THE EXPERIMENT: Scientist On Gameboys And Music

If Jesse Schaefer and Brandon DuBois aren’t trying to save Princess Peach on their Gameboys, then they are creating music. The two musicians from Texas make up the alternative pop-rock band, Scientist, and they recently self-released their debut EP, World. Read more about how the two incorporate inspiration from old school Nintendo video games, why they pursue the theme of an actual scientist to the band and why they just want to write music that make their nerds (fans) happy.


Substream Magazine: How did you guys get started? What are some of the things you’re trying to get across with the music that you create?

Scientist: We formed about three years ago in 2011. We’ve been friends for a long time. We really bonded over our love for Gameboys and pop music, which sounds kind of random. We can all remember playing Gameboys and we love fun pop and pop-rock. We decided to mix those things together and write a record around that and that’s how Scientist was born. Scientists kind of change people’s view on things. People say, ‘Oh the world is flat,’ and scientists say, ‘Actually the world is round.’ We kind of want to change people’s view on things in that same vein of music when they say, ‘Man, pop music sounds like this,’ or ‘You can’t use Gameboys in pop music.’ We want to say yes you can and we’re going to find a way to do it, so just kind of change their views on that and on live shows and kind of on everything. We want to make people happy at the end of the day and to have fun.


SM: It seems like everything you guys do is in the form of a science experiment. When starting out, was this something you already had in mind that you wanted to push for? How has it gotten the band to where it is right now?

S: We viewed it as an experiment, as cliché as that sounds. We wanted to do something that hadn’t been done before. We have a feature on our website called The Experiment, where we feature anyone who wants to cover one of our songs in a video and change it up. We encourage them to make their own style. We’ll cover one of their songs in return. We wouldn’t exist without our nerds (our fans). Everything we do, we do for them. We’re making songs that we love and that are fun, but we want to make songs that people love and want to dance with. It kind of all comes in one package. We talk about being nerdy and being in the lab but we actually sit around and put backlit screens in Gameboys and stuff. It’s a gimmick to an extent but it’s our real life as well.


SM: How do you guys find what you want the music to sound like?

S: The challenge of creating something that hasn’t been created before is daunting and exciting at the same time. When I listened to music growing up and the bands that have been influential to me, the melodies and actual musical arrangement has impacted my thought process and my everyday life, especially my emotions. We want to create that for people as well as the idea of creating something out of nothing. It’s challenging but we like the challenge and we want to do things in new ways and have fun doing it. We’re always looking to be happy and to dance around.


SM: Speaking of music and the World EP, every song sounds completely different from each other. What were you guys thinking while writing this EP?

S: Going in we thought about wanting to express an overall theme of the EP. Viewing things through this process of change and nature and world. Connecting with different people on different levels. Each song has its own style and flavor all encompassing the kind of music we like and what we’re trying to get across in the song.


SM: How did you guys release it and where did you record the EP?

S: We self-released it. We flew up to Atlanta for a couple of weeks and produced it and recorded it completely independently with the help of some friends.


SM: Is it difficult to be an independent band? Are there times when you wish you were on label?

S: That’s different for each person. It all depends on what type of band and what you want to accomplish. If you like the business aspect and you like being in control and creative and the shaker behind it, then it’s awesome and we love to do that stuff. We have a great management team behind us as well. It depends what you want to do as a band. People talk about all the time that the industry is changing. If you like doing it yourself, it can be amazing.


SM: I saw you guys finished a short run of shows in August, while performing your last show at the Fashion Meets Music Festival in Columbus, Ohio. What’s next for Scientist? What do you guys have planned?

S: We are currently working on a new record. That is going to be the big chunk of next year. We are so excited. Now that we put the EP out and kind of considering that as us coming of age, this is who we are and now we know who we are. In the meantime we’re working on some music videos in the lab that are to come. They should be out this year. I’ll leave it a mystery beyond that.


SM: When you play live, what are some of the elements you incorporate into the shows as far as trying to keep the theme of a Scientist involved?

S: The show is complete and utter insanity. We are running around. We all kind of wish to play every instrument so we switch instruments a lot, several times a show. Throwing drums across the stage. It is a blast. Part of that idea is we want to create new things in new ways. It’s one of the thigns we love to do the most. There is no reason for anyone to not have fun and we want to spread that around.