Today’s Feature, June 16-17, 2007: Band of Thieves

January 18, 2008 at 6:26 pm (Today's Feature)

“Band of Thieves” is a more than suitable name for these five New York
musicians. For what seems much longer than only meeting each other in
the fall of 2006, Band of Thieves have been stealing the show from day
one. Again, I have to just touch on the fact that these five guys have
been together less then a year, but already sell out shows in many
major venues and remain a top download (see their MySpace page). I am
in such shock; since I can’t remember the last time I heard about a
group of people as a result of finding each other due simply to the
“right place-right time” factor, hit it off so well and then decide,
“let’s make a record”. Now, I may be over dramatic in this aspect but
spotting great talent is pretty important to me and hearing the story
of how artists find their medium as well as passion, completely
fascinates me. This is just one reason why I am so blown away with the
sounds of Band of Thieves. Each individual’s depth of musical
knowledge and experience spans several genres and cultures, which
bring their unique, classic rock sound to the modern stages of pop
culture. When you hear, The Band of Thieves Å0ä5Woman EP’ you can’t
help but get trapped in their world of deep rock, symbolic of the
seventies style power and fervor. They are proof that great rock music
can still be made. There is no crime with supporting these thieves who
remind us, “Music should never be harmless”. Plus they know how to
give one heck of an interview! Read their XXQs to find out more.

XXQs: Band of Thieves

PensEyeView.com (PEV): How and when did Band of Thieves form?

Band of Thieves (BOT): Band of Thieves formed in the Lower East Side
of Manhattan in the fall of 2006. I had been writing songs on my own
for awhile and searching for the right people to collaborate with.
The real spark for the band was meeting one of our guitarists, Gitano,
and realizing that there were other people out there with similar
tastes and drive. The rest just seemed to fall into place quite
easily after that.

PEV: Was there a certain time or event that you realized you wanted to
make music a full time career?

BOT: I have been fortunate enough to be playing music in bands all of
my life. I think the first time I really realized it was possible to
make music a full time career was with my previous band Midtown. I
had dropped out of college and was now traveling all over
the world playing music. What a great fucking feeling. I think I
always have had grand intentions with my life, but I never really knew
it was possible. I have been really lucky so far, but I have also
worked really hard to get here and plan on sticking around for some
time.

PEV: Tell us you mean wanting to “Make sunny music for shady people”
(A great saying by the way).

BOT: Thanks very much…it’s pretty good right? I am not saying that
I run with an exclusively “shady” crowd (nor am I saying I don’t) but
I want to make good time music that appeals to people like me. A
happy sounding ass shaking song that maybe isn’t so happy if you
really listen to the words. Music should always have an element of
seedy-ness to it, and I think that has been truly lost recently. If
all the people who sing along to classic rock songs actually listened
to the words, they would be shocked at how many are about freaky sex
and drugs. I LOVE THAT. Lets keep that tradition alive!

PEV: What was it like the first time you stepped into a recording studio?

BOT: I will tell you its certainly changed quite a bit since then.
The first time I ever went into a studio was when I was in high school
in the late 90s and I really felt special…it felt special. I
remember drinking beer in between vocal takes and getting drunk. I
think we did nine full songs in a couple hours and then sent it off to
Discmakers to press our cassette. Now studios couldn’t be more
different. With the advancements of digital recording it has lost a
bit of its sparkle, but its amazing the things you can do with zero
budget. I would trade the excitement for a cheaper, better sounding
product any day.

PEV: What can people expect from your latest EP “Band of Thieves”?

BOT: It’s a return to good time rock n roll. Songs by a band that
works hard and plays hard…you can tell when you hear it. There is a
lot of sweat in that recording. And the songs are f*#king great too
if I may say so myself. Best few dollars you can spend!

PEV: If you could collaborate with one artist, alive or deceased, who
would it be and why?

