Despite mountains of midterms, every college has it's success stories; bands that met over late night study sessions and too many cups of coffee, forming strong friendships and sharing their mutual interest in musical production. Between Claremont's consortium of five institutions for higher learning (Pomona, Pitzer, Claremont McKenna, Scripps, and Harvey Mudd), we too have a history - albeit limited - of artistic talent and indie-rock success.
First on my They Came from Claremont? list: We Are Scientists
Formed in 2000 by Pomona graduates Chris Cain (bass and back-up vocals) and Keith Murray (guitar and lead vocals), as well as Harvey Mudd alum Michael Tapper (drums and back-up vocals), the boys quickly developed a sizable cult following with their two self-made LPs and two self-produced EPs. By 2006 they were touring with the likes of Maximo Park, The Arctic Monkeys, and The Mystery Jets, playing David Letterman and Conan O'Brien along the way.
According to the band they love to release, "rock music of the thoughtful, sometimes epic, often loud, vaguely danceable, implicitly humanist variety." Fans have hailed their humorous live shows, quirky stage presence, and use of witty banter on stage and in interviews. Oddly enough, W.A.S. has inspired a larger following across the Atlantic than they ever have in America. Although Tapper left the band in 2007 for reasons unknown, the band has never replaced the founding member. With a few stand-in musicians offering their services, the band continues to tour the world after the success of their latest release, Brain Thrust Mastery. They've also been known to stop by the Claremont Colleges every so often to play a free show. Major shout out to them for remembering their roots.
If you were brave enough to stomach Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (2008), you may have heard their hit song "After Hours." used on the film's soundtrack.
Here's to you We Are Scientists, for making us constantly guess the story behind your name. And for giving Claremont a lasting one.