Gang of Thieves
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Gang of Thieves

Burlington, Vermont, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2009

Burlington, Vermont, United States
Established on Jan, 2009
Band Rock Funk

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"Gang of Thieves – Texas Rockfest 2014"

I was able to get to the Texas Rockfest 2014 this year for the first time. With Texas Rockfest in the same area as SXSW getting there was no easy task. The night started out with a THUD! Once we found a place to park we sat in the car and listened to the radio for about 15 minutes when the radio shut off with no warning. I cycled the key off and on and then tried to start the car and that is when we realized that the battery had died. We decided to call AAA at the end of the night as I was anxious to get a chance to shoot some concert photos. We finally made our way down to 7th and Neches in Austin, Texas and found the Texas Rockfest Stage. The lighting wasn’t that great but at least it was better than LED lighting. Gang of Thieves was performing and it sounded great! They are out of Burlington, Vermont and have a funky rock sound. They are fun to watch with all the jumping and dancing on stage, they are ELECTRIC and the sound is highly contagious. Keep an eye on Tobin Salas as he can really catch some air with his bass strapped to his side! They have a very unique sound and a driving beat. The live concert didn’t have the horns and keyboards but still rocked the audience. I was lucky enough to score a demo CD and it is awesome! I challenge you to listen to their music and see if you can resist dancing and head banging! I just wish these guys were local as they have a sound and show that I can really support! Special thanks to Adam Brewer of Texas Rockfest for finding some amazing talent in the far northeast of America. - LORNEMARCUM - 512 Photos


"Weekly Shout-Out: CollegeFest 2013"

If there was a funk delivery service, Gang of Thieves would be at your door hooking you up. Emerging from Burlington, Vermont since 2009, this band is full of unstoppable funk machines bringing you some of the best drum sets, guitar riffs and lyrics you've heard in awhile. Their track Coco Mocha is my personal favorite, blending funk, reggae and spanish into one. Get funked up, crank some Gang of Thieves. You'll thank me later. - SonicBids


""Having toured and raged.... four years and three albums into a solid career for the rockers.""

“I’ll play you one with horns,” Mike Reit says, enthusiastically pulling out his phone and thumbing through his playlist. It’s a warm evening on a busy street and four of the six Gang of Thieves have sat down to eat burritos.

“This song is called ‘Coco Mocha’, and it’s about a type of coffee called cocococoamochahoneymapleganja coffee, which we made in the town of Covolo, where we have close friends and family, where we go to relax and have California time. This guy there, the same guy from Dinosaur Sandwich Party: ‘In the little town of Covolo, man with a smile and a simple flow…’ That guy makes the best cup of coffee you’ll ever have. It’s his thing. Every morning he makes one brew. If you’re here for it, good. If not, he doesn't make it any other time. He heats the water up, but doesn’t let it boil, ‘cuz otherwise it’ll burn the coffee. It’s perfect coffee. I had all this stuff: Coconut oil, honey, maple, cocoa powder…and I put it all in the coffee. I was stoked. This is cocococoamochahoneymapleganja coffee. His girlfriend was like, ‘Oh, that sounds like a song.’ I said, 'Oh! It is a song!' Half a year later and here it is.”

Bring on horns and a reggae backbone, to a song wholly Gang of Thieves, but not like anything else they’ve ever made before. It’s four years and three albums into a solid career for the rockers.

Having toured and raged, the band has added Deven Massarone on drums and Leonard Sokol on guitar. The original brethren, Mike Reit on vocals, Nick Wood on guitar, and Tobin Salas on bass, make up a pack of hungry rockers. Each song has splintering guitar, heavy drums, funky bass, and a wide range of vocal fury. Their songs are fun and positive. They talk about taking it easy, about cutting loose.

Gang Of Thieves

It only makes sense that they ended up in Berkeley, California to record their new album with one of the west coast’s hottest engineers. “Cocamocha” is just a taste of the amazing music G.O.T. continues to make. Tonight they’re hanging out with their PR manager, Aron, to talk about the album, and of course, for the Gang, it's no straight forward yarn:

Tell me about the guy you recorded the album with.

