“It’s an abundance of modern problems” - hmv.com talks to Nothing But Thieves
As they release their self-titled debut album, we sat down with Nothing But Thieves’ singer Conor Mason to chat about making the record, their enigmatic approach to lyrics and taking notes from Muse and Arcade Fire...
Your debut album is finally out! You must be delighted...
“It took us a while to get it right and we’ve been waiting for a while, but we’re so excited. I’ve been in bands with these boys since we were kids so to finally put our debut album out, it’s an incredible feeling.”
When did you start writing for the album?
“We got together about four years ago and we’ve just written and written ever since. There was no real overview or too much thinking, the album is just the best of all of time together, we whittled it down from 40 songs overall to the 16 that are on the deluxe.”
How did you get it down from 40 songs to the ones that made the record?
“You only get to make a debut once and we had a strong vision for the album. We knew the songs that would show people what we could do, so it wasn’t too difficult to choose the right ones.”
Can you talk us through the producers you worked with?
“The main producer we worked with was Julian Emery, he was one of the first people we met and he just got our sound. He was the right man at the right time. We did one later track with our friend Larry Hibbert, that was more for fun, but we all loved it so it ended up on the album.”
You said you had a strong vision for the record, were you able to keep it like that from beginning to end?
“We didn’t put any barriers up, we didn’t have anyone telling us what to do, we just had our vision of what we knew the album should be.”
Can you sum the album up lyrically?
“It’s an abundance of modern problems. We don’t like to talk too much about it, we want people to take something different from it and read into the words themselves.”
When did you decide the album would be self-titled?
“It’s just a cool thing to do and the first album is the right time to do it, it sums up what we are. We always knew we wanted it to be self-titled.”
What’s the song on the album that took the most work to get right?
“Probably ‘Graveyard Whistling’, it was a real slow-burner, we weren’t sure what it was for ages and we had to work really hard on the sound of it. We’re so happy with it now though.”
What are your plans for taking the album out live? Is 2016 going to be non-stop touring?
“We’re working it out, but we’ve got big plans, we’ll be in as many places as we can. We’ve toured with bands like Muse and Arcade Fire and I’ve watched how they do things and how they work crowds and I’ve been able to learn a lot. I can’t wait to take it out live.”
Nothing But Thieves’ self-titled debut album is out now. The band will sign copies in four hmv stores across the week, click here for more details.