Thieves Like Us are self-described galaxy dancers. Their music reflects much like facets on a diamond projecting everything from brilliant light sparkles to dark serious galactic collisions. What strikes me most is the lyrics. They aren’t lackluster or average. There’s an appealing weight in the words even when complimented by music that is feather-light and shiny. They have a 5th album releasing in April. The video for the track, Moon, was recently released.
I wanted to know more about this band and they were kind enough to answer a few questions. The result yielded a very interesting conversation credited way more to their answers than my questions. I like these guys. Thieves Like Us is definitely worth your time.
Thomas Franklin (bass)
Tore Knipping (drums)
Björn Berglund (guitar)
Andy Klein (vocals)
Home base? We all live in Berlin.
Is there significance in the band name and was there a close second choice? I don’t think you can judge an author by their name. There really isn’t any significance. Just as any band chooses their name, it’s like naming a child. I would say the song texts are much more significant and relevant as there is only three words in the band name and thousands of words in the song texts. Thieves Like Us was the name of a book and a film. It already existed in people’s minds and thus it has a catchiness to it. There was already a British punk band named Thieves Like Us in the late 1970s. I am sure many other groups took the name in the interim as well.
Was there a defining moment for TLU in deciding who you are and what you wanted to create? I don’t think there was one penultimate moment. You pleasantly sound like a therapist. I think one would have to take all the social conditioning we had in life, as well as all of the aural input (from film, television and radio) we had from birth to about age 22. If you shake this up it is what comes out. I can’t say we are doing anything new, it’s just what we’ve already been told and heard. Perhaps it may be unique in reflecting our life experience, but I am sure that this life is just a repetition of lives others already lived.
Top 3 favorite songs by TLU? By other artists? Two instrumental b-sides are quite good, Moon in the Gutter and Flow My Tears The Policeman Said. So Clear from our second record. Again and Again is a nice one, too. It’s a little like Syd Barrett with arpeggiators. I’ve worked in record stores so I have a large song base. I would be excluding a lot by only choosing three but I will try to think of three with bizarre arrangements. Do I Worry by The Ink Spots is a very well written song. It takes some unpredictable but smooth turns and resolves itself. That’s from the early 1940s. Crying by Roy Orbison is also a weird song structure with many parts. Deconstructing that you see it has six parts which repeat twice. That’s pretty impressive. Also something simple like Where Did Our Love Go by The Supremes is great. There really isn’t a chorus, just a repeating verse with a sax solo somewhere in the middle.
What’s a perfect day like for TLU studio wise? We aren’t in recording studios very often. We recorded drums and bass for our new album in two days. We finished , so I guess that means success. Finishing. We do record often at home. Then everything gets sort of mixed into daily life. It’s hard to separate the moments. Our neighbor at the moment won’t tolerate the noise bleeding out of our monitors anymore. Time to move out I guess.
Perfect day performing wise? Every band member has a different perspective on a gig. I could really dig a gig and maybe one of the others doesn’t, or vice versa. Sometimes we think we played horribly and an audience member or the booker tells us it was great. We were very accident prone to cables breaking. You get what you pay for. So, I would say if no cables go out then it was a great gig.
How far are you willing to go when it comes to expressing your political beliefs through your own music? I shouldn’t really say we are political. I would say some of the songs are more like reporting on the times or a social critique of modern society. I went to the same high school as South Park creator Tray Parker. South Park sort of makes fun of everything. Life seems to have gotten more and more ridiculous with all this technology around. Wish come true with the click of a mouse.
What’s the most important world issue humans should be trying to correct? I am not really qualified to answer that. I should perhaps look in the mirror first. I must correct myself before I correct anyone else.
If you could have an enlightening conversation with any person, living our dead, who would you choose? My parents live on another continent. So to visit them would be nice. I don’t go home very often.
How has TLU evolved over the last few years compared to its early existence? I think the texts have evolved. There aren’t so many rhymes anymore. And they are both about everything and absolutely nothing. Gospel and nonsense. Musically, I think our newer songs are a little more strange. As people I think we became a little more shy and withdrawn.
You can find Thieves Like Us in all the usual social media places and music outlets.