ARTIST NAME: The Thieves About
SONG TITLE: Hurricane
ALBUM TITLE: The Chaos Theory – EP
RELEASE DATE: July 1, 2019
GENRE: Alternative Rock
The Thieves About is an alternative rock band based in Encinitas, California – a small beach community just north of San Diego.
Singer and guitarist J. Scott Gavin moved to Encinitas from the Phoenix area in 2015. In 2017, he began collaborating with bassist Jeff Redding. Chicago native Brian Ulery joined as the band’s drummer shortly after and the trio immediately began writing and performing in bars and music clubs throughout the San Diego area.
In late 2017, The Thieves About recorded and released their self-titled debut EP. The band’s popularity grew, and the trio began performing all over Southern California and the Phoenix Metropolitan Area.
Looking to further evolve their sound, the band picked up lead guitarist John Reikes in late 2018. Now a 4-piece, The Thieves About quickly grew their sound to fill their new larger canvas. Shortly thereafter, the band wrote and recorded their sophomore EP, The Chaos Theory. The first single off the EP, “Hurricane,” immediately received airplay on San Diego radio stations.
With its 1990s-influenced sound, the band’s music pays homage to the flannel-clad days of Generation X.
Discuss your approach to music production.
Music, to me, is all about feeling, emotion, and experience. It’s hard for me to sit down and write without the motivation from a previous experience or thought. It’s hard to pinpoint when a song will hit, or when a thought, verse/chorus comes to mind, but when it does it’s important for me to capture that and run with that feeling. Once I get moving, the chords and lyrics usually flow and I’ll jot it down in a stream of consciousness. Once I feel I’ve got a good idea or the direction I want to go, then I bring it to the band, and we work together to make the vision become a reality. As we move forward as a band, I look forward to exploring many different aspects of production and incorporating new technologies.
Elaborate on how you come up with your lyrics.
Everything that I’ve written to this point comes from previous life experiences. Whether or not I’ve interpreted it the way that it happened is irrelevant. But for some reason, that experience stuck with me and I’ve reached a point where I want to share it. Every time I sing it takes me back to the place I was when I decided to write about it.
Discuss your songwriting process.
At this point, I’m a work in progress. I used to lean on heartbreak, alcohol, and depression to craft what I considered a brilliant song. It was easy to write about heartbreak because I felt that everyone has had their heartbroken and could relate, but not everyone knows true love or happiness.
I am currently working to change that and focus on the beauty in life and the things that could bring peace, love, and happiness. I sit down (when I have time) and do some stream of consciousness based on my surroundings, my mood, and what motivates me at the moment. I have a tendency to think of big hooks and choruses and go from there.
Tell us about your next project.
Expand. Explore. Take my songwriting to the next level and grow together as a band. I’d like to allow more creative input from my bandmates and organically grow some new music. I haven’t always allowed that, and now I’m ready to let go of some insecurities and try to go places with my music that I haven’t gone before. Oh, and I have at least another 5 song EP on the shelf ready to tear down and build up again.
Tell us what you won’t do again in your music career.
Tell us how you ensure your music is engaging.
I try to relate to the listener – probably a bit more than I should. I like to tell stories about times, and places, and experiences and I like to take the listener for a ride. I hope they give it a moment and go with me before hitting skip on the iPod.
State your opinion on the income from digital streaming.
I wish it were more. Take a look at how other countries allow their musicians to earn a decent wage from making music and then look at where we are. I look at myself personally, and even as an artist I’m not paying any of the major streaming services. Yet, I can find ways to enjoy the songs I like. We just released an EP and I’d rather download my own album and put it on a playlist I love and listen over and over than pay $9.00/month to stream. Maybe I’m old-fashioned but give me a record player and some vinyl.
Suggest ways that artists can make a living.
If you’re truly determined to make it as an original band, then give up all the extraneous bullshit and dedicate your life to playing ALL THE TIME. Music needs to become your life. There’s no fallback plan. You either make it, or you pack it in and get a desk job. Get ready to play shows in empty bars to 4 people but keep at it. Grind.