BOT: Questions like these I find so difficult. It’s like “What’s your
favorite song?”…you can never give an answer that is 100%
satisfactory. Maybe John Lennon. Not only did he have an unbelievable
gift for melody, he also wrote some pretty fantastic lyrics. Also
Roky Erikson would be cool cause for all of you that don’t know he is
insane. For real. He got busted for pot in the 60s, pled insanity
and got electro shock therapy for years. He is also got a beautiful
gift for melody, but his lyrics are the craziest things I have ever
heard. He sings about 3 headed dogs working at the Kremlin, taking
evening walks with Zombies and many, many songs about the devil. So
yes, Roky Erikson. Check him out

PEV: The members of Band of Thieves have traveled all over the world
performing. Which city do you think offers the best environment for
music?

BOT: It’s hard to deny how much creativity comes out of New York,
except it really beats a lot of people down cause it’s so expensive to
live here. The Swedish band the Hives told me that in Sweden the
government gives musicians loans and tax breaks. How crazy is that?
But by far the greatest place to play in the world has got to be
Japan. They are the best, biggest and most enthusiastic crowds Earth
has to offer.

PEV: How is the American music scene different from overseas?

BOT: As with everything else, it seems American music is becoming more
and more the global taste now. But if you look at the UK charts
compared to the US ones its mind blowing. How come everyone in the UK
has good taste? Except for your pop music. It’s awful. But then
again so is ours. Americans seem to forget what it’s like to be
challenged by music, everything needs to be so apparent and just so
nowadays. I really hope that can change.

PEV: What is the best part about playing live?

BOT: Everything

PEV: What was it like the first time you played live?

BOT: Have you seen Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure? When Wyld
Stallyns plays and the planets align and there is peace throughout the
universe? It was something like that. At least in my mind. It was
the physical manifestation of everything that I have ever wanted to do
musically.

PEV: How has life on the road been for you?

BOT: The real pleasure in playing music is seeing the response you get
form people nightly that dig what you are doing. As long as that
continues then it’s easy to forgive all the hardships of touring.

PEV: What’s something we’d be surprised to hear about Band of Thieves?

BOT: That we are really, really handsome. Also really, really humble.

PEV: What other musician or band do you think people should be looking
out for right now?

BOT: I wish I could recommend some fantastic hidden gem right
now…got one, Bing Ji Ling. Amazing funky soul. You really all
should give him a listen.

PEV: Explain your creative process. Do you come up with a line first
or the music and then match the words? Scribble out notes all day?

BOT: There are versions of all the songs with me just singing
jibberish on them. Melody usually comes first for me and then I come
up with some lyric and write the song around it. But on some
occasions songs are just little riffs first. Since I played guitar in
my old bands a lot of my older songs, like Woman, were written first
on guitar. But now that I am just singing I generally write melody
first. And no you can’t hear the jibberish songs.

PEV: What is in your currently in your CD player or on your iPod ?

BOT: I am really into my classics; Rod Stewart, the Band, Rolling
Stones. But there is some other stuff on there as well, a lot of
Motown and such…Great song writing.

PEV: When you first started out, did you think then, that you would be
doing so well, so fast?

BOT: I didn’t realize I was…thanks very much. This band is just a
testament to hard work and belief in yourself. At the risk of
sounding like a motivational calendar, that really is all you need.

PEV: What do all your friends and family back home think about your success?

BOT: My friends are glad I am finally in a band they like. My family
is proud because I have been acting superior my whole life so maybe
now it will be justified. Just kidding around. Everyone is very
pleased.

PEV: When you are not writing, performing or traveling, what can we
find you doing?

BOT: Sadly not much else. Probably looking in the mirror.

PEV: If Saturday Night Live called and asked you to be their musical
guest, who be your ideal host?

BOT: With the humor presented in this interview don’t you think I
could handle it? Honestly probably Alec Baldwin. He is always the
best, best host and I also think his daughter is a pig, so it would be
a laugh riot.

PEV: So, what is next for Band of Thieves?

BOT: More writing and playing. We are back in the studio right now
laying down more songs so keep a look out for those soon and hopefully
a full length. And a rock show you soon won’t forget hopefully at a
town near you.

To find out more on Band Of Thieves, check out:
http://www.MySpace.com/WeAreBandOfThieves

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