Gimme Your Answers: An Interview w/ The Gentlemen Thieves

The Gentlemen Thieves
Photo by Beata Taylor

The Gentlemen Thieves have recently released Uncertainties, their first full-length album. While on the road, touring across Canada in support of the album, they spoke with AMBY about the upside of working retail, Hot Drinks, and dangerous promotional methods!

AMBY: Hello, The Gentlemen Thieves! To start off, how would you describe (in one word) each member of the band?

DAVID: Ken would be “passionate.” He doesn’t do many things, but when he does decide on something, he puts his whole heart and soul into it. Dylan would be “smooth,” as he has an uncanny ability to talk to anyone and befriend them. Tom would be “inscrutable.” He’s very mysterious and hard to read sometimes. When he says something we often find ourselves wondering if he’s being sarcastic or not. As for me, I’d hope the other guys wouldn’t say “old”…

KEN: We’ll go with “experienced”! David’s the wise, most seasoned member of the band, especially when it comes to touring.

AMBY: How did you come up with the name The Gentlemen Thieves? Were there any other names in the running?

KEN: Our old bassist Jake came up with the name. Starting out, the name was actually probably one of the hardest steps for us. We were trying everything to come up with a name. Jake was watching a movie titled The Brothers Bloom, and one of the main characters referred to themselves as “Gentlemen Thieves”. He brought the idea forward, and immediately we all agreed.

DAVID: If it weren’t for The Gentlemen Thieves, we might have been The Midnight Society, Cut! It! Out!, or Comatose Party, although the latter ended up becoming a song title.

AMBY: You recently released Uncertainties. What was one of the best moments you had while recording the album?

KEN: For myself, it was re-falling in love with certain songs. Since forming in 2011, many of our songs have seen different shapes and sizes, but once we entered the studio and got into the rhythm of pre-production, certain songs seemed to breathe a new life and become exciting to perform once again. Key tracks that had this happen were “Caught Your Eye”, “Figure Out”, and also “Shooter”, found out 7″ vinyl released last year.

DAVID: My favourite memories of making the album were goofing around with our producer, and childhood idol, Dave Baksh in the studio. Ken and I spent the most amount of time there, since there were multiple guitar tracks to lay down. We’d find ourselves taking breaks, watching YouTube videos and having some laughs. We definitely bonded over some “Hot Drinks”! They really get you going. (To those who don’t get that reference, go out and search for Wendy’s training videos. You’ll thank us later.)

AMBY: You’ve also announced dates for the Uncertainties tour. Which city are you most looking forward to playing? Which tracks off of Uncertainties are you most looking forward to playing?

KEN: We recently just finished our eastern leg of the tour, and we will be leaving for the West Coast in a couple weeks. In those coming days, I’m really looking forward to playing at The Grateful Fed in Kelowna, BC. Their hospitality has always been amazing, and we had a great experience out there last time.

DAVID: I’m also looking forward to Winnipeg. Our last time there was a bit of a disappointment, but this time should be really good. We received some help booking what should be a great show from the band Latka, who are Winnipeg locals, and their music gets me really stoked and psyched for what I’m sure will be a great evening.

KEN: Also, there are a few cities that we are hitting for the first time this year such as Sudbury (ON), Brandon (MB), Drumheller (AB), Kamloops (BC), and Red Deer (AB). We’ve played everything off the album, but I always love playing “Shooter” and “Fading Echo.” The chorus’ are fast and catchy and easy to follow, and they always get the crowd pumped up.

DAVID: I always look forward to playing “Don’t Worry.” I love ripping the long melodic lead in the middle of that song. It’s really one of my times to shine. It’s okay to be selfish sometimes, right?

AMBY: How do you guys pass the time while on the road?

KEN: Besides the usual music, movies, and video games, we have found a revolutionary (and dangerous) way for promoting our band. It takes a team effort though. If we happen to drive by a car with equally reckless people, I have acquired the ability to hand them a CD through the passenger window to a fellow passenger in their rear seats. Speed MUST be maintained between both vehicles.

DAVID: Really though, this worked once and should never be repeated again.

AMBY: The lyric video for “Don’t Worry” is awesome, especially the glow in the dark clips. How much planning did shoot require?

KEN: David was the mastermind behind this one. It was tons of fun to do, but all I had to do was show up!

DAVID: The actual filming and production of the whole video only took around six to seven hours. We did it all on a Sunday afternoon. The whole band was there, but we were also lucky enough to have the help of our old bassist, his girlfriend, and Ken’s wife. It was a small crew, but everyone knew their parts and did them well. The real planning of the video took place at my work. When we’re not on tour, I work retail, and there can be times where it’s quite slow. For about three or four weeks before the day of shooting, I would spend my free time brainstorming all the different shots and planning out how we would physically move around my house without it being repetitive. I think it came together pretty well!

AMBY: Between the Thievery and Uncertainty tours, how do you think your music and shows have changed?

KEN: I feel that we bring a new kind of energy. We have a new bassist, Dylan, who has been with the band since January, and we have ultimately grown to be a tighter unit.

DAVID: Yeah, there’s definitely a new camaraderie to the band now with Dylan in it. I find that we are also more adventurous in meeting new people and sharing our music with them. We’ve made many more fans and friends from just approaching random people before and after the show this time around. It’s also been great to see some of the same faces coming back show after show, so we can see a fanbase growing. Our efforts are not in vain!

KEN: I also feel like the new music that David and I have been writing has been heavily influenced by these tours. There’s definitely an expansion of our sound that has grown out of the experience and perspective gained from being on the road.

AMBY: I’ve heard that you’re Brand New fans. Who else would you count as your musical influences?

KEN: I LOVE Brand New! I can’t necessarily say if the other guys feel the same way though.

DAVID: I think you may be alone on that one. Tom may have one of their albums on his iPod, but that’s about it.

KEN: We all have different music tastes, but we definitely share a core love for Gob and Weezer. We also enjoy introducing new music to each other. It keeps the drives fresh. I personally love The Delegates and introduced them to Thomas on our last tour.

DAVID: I’m still trying to get everyone on board with None More Black and Fugazi! I’m sure after a few more tours, it’ll get ingrained into their heads!

AMBY: What’s up next for the band?

KEN: For now, we are going to continue pushing our new album as hard as we can, playing as many shows as possible, both locally and afar. We’re planning a U.S. tour next year, and the way things are going now, and with the momentum that we’ve built up, we can definitely see that happening. What’s great is that we are still writing like crazy, so we should see some sort of new release in the future.

DAVID: There are definitely a lot more songs to come. How we release the next batch of songs is still up in the air though. What’s great is with a solid full-length behind us now, is that we have so many options as to what we release next, and how we release it. It’s all those possibilities though that make it so exciting! There’s definitely more greatness on the way.

AMBY: And lastly, what’s something about The Gentlemen Thieves that no one knows yet?

DAVID: We may or may not slowly be becoming yogi masters.

KEN: We also may or may not sell ourselves out for chicken.

DAVID: Only if fries and gravy are included though! Maybe.

***

Thank you The Gentlemen Thieves, for giving us your answers!

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Interview by Leah Edwards | @leahhedwards

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