Mike Reit: Michael Rosen is an engineer in the Berkley area. He’s also a teacher. That’s how we hooked up with him. My cousin, Ali- well, Alex Riddle. Nobody calls him Ali. Everyone calls him Alex or Riddle. He helped us do our Riddle EP and he hooked us up with Michael Rosen. When we went to the next class, he told us he wanted to do some work with us!

Tobin Salas: He kept using “Sexy Star Circus”. After we went in and recorded with him, he kept using it for his classes. He kept hearing it and hearing it and thought, “These guys are good!” [Laughs]

Mike: That’s literally what he did. He called us on the phone and was like, “I’m thinking about you guys!”

Tobin: He used to work in a bunch of big studios around here, which is partially why he was working with so many big acts, because he used to work on some major label. That’s why he worked with Less Than Jake in Florida. And he was working at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. That’s where he did Santana and Rancid.

What a life! His job is to work with some great people.

Mike: Mike: He was saying that: “Wow, I can’t believe how lucky I got. I’ve been doing this since I was 16. I thought, I’m not very good at playing music but I want to be involved in music, so what can I do?”

Nick: He made it seem so easy, when he was explaining it. He was like, “When I was 14 years old, the two things that mattered to me in life were smoking weed and music, and I didn’t see much of a future in smoking weed.” [Laughs]

And you recorded a full album with him.

Tobin: 10 songs.

Mike: We went to his personal studio in Berkley. You walk around some weird looking building. It’s kind of dirty.

Nick: There’s this huge metal gate. No address for it.

Mike: Then you walk in and there’s the nicest studio you’ve ever seen.

s he a hardass?

Tobin: Kind of. But in a very funny way.

Mike: Not in a way that made you think this guy was a pain in the ass. It was like, “Okay, this guy really wants to make this sound good.”

Nick: He’s been around the block and had success on enough levels. He knows the rate of work we should be at.

That’s a good thing for you where you are as a band.

Nick: Even in practice we’re working at whole new levels. Since he left his mark on us.

Aron: Well, it’s on the side of your van.

Gang Of Thieves

Mike: Yeah, my cousin re-did the paint job on the side of the van because Rosen was his teacher, and Alex had come to hang out with us all the time during recording. He was the, ah, Assistant Energy Person.

Tobin: He didn’t really do anything because Michael Rosen does everything himself, even setting up the mics.

Mike: He didn’t hire one person. He set everything himself, no technicians. So Alex painted his face on the van with a direct quote.

Tobin: The - Johnny Powell, Angelica Music (Jul 05, 2013)


""Make friends with everyone: an interview with Gang of Thieves""

Describe Gang of Thieves for someone who has never heard the band.

Well, we are five young dudes, a dog, and a roadie rampaging around the country together. We’re friendly, we laugh often, love to adventure, and we do dishes in exchange for a couch or floor more often than not.

We like to call ourselves a funky rock and roll band, but we draw influence from a lot of different musical backgrounds, from Rachmaninoff to Rage against the Machine. Our sound is a blast of rock and roll from the 70s and 90s, mixed with funky breakdowns, some reggae grooves, and plenty of guitar solos.

You’re currently working on an album. How is this experience different than other recordings you’ve done?

All of our previous recordings have been produced ourselves, excepting one day of production for Dinosaur Sandwich Party. For the new album, we’ve been in constant contact with our producer Michael Rosen since we first got the confirmation in December. We’ve been Skyping with him from rehearsals, sending him rough mixes of new songs, and just generally getting to know the guy. He’s a pretty awesome dude.
This is also the longest we’re going to have ever spent in the studio recording. Our first two albums we recorded in just a few days, and the same with our EP and the other demos we’ve put out. We’re planning on staying in the studio for two weeks this time, so who knows what kind of crazy sounds we’re going to be making in there!

One more HUGE part of this project is the Kickstarter we have launched to help make this album actually happen! We’ve received an amazing amount of support from our friends and fans and we are still pushing hard to reach our goal to cover the album costs and get it released in a reasonable amount of time. Check out our kickstarter for more info about the new album.

