A travel, music and lifestyle blog

On The Road Interview: Nothing But Thieves

On The Road Interview: Nothing But Thieves
Essex boys Nothing But Thieves have had one hell of a year. After hit single Itch was awarded Radio 1’s Hottest Record in the World, the band’s self-titled debut album shot straight to #7 in the UK Charts and #3 on iTunes. Having supported Muse in Rome in front of a 30,000 strong crowd in July and a smashing set at Reading and Leeds, the boys were no strangers to a sold-out gig when their ‘Ban All The Music’ album tour sold out all of it’s UK and European dates. Their star is definitely rising, and it’s no surprise given the captivating, raw and hard-hitting rock tunes that are polished off with vocalist Conor Mason’s seriously impressive falsetto. I caught up with Conor in-between one tour and the next…

Hey Conor, congrats on the flying start for the album! A top ten spot must be an incredible feeling for your debut – were you nervous about putting it out into the world?

No not at all. I think when you’ve worked so long and so hard on something, at the end of the day you’re just so pleased to have it out that you don’t feel the nerves. We were all just so happy to get it out, so the fact that it went to number 7 and the reaction it’s had is all a bonus. Honestly, it’s really touching.

The album also shot to the top of the vinyl chart, which is fantastic. I’m placed firmly in the vinyl-sounds-better camp – were you influenced by any old records when writing/recording?

That was awesome, so so good. I’m an avid vinyl collector so I was pretty pleased! There were records that inspired the album for sure, I’d definitely say Jeff Buckley’s ‘Grace’ – he’s my favourite singer, my idol – Led Zeppelin I and II, and Radiohead’s first three albums. There were other bits and bobs, but they were our main core influences. I think we touch on so many different genres because we’re such fans of eclectic music that it all just comes in a big melting pot, and you don’t really realise that you’re getting influenced because you’re just so in love with their music.

So when you’re playing live, what’s your favourite song to play?

I think at the moment it’s Drawing Pins because on the tour was the first time we played it live. Even though we’ve now played it for a few months straight, it’s still the most enjoyable because it’s just really rocky, kinda groovy – it kinda makes me feel sexy… I like a song that makes me feel sexy!

Sexy! Fantastic. My fave songs are your slower numbers – Lover Please Stay is so captivating and raw. How is this live, does it feel like a breather in your set?

No, not at all! I think our fans know that they’re not coming to see a Slayer show, you know? They’re not coming to headbang, they’re coming to have a full-rounded experience of music, whether that be a slower song or a hard rock song. That’s the whole point of our band, it’s very eclectic and you get a lot from each song and each song’s different. So I think everyone relishes those soft moments as much as they relish the hard moments. We build the set purposefully, like we did on the album, in a way that will work with natural ups and downs. I do definitely relish those moments in the set and it does give you a slight breather but also, I like the mood it sets. I like seeing the faces and I like the feeling in the air – it’s a good feeling when you do those sorts of songs.

I can imagine that feels incredible! On the theme of touring, I read that someone threw a bra at you, is that right?

Oh yeah, that was Bologna – I got three bras to the face, that was quite fun! I think it was during Hanging, and they just threw them on stage so I kind of half wore them. Again, I felt very sexy!

So finally, if you could pick one highlight from 2015 – other than the obvious album release – what would it be and why?

I’d say the last London show. We hadn’t played in London for a while and I felt like it really spoke to me – the reaction was outrageous. Obviously we’re from Essex, and it felt like everyone that had been there from the start and all of our fans from the area had turned out, and it was just amazing. It was an incredible gig, everyone was singing along to everything, it wasn’t just the singles, they knew every song on the album and they were having the best time, which meant we had the best time! You don’t forget those things. I’m sure the next London show will be like that, and the next one – but for now, I couldn’t beat that.

Conor’s tour story (which I edited out of the original interview due to length!):

(This post was originally written by yours truly for Gigslutz and you can read the full interview there – but I’ve added my fave parts here and a cheeky extra audio clip of one of the questions in at the bottom here for you guys!)