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Instrumental Acts Are a Tough Sell

We Are! We Are! is a hard-charging instrumental rock trio with a danceable, muscular sound and a killer live show. The group formed in the summer of 2003 in Asheville, North Carolina, and relocated to Denver in 2006, where it's been wowing audiences ever since with tight, high-energy performances. We sat down with bassist Jim Sutton, guitarist Sam Catlett-Sirchio and drummer Sam Gault on the eve of the release of the band's self-titled debut EP to learn more.

Westword: Did you plan to be an instrumental band, or did that develop along the way?

Jim Sutton: The first show that we had, I sang one song, and we've been an instrumental band ever since. Not just because I'm a horrible singer, but I can also not really play my instrument and sing at the same time.

Your live show is impressively tight. Is that the result of endless hours of practice?

Sam Catlett-Sirchio: We all lived together in a band house for a year, and even before that, when we were all living at school, it was really easy to practice every night. When we were first playing, we were playing five nights a week without any shows on the horizon — just playing. I think that time we spent living together and playing together really helped get everything solid. Even with new songs, there's an understanding and a chemistry there that's stuck around.

You guys display a ton of energy and movement on stage. Is that an intentional thing?

SCS: You always hear bands say they have lots of energy because they get energy from the crowd, but I feel like we moved out here and we were playing so many shows to almost nobody, and even when there were lots of people, Denver just doesn't dance — at all. So we're just kind of like, screw it.

Sam Gault: If you don't dance, we will.

JS: We've got to make up for the fifty people standing with their hands in their pockets.

How do you classify your music?

JS: I think that's still the hardest question for me to answer. That's always the first question out of anyone's mouth. Even now, I get that kind of "Uh, what do we play?" It kind of weaves on the edge of lots of different genres.

SG: What I always say is instrumental rock — that's about as basic as it gets. But if you ask my dad, he's completely convinced we're a jazz band. He totally thinks we're a jazz trio, and he hears us more than anybody else since we practice at his house.