You’ve been known to be on the road nine months out of the year. What’s the best advice you can give about touring?

Make friends with everyone you meet! This is probably the most important thing about touring as an independent band. You never know who’s going to be at your next show; maybe that loud guy at the bar is your next big break! Also, you just might find a place to stay for the night (sometimes they will even make you breakfast in the morning!). We’ve made some of the best friends we have in the world just because we hung out and chatted up a few drunk people after a show. We meet so many wonderful people who open their homes to us when we’re on the road. Without them we’d be sleeping in the van, or wasting money on hotels, so always remember to be respectful to your fans, and hook your buddies up with a CD or T-Shirt!

If you could only have three albums in the tour van, what would you choose? Why?

There no conceivable way we could all agree on only three albums to keep in the van, so we each gave an answer.

Deven

The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper
Steel Pulse – Earth Crisis
Pink Floyd – Animals

Leo

I would choose AC/DC’s Back in Black, Van Halen’s Greatest Hits, and Queen’s Greatest Hits. Why? Because NOTHING beats good old fashioned rock n’ roll.

Nick

Allman Bros Band- Live at the Fillmore East
Black Sabbath – Paranoid
Wu-Tang Clan – Enter the 36 Chambers
Because: guitar solos, the devil, and fresh beats.

Tobin

Miles Davis – Birth of the Cool
Rage Against the Machine – Renegades
State Radio – Us Against the Crown
I chose these albums because they are my perfect mix of driving music. Rage gets me riled up and excited before a show, State Radio keeps me going after a long day of driving, and Miles is the perfect way to end a night, or mellow into an evening.
And…I love the songs on those three albums so much; I could listen to them forever and never get bored. I feel like I hear something new almost every time I listen to any of them.

Michael

AC/DC - Back in Black
Sublime – Sublime
Rage Against the Machine - Evil Empire

What would you be doing if you weren’t making music?

We’re not sure what you mean. Honestly, none of us has any idea what we would be doing if we weren’t making music. - - Gary Schwind, incognito music magazine (May 02, 2013)


"Funk Friday: Gang of Thieves"

Gang of Thieves is a band that found us via our Funk Friday feature of Funkwagon. The bassist introduced himself by saying that the band has done several DIY tours and has self-released an album every year since 2010. All of those things are pretty solid in our book. We love DIY tours and releases. And funk of course.

It doesn’t take long to catch the groove this band lays down. The first song I heard on ReverbNation is called “Sexy Star Circus.” Like any good funk band, the bass is what really gets you moving your head. I know it’s hard to compare anyone to Bootsy Collins, but Tobin Salas does a pretty good job of capturing Bootsy’s sound. And you know what that means. That means without even thinking about it, you’re shaking whatever booty you got.

You know how Funkadelic kind of specializes in baby-making music? Like in “Mommy, What’s a Funkadelic?” among other songs. Well, Gang of Thieves dips into that groovin’ baby-making sound in “Dinosaur Sandwich Party.” Oh I know it’s not the sexiest name for a song, but if you are looking for some music to get your groove on, give this song a try. If it doesn’t get your prospective partner in the mood, well…I guess there are pills for that sort of thing.

There is a healthy amount of rock in this band too like in “Gunslinger”), but this band is more interested in getting your hips moving than your fists. The best thing I can say about this band is, “Get you some!” - Incognito Music Magazine


"Rocket Shop 1/16/2013: Lucid; Gang of Thieves"

Words by Mason Smith. Photos by Lily Chau.

Last Wednesday, Rocket Shop had Lucid and the Gang of Thieves in studio. More accurately, Rocket Shop had the Gang of Thieves on a long-distance phone call. This Burlington-based five piece has been making music since 2009 and touring for up to nine months per year since then. Currently on their Mothership Tour, this funky rock band will bring the party to any venue. Their style is the kind that fits perfectly everywhere from a dirty basement party, to a club, to a concert hall. The high-energy music features a fast-paced rhythm section, quirky guitar riffs, and hip-hop-infused vocals. Claimed influences such as Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rage Against the Machine are quite apparent.

