Attention Thieves - Interviews - Soundblab

Attention Thieves

by Amy Baker Rating: Release Date:

When I met up with three of the members of Reading band Attention Thieves, they were all suffering from severe cases of man-flu. Nevertheless their air of cheeky cockiness was still very much apparent. Well, yours probably would be too if you had a single on the way, had been recording with some big name producers and had drawn some pretty impressive comparisons to some of rock's biggest names. 2011 looks set to be an exciting year for these guys…

So, why don't you start by telling me how Attention Thieves came about?

Alex: Well we all started playing in bands when we were about 12 or 13. Sim and I have known each other since primary school and then when we started at secondary school we met Hag and Ryan.

Sim: Basically we just all met at school, played in different bands and eventually just came together.

Alex: Just like an Enid Blyton story.

Hag: Exactly.

And tell us about the name Attention Thieves. How did you come up with that?

Alex: To be honest, I wish that there was some cool story about how we came up with it.

Sim: Unfortunately there isn't though. There's nothing behind it really.

Alex: It's just a couple of words that we liked put together that sounded cool. We needed a name; we had a gig coming up and pretty much just said, 'that'll do'.

For those people out there who have yet to listen to your stuff, how would you describe your sound?

A: I think that we've started to change quite a lot but the sort of direction that we're going in now, I'd say that we're a rock band but I'd definitely say that we're doing something more energetic now. What would you guys say?

S: Bit of punk maybe, bit of post-hardcore in there as well I think.

H:I don't know what we are really; I think that it's best not to pigeon hole ourselves.

A: Yeah, we like so many different types of music that we've brought different things together and I think that we just play what we like and what that is, is the Attention Thieves.

S: We reckon it's easier to say that we're a rock band really instead of trying to get all of these different genres across.

Alex, you were in The Arusha Accord prior to starting Attention Thieves. Do you think that you brought anything from that experience to Attention Thieves?

A: I think just myself in terms of experience. I think that I learnt a lot in that band but we're something totally different; it's a different type of music but definitely when it comes to standard, I've learnt a lot about the kind of standard that you need to be. It's definitely helped a lot.

You've drawn comparisons to bands like Biffy Clyro, Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age. Is this something that you were aiming for? Are these the type of bands that influence you?

H: I guess for some of us it's great to be told that you sound like the bands that you listen to. That's pretty cool. But we are proud of our own sound.

A: I think that that're just bands that other people have compared us to. Comparisons don't always mean for the band as a whole, they can just mean for one song.

H: That's right. One minute we can write a really up tempo punk rock song and the next we can write a ballad.

A: That's our mission I suppose: to create a sound that's entirely our own.

S: Yeah, we don't intentionally try and recreate a sound of other bands.

You've been working with some pretty exciting producers over the last few months. Tell us how that came about? Was it fun?

S: Yeah, Dave Chang, that was good - he's worked with a few bands that we like like Stampin' Ground. He was good fun to work with; he really knows his stuff and he did things a different way to what we were used to and that was cool.

A: He came down to one of our practices and went through a few of our songs with us to see which ones he wanted to work on. Our manager suggested him so we just went with it. We're also doing two tracks at the end of this month with John Mitchell from Outhouse studios who's worked with people like Funeral for a Friend, Enter Shakari, some bands that have done pretty well, Kids in Glass Houses - he's done all their stuff plus he's local and I've worked with him before so I know he's good. We're recording two tracks with him and we're gonna do two videos.

That's cool! Have you had any inspiration for what you want the videos to be like?

H: We've got a few ideas, there's a few floating about in our heads

S: Yeah, it's all in the works

H: It should be good; we're looking forward to it.

You guys pride yourselves in being a good live band. With the industry seeing a shift back to live performances, what do you think sets you apart from other bands claiming the same thing?

H: Well, I'd say the energy that we bring

A: That and the leotards….

Me: The leotards?

S: We don't wear leotards, just to clear that up

A: We could wear leotards though; it's just a suggestion, maybe one day…

Me:Dance routines?

H: Why not!

A: The way we see it, the important thing about being in a band is being able to do it live. When you are in the position that we are and you don't get the coverage you want radio wise then the only way to get noticed and to promote yourself is to go out and do it live and do it well. We've been playing together a long time so we've got it really tight and we really go for it and people seem to like that which is great.

When should we expect to see you guys on tour?

H:Well, we've taken a bit of a break from touring to write more material and get these tracks and videos done.

A: We're hoping to do a couple of tours this year, we're just sorting gigs out now but we thought we'd concentrate on getting the other things done first. We're just taking a break at the moment but we'll be back.

You started the year pretty well by winning an award from a radio station based in Washington DC - tell us more about that?

H: We won the category for Best Grunge/Hard Rock Group

S: They had played our previous single 'Broken Promise' on their show before and they just sort of told us that we had won the award for the genre voted for by their listeners.

A: It was a cool surprise.

What's next for you guys? The single's out in March?

A: Yeah, that's right. It's not going to be a huge release, we're just hoping to get it out there and then try and build up a buzz for the next two singles that we're doing videos for and hopefully we'll just keep releasing stuff and get things out there for people to buy - hopefully it'll get a lot of play and just get bigger and bigger.

H: That's the plan.

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