When Panos Scourtis was 14 he desperately wanted to play guitar like his Metal idols, but his guitar was a nylon string. So, to emulate the distortion he would use his parent’s stethoscope on the body of the guitar which amplified the chords and created a distortion through the ear piece. Depending on your perspective, the subsequent hearing loss either gave the world a talented lead guitarist or a warning to parents of aspiring musicians everywhere.
A few years and numerous amps later he joined the electronic alt rock band Sigmatropic with songwriter and vocalist Anna Karakalou in Athens, Greece.
Moving from Greece to California in 2009, Scourtis and Karakalou added Adrian Burke (the Motels) and John Boutin (Gwenmars) on bass and drums and created We Govern We. With alarming speed (for such precision) and the production polish of Daniel Ash, of Bauhaus and Love & Rockets fame, WGW released their first album “Reznor’s Orchid” in 2011. Though We Govern We is the curious offspring of husband-and-wife duo Panos Scourtis and Anna Karakalou, the band has weaved in multiple musicians over time; initially including extra lead guitar player Yiannis Tsiroulis and more recently Alexis Cohen.
In spite of the visual grunge/goth markers they flaunted-- circles under the eyes, grainy, psychologically 'alienating' videos, a self-flogging ethos—We Govern We was undeniably a rock band from the onset.
Reznor’s Orchid is not so much a debut album as it is a carefully crafted music box, giving insights into the band’s multiple influences, while showcasing the diversity of the band’s range. From the radio-friendly riff of "Come Atlantis" and the mystical power of the Edgar Allan Poe-inspired track, "Annabel Lee," to the rejuvenating cover of Tears for Fears’ "Shout," We Govern We authored a showpiece of immediate allure that beckoned return visits.
in 2017, the band launched a second EP titled “Zanó” that chronicled the material they have been weaving into their live shows. For such veteran musicians who have now played over 250 live shows “Zanó’” is not a follow-up as much as it is a bridge. Karakalou’s voice is front and center throughout “Zanó’” and she sounds equally comfortable at the fore of mosh friendly punk songs (“Punk Rocker” and “Crack in The Back”) moody mid-tempo ballads ("Grey Sea"), and rock singles ("Sunshine"). But as on its predecessor, “Zanó’s” real pillars are Panos Scourtis, John Boutin, and Adrian Burke, who are responsible for both the album's unstoppable rhythms and its industrious mix.
We Govern We write and perform jumpy rock songs, and everything here benefits from that slick professionalism. Karakalou plays the coolly mysterious alt-rock diva, pushing back against conformity on ethereal anthems like "Come Atlantis" and "Sunshine."
It’s what gives Anna Karakalou’s voice — lithe, sultry, tougher since 2009 and better for it — the launch point to shove the goth-girl romanticism of her lyrics beyond any caustic prejudices. We Govern We still urge on audiences to dive into the sonic soundscape, with them galvanizing its greatest strengths from live performance as though the music were the juice. By creating more fully realized tunes, penning lyrics with a specificity that is both personal and universal and pushing up the BPMs with inclusivity you can feel, these unlikely collaborators have transitioned from a cross-Atlantic project into a real band that thrives on performance.