For the crew’s extensive tour dates, videos, photos, and a bunch of other neat stuff, check out www.TheGangOfThieves.com. ‘Like’ them on Facebook and follow @GangOfThieves. Be sure to head down to Nectar’s night club this Saturday to see them perform live — because they won’t be in Burlington for a while after that. - Big Heavy World - Rocked Shop


""unabashed, straight-up funk rock....these guys go all out, in an utterly un-ironic way""

GANG OF THIEVES: This first one is unabashed, straight-up funk rock, the kind I haven’t heard in, hell, about 15 years now. And these guys go all out, in an utterly un-ironic way — I’m talking watery, Bootsy Collins-style bass, chicka-chicka guitars, stop-start rhythms, and primary-colored melodies, all bouncing along beneath sing-song-y, pseudo-soulful vocals, the whole deal, all with song titles like “Dinosaur Sandwich Party” and “Necromantic Judo” (no, I’m not kidding).

And somehow, it works. Granted, some of the appeal is undoubtedly because I did have a serious funk phase back in the ’90s, when Fishbone and the Chili Peppers reigned supreme (and when I seriously loved an underappreciated NZ funk band called Supergroove), but heck, I’m enjoying this. And the two-year-old is enjoying the stoned hippie-dinosaurs on the cover of the band’s most recent album… - Space City Rock - Jeremy Hart


""they put on the type of live show at which even the most adamantly stand-still-with-arms-crossed folks in the crowd won’t be able to resist some sort of rhythmic movement"."

No need to worry about bland, generic tunes here. If the Darth Vader-esque monologue at the beginning of Raw Milk doen’t grab your attention, hopefully the funky riffs do. If not, check your pulse.

With its colorful album cover displaying exactly what the title says, The Gang of Thieves’ Dinosaur Sandwich Party appears to be the kind of party to end all other social gatherings. The Burlington, VT band came together in early 2009, and currently the band boasts a 50 percent chance of dreadlocks.

Dinosaur Sandwich Party is their second full-length album and was released in August, 2011. The album expertly pens the jam session vibe, full of sweet bass and a mood that sways between upbeat and laid-back. The Gang’s funky rock and roll sound is both bouncy and smooth, but they can also pull off that dirty, old-school rock style, most notably in Necromantic Judo, whatever that song title means. Dharma Dojo hints at Red Hot Chili Peppers, whose vibe pokes its head throughout other points in the album, along with Rage Against The Machine, whose magnetizing riffs obviously reflect back to Gang of Thieves’s style.

The gold star for this album goes to guitarist Nick Wood, whose riffs and solo work glide seamlessly on their own and carry the songs forward on a wave. Wood’s guitar work also weaves well with Michael Reit’s vocals.

Okay, so the lyrics might encroach a bit on cheesiness at times, but the songs never stop being fun. Reit’s fiddle-playing featured in The Bunny Song makes for a pleasantly surprising addition to the track as they close out the album.

The Gang of Thieves, if it was apparent enough in the title track, just want to kick it, and it’s likely they put on the type of live show at which even the most adamantly stand-still-with-arms-crossed folks in the crowd won’t be able to resist some sort of rhythmic movement.--Sarah Ruggiero - --Sarah Ruggiero, Deli Magazine


"Strange Encounters a Puppy and the Presidents Pants"

There’s something about Gang Of Thieves’ magnetism for the odd and surprising. It might have been that, while we stand outside of Nectar’s, BVT for an interview, a Native Indian, middle-aged woman named Maggie approaches them for a cigarette. She confesses she just got out of prison, mentions a lot of “rug munching” while in the Can, shows off her only possessions, (a wad of bills and a blue jumpsuit), and leaves the group with some dirty jokes, (How do you get a nun pregnant? Fuck her!).

