Pop Life

To Quote: The Scientist: Ask a Stupid Question, Get a Band Name

It's a well-known fact that most band names are essentially gobbledygook, but here at Rocks Off were working hard t find meaning in the oddest monikers.

Your humble narrator does a lot of writing for the Houston Press, the editors of which are very keen to publish our work in return for us keeping certain facts relating to alcohol, horse theft, and trips to Lufkin from becoming generally known. Over the course of our career, we've learned which venue will provide the bands we seek to fill our columns.

If you want an up-and-coming band that is getting national attention but still easily accessible to do the 30 Seconds With... column, then you look up the House of Blues calendar. If you want an angry band willing to attack a mainstream act in the [Ed. Note: recently retired] Cage Match you visit Fitzgerald's or Mango's Web sites.

However, if it's batshit insane bands with equally batshit insane names for What's in a Name, then only Super Happy Fun Land can be called a reliable local provider.

Which brings us to Ruston, La., natives To Quote: The Scientist. Their music is a somewhat empty sounding but surprisingly infectious light indie rock. While the songs are generally an upbeat lot, there always seems to be a hole in the sound, as if they are waiting for you to join in but knowing you're too awkward ever to do so. Like a threesome, for example!

Easily our favorite song of theirs is "I'll Try to Save You, But You Won't Remember." The title alone, like a cross between the irony of the Smiths and the heartbreak of Spider-Man: Blue is enough to want it tattooed on our arm. It's a graveside dance, a Say Anything moment to someone who isn't there, and we really dig the way it makes us sadly happy.

That name, though... To Quote: The Scientist? What are you guys, a group of the know-it-all pricks who walk around making the rest of us feel dumb because we don't know which the stalagmites are and which are the stalactites? Or is there some really great scientist quote that serves as your motto. And if that's true why not just call yourselves the quote? The more we thought about ti the more we had to know what the hell was going on.

The only thing to do was borrow the Houston Press hovercraft and take off across the wasteland to meet with the band before they journey to our fair city. Guitarist/vocalist Cody Berry joined us in the craft's lounge while Katya served us screwdrivers made with our sadly low stock of Blavod - must remember to jet to England and pick up another case.

"I got the name To Quote: The Scientist from my school," remarked Berry. "I was in biology, when another student made a very... unintelligent... statement, and my overly sarcastic biology teacher said, 'And that's to quote the scientist right there.'

"I had been in the process of coming up with a name for my old hardcore project and since a lot of band names are being started with the first word being a preposition, that phrase 'to quote the scientist' stuck in my head.

"A few weeks later I was in my English III class and we began talking about punctuating quotes. When we got to colons I thought, 'Well I guess I should put one in my band name since it's about quoting.' Although it was a silly thought at first it actually caught on with the easier more light-rock indie band we have today."

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Jef Rouner (not cis, he/him) is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner