Welcome to “You Oughta Know” where I introduce cool new bands to share them with the world. This band is WASI (which stands for We Are/She Is, more on that later), a trio of pop-punk musicians made up of Cosmo (Guitar/Synth/Vocals), Jess (Bass/Synth Vocals), and Carlo (Drums). Their sound is like Le Tigre battling Tegan & Sara with sick guitar runs and hooks layered over earworm ready beats.
To get an idea of what I mean, check out “And The World:”
And their official music video for “Adolescents.”
WASI is like the band that plays over the end credits of your favorite film (or TV show), their songs leave you with a “damn, that was fun” feeling. Or they’re the band in the film, playing a party scene, where everyone is just so young and so free. You could totally see the Girls crowd rocking out to WASI.
So who is WASI, really? I interviewed the Los Angeles trio to get to know them a little better. We talked about summer music playlists, food, and who would play the band in a film.
Hello Giggles: First, what is the meaning behind “WASI?”
Cosmo: We changed our name from “We Are / She Is” to “WASI.” We Are / She Is meant to us, finding individuality within a bold community. Also, it was hard for people to remember We Are / She Is, or they’d forget the “/” which was becoming a pet peeve because “We Are She Is” makes less sense.
HG: You’re super involved in the LGBT community. Can you tell us a little more about that, and also about the non-profits you’re involved in?
Carlo: I took part of numerous pride festivals, which are much more political back home in Europe than they are here. At college, I was one of the leaders of the gay-straight alliance and helped put on weekly meetings and events to build a community. I’m very fond of Rotary International, they achieved amazing things like ending polio through vaccines. I can’t be a member yet, but they helped me fund my studies. Also I’ve worked on behalf of Amnesty International in the past.
Cosmo: Back in 2008, I hosted a rally with a couple friends in Orange County for the “No On Prop 8” campaign. After Prop 8 passed, I started partaking in the Long Beach and West Hollywood rallies, using that freedom of speech, and joining the thousands of others in this movement. Since then, I’ve helped out with non-profits like the No H8 Campaign, Equality California, Amp Organization (a great local non-profit we work with as a band that focuses on culture, creativity and community), and more. In college, I worked on a documentary highlighting experiences of LGBTQ Youth in East Los Angeles. Everyone has a story to tell, and some situations and experiences make it harder for others to come out on top as they’re fighting against a world that isn’t fighting for them, and as a society I believe we should be aware and embrace other’s differences in order to progress.
Jess: We really love the non-profits we work with. Keep-a-Breast is one of them and I personally have a lot of experience in the cancer field. My mom and grandmother both had breast cancer, my grandmother died from it, and in 2010 I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. I think its really cool how progressive Keep-a-Breast is in raising awareness about the disease. Another non-profit we partnered up with is To Write Love on Her Arms, and they raise awareness about suicide, addiction, depression, and self injury. I think this is so important because they can be the intervention someone needs. Both of these non-profits were on Warped Tour and it was awesome getting to hang out with them!
HG: Who are your favorite artists/bands? Past and present?
Carlo: Past—Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, The Beatles. Present—Jack White, Kaizers Orchestra, Blink 182.
Cosmo: Past—The Clash, Tegan and Sara, Matt and Kim, The Ting Tings Present—Same as above, plus Kesha
Jess: Past—India Arie, Spice Girls, Boyz II Men, Blink 182. Present—Katy Perry, Sky Ferreira, Icona Pop.
HG: What songs would you HAVE to include on a summer playlist?
Carlo: “In Too Deep” by Sum41, “Summer In The City” by Lovin’ Spoonful, “Limbo Dance” by David Hasselhoff — nobody knows better how to summer than the Hoff!
Cosmo: “I’ve Got the Magic in Me” (Boys MashUp Finale) – Pitch Perfect Soundtrack, “I Wanna Get Better” by Bleachers, “Don’t Save Me” by Haim.
Jess: “Right Above It” by Lil Wayne Ft. Drake, “Do My Thang” by Miley Cyrus, “Latch” by Disclosure Ft. Sam Smith.
HG: You’ve got $100. How do you use it to have the best night ever?
Carlo: I’d buy food and drinks and lumber, call up all our friends, and start a massive bonfire by the beach! We’d bring our instruments and a ghetto blaster and dance around the fire to our summer playlist.
Cosmo: I. Love. Food. I’d hit up all of my favorite restaurants and food trucks until I was so full that I couldn’t move. Then I’d catch up on Orange is the New Black.
Jess: I’d buy a sh** ton of candy and play candy poker. The one who wins the most candy has to eat all of it in one sitting!
HG: And finally, pitch me WASI: The Movie.
WASI: The movie feels like a roller coaster of those “what-the-hell” silent moments compacted with a myriad of explosive uproar and touching coming-of-age realizations.
Three nerdy teenagers run the Math & Physics Club at their local high school when Cosmo realizes she is short on cash to pay for her college tuition. She comes across an opportunity to win a large sum of money through a Battle of the Bands where she books her non-existent band to compete. Jess and Carlo join the project and they spend every night of the next two weeks naively in Los Angeles learning their instruments and calculating what it takes to be the best rock band in the world.
The scenes are driven by the tightly-knit chemistry of the characters: Cosmo, an overly outspoken opportunist built on sicko one-liners, Jess, a flirtatious lesbian with the modelesque look of a brooding gynecologist, and Carlo, a charming rebel with wannabe machismo raised by parents who are now locked up in prison. The movie is an amiable mess as the trio naively make their way through the city, using their analytical prowess to formulate a musical group while making a name for themselves in their last days of high school.
The cast: Carlo is played by Michael Cera. Cosmo is played by Vanessa Hudgens. Jess is played by Adam Lambert.
I’d see that movie. Thanks, WASI!