Hailing from the West Coast of San Diego, The Thieves About was founded in late 2017. Merging their ’90’s guitar-driven sound with contemporary alternative rock, J Scott Gavin (vocals and guitar), John Reikes (guitar), Andrew Williams (bass) and Brian Ulery (drums) are the epitome of modern rock with retro vibes. We spoke with vocalist J Scott Gavin (JSG) about their new EP A Joyful Terrorizing Ride, singing in the shower and lots more!
OSR: Cliche question, but how did The Thieves About form?
JSG: The Gods of Rock gathered on a mountain high and decided we needed more happiness and joy in our lives. Through copious amounts of beer, internet searches and a fondness for ’90’s alt-rock, the planets aligned and brought us together.
OSR: What about the band name? How did you come up with The Thieves About?
JSG: My son was really into trains and by ‘really into trains’ I mean an unhealthy obsession with them! I noticed some hobo scribble while standing at the train station with my boy and decided to do some research on it. There’s an entire hobo code that allows them to communicate from town to town. I loved the 2/10 which means 2 eyes/10 fingers: use caution there are thieves about. Bam, there it was.
OSR: Can you tell us about your new EP A Joyful Terrorizing Ride?
JSG: It’s like riding a roller coaster naked covered in pudding and not having to wear a face mask. It’s powerful and refreshing with just enough kick in the sack to make you wanna run through a wall and do it again. It has ups, it has downs and it spins you around.
OSR: Does the EP have a significant meaning for you?
JSG: For me, absolutely. Each song represents a powerful moment in my growth as a person and my journey through life. When I hear the songs, I’m instantly transported to the time and place of the inspiration. I also feel that these songs can resonate with a lot of people who have had similar experiences in their journey.
OSR: Which is your favourite song from A Joyful Terrorizing Ride and why that song?
JSG: Impossible to choose. At any given moment I can like one more than the other. ‘Hurt Me Sometimes’ is the freshest and carries so much passion. ‘Take Me On’ has the most emotion and such a huge chorus that I hope people hear it and open their hearts to the world. ‘We Go Down’ is such a banger that if I need to jump-start my life I crank this one to 11 and let g of all my fears. ‘Torn Down’ has been with me a long time and tells a terrific story of empowerment.
OSR: What about your least favourite song?
JSG: ‘Muskrat Love’ by Captain & Tenille.
If you’re talking about the least favourite on the EP, then I’ll have to say…
OSR: What do you hope people take from your music?
JSG: I hope that people can take a little piece of my heart and find some joy in their own lives. To share in the experience of the song and let it take them to a happy place.
OSR: If you could would you change anything about A Joyful Terrorizing Ride? What would it be?
JSG: That we didn’t have to record during the pandemic. Having to share parts over the internet and not be in a room together to collaborate and share ideas in the moment was the worst part.
OSR: Do you the COVID-19 pandemic will change the future of the music industry?
JSG: Yes. I don’t know that people will feel comfortable at live shows – shoulder-to-shoulder, singing and sweating with strangers. There will be open spaces, nervousness and the live experience will change.
I think there’s going to be a loss of personal relationships that bands form with fans. Spending time with people who love and appreciate your music is special. When that gets taken away I don’t think the connection with the music is as strong.
OSR: What sort of challenges do you face as an independent artist?
JSG: Getting noticed without sacrificing your soul.
OSR: Do you sing in the shower?
JSG: A great deal of inspiration comes from standing naked and pretending you’re in the rain. So, yes, I love singing in the shower. I’m just not sure anyone else appreciates it like they should.
OSR: What is the worst haircut you have ever had?
JSG: My mom was taking us to get our family pictures done when I was five, so I cut my own hair. She was devastated. I had long, straight red hair and I cut my bangs at a sold 45-degree angle.
OSR: What does the future hold?
JSG: At this point in 2020, I’m assuming that the monsters of the seas will finally rise up and eradicate the majority of the population. Couple that with an alien invasion and we’re pretty much doomed. All that will save us will be rock and roll and we will help to lead the charge.
OSR: Do you have a message for our readers?
JSG: It is with a heartfelt and deep appreciation that you’ve taken the time to enjoy this interview. I hope you also enjoy the music and I look forward to making a personal connection with anyone who is interested in learning more about The Thieves About.