Nothing But Thieves are not quite what I expected. As a band I once saw not one but three mosh pits form simultaneously for, I was half expecting them to swagger into our interview with the same delusions of grandeur and ridiculous demands that often plague the reputation of great rock bands. But, thankfully, Nothing But Thieves are just five lads from Southend who within two minutes of our meeting have already mentioned their sadness at Love Island finishing and whose only “rockstar” request is for filter coffee, because none of them know how to use a cafetière.
Forming in 2012, the hype around the group grew quickly, resulting in them supporting Twin Atlantic at London’s Roundhouse in 2014. “I remember walking in and being like ‘This venue is massive!’ Even letting your brain wander to the prospect of you playing, we didn’t let ourselves do it,” guitarist Dom Craik tells me. Fast forward three years and the band are set to sell out their two headline shows at that same venue this November. When I ask how it feels headlining the place where they had one of their first real tour experiences, vocalist Conor Mason smiles. “It’s been a really happy upward curve and that’s kind of what you wanna keep doing for the rest of your life, you know?”
It’s Mason’s vocals that are undoubtedly the standout feature of the Nothing But Thieves’ sound. “We always use Conor’s voice as an instrument,” guitarist Joe Langridge-Brown explains and it’s clear to see why. Listening to their sophomore album Broken Machine, released this September, Mason’s voice wows on every track. As his haunting falsetto glides over the powerful rock backing, added to by bassist Phil Blake and drummer James Price, the record is a clear step up from their 2015 self-titled debut. Further proof that Nothing But Thieves are one of the most unique and exciting UK rock bands going. “It’s just wholly us and our Nothing But Thieves music now,” Mason explains. “Before it was a collection of what we were listening to and us finding our feet as musicians and songwriters, whereas this album is just us.”
Talking with the band their chemistry is obvious. I ask whether they’ve ever had any big bust-ups having to combine work and pleasure. “Every band must’ve had an argument?” Langridge-Bown muses. “Yeah,” Craik agrees, “I think Ed Sheeran probably just looks in the mirror and screams at himself...” Probably.
Photography - Dave Imms
Fashion - Dec Watkins
Grooming - Kristina Vidic
Wonderland Magazine Autumn 2017 Issue