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Concert Photography, Music, Tour Diary

Tour Diary: Thieves – “Rookies of the Year Tour”

By: Nathan Helton –

Thieves Tour Diary 2017

Born out of Austin TX, Thieves is an aggressive pop punk band made up of four members whose love for energetic music and convictions for a hard work ethic brought them together. Using powerful riffs and atmospheric guitar leads, the Texan natives deliver a uniquely refreshing twist to the pop punk scene. They parallel this with reflective lyrics in hopes that their experiences and stories will encourage listeners to strive for better -an ideology thoroughly embraced by the band’s members.

Formed in 2009, the band played locally under a four-song demo for the first few years to develop their sound. By 2011, they had created enough local buzz to release their first LP titled Just Give it Up. Well received by their community, it landed them a spot on a national tour supporting the bands With The Punches and Carridale, which was followed by an invite to play “Fun Fun Fun Fest.” Soon after, both fans and critics alike became enthralled by the band’s impressively vigorous stage presence and energetic shows.

Prompted by the local success of their LP,  they released their first EP titled Achiever. The EP was met with great praise due to it’s musical complexity and instrumental makeup; using thrashy guitar riffs with tempo changes and jazz elements.

By mid summer, they had promoted themselves hard enough to win Ernie Ball’s Battle of the Bands competition and played the San Antonio date on the “Vans Warped Tour.”

The band’s self-made success brought about some international recognition at the beginning of 2013. Thieves landed a spot on the Team Pagano Compilation with the likes of bands such as The Wonder Years and Modern Baseball; and in fact had the most plays of any other song featured on the compilation. By the time they released a short split EP with New Jersey pop-punkers Coming Clean, the band had sold out six live shows. This kind of success eventually turned heads at the SXSW festival, who in 2014 made Thieves an Official Artist. Come June of that year, the band released their second EP, Colorchange, produced by Beau Burchell. After playing SXSW a second time, the band was asked by pop-punk legends The Story So Far to open for them on their San Antonio tour date, which only further established the wake that Thieves was making on the scene.

More recently, the band released their newest album, No Motive, in November 2016, featuring hit singles, “Drag Me Into The Light” and “Fade.” To celebrate the band’s successful release, the group hit the road in January for a co-headlining tour with Alteras called the Rookies of The Year. While touring, the band is keeping a road diary about the experiences while touring etc, and part one can be read below.

I bet cowboys never forgot their saddles. Max and Nate forgot their sleeping bags for this tour. We went back for Nate’s, but Max drove in bag less from Baton Rouge. However, he did bring a pillow. It’s either the floor or the floor under a thin layer of cloth for us. A cowboy would have to ride bare back. Maybe if our nuts were more at stake, we’d be more conscientious. Tour is an uncomfortable period. A blanket over dirt and gravel is still a rock bottom.

After crossing the Chattahoochee River into Atlanta, Nate got ¾ way through an a cappella rendition of Alan Jackson’s “Chattahoochee” before Billy snapped.

We’re a group of awkward dudes who don’t balance out. And we weigh heavily on the side that has a hard time accepting help from people who go out of their way. We scurry away like sick mice when someone makes us food, claim to have eaten earlier and aren’t hungry. Sometimes this is true. And sometimes Skiles eating just before arriving at a house we’re staying at is no coincidence. Max’s mom is very kind—a lot of you are—but we feel undeserving as people and only slightly deserving as a band.

There are two constants with Thieves: we’ve always done shit our way and we are an extremely appreciative, grateful group of people. We do not associate with anyone who doesn’t reflect those traits.

It’s hard for me to accept help or handouts (on the road) because I don’t expect breaks, or anything to go right. I’m warm to the order of routine pessimism; shadows in dark spaces with brief light. My habit of closing blinds on sunny days; doors to better-lit rooms.

 Past tour-mates have been trying to get ahold of us over the past couple of weeks to go over the old days. Guys, everything is still the same. We’ve been in Huntsville, AL at Kobi’s house for four days. We’re on the first tour for our biggest release—our first with the full help of a label and we’re still relying on friends we made on our first tour ever eight years ago. By the time this latest run is over we’ll have spent the first week at Kobi’s and the last week touring our home state of Texas. It’s still all the same. Miss y’all.


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