The Version Interview... Nothing But Thieves, at Reading Festival 2015.
Nothing But Thieves have quickly established themselves as one of the UK's most exciting upcoming bands - so we jumped at the chance to catch up with the lads backstage at Reading Festival 2015.
You were recently in Tokyo performing, how do their audiences compare to British ones?
There are a lot less Japanese people and a lot less sushi here! It was pretty wild there, the people were really into it and we had great feedback. We were trending nationally in Japan on twitter, the fans met us at the airport and hotel and we've never experienced that. We don't get that here because we don't fly anywhere.
Have you done anything there before or were these two gigs the first things you've done in Japan?
We had an EP out there which started to do alright there and then we got booked, and this festival is just monstrous, the acts are just fucking... Olly Murs was there! *Laugh* ...no they have had monstrous artists like Radiohead and Blur, it was an honour.
How was it supporting Muse recently?
That was fucking incredibly. It was fucking madness. We came out on stage a couple of hours before the gig and one guy started waving at me and screaming at me and then 30,000 people were doing it and I thought 'this is gonna be a good gig!' and it was, and now we have a huge Italian fan-base. It was the best show we played I think, apart from Reading. I've always wanted to play it here, I've been here as a punter and it's the best UK festival by far. They've got beer as well. That's all you need, beer and bands, the two b's.
When were you last here as a punter?
2011 I think.
Did you ever think you'd perform here?
No! No way. We saw bands that have been playing today. I was near the front and people were on my leg at one point and I was screaming in pain because I thought my leg was going to break. I look up and see a Security guard ripping people off me and it was amazing. Most of the bands I've wanted to see since being a child I've seen here. For rock, this is the one in the UK.
What else have you got on?
One of our friends was laughing earlier because the last time she saw us play, we were in Southampton playing to thirty people! All bands have to do that though, that's how you learn your craft. You can use it as a band practise if nothing else. We just love playing out songs, we did that for about a year and then the gigs started getting bigger. We started touring with bands like Twin Atlantic, so we've slowly grown and now we're doing this, Isle of White, the Muse gig, we've been ready for it, we've had so many opportunities lately and nothing has let us down, everything has been amazing.
Have you got tips for other bands that are coming through, or have you been given advice by any other bands?
Well we wrote songs before we started playing. People don't want to hear shit songs, and a lot of bands start off playing crap songs. That doesn't work. We wrote for two years, got our material together, and now we have an album we are happy to put out there. If you aren't proud of your tunes then there's no point. Gigging is really important too, you have to do your tracks justice, we make a point of trying to be good live.
Do you write songs thinking about performing them live?
Yeah... we don't write for people, but when you write you do think 'it would be amazing to play this at a festival that i've grown up going to' and we had that feeling today. It's a life goal achieved. We definitely want to come back next year to Reading.
Are you excited for Leeds too?
Yeah, we are, hopefully that's going to be fun. We'll be going up later, I think it may be pissing it down.
We asked your fans for some questions on Twitter...
Ha! That's funny! Do you have their names? We want their names!
We can get them! Some of the questions are a bit, left field.
Go for it!
This one is ok, what's the perfect environment for you to write a song?
Ok, we write a lot in a garage which is pretty uninspiring, I think... somewhere with a bit of character ideally. Sony gave us a practise room to work in and it's so corporate and it sucks the life out of everything, so definitely not there!
What's the real meaning behind the bands name?
There are so many people who ask this! The latest reason is we were looking for band names and we went on a random band name generator and this came up. That's not true at all.
What's your favourite jam?
Blackcurrant. Or marmalade. I love jam. Was this aimed at me? I love a blackcurrant conserve.
OK, here's the big finish, would you rather have a head the size of a tennis ball or a watermelon and why?
Watermelon! I'd go for that, a tennis ball is too small. There are people out there with big heads, and there will be some poor fucker... or someone loving live making a mint out of channel 4 with a tennis ball sized head, but I'll go watermelon, I'm quite a fruity guy.
That's funny, fuck the songs! The fans want to know about the fruit!
For more updates on Reading, follow @theversion on Twitter and for more on the band, follow @nbthieves.