Thieves & Lovers, an alternative rock band from Pennsylvania, has been steadily gaining momentum through the release of a few very well-received albums. We sat down and chatted with the guitarist of the group, who goes by the name Stoner, to learn about their newest album, The World is Sleeping.
You released your album The World is Sleeping. What's the story behind the release?
This record kind of came together in an unusual way. I had just relocated to Pittsburgh, PA and was jamming with a new band. We were playing shows pretty consistently and coming up with new material, as well as going over the older songs. The album (The World is Sleeping) is a mix of new material and songs that have been around for a while, some songs even a few years.
The drummer had a foot in the door at a studio in the area, so we tracked the drums and bed tracks there. I was working out of a studio near Baltimore, which is where I finished the final vocals and guitars. For the first time there were really no budgetary or time constraints during the tracking phase, so I didn't hold back in terms of experimentation. I'm a recording engineer by profession, so I had a field day just trying out arrangements with different microphones, pre-amps, compressors - pretty much every toy the studio had!
What was your inspiration for writing the album?
Looking back, the album is really about turning a page and moving on to the next chapter. It could be in life, a relationship, anything really. A lot of the songs were written when I realized I had to leave Los Angeles. I had lived there for about 10 years, and it was a really weird feeling to have to leave the life I had built there and start over.
What inspired the single “Underneath”?
"Underneath" is about that moment that you realize a relationship is over, but you're still kind of in denial about it. Like a "the head knows, but the heart won't listen" kind of thing.
What is your usual process for creating new music?
Songs can come about in any number of ways, but generally it starts with the music and the lyrics come after that. We always demo songs and try them out live before we commit to recording final versions. The audience will always let you know if something is working or not.
So how would you describe your sound to someone who hasn’t heard your songs?
We blend driving guitars with melodic vocals. We've never been afraid to wear our influences on our sleeve, and they come from a lot of different eras. We're 90's kids so the alternative rock thing is always going to be there, but we also love classic rock, emo, punk, even heavier styles.
How can potential fans make contact with you?
Social media is always good. Some bands just set up their profiles and take a passive approach to it, but we always try and correspond with everyone. It means a lot to us when someone reaches out so we definitely want to make sure they feel like they're being heard.
What can fans expect next from Thieves & Lovers?
We're hoping that 2019 will be a productive year. Last year had a lot of ups and downs - to say the least. We're still on the promotional/tour cycle for The World is Sleeping, and we would like to release a lot of new music this year. We have another single and b-side coming out in the next few months, and we are in the studio now working on a followup record. I can't really go into too much detail, but the next release will be unlike anything we've ever done!
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