Nothing But Thieves was the band we selected as Best New Band of 2015. I heard them for the first time last year in Apple Music’s alternative station. “Trip Switch” kept playing everyday and it became one of my favorite songs of “bands I don’t know”. Weeks later, “Itch” began to play constantly on the station too. I liked the song and noticed it was from the same band. I decided to download their entire album immediately.
I can say without a doubt that this is one of the best debut albums of the past few years. These guys really put all their effort and talent into each and every single song of an album that definitely deserves an award. But who wants a trophy when they are getting something even better? This week they just began opening the Drones tour for Muse across Europe including France, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, and the UK. A total of 14 arena shows. That’s something, right?
Check out our interview with NBT’s frontman Conor Mason during their visit to the US, just a few days before heading back to Europe.
Indscene: I’m sure the past few months have passed really fast for you guys. Releasing your debut album, opening shows for Mutemath, playing on US TV for the first time, just to name a few things… How did you handle all of this?
NBT: It’s been so good of course. We didn’t know if we’d connect at all in America so we’re pretty pleased and surprised. Getting used to the traveling in the US has been hard, that’s been the only struggle. Everything has been fun.
Indscene: You are a relatively new band that got together in 2012, right? How did it happened? Were you friends already?
NBT: Yeah, Joe and I met in school, he was a couple years older then me. Started a band with him when I was 13 and now have been in bands for about ten years. This band started in 2012. We were all mates from the local Southend area. It just worked.
Indscene: RJ Mitte appears in your latest video “If I Get High”. Did you knew him already or who had the idea of inviting him?
NBT: We’d never met him, but we’re fans of him and Breaking Bad. We asked him and he loved the band and song, so was thrilled to do it. He really did an amazing job.
Indscene: I want to ask you about “Trip Switch”. It’s a song I can listen to over and over. Where were you when you began writing this song? Was it intentional to make such an explosive song, or did it just happened on the process?
NBT: This is a funny one really. I was listening to a lot of Drake and Kendrick Lamar at the time. I wrote the bass line off of the subby syncopated bass lines found in rap and hip-hop. The fast paced melody followed suit. Then we just built it and built it until it became what it is today.
Indscene: What I really like about your album is the originality of each track. You know when you listen to other artists, especially new bands, some songs sound very similar to others. This doesn’t happen with yours. How much thought and work did you put to each song?
NBT: I’m glad you noticed this. There was no clear ‘direction’ for our music other than that…to give the listener something original and interesting to latch onto in each song. We worked really hard on each track individually, at the end of the day it’s 11 tracks. It’s not a novel. I think you owe it to the listeners to work really hard on each one. We love bands that do that.
Indscene: Your plans for the following months?
NBT: Pretty much touring for the whole year now. Off on tour with Muse staring March 3rd, which will be unreal.
Indscene: With which other band would you like to go on tour?
NBT: I mean, if Radiohead offered…
Indscene: And with which band would you like to make a song one day?
NBT: Maybe a band like Everything Everything or Arcade Fire. Something really quirky.
Indscene: You’ve been on tour lately but are there any other countries where you would like to play in the future that you haven’t visited yet?
NBT: Yes, China! Hopefully going there later this year. Really want to tour Australia and New Zealand too.
Indscene: What’s the craziest thing you have experienced so far in a gig?
NBT: Has to be at our gig with Muse at Rock in Roma. I was totally cheesy and asked for a big stadium rock moment and asked for all their lighters in the air. It worked and looked insane. Will never forget that.
Indscene: Your favorite song at the moment?
NBT: “Stressed Out” by Twenty One Pilots. Just great, original song writing.
The debut album from Nothing But Thieves is out now and you can buy it on iTunes.