Thieves Like Us Talk Jet-Setting, Cumbia, and New Bleed Bleed Bleed Album
American-Swedish threesome Thieves Like Us borrowed its name from a 1984 song by New Order, quite fitting because the outfit offers up the same sensitive type of electronic indie pop as the iconic '80s band.
Add to the members' mixed nationalities that Thieves Like Us first formed in Berlin, then wrote and recorded its 2007 debut album while traveling between Europe and North America, and this trio has sort of come to represent a post-millennial jet-setter's idea of hip new music.
Ahead of the band's debut Miami performance at Bardot this Saturday, Crossfade caught up with frontman and singer Andy Grier to talk about the sonic evolution of Thieves Like Us, a life of globetrotting, and new album Bleed Bleed Bleed.
Crossfade: You started as a DJ outfit. How did you make the transition into a band and how do you collectively approach the creative process in the studio?
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Andy Grier: We were never really super professional DJs. We were just sort of young drunk guys on the scene that wanted to hear music we liked -- it wasn't being played. Later, we started making our own songs. I think we did it in a very hip-hop sort of way, getting drunk in our bedroom using an Akai MPC (the standard sampler most hip-hop producers use.)
In the beginning, we were very fast not really thinking. Our early performances were mostly playback. We got kind of bored of the safety of backing tracks so we brought in other members to play bass and drums.
Thieves Like Us was conceived by an American and two Swedes in Berlin who called Paris home, but wrote material on the road while circling the globe. How do you manage to keep the chemistry and creativity, not to mention your high productivity as a band, in such an uprooted manner? Do you have an actual homebase these days?
I think one gets a lot of creative input from traveling. As for chemistry ... Well it's a bit like being married. Maybe that's why it is good to live in different cities. We are still working on getting a homebase. Bogota would be good!
Is there a concept or theme tying the material on Bleed Bleed Bleed together? How did you approach the songwriting process and how did it differ from past records?
I think it's about the little people. People that work their entire lives and believe in a system. A system which fails to take care of them.
The lyrics seem to speak of feelings like heartbreak, longing and disenchantment at times. What inspired them and about whom or for whom are they written?
Well, everything goes back to the childhood. I guess they are about many different people.
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