Meet Jess, Rick, and Paul, the three who make Night Thieves, a rock trio from London who has been making a steady name for themselves for almost half a decade now. Adam Humphries reports.
In that time, they have released their first EP, Battle Cry, and are soon to release their second, Spiral. They have done a number of live performances prior to the first nationwide lockdown but yet still managed to keep on producing their new material. As the woman of the band, Jess has seen quite a bit of change but firmly believes that further change is still to come. Growing up listening to music their influences were the American greats such as Metallica, Nirvana, and Foo Fighters as well as Royal Blood, Bring Me The Horizon, and Biffy Clyro who’s the musical influence you can hear through their own. As a trio, these guys are definitely intriguing with their music, check them out when they play at night. Ironically nighttime is also what influenced their band name.
“I feel lucky that most peers and people I’ve worked with have recognized what I do as an equal, irrelevant of my sex or gender. I respect them for that.”
Adam Humphries: So, you’ve been producing your music as a band since 2017, half a decade, how has everything been going for you so far?
Night Thieves: Everything’s going great. It’s strange to think we’ve been a band for 5 years, but we’ve enjoyed it so much. So far, we have released two EPs ‘Battle Cry’ and ‘Spiral’, the latter was released this year, and now hoping to get out and play more gigs in support of our music now venues are opening up.
AH: How did all three of you meet up originally?
NT: Originally Jess (vocals) and Rick (bass) played in bands around London. Looking for a new sound they put out a call for guitarists and Paul auditioned and immediately stood out, bringing in a down-tuned and melodic sound that has become the foundation of our music.
AH: Now there are many songwriters who have written songs that have been influenced both by their own life, upbringing, or from things they have experienced in life. What’s been your inspiration for yours?
NT: We have always been influenced by what is going on in our lives and the world, along with shared experiences. Our most recent EP ‘Spiral’ has been influenced by the struggles we had during the pandemic and hopefully, that will resonate with others as well. The themes across the EP are of our shared struggles with expectation and pressures and feeling exposed and vulnerable because of them. We also wrote about the polarisation of beliefs today and how it affects our actions and challenging how we choose the truth in a world with a constant stream of information.
AH: Now something that does intrigue is your band’s name, Night Thieves, where did that come from?
NT: It took a long time for us to settle on a name but eventually it was one we could all settle with! It creates a picture of a glow over the city and the lights that take away the night. We’ll steal the night away with some rock too!
AH: As the female of the band, Jess, do you feel that female representation in the music scene on the whole has undergone a positive change over the past decade?
NT: I’m not sure, it’s good that there’s effort to recognise more with ‘female-fronted bands’ promoted, but in a way, it’s also sad we need labels to get an even playing field. There’s also a perception that female representation is formulaic.
For me, it’s feels strange, I think of bands as bands, whether they have males, females, or even least talked about, those that don’t even fit with these binary definitions. Diversity and inclusion generally has a long way to go everywhere including the music scene. But it’s positive to see these things getting recognised more.
AH: Do you think that more can be done in regards to the issue?
NT: I’ve come across many females in the music scene but whether they get the opportunities, recognition and exposure they deserve for what they do equally is another story. I think it’s partly from what we’re exposed to when we’re growing up and what we want coming from that influence of social construct. Even the industry are people at the end of the day, but this might be a great opportunity for the indie industry and media to pave the way where the mainstream hasn’t yet.
I hope to see more diversity among that representation as it grows because as we’ve seen with male counterparts, there are so many different female and other musicians too, like Francheska Pastor in Bad Seed Rising, Alexis Brown from Straight Line Stitch, and Nova Twins. Too many bands get compared to another band just because they have a female when they’re not the same and non-female bands don’t often get compared with female-fronted bands… that says it all really!
We should be seeing them more in top inclusive features like top bands or artists lists, playlists, line-ups etc. More like Fleetwood Mac, Skunk Anansie or Smashing Pumpkins.
AH: You’ve got a new release coming out called Spiral, what can you tell us about this one?
NT: Spiral is a lot darker and heavier than Battle Cry and some of that came out the sound we were trying to achieve, writing heavier riffs and bigger choruses. However, a lot of it was then written in the pandemic and ultimately influenced the final evolution of the songs and also the lyrics.
AH: What’s worth pointing out is that you had to work remotely for this one due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Did this make it trickier to work on it or did it barely have any impact?
NT: It was a bit trickier! Before the pandemic hit, we only had one track completed (Off the Wire) and the bare structures for the other songs. The pandemic forced us to work differently, but Paul and Kev made working remotely a lot easier. They were incredibly supportive with their experienced approach to managing the production. They kept in touch to help us through pre-production and really pushed us to improve the songs in that time. We were able to get the songs demoed remotely and managed to find time to get into the studio and complete the record.
AH: In regards to the song-writing and production process has the pandemic had much in the way of an impact?
NT: The pandemic really pushed everyone’s mental health and Spiral is a reflection of that. We did have to delay the schedule a few times in line with the government guidelines as it’s important to keep everyone safe. It was difficult to continue songwriting and preparations remotely without bouncing of each other’s energy, as well as the usual inspirations you can get from your environment.
But once we were back in the studio, recording the EP did help release some frustrations and, in the end, made us really appreciate what we have as a band and succeeding in the face of adversity!
AH: With restrictions now lifted are you looking forward to going back on the road and performing in front of live crowds in venues and festivals again?
NT: Honestly, we can’t wait. Like all bands we’ve missed playing in front of our crowds and the energy, we share with them. It is the best feeling you can get and one of the main reasons we do what we do.
AH: For the remainder of this year and 2022 what can we expect from Night Thieves?
NT: We are hoping to get out and support our new release and then get back to writing, we have so many new ideas and can’t wait to share them with everyone.
AH: And finally, where can fans, current and new, hear your music?
NT: Our new EP ‘Spiral’ is available now on all streaming platforms and we have a video out for our latest single ‘Atoned’. You can also find ‘Battle Cry’ in all the same places along with videos for our singles.
You can find our music at the links below: