Sipping Wine With Nothing But Thieves

The UK has dished out some pretty decent musical acts over the years, and the latest band to bust out of the shadows and onto this year’s Splendour in the Grass line-up is no different. Nothing But Thieves are that band, and they’re an alt/math rock, five-piece powerhouse straight out of England. Kicking major industry goals after supporting Muse last year, they’re coming here for Splendour and their first headline shows in Australia. Vulture spent a few minutes getting to know them a little better via guitarist Dom.

 

Vulture Magazine: Nice accent Dom. What are you up to today?
Nothing But Thieves: It’s about 8:30pm and I’m in LA currently having some dinner. I’m sipping some wine. Yeah it’s all quite pleasant to be honest. I sound like such a dick, don’t I?

VM: Well maybe you could be rocking a bit harder than that, but dinner and wine is pretty good.
NBT: Well we just did a TV show out here, so it’s kind of been a civilised day; there’s no rock n’ roll stories.

VM: You guys are currently on tour in support of the new album, how’s that going?
NBT: Good. Well, I think good, and I say that because people have been coming to the gigs, so we must be doing something right. Some of our shows sold out immediately which is really strange for us, cause we haven’t really toured here before. We’ve had a little bit of radio play, but that was kind of the only thing we had going so to see it backed up by people coming to support us live was a pretty exciting thing to start seeing.

VM: Are you finding that’s just starting to happen now; four years into your career as a band?
NBT: Yeah, it’s kind of hard to grasp where you’re at in your career internationally or in any capacity. We do a lot of travelling and we don’t know sometimes if anyone’s going to turn up. We get some radio play, but you could say the name of the band to people down the street and they have no idea who it is. We love that though, we love to be able to go from the tiniest club shows in the States, then go to play theatres and upwards in the UK. It’s a nice balance; an important balance.

VM: It’s nice to embrace those smaller shows, good to hear.
NBT: Definitely. We came from playing really dingy venues where it’d be a sweatbox and it’d be hot; it would be loud and it would be intense. So, to have the opportunity to still be able to do that across the globe, that’s been awesome. I guess it’ll be a bit like that in Australia. We can’t fucking wait to get out there actually. We’ve heard so many good things about the place, and it’s been a long time coming. We were meant to come out for that festival that got cancelled this year, so this is our first proper opportunity to get out down under. See some sun, some lovely people. Maybe some women also, that’s always nice.

VM: So you guys have never played in Australia?
NBT: No. This is literally the first time. I can’t wait.

VM: Fuck yeah. Word is getting around. Obviously Muse, Radiohead, and Arcade Fire fans have naturally heard of you guys.
NBT: That’s a compliment, thank you.

VM: You guys have been compared to Muse. How do you go hearing that?
NBT: We find ourselves, with any artist – as soon as you listen to someone – and you’re trying to have a conversation and explain what they sound like you find yourself comparing that band to other bands and other artists; it’s in human nature to describe things musically. I think with the comparison to Muse – we toured with those guys and know those guys – it all stems down to similar influences. We found out they’re huge Radiohead fans, they’re huge Jeff Buckley fans and they love classic rock as well. I think we got on quite well and bonded over those similar tastes in music. Yeah, comparisons happen and we don’t mind it, but I think it’s nice when people bother to talk about us at all, let alone compare us to Muse.

VM: Well beside those bands we just listed, is there anyone else that has had a prominent impact on the music you guys make?
NBT: Yeah absolutely. Led Zeppelin for their groove and tone, that’s a big one. Other bands like Foo Fighters and QOTSA where they have the coolest sounding guitars and riffs with genuinely good songs, but in their own way. You hear one of their songs and you know it’s come from them, and ultimately that’s what’s important to us. We want to be that band, which is fucking difficult, believe me.

VM: Lastly, anyone you’re looking forward to seeing at Splendour?
NBT: I’m a HUGE Flume fan. I’m really into electronic production. It might sound odd, but I’d love to see him.

David Andreas

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