It might also be their disheveled homeless friend that comes up shaking his head. He asks if we heard ab out his girlfriend, who went missing two days ago after telling her dad she was going for a swim. He hasn’t slept, is sucking down Vitamin Water to stay awake, and appreciates our keeping a lookout for a blonde woman on a bicycle. He hugs the Gang, thanking them for being good to him, which they are, offering encouragement, saying they’ll do their best to help.

Or it might be the Gang themselves, as they live in their tour bus, have a seemingly endless supply of guitar riffs, hooks, and sing-along choruses, as well as interesting stories to tell, especially surrounding their new album, Dinosaur Sandwich Party, an unmistakable party album.

But whatever it is, the Gang Of Thieves approach it all with a smile, a laugh, and all in the name of rock n’ roll. Their charm is so powerful that when they ask Maggie to check them out inside, she later appears on the dance floor, grinning and dancing, alongside many eager fans, all of whom lose themselves in 90s-style pop/punk/grunge/funk of G.O.T., who, in the interview, explain how they got from there to here in just under two years.

What was the motivation behind the album?

Nick Wood: It was something we were cooking on for a long time. We had our first CD and then, not even a month later we said, “Whatever we do next is going to be off the goddamn hook,” and then we go on this three-month tour adventure and have these crazy stories that we wanted to chronicle in song form.

Mike Reit: A lot of the songs are stories from last summer. The title of the album even came from our roadie, Zack. He came up with the phrase “Dinosaur Sandwich Party.”

Nick: ‘Cuz it was the only three words he knew in sign language.

Mike: It was so ridiculous, all the things that were happening all the time. The only way he knew how to say a raging party in sign language.

Nick: It stuck, and the hook for that song came up in the back seat of the van, and I guess we based the rest of the CD off that wild hook. (Laughs)

Mike: It’s cool to find our own sound.

In what ways did you find your sound?

Mike: Well, our first album was really, “Man, we want to be in a rock band, and these are all bands we like, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage Against the Machine... “Sexify”, “Filipino Girl”, “Rise”, they’re all really Chili Pepper-esque. They show our influences heavily. This next album came from our own experiences. We started listening to a lot of other bands, like Funkadelic and Tool.

Nick: In the year and half between albums, the amount that we grew as people and musicians and a group is showcased. This album, I’m proud of it.

Tobin Salas: I’m really sick of it. (Laughs)

How long did it take to record the new album?

Mike: Two days, recording, and a lot of mixing. We recorded in New Jersey with Steve Jancowski.

Nick: It was this amazing, high tech studio, but because of that we didn’t have money for a place to stay, so we’d track for 10, 12 hours, and then we’d drive 20 minutes to this 24- hour Walmart.

Mike: They have a policy that you can camp in their parking lot anywhere in the United States.

Did you write it all together?

Mikel: There were a couple songs that formed, we weren’t sure they’d be a song. We had a song about the bunny from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It was originally a joke, but it became an awesome song we were stoked about. It ended up being our longest song.

From the interactions we’ve already had tonight, you guys are magnets for weird stuff.

Mike: This happens to us a lot. We get a lot of weird encounters. (Laughs) It’s sometimes a little scary, but it’s never-

Tobin: It’s never anything we can’t handle.

Cornelius Florucci: It’s sketchy people being nice to us.

Tobin, where’d you get your pants?

Nick: Aren’t those the president’s pants?

Tobin: They’re the president’s son-in-law’s pants. President Truman. I got them from his apartment. We’re friends with their great grandchildren. When President Truman’s daughter and son-in-law passed away, we got to go to this sweet place in New York City and raid his closet. I have a couple of ties too. They are the nicest pants I’ve ever worn. They’re nice and airy for being on stage.

The tour seemed to be good for you guys.

