie blogs and online fanzines deserve more attention from artists than bigger publications. When you’re young and you see bands in magazines and on TV you’re in awe; you’re thinking “Wow, they must be getting so big to get there!” and then when you scratch at the industry and see how it’s a universal circle-jerk where bands, labels, PR people and management are all back-scratching each other, you realize those people are in the magazines for a reason. Someone’s, essentially, paying for it. Site take-overs and adverts on TV – they’re huge, money-spinning commercials that are being paid for. If an independent blog features your band, they’re doing it because they want to – there’s no ulterior motive other than wanting hits. And featuring a band like us will get them no hits – we’re the only people who read it. So, I’d give all the time in the world to an independent site that supports us because they like us. When we first started writing the album, we talked about giving it away free with an independent music magazine rather than sell it. Unfortunately, we’re so awful nobody even wanted it.
Interview taken, and written, by Dylan Tracy
OurVinyl | Contributor