We Are Augustines Biography
Last updated: 05/13/2012 12:00:00 PM
We Are Augustines is an American indie rock group based in Brooklyn, New York and consisting of guitarist Billy McCarthy, bassist Eric Sanderson and drummer Rob Allen.
Following the break-up of their former band Pela, McCarthy and Sanderson decided to continue producing the songs that were originally supposed to comprise Pela's second studio album. The album, titled Rise Ye Sunken Ships, was released digitally on June 6, 2011.
The band derived its name from the month of August. Both McCarthy and Sanderson were born in August, as was McCarthy's brother, James. James' story is one of the major influences behind their first album. Pela also dissolved very quickly ("In the span of two weeks") in August 2009. Originally, the new band was named Augustines. Due to other bands with the same name, they changed the name to We Are Augustines.
Formation and debut album
Material for We are Augustines's debut album originated when, with Pela, McCarthy wrote dozens of songs and Sanderson contributed many demos of his own. The band had close to 40 songs to pick from. Even though the album was nearly complete, they were unhappy with the results and wanted to re-record the material. "We had to do it twice because it just wasn't strong," Sanderson said. Throughout the recording (and re-recording) process, the band fought with its record label, its manager and amongst themselves. Soon after, McCarthy learned his brother James had committed suicide. With all the issues surrounding the band, "Pela was unable to survive the storm," Sanderson said.
After deciding to part ways with the other two members of Pela, McCarthy and Sanderson eventually decided to finish the album. Having been through a terrible experience with the music labels and industry, "We knew that we wanted to proceed independently, but actually taking that on was a whole other challenge." With support from the indie music community, specifically John Richards of KEXP, they were able to finish the record. The album was produced by Dave Newfield, who is best known for his work with Broken Social Scene. Their first performance of the new material, still under the original name Augustines, was for Richards and KEXP at the Cutting Room Studios on October 18, 2010. They released Rise Ye Sunken Ships independently on June 6, 2011 as a digital-only copy on iTunes.
Prior to the release of their first album, the band announced that Rob Allen had joined the band as the full-time drummer.
Rise Ye Sunken Ships was released in CD format in North America, Australia, and New Zealand on August 23, 2011. The band then began a UK tour in support of the album in October 2011.
Rise Ye Sunken Ships has been received positively by critics with The Sun and Music Fix naming the first single released in the UK, "˜Book of James', their single of the week.
In June 2011, the music video for Chapel Song won the title of best music video at the Los Angeles Art-House film festival.
We Are Augustines video for Book of James has had well over half a million (621,973) views on Vevo The band commented on the importance of the internet stating, "It's a new world out there because of Twitter and Facebook. Since that Facebook movie and because of a ton of press it seems like Facebook is here to stay. It's one social media that the world can agree on...Facebook is like a rich and happening party now isn't it? And we've got Tweets from Russia, Korea
Rise Ye Sunken Ships will be released in the UK on March 5, 2012.