Tobin: It was a definite combination of tour slash adventure. We only had the first month of the tour set up, and the rest of the time-

Nick: Ther - John Powell - Angelica-music.com


"Gang of Thieves Album Review"

For the self-released Gang of Thieves, most assuredly, Rage Against the Machine and Red Hot Chili Peppers have been father figures to this motley crew. - Angelica-Music.com


"Dinosaur Sandwich Party Album Review"

"It’s safe to say the Gang is intent on rocking full time, and screw the Man that says they can’t." - Angelica-Music.com


"Thanks"

I am thankful that people ask me to do things such as judge high school band competitions. Last Friday, I adjudicated one such band battle at the Vermont Commons School and had a blast. Not only was I impressed with the overall quality of music our next generation is producing, I was stunned by the variety. I could honestly envision seeing each of the five acts on “real” stages at venues around the area very soon.

Punk outfit Death to DJs would rock 242 Main — especially if they decapitate another Chris Martin (Coldplay) mannequin … this really happened. MC Vader the Villain — yup, high school hip-hop — had flow to equal a number of local MCs. Jam band Kwunga — from my alma mater, CVU, no less — was, well, a jam band. Where doesn’t that go over well in this town? As for the last two bands, I don’t have to envision them playing local venues, because they already do, or will shortly. Reggae-rock outfit Rock Fish will heat up the stage at On the Rise this Friday. And someday very soon, so will the competition’s unanimous champ, Gang of Thieves, who by virtue of their win earned a gig at the Richmond bakery/juke joint. (If I could talk privately to Nectar’s for a sec: Check these guys out. You’re welcome.)


http://www.7dvt.com/2009thanks - 7Days - Dan Bolles


"Band Name of the Week: The Gang of Thieves."

Band Name of the Week: The Gang of Thieves. I first caught these guys when I served as a judge for a battle-of-the-bands competition at the Vermont Commons School a little more than a year ago. Without question, they were the most polished of the five high school acts on the bill that night — though it was later revealed that the band’s front man, Michael Reit, had actually graduated the year before. I’m not sure if that means the band should vacate their title, like the USC football team was recently forced to do. But I’m considering a ruling on that in the near future. In the meantime, GOT are set to release a new album this week, entitled Dinosaur Sandwich Party, which, were I to invent another fictional weekly award for best album name, would probably win. I have yet to hear it in its entirety, but the snippets available on the band’s website suggest it’s really starting to come into its own, building on the funky alt- and hard-rock leanings demonstrated on that fateful night in a cramped high school multipurpose room. Wash away your freedom hangover when the band plays Nectar’s this Tuesday, July 5. - 7Days - Dan Bolles


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

Recently awarded Vermont’s 2018 “Best In State” by the New England Music Awards, Gang of Thieves are pioneering a new breed of American Rock n Roll, injecting funky riffs, catchy melodies, and electric violin into unforgettable high energy performances. From Opera Houses to Music Halls, and Colleges to Preschools, the Gang has captivated audiences of all ages from around the globe. The band released their new EP “Totem”(2018), recorded with Grammy winning engineer Michael Rosen (Santana, Rancid, Less than Jake), featuring singles “Raise Your Head” and “The Way I Feel”. 


Gang of Thieves was formed in 2009 when cousins Michael Reit (Vocals) and Tobin Salas (Bass) joined forces with close friend Nicholas Wood (Guitar). Since then the Gang has played close to 1,000 shows through 38 states, receiving the title of “Road Warriors” from publishers around the country. During this time the Gang was joined by family and friends alike on guitar, drums, and horns, only just recently reverting back to a powerhouse 4 piece rock and roll outfit with Taylor Whipple (formerly of Lynguistic Civilians) on drums. Previous renditions of the Gang can be heard on their Dinosaur Sandwich Party album (2011, 4 Piece), Thunderfunk album (2014, 5 piece), and Born to be Loud album (2016, 6 piece).


“Packing their live performances with high energy and unforgettable showmanship, the Vermont funk rockers bring forth a new breed of Rock and Roll to create a powerful sound palatable to audiences of all kinds” - Live For Live Music


“Gang Of Thieves has a talent for taking notes from the funk and rock of older decades and adding a new, progressive type of sound on top of it that is not only captivating, but nearly impossible to not dance to.” - The Jamwich


Rush meets BS&T...Gang of Thieves put on quite a show” - AXS


Band Members