If you've read today's interview with Matt Aveiro of Cold War Kids, you'll know that Long Beach-based indie/psych rock trio known as We Barbarians--singer/guitarist David Quon, bassist Derek Vanheule and drummer Nathan Warkentin--have just released their newest video. "There's This There's That" is the title track of their most recent album, and the song is quite cinematic itself: scratchy guitars, bone-rattling bass and syncopated drums combine into a Walkman-esque maelstrom. The lyrics from the song include the line, "What goes around, comes around," which is a life observation that applies well to the band and its philosophy: work hard with friends and great music will happen.
OC Weekly (Danielle Bacher): How and when did We Barbarians get started?
Nathan Warkentin: We were playing in a band called The Colour in 2007. We all ended up living together (with a few transients) in a small studio in Whittier for a few years. Naturally, we started writing together and recorded an EP soon after. Since we had done a lot of this before, it was easier to find our stride this time around.
You've played with some notable musicians including Delta Spirit and the Morning Benders. Has this influenced your music at all?
We have been very fortunate to play with some great friends and artists. I think that in any community, each influence one another in some way. However, everyone had their own unique way of approaching things, which must be preserved.
Your full-length album, "There's This There's That," is getting some serious recognition on iTunes and Fingerprints music shop in Long Beach. How was it recording a full album versus an EP?
The recording process for this record was interesting because it was spread out over an entire year. Some of the songs were older and some just came last minute. The EP was more of a quick and focused effort, where as the album takes the listener to a few more places.
What was it like making the video with Aveiro?
It is always amazing to work with someone whom you respect artistically. Aveiro definitely had a clear vision for this video, and it was amazing to see the people who surrounded him to make it happen.
Where did the band meet up with him? Were you all friends before the shoot?
We have known Aveiro for several years now. We were good friends with all the Cold War Kids guys before we ever toured together. He wrote and directed a short film last year and I thought it would be a great collaboration to have him work with us. Ironically, Aveiro was the only member of Cold War Kids that we did not know prior to them playing music together. All the other guys were close college friends. Touring with friends is one of those things that just make sense. The great thing about having a community of artists is support and encouragement. It always seems to come back around at different points in time.
Why did you pick "There's This There's That" for your first video?
It's the title track from our record. This song is basically the meat and potatoes of We Barbarian songs. Simple, yet substantial.
Where did the concept originate and how does it tie in with your song?
With most of our endeavors, we had total creative control from concept through execution. This time, we wanted to work with someone who we trusted artistically. We gave over the reins to him. So in this case, the concept was Aveiro's and we just helped him execute.
You have a month-long residency at Spaceland in Los Angeles. I see you have nothing detailed about playing in Orange County. Are you considering playing around this area at all?
Right now, we are focusing on Los Angeles with the Spaceland residency in June. I'm sure we will play in Orange County sometime this summer.
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Lastly, your album "There's This There's That" was released in 2009. Are you planning on going back into the studio soon or are you focusing on live shows for now?
The album technically came out in December of 2007, but we never did any sort of big push with it. We still consider the record new and, in some ways, it's feels like it is just coming out for the first time. We hope that more people continue to hear our music as we tour and move forward.