The earnest and passion of pop-punk is not something that is incredibly hard to locate in today’s music community. But a refreshing change of scenery comes when a band in the genre changes the rules on the level of the musicianship and live performance, trading out traditional song structures and predictable live shenanigans for something more interesting. Austin, TX’s Thieves are just that kind of change in the scenery.
Vocalist/guitarist Billy Canino and guitarist Chris Skiles formed Thieves after the break-up of a band called Tomorrow’s Too Late (which featured With The Punches singer Jesse Vadala), joining forces with bassist Nate Helton. The group released a demo in 2009 with its original drummer, drawing influences from bands like early Fall Out Boy and Every Time I Die. Thieves’ first tour saw them supporting those four songs, selling hand-printed T-shirts and hand-burned copies of their demo CD. The DIY ethic is strong in the Texas natives.
More touring occupied the band’s time until it joined forces with Austin promotions company/record label, Vagabond Collective, to release its debut full-length, 2011’s Just Give It Up. Thieves went on tour with what the group calls “real band shit” for the first time, highlighted by a five-week run on the Squid Life tour supporting With The Punches and Carridale. The addition of drummer James Beveridge in early 2012 provided the bridge to a fresh wave of writing and recording, and Thieves released a single called “Achiever” last October.