Start At The End is back again this month at NYC’s oldest rock club The Bitter End in New York on April 27. The bands chosen to play are local ones that deserve a chance at creating more buzz and getting their names out there. This month’s lineup is made up of Modern Chemistry, American Lions, Semiotics and When Thieves Are About. This week, we caught up with When Thieves Are About to talk about their background, sound, latest release, and more! Check it out below.
How long have you been a band and how did you get started?
Well, Ryan and I (Alfredo) have been playing together since 2002 with other friends that we went to high school with. We started out in a band called Bio-Feedback in high school, which was a hardcore punk band at the time. When Ryan and I first met, Ryan saw my guitars in my room one afternoon and said he wanted to learn how to play an instrument. He really wanted to learn something, especially if it was the bass because it was his biggest interest and wanted to sound like either Matt Freeman from Rancid, Fat Mike from NOFX, or Dan Andriano. So I taught him basic things on how to play the bass because I’ve already been playing three years prior. Once he got the basics and learned tabs, he took it to a totally different level. He would start to come and teach me some cool new tricks. So as the years went by we really fed and grew off each other.
Why did you choose your band name?
Bio-Feedback started to play shows like crazy and started get a name for ourselves, but the name never grasped the audience. People were always thinking we were some ’80s heavy metal band (laughs). So in 2010, when newer music was being recorded and our style matured more, we announced that our name would be changed to “When Thieves Are About,” as in when thieves are out and around the area. We felt the name was more catchy, it fit our music a lot better, and drew more towards the music. Ryan had a book that he received as a gift that had old newspaper clippings from the early 1900s when the Titanic sunk. One of the head lines was “THIEVES ARE ABOUT” So we though that sounded cool, but let’s add “WHEN” in front of “Thieves” so it would make more sense that thieves are out and about rather than it sounding like a question. Thieves are about? Crimes? Stealing? I don’t know, what are they about? You tell me (laughs).
How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard you before?
We are considered a melodic hardcore punk rock band and it can be heard through our music, but not limited to only that style I feel. Having moments that branch off to other influences we have that isn’t only punk. Our influences are bands like NOFX, Such Gold, Lifetime, Set your Goals, Comeback Kid, Daggermouth, A Wilhelm Scream, Title Fight, Basement, Leftover Crack, Thursday, Boys Night Out, GlassJaw, Thrice, Bigwig, Rufio, Green Day, Blink-182, Sum 41, Weezer, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Dead Kennedys, the Descendants, Lagwagon, New Found Glory, Minor Threat, Gorilla Biscuits, Saves The Day, The Casualties, PMX, Dustbox, Deftones, Brand New, Taking Back Sunday and Good Riddance.
What was your latest release of music and can you talk about that a bit?
We just released a new single called “Youth Decay,” which will be on our newest full-length we are writing under our independent music label Manic Kat Records. It can be found (along with rest of our discography) on wtaa.bandcamp.com or any major music site (Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Pandora, iHeart Radio, etc.). Song is about the realization of becoming an adult and just stuck in the same repetition of everyday life with going to work and not having the freedom we all used to have as a child/teen. Also how time flies by without even realizing where it went and it just keeps moving whether or not if you’re ready for it. No clue when the full-length will come out just yet because we are still writing but we are really excited for it.
Does one person write the lyrics or is it a collective effort?
It’s usually Ryan and I are the ones who write everything. Our last two EPs was Ryan and me, but recently for the new record it’s been a collective effort with our lead guitarist Mike Greene getting involved, and it’s great to have more input from another person because there are more ideas that Ryan and I didn’t have. It’s been great.
What is your recording process like?
When it comes to recording, we always practice to the point that the song we are working on for the day is drilled in our heads. We go in and lay the tracks down, starting with the drums. Once that’s done we do bass next, then rhythm, then leads with ideas and suggestions in between them all to make the song better. Vocals are usually last and any last-minute ideas before it’s sent to to be mixed and mastered.
What are current projects you are working on? (Tour plans? New music?)
As of now it’s strictly writing. We just released one song off our new full-length that’s on the way (no title yet) just to keep a buzz going. Been working real hard and hopefully it will be ready for release sooner then later, but good music can’t be rushed I always feel. Just going to stick to local shows here and there. Do some weekenders as well to get out of state, but mostly just worry about this album.
What are your thoughts about this Start At The End A New Sound Series event?
We think it’s fantastic. It’s going to be a blast just for the fact the people that we are working with are amazing people in general. Also it’s great to see The Aquarian Weekly, Start At The End, and The Bitter End are backing up bands that they feel are worth being noticed and are getting these hard-working bands’ attention.
Have you played with any of the other bands before that are part of this lineup?
No, we haven’t played with any of these bands, but we have played with two members from the band American Lions when they were members in the band Picture Perfect. They are great guys and we are really excited to be sharing the stage with them and their new band. Also, we are really excited to be sharing the stage with new faces in general. It’s going to be a great time and suggest anyone who reads this should be there because everyone on the lineup is great at what they do and worth seeing.
What are your goals for the future as a band?
To push our music to its fullest potential and taking it as far as possible. Also, to grow as musicians with all our newer music being released. We are in the middle of brainstorming a new music video for our release “Youth Decay.” It will be recorded within the next month or two and released soon. Once our full-length is ready and released, it’s touring and playing as many shows as possible to support the album, but for now our main focus besides writing this album is the Start At The End showcase. We want to make this show/series amazing and we can’t thank you enough for being a part of something so special. It really means a lot to our band. Thank you.
When Thieves Are About will be appearing at this month’s Start At The End showcase in New York City on April 27. For more on the band, go to wtaa.bandcamp.com, and for more on the event, go to facebook.com/startattheend.