Based out of Austin, Texas, Thieves is an aggressive pop punk band made up of four members whose music stands out from your average pop punk bands. The group has worked endlessly these past 8 years promoting their music and turning heads of listeners along the way. Thieves is now signed with Revival Recordings with a newly released LP titled No Motive which shows unique characteristics and what the band is truly capable of. We talked with the band about a variety of topics, from their setbacks to their creation process and more.
We always like to start off with a bit of fun and get to know the people behind the music on a more personal basis. Are there any weird tidbits or quirks about yourself that you’d be willing to share with the world?
I typically bring a little jar of olive oil with me on tour and take a sip before shows if my throat is sore. People always look at me like I’m taking a potion from an unmarked bottle.
Delving into the background and history of the band, you guys have been a band since 2009. How do you think your music and the band have evolved over the years?
The band has had a new drummer every couple years, so playing with new musicians always opens up different creative aspects you may not have considered before. We also used to focus on writing really cool parts, but I think the older we get, the more we focus on writing memorable songs.
Furthermore, all bands experience different setbacks and/or situations and it seems that you guys have definitely had your share of struggles. What would you say has been your biggest setback as a band and how did you move past it?
Our biggest setback is the struggle between staying on the road long enough to get anyone in the industry to give you the time of day, and being able to pay your bills. We haven’t found a way to move past it. You just gotta take it one day at a time and hope someone gives a shit about what you’re doing.
Getting straight into the music, some people describe your style as aggressive pop punk and others have described it as rock. What genre would you describe your music as and what led the band to deciding this was the genre for them?
Our genre has changed on pretty much every album, so I guess people can call it whatever they want. The only way to describe our entire discography would be to call it rock, but we’ll always work in some aggression. We’ve never really settled on a genre or sound. I think we always just keep trying to write music we really dig.
More in the broad sense of music creation, when writing do you tend to gravitate towards a certain place or environment to focus better on the music and lyrics?
Nah, we usually do most of our writing in our practice space in Austin, but sometimes we’ve taken retreats out into the Texas woods to hole ourselves up in a cabin in nature to write some songs.
In October of last year, you kicked off the current path you’re on with the signing to Revival Recordings. What has it been like working with them so far and what do you think differentiates them from other labels?
I think Revival is different from other labels in the way that they are still growing just like our band. I think understanding that throughout the process has been helpful. Everyone at the label has a really positive attitude which is always nice.
Along with the signing announcement, you guys had announced your debut album No Motive. What was the writing process like? Did you experience any setbacks or writers block, or was it all smooth sailing?
We had a ton of challenges recording the album. It took us a year to record it because most of the tracks from the first sessions in California at the Panda Studios were just terrible. Once we got it all re-recorded, it took Beau Burchell close to a year to mix it because he was writing/recording the new Saosin album around the same time. It was just a very very long drawn out process.
I’ve seen you guys talk a lot about how No Motive is basically a dedication to your fans to not use your music as a platform for money or fame. Can you explain to us what the creation of music really means to you and how you hope to use it to impact others?
We hope people hear our songs and think, “man….I feel that way too”. That’s really our only goal, and if we’re trying to write something to fit a certain mold, we don’t see how it could come out genuine.
Following that up, what’s the most important thing that you hope your fans will take from the album, or your music in general?
To not take shit from anyone, to make your life your own the way you want it, but to always be open to the idea that maybe there are things you could change about yourself for the better.
You guys feature a #TourStoryTuesday video on YouTube every Tuesday, which I think is a great way to allow the fans to get to know you better. What would you say is your strangest memory while on tour?
On a tour in 2010, we found a campsite late at night that we could sleep at out in the middle of the country. Once we finally found it late at night, we called the owner back who directed us where to go. It wasn’t actually a campsite, and we ended up just setting up our tent in the middle of a field in front of his house. We weren’t really sure what the place was…but we were too far to turn back. They were actually really nice people, it just seemed like a horror movie set up at first.
You guys are on tour with Alteras until mid-February. What’s that been like so far, and are there any stories of this tour you will feature on YouTube for the #TourStoryTuesday?
The tour has been fun so far. It’s been pretty par for the course so we don’t have any crazy stories yet, but I’m betting that will change before this run is over.
Lastly, what do you hope to accomplish throughout 2017 and are there any plans in the works you can talk about for Spring/Summer? We’d also like to thank you for taking time out of your to do this interview!
Thank you! We want as many people as possible to listen to No Motive in 2017. We’d also like to record a new album. Those are our main focuses right now.