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No one’s getting younger
Would you like a souvenir?
Let it take you under,
Feel your worries disappear.”

Nothing But Thieves: ‘Graveyard Whistling’

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Origins

Hailing from Southend-on-Sea, 40 miles east of central London, Nothing But Thieves grew out of a friendship formed at school, between Connor Mason/vocals and Joe Langridge-Brown/Guitar.

Conor and Joe played in a string of teenage bands together before Joe left for university. Conor then hooked up with classically trained guitar player Dom, after a meeting at a sixth-form music class. The two collaborated casually for a while, without any expectation of success. “It was stupid not to just jam,” says Dom, “but it was just for fun, nothing serious.”

Though the band haven’t clarified the timeline it seems that Joe continued to be involved. At some point, management interest arrived in the form of Drive-Thru Records duo, Richard and Stefanie Reinesa.

Connor recalls calling Joe to ask him if he wanted to form a proper band saying, “Do you want to come back and do a band thing?” to which Joe replied, “Yeah! I’ll leave uni and drop straight out – I’ll leave this week!”

Dom’s cousin, Phillip Blake eventually joined as the bassist they’d been looking for over 2 years. James Price/Drums, (a friend of Dom’s from school) was the final puzzle-piece.

Once complete, it would still take a further 2 years of frustration trying to nail down their sound in Dom’s garage, before they were ready to venture out.

“The stuff we were coming out with wasn’t good, and it was all the same” remembers Dom. “We were just like, “Anything to get out of the garage and explore a bit, because we completely hit a plateau with the writing.”

Encouraged by their management, the band headed off to the US on a six-week low-budget trip, meeting with producers and writers. The adventure galvanised them and when they returned, it was to record their first EP ‘If You Don’t Believe, It Can’t Hurt You.’ Self-released in October, 2013, it attracted immediate interest from Radio 1’s, resident new-music bellwether, Zane Lowe.

September, 2014, saw the arrival of a second re-configured EP, titled ‘Graveyard Whistling’ released via RCA. With major-backing and promotional interest from Lowe’s Radio 1 show, the band were ready to take a prime-time bow.

 Ban All The Music: Live

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“It’s a song about having a love of isolation and our own space. But it’s also a song about being sick of the same music being played over and over on the radio and the song being a reaction to it”

Nothing But Thieves

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 Debut Sounds

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 “Generally, one of us will bring an idea to the table, either a riff, electronic loop or sometimes it’s lyrical or conceptual. It gets interesting when we discuss the direction of the song, structurally or musically and our individual tastes come into play. There’s a push-pull dynamic between rock, atmospherics and electronics and we’re often very conscious of the blend.”

Interview  – HungerTV

 

Nothing But Thieves produce songs that are taut, intimate and full of fresh ideas. They have an innate grasp of dynamics, coupled with a flexible approach that makes the song the central focus.

Propelled by Connor Mason’s exceptional vocals, which veer from an emotional falsetto, to a rock and roll holler, there is an undeniably Jeff Buckley-ish tone to his voice.

Effortlessly mixing influences with originality, the band cross lines with early Muse, Kaiser Chiefs, Led Zeppelin, Radiohead and Foo Fighters. Somehow, they manage to make a sound that is entirely its own thing.

Guitars, veer from softly melodic to spitfire sharp. Elements of electronica appear and disappear. Mournful and melodic, mixes with blistering and  boisterous. Sonically things are turned all the way up, or held carefully down. There’s a focus and intensity, a lack of wasted space. Everything is underpinned by rock-solid bass and tense, tight drums.

There’s a fistful of fresh ideas here. Signs of a young band letting go, enjoying their creativity; making a sound that will soon elevate them well past the realm of the ordinary, onto far bigger stages.

Talent rises and Nothing But Thieves have an indefinable grip on it. Originality and attention to detail are early hallmarks – ones that will inevitably attract a passionate fanbase and commercial visibility in double-quick time.

The bleakness of Langridge-Brown’s lyrics reveals a generational sadness and a living in the moment urgency. Voiced by Mason’s vocals, the band cuts easily though the ‘me-too’ dross clogging contemporary airwaves. A few minutes of listening makes clear, that here is a band producing something of genuine quality,

Their youth adds a freshness and subtlety to their mystique. The fact that a teenage band are capable of producing work of such complexity and maturity, speaks volumes about their talent and the world-weary maturity they already possess.

In an industry populated by the well practiced fake, Nothing But Thieves seem capable of connecting with something real. The enthusiastic reactions from their live shows show them building audience interest fast.

Their début album is set to drop in early summer and will undoubtedly break like a wave over a wide audience. Expect a big reaction when they arrive on festival stages.

With a sound that undoubtedly suits stadium sonics, its easy to imagine a big future for them in the US. They are at the threshold of a journey. One that holds out the enormous promise that they will soon realise their childhood dreams.

 

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Itch: Live

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