We Were Pirates is the musical brainchild of Mike Boggs, a multi-instrumentalist who writes and records songs in his home studio in the DC area. To date, Boggs has released three We Were Pirates albums and a film score for ‘Dear Mr. Watterson’ in 2013.
‘Dear Mr. Watterson’ is a documentary film about the impact of the comic strip, Calvin & Hobbes. We Were Pirates’ original score includes fourteen instrumental songs that range from jangly, upbeat pop, to darker, more introspective tracks. The score features Boggs on guitar, drums, keys, and some bass, while contributor Kate Rears Burgman (The Mean Ideas) lends her cello and bass skills to several songs. The score was co-mixed by Boggs and TJ Lipple (Aloha), who also mastered the album.
2012 marked the release of We Were Pirates’ second full-length record, Change. Lyrically and musically, Change is slightly more mature and aggressive than Boggs’ previous works, yet has the same trademark WWP catchiness that causes listeners to curse the band while humming the infectious melodies over and over. Thematically, the question of whether people are truly capable of change is explored, which allows for a new, welcomed depth to We Were Pirates.
Wired Magazine featured We Were Pirates in their March 2012 issue, saying: “You heard this band’s public radio-friendly pop on This American Life and you heard its tracks on MTV’s: The Real World: DC. So don’t miss ‘Better Off Without You’ from the new album. Catchy synths will have your crew dancing a jig.”
Boggs’ 2009 debut LP, ‘Cutting Ties,’ features a version of “The Three of Us,” a cover song that Boggs recorded which was featured on the Chicago Public Radio show, This American Life. As a result, Chicago Tribune rock critic and co-host of Sound Opinions, Greg Kot, heard We Were Pirates’ version of the song and described it thusly: “Pure pop. This should be the next Fountains of Wayne single…genius.” We Were Pirates reached #41 on the CMJ Top 200 chart for ‘Cutting Ties,’ as well as being mentioned on NPR, Geekdad, and more. Since then, We Were Pirates’ music has continued to be utilized on multiple television programs on both MTV and E!.
At the moment, We Were Pirates live shows feature Gabe Fry (The NRIs) on guitar, Kate Rears Burgman on cello and bass and Pat Frank (The Mean Ideas) on percussion.
“The original ['Dear Mr. Watterson'] film score, now available online, can’t help but conjure images of boy Calvin romping through the woods with his tiger, or fighting evil space aliens as his alter ego Spaceman Spiff.”
“You heard this band’s public radio-friendly pop on This American Life and you heard its tracks on MTV’s: The Real World: DC. So don’t miss “Better Off Without You” from the new album. Catchy synths will have your crew dancing a jig.”
“Nervous,” the third track from The Wolf, draws the listener in while Boggs emotes in a hushed tone through an entrancingly melodic, electronic soundscape. The song conveys an honesty that makes it feel epic, despite its soft simplicity.”
“Pure pop. This should be the next Fountains of Wayne single…. genius. Gets me every time.”
“I absolutely love this ['Dear Mr. Watterson'] score. It is a vivid tapestry of piano riffs, jazzy percussion, and delightful melodies that remind me of the first time I heard Vince Guaraldi’s score for Charlie Brown.”
“Much like Calvin and Hobbes, the ['Dear Mr. Watterson'] soundtrack does an excellent job at capturing both a feeling of happy-go-lucky innocence while also adding a slight introspective undertone to the mix.”
“Boggs’ carefully crafted songs are brimming with charming melodies and soft vocals that are, above all, undeniably catchy.”
“We look forward to hearing more from this boy genius and hope We Were Pirates will play in New York City. We’d love to see him live.”
“damned good—made more so when you consider that he recorded this stuff himself on his iBook. I can’t wait to hear more of this stuff—it’s great.”
“Boggs’ debut LP, Cutting Ties, features the same saccharine songwriting that made 2007′s The Wolf EP a local hit, but Boggs hasn’t wasted the last two years repeating himself. With Cutting Ties, he elevates his once annoyingly precious sound to an appealingly mellow—and occasionally bittersweet—pop-rock.”
“You could say the music is awesome, or super awesome. But my feeling on the matter is that We Were Pirates is a one man bandgasm of awesomeness.”
“We Were Pirates is quite possibly my newest favorite DC area artist, bringing you indie folk pop with a serious dose of cute.”
“Writing a pop song—a really great one — is a daunting task. And to not only come up with one, but many, and play every instrument on each … well, not just anyone can do it. So hats off to Mike Boggs. The DC area musician works under the moniker We Were Pirates, melting vintage rock ‘n’ roll nuggets into the ore of his indie pop, while posing a triple threat on guitar, keys and drums.”
“We Were Pirates indie pop is extremely catchy, and reminiscent of the Death Cab for Cutie, Mates of State school of pop, and that’s a good thing.”