We Are Scientists become agony uncles to indie pop stars

Hey indie pop stars! Have you got a problem? Can no one else help? Then call Brain Thrust Mastery, the self-help alter ego of New York's wisecracking rock'n'rollers We Are Scientists . They have a plan...

Between-song banter is often a musician's chance to show off their sparkling charisma by, er, mumbling something about needing more bass in the monitor. We Are Scientists, however, have long mastered the art of mid-set hilarity. Last year they supported themselves under the guise of a self-help seminar called Brain Thrust Mastery. Also the title of their new album, BTM promised to transform the lives of the audience, enabling them to take control of their "physical, academic, sexual, medical, psychological, historical, emotional, intellectual, financial, theoretical and automotive destiny". But could We Are Scientists take these self-improvement skills and apply them to the problems of today's indie pop stars?

Dear We Are Scientists. Last night I had a dream in which Richard Gere was both my father and my lover. What could this possibly mean? Am I gay? Have I been staying in and watching romantic comedies too much? Or am I simply confusing my parental figures and loved ones once again? Regards,
Blaine Harrison,The Mystery Jets

Who hasn't dreamed of doing it with Richard Gere - one's father, Richard Gere? That's as common as dreaming that you've somehow neglected to study for the big math test. No, the greater concern would be if you hadn't thought about what it would be like to have Richard Gere as a father; if you hadn't considered what it might be like to caress his powerful, grey frame, to run your fingers through his thick, salty mane. Fear not Blaine, you are as normal as normal gets!

I'm on a plane to Toronto. I feel famous. How do I convince the others on the plane that I am?
Dev Hynes, Lightspeed Champion

There are two basic directions for conveying your fame, Dev: either you show them, or you tell them. Telling is pretty straightforward. It involves you ambling down the aisle saying, "Dev Hynes! Dev Hynes, everybody! Dev Hynes here! Special day! Plane full of lucky geezers, this! Three hundred-odd lucky bastards and one Dev Hynes, everybody!"

But if part of your public persona is modesty, and you don't want to shove your elite status in people's faces, your alternative is to show everyone how famous you are. The simplest way to accomplish that is to get out your cash roll, fan it in your hands like a deck of cards that all say "50", and stroll up and down the aisle saying, "Lots of cash! Lotta cash, that! Oooo, is that my cash? I think it is! Lotta cash for one man! Who's this? Who's this fanning the 50s? Hmmm, makes you curious, all this cash! What kind of man spreads a cash fan like this? Who could this be, this man? Makes you wonder!" It won't take long for word to spread that you are Dev Hynes, fame lord.

Dear Mr Scientist. I am currently trying to coordinate my wardrobe in colours and have realised that black has many shades. How would you go about arranging this? And would you use shade coordinated boxes to store? Please help as I'm getting really distressed!
Coffin Joe, The Horrors

Black does indeed have many shades, Joe. You have your bat black, jet black, ink black, midnight black, panther black, pupil black, super black, dark black, and your clothing black. You'll find that most of your black clothes fit into the last category, "clothing black". Arrange them chronologically. Avoid boxes like the plague. Boxes are a recipe for wrinkles. If you like your clothes even a little bit, store your clothes on mannequins ... cedar mannequins.

Keith, Chris ... recently I have been getting kicked out of shops for no particular reason. I walk in, there's a chance of a purchase, yet when I show interest, I'm removed from the premises! Maybe it's my appearance that is the problem, maybe I've got some kind of "risk-to-retail" image! Is there anything at all that I can do to prevent rejection in the future?
Matt Helders Arctic Monkeys

Yes, Matt, there is. You should wear cash on a necklace. Thread a necklace with pounds 50 notes and wear that thing - flaunt it. They'll think twice before they throw you out if you're wearing what initially looks like an exaggerated ruffle collar but turns out to be three grand. Maybe throw some fivers on there too - in case you're in a Boots or a deli - the prospect of making change for a pounds 50 note can really daunt a low-price retailer.

I've got a terrible flu right now and a riotous cough to boot. Any unusual advice on how to shift it? I've tried all the well trodden paths.
Gary Lightbody, Snow Patrol

We actually do have a little secret for chasing away whatever's ailing you. Just stand in front of a mirror, stare at your reflection, and intone the following:

"Mysterious illness in my flesh What are you seeking on your quest? Treasure or fame, I do not have it Maybe look inside this rabbit And then you cast the illness into a rabbit."

This is foolproof. We learned it from Chris's dad, who is a doctor.

Hi guys, was just wondering ... after Chris's recent panic attack presenting a 2008 NME award, how can I gain confidence and avoid getting myself into such a situation when called upon to speak publicly? Thanks in advance.
Peanut, Kaiser Chiefs

Everybody's familiar with the old canard that imagining one's audience in their underwear will help put one at ease during public address. But what if one is a hypersexual sex-maniac who, at the sight of any non-facial skin, springs wood solid enough to shatter a windshield, as is the case with you, Peanut? Well, we've worked out a solution. Here's what you do: imagine that your audience is a roomful of ancient, rusty old robots, long decommissioned. These things don't have even a spark of electricity left in their wires. Now, continuously think about how unpleasant it would be to couple with a rusty, dusty hunk of sharp metal. Think about the awful mutilation your typical impulses would cost you. Consider the inevitable emergency hospital visit. Picture the total vacancy in the robots' eyes - no lust, no fear, no excitement of any kind, Peanut.

If you really commit to this visualisation, you will be capable of staying on point for minutes at a time, capable of delivering entire sentences unbroken by wide-eyed pauses during which your eyes roam the territory of your listener's body like a needle combing the surface of an LP.

When you have the option of beef, chicken or lamb, how do you decide what to have? And I need a new ringtone, HELP.
Edith Bowman Radio 1

Best advice we can give you, Edith, is DO NOT PUT YOURSELF IN A SITUATION WHERE YOU HAVE TO MAKE THAT CHOICE. Nobody can choose between beef and lamb - much less beef, chicken and lamb - without drowning in regret. As for your new ringtone: does your phone allow you to record your own? If so, a funny one would be a deep, manly voice yelling, "Let me out! Let me out of here! Please! Please let me out! For God's sake let me out!"

· We Are Scientists' Brain Thrust Mastery is out now

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