Nothing But Thieves brought no shortage of alternative U.K. charm to the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles on Monday night, performing the entirety of their latest full-length album and their EPs’ finest well past midnight. From the dejected, downtempo electro-ballad “Six Billion” to the syncopated fan-favorite “Trip Switch”, the Essex natives left the crowd happy to ache for what’s to come as the October anniversary of Thieves’ debut album nears. Guitarist Dom Craik dishes on all things NBT- their rise, their roots, what’s down the road. Get some.
We’re coming up on the one-year mark of your self-titled album debut- what’s next on the Thieves’ agenda?
Currently, we’re embracing this 12-hour bus journey across the desert and hoping we don’t run out of water. Once we’ve finished touring stateside we head back to Europe to play our biggest European shows yet, including Brixton academy in London which still seems like madness.
Your first EP, “If You Don’t Believe, It Can’t Hurt You”, was released in 2013- how has the band adapted to being a fresh face in the Alt Rock genre?
Quite well, I think. Touring extensively has taught as a lot. We’ve become tighter as a live band, got used to being away from home and learnt how to cool fry-ups on a moving tour bus. How’s that for evolution?
Three years: three EP’s and one full-length album. How has Thieves evolved over your four set discography?
Aside from the aforementioned evolutions, we’ve developed musically a fair amount. We initially wrote a series of atmospheric/melodic songs, including Graveyard Whistling, Emergency, and Last Orders. Once we had those songs in the bank, we wanted to push the boundaries and crank up the gain on our amps which led to our first ‘rock’ song – Itch. After touring for so long, we’ve learnt so much as players. Album 2 is looking like it’ll be musically more mature but still hold the intricacies of our debut.
Artists are always drawing from their roots, so what aspects of the band- musically, holistically- are intrinsically “Essex”?
As glamorous as it may sound, Essex isn’t particularly a utopia of culture and history. However, it’s always had a banging music scene. It’s how we all met initially, through all our previous bands. As a town, Southend is so proactive in supporting music and we definitely embrace that.
Thieves have become a budding phenom in the U.K., how does your international reception stack up?
To our constant surprise, the response internationally has been incredible. We know not many bands get the pleasure of saying that, so we fully appreciate that our music is being received well on the other side of the planet.
Asia has been great for us. We recently headlined a festival in South Korea having never been there before and the reaction was mad. We also got to share a stage with Radiohead in Japan so that wasn’t such a bad day either.
The band is undoubtedly unique, what artists have Thieves pulled the most slivers of influence from?
Radiohead, Zeppelin. ABBA
What fuels the evident thru-line of darkness in your more recent work?
Our difficult childhoods. Kidding. It’s something that falls out of us, it’s hard to pinpoint what fuels it to be honest.
The ‘Ban All The Music’ tour has spanned a year and two continents- how can Nothing But Thieves best describe the experience? A word? A phrase? A novel?
Alcohol, lack of sleep, airports, Withering Heights.
For your most ardent fans: what’s just over the Thieves’ horizon?