Tell that special moment you discovered music.
1992 – Dad’s Ford Ranger, driving down route 62 when Smells Like Teen Spirit came on the radio. It truly changed my life. I was fortunate to have a family that loved and listened to music all the time, and while I dabbled a bit, it wasn’t till that moment when I realized I needed music.
State your best song and the reason.
Impossible; it really depends on my mood and the moment. Right now, ‘Hurricane’ crushes me because I’m so in love with it. I love the lyrics, emotion, and the big chorus. But catch me tomorrow and I might tell you why I love ‘Just So Hard’ instead of Torn Down – Emotionally, that one hits me when I play it live. But I don’t listen to it all the time. Summer is a huge tune that I’m really proud of, but I can’t play it live as well as I want to. ‘Sideways’ might be our best tune, but maybe it’s not my favorite. Keep an ear out for ‘Take Me On.’ That might be my best…. maybe…
Discuss the difference between recording in a professional studio and a home studio.
Not even close. I record my scratch at home. It’s a great place to get ideas, and experiment, but when you get into the real studio then shit gets real. All that blood, sweat, and tears are all worth it when some engineers give you the green light and you just let it all out.
Emotionally you’ve got to get it all out onto the studio floor or your listener knows it is crap. That’s not to say you can’t record good stuff at home. I have great acoustic solo tracks that are fun, but for me, the studio is where it’s at.
Tell us how you master your songs.
Thanks to a good friend of mine we discovered Garage Masters in Nashville, TN, and we are very satisfied with what we got back. Joe did a great job of communicating with our mix engineer and got what he needed to make it really shine. Don’t skimp on the masters. Find someone to work with you on what you’re looking for.
Discuss your interaction with your fans.
Hugs. We like giving big sweaty hugs after shows and letting our fans know how much we appreciate them taking time out of their lives to share some time with us. It’s important that the folks that come and support you know that they’re appreciated.
Hopefully, we’ve given them enough (other than tinnitus) to send them home with a smile. During the shows, I love feeling the connection to the crowd as we sing along together. I’ll always acknowledge those I see grooving along.
Tell us how you create the time to promote your music online.
With today’s Social Media influence, you have to set aside time to dedicate yourself to promotion. If you have an hour to practice, now you have 45 minutes to play and 15 minutes to promote.
We are at a point where we need stimulation, so for a band, you’ve got to be giving your listeners something new to chew on all the time.
Pick the member of your band that is most apt to the current trends and let them roll with it. I focus on writing songs; someone else has to focus on the promo.
State the tools you know can be of up to a musician.
GarageBand is important to me for jotting down ideas and working with new song structures. I’m learning to practice more with a metronome. I have vocal exercises on my phone that I do every day. Find a routine that works and give it time every day.
Tell us the project you will run to better society.
I’m not changing the world with my music. Not yet anyway. The way that I try to better society, is by providing high-energy tunes that will brighten someone’s day. I will tell you that I do have the opportunity to work with a group called Banding Together which works with special needs young adults and provides them the learning experiences through music. That experience has changed my life and our life as a band. That is an amazing group and I would encourage anyone of any musical ability to go and spend some time with them.
Elaborate on the song.
‘Hurricane’ will spin you ‘round, roll your windows down, and have you shouting the chorus as if you aren’t making a sound. It’s a fun tale of frolic and mischief, chasing a dragon you just can’t tame. But damn, you surely did try.
Elaborate on your artist name and the title of the album.
The Thieves About originated because my son was really into trains. Picking a band name is one of the hardest and lamest things you can put yourself through… So one day with my son we were looking at “Hobo Speak.” When hobos ride a train from town to town they leave markings to communicate with other Hobos. I noticed the 2/10. It means 2 eyes, 10 fingers… that there are Thieves About, and to use caution. I liked it, and so did the guys so we ran with it.