Rules Don't Stop

Songfacts®:

  • This is the opening track and first single from indie rock band We Are Scientists' fourth studio album, Barbara. Singer-guitarist Keith Murray told AntiMusic about the song's creation: "This was the first song to be written for Barbara and it set the tone in a very, very literal way. Well aware that popular culture was beginning to move away from guitar bands, I knew that, if I wanted to keep buying boats and houses and purses full of money (again: what I'm buying with my money are things like purses full of new money), I'd need to find ways to make the guitar, that most loathed of instruments, sound more interesting.

    Before I'd even begun writing the song, I'd found the guitar tone – the eerie, reverb-drenched, organ-like sound that features in the intro. Nobody can argue that the organ is overused in contemporary rock music, and, even if they tried to do so, I'd just throw my drink in their face and walk away. Anyway, smart guy, this is a guitar that sounds like an organ, and I defy you to cite other examples of that. And, even if you could cite some other examples, I'd just buy a new drink and throw it in your face, because that's just ridiculous, smart guy. Really.

    I realize that it seems coy to not go over the specifics of how I devised my guitar tone – what pedals I've used, and on what settings – but, really, I would simply be giving away my trade secrets. Like I said, I've got to worry about funding my addiction to boats and full money-purses and stuffed fox-heads. I may not have mentioned the stuffed fox-heads before."
  • In our interview with Keith Murray, he explained the band's name: "It's an antiquated usage at this point. The name itself came about when Chris and I and the original third member of We Are Scientists, who was the original singer and guitarist – his name was Scott – all moved from L.A. where we went to college, to San Francisco, and this was before we had the band. We were returning a trailer to U-Haul in San Francisco. And the guy who worked at U-Haul and was checking out the trailer sort of regarded us and noted that we were all pretty clearly non-athletic bespectacled dudes – we all looked fairly similar – asked if we were brothers initially. And we told him we weren't. And he sort of reconsidered us, and then asked if we were all scientists. So that name stuck."

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