Morning Thieves
Gig Seeker Pro

Morning Thieves

Mississauga, Ontario, Canada | SELF

Mississauga, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Band Rock Alternative

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs

Music

Press


The Morning Thieves would probably be the first to admit that they’re all about the hooks. It’s rare to find a young band that's enthusiastic about personal connection with their audience without coming off as totally superficial. But that’s this band in a nutshell: performers — entertainers, really — who trade in fun pop but don’t water it down too much. Like Hollerado, they’re just a little more complex than what you’d ordinarily hear on the radio.

Case in point: the Thieves’ new Wrongside EP, specifically its titular track, which for the first half packs in hooks like sardines in a crushed tin box. Drum hooks, guitar hooks and vocal breