Nothing But Thieves are the breakout band of the year for us. The combination of fizzying intensity and underlying tension within their music is something special to behold. With a lead vocal that soars higher than the clouds and soulful r’n’b infused stadium rock that will have you grooving, while they tear your heart out with their soul-wrenching delivery, it’s impossible not to fall in love instantly with this band.
We caught up with the band to discuss their summer so far, Southend On Sea, Alan Titchmarsh and much more.
Firstly, I’d like to say thanks for this interview. What’s one thing that we should all know about Nothing But Thieves that we might not know about you yet?
We met in prison.
Having experienced what works and what doesn’t work within a group dynamic previously with other bands you were part of. Did those initial learning experiences help in any way with how Nothing But Thieves operate?
Yeah definitely. Being in bands before this one mainly helped us with our live performances. It’s funny looking back at old footage of us on the school stages, we were doing that literally two hours ago in the van. It was more beneficial than we first thought.
What’s your favourite part about getting up on stage and performing in front of a crowd?
Some of the festivals we’ve played have been really cool. The outside tents mean people can sort of wander in just by chance, you don’t get that when you’re playing is a basement venue somewhere in London. At our EP release show at the Barfly we noticed a few people singing along to a few of the tracks which was amazing.
What’s your dream tour rider?
We don’t ask for much. Beer, chewing gum… We might start getting more adventurous and ask for framed photos of Alan Titchmarsh or something.
For us that may have never had the chance to catch a live set from Nothing But Thieves, what can we expect?
At the moment it’s very sweaty and there are a lot of loud noises. We enjoy building up different set lists for each gig, means we can experiment with dynamics and tailor it for each venue.
Growing up in Southend-on-Sea must have been nice, a town that looks like the perfect seaside destination. Do you feel the tranquillity and vast landscapes of growing up there had any influence on how your music sounds, because of course the music you make is epic and stands proud in its vast, spacious soundscape?
You make it sound so picturesque. We get most of our inspiration from the fake tan and the graffiti.
I’m always fascinated by song lyrics and phrases and your band is particularly good at writing the perfect lyric. So I wanted to ask, what’s your favourite lyric that you’ve written?
Firstly, thank you. Depends on our mood but ‘No one’s getting younger, would you like a souviner?’ has always resonated with us.
You’ve been working hard in the studio on your début album, how’s it coming along? How’s it sounding? Did you a mission statement in mind going into working on the record?
Everything been recorded, just a few little touch-ups left to do. We knew what we wanted from the album. We try to get a lot of our demo’s in good shape before going into the studio but still leave enough room for experimentation. The idea has been to make sure no song sounds the same as another whilst keeping a common thread throughout. That sounds easier than it is!
We’re big supporters of new music here at Bitter Sweet Symphonies. Having said that, are there any new artists that have caught your attention recently that you’d like to share with us?
Catfish and The Bottlemen are great. Managed to catch them earlier this month at T in The Park. Hozier, Circa Waves and of course Royal Blood all have big(ger) things coming their way.
You’ve got a few festivals booked for this summer. If you could stage invade anyone’s set and play a song with them, who would that be and why?
Foo Fighters. Learning every album back to back in school would finally have come in handy for something…
Do you approach playing festivals differently to playing headline gigs? Is there added pressure to impress the crowd compared to playing for fans at your own gig?
Probably not. We tend to treat most gigs the same and have a good time.
You are very active on social media, twitter and facebook in particularly. How important is to for you to connect with your fans that way?
You forgot to mention Bebo and MySpace. You have to now really because information on everything is so readily available, it’s almost like we’re constantly trying to catch up to it. Many a song has been written about it for sure! Regardless, it’s very cool to be able to answer questions people have so easily, it’s a good feeling.
Is there anything exciting on the horizon that you could let us all in on?
Got a haircut booked up next Wednesday. Apart from that we’re doing a bit of travelling. Sorting out dates for a few shows in the States later this year. Then we should probably think about releasing this album.
A special thanks to Nothing But Thieves for this interview and for more info on the band, check out the following links below: