Hailing from small-town Essex, Stealing Signs is an indie-rock band with a funky attitude and super songs. Their performances are as energetic as their Spotify tracks making Nick Acton (vocals and guitar), Will Daly (drums), Steve Wheate (bass) and George Wood (lead guitar) an impossible act to follow. We had a chance to chat with Nick Acton (NA) about their new single ‘The Coast’, least favourite jobs and future plans.
OSR: Cliche as hell, but how did Stealing Signs form?
NA: We were forged from the dark fires of Rock and melded our minds together to become a quartet of truth. Nah, we met at school.
OSR: What about the name ‘Stealing Signs’? How did you choose the band name?
NA: The name comes from us stealing signs together during our drunken youth. The four of us grew up in a smallish town and there wasn’t a huge amount to do in an evening. We could of called ourselves ‘Late Night Shenanigans’ or ‘Wheely Bin Adventures’, but ‘Stealing Signs’ seemed more poetic.
OSR: You just released ‘The Coast’. What can you tell us about the track?
NA: It’s a track that leans more on our hooky pop sensibilities. We like to play weaving guitar parts on top of solid basslines and tight drums. You can hear that right from the first couple of bars in ‘The Coast’. The simplistic melody sits on top of it all and is, hopefully, contagiously catchy. Lyrically, it’s about fundamentally disagreeing with someone and having to navigate the trickiness of polarised social interactions. Having said that, we’re not big on obvious lyrics. You could probably listen to the tune and surmise that it’s about something completely different.
OSR: Do you feel your music has evolved from ‘So’ to ‘The Coast’?
NA: I hope we’re always evolving and moving forward musically. It’s what keeps us engaged with writing new songs. One major evolution since our song ‘So’ is that our lineup has changed. George Wood (guitarist) joined the band two EP’s ago. He brings all of his guitaring influences to the tunes and a different perspective to the songwriting process. Overall, I’d say we’ve tightened up our music since ‘So’.
OSR: How does ‘The Coast’ differ from your other releases?
NA: It’s the grooviest mother in town. For my money, it’s our catchiest release to date. Hooky like a coat cupboard. Spikey like Sonic. Tight like spandex.
OSR: Stealing Signs has received positive reviews from many different publications. Which is your favourite review or mention?
NA: We’ve been lucky enough to find ourselves in NME, on Radio 1, Radio X and lots of other cool platforms. However, my favourite endorsement is from Jamie Oliver. We were involved in a competition to play at a BBQ of his and he was nice enough to wax lyrical about us.
Playing music can get you into all sorts of strange situations. We recently played a set in front of Micheal Eavis as part of The Pilton Stage competition. We won our heat and were all set to compete in the final to win a slot at Glastonbury. Obviously, that’s on hold, but we’re excited to get back on that stage at some point.
OSR: Who influences your music?
NA: We all bring our own individual influences to our songs. It’s a big part of what makes up our sound. Melding our musical ideas together and creating something we’re all proud of is a hard way of composing. It’s much easier if one band member writes everything. I’d say that our mixing of influences is what keeps our tunes unique and ultimately makes us an eclectic band.
OSR: What, do you feel, is the most important part of being in a band?
NA: We’re mates first and a band second. I think that’s massively important. Other bands have come and unfortunately gone in our time. Our tightness hopefully comes through in our sound.
OSR: On a scale of 1-10 how happy are you with ‘The Coast’ and how it’s being received?
NA: That’s a good question! It’s a hard one to answer. Music is now so readily available to everyone that ‘releases’ are now more of a fluid thing. We’ve had songs in the past that have been out for months before suddenly catching people’s attention. I guess you would have to ask me again in a years time.
OSR: Which is your favourite day of the week and why?
NA: Saturday. No question. The possibilities are all open and the potential of a great night hovers over Saturdays like an alcohol-fuelled rainbow.
OSR: What’s the worst job you have ever had?
NA: I’ve been pretty lucky in the job department, I’ve never hated any of them. However, I did once teach a hairdresser guitar (that’s not the bad part). Because of her shifts she had to have super early lessons. After two weeks of travelling to her house to do a thirty-minute lesson at six in the morning, I’m ashamed to say that I just stopped turning up. I was younger then. Please forgive me hairdresser.
OSR: Can we expect any more material from Stealing Signs in 2020?
NA: We’re sitting on an album and we would love to start sharing it with people. However, we want to tour during its release and promote it as much as possible. Times being as they are, we’ll have to see what happens.
OSR: Do you have a message for your fans and potential fans?
NA: I love you fans! You keep us cool during the summer with your three different speed settings. Fans of the future, I tip my hat to your innovations. Please listen to ‘The Coast’, it’s good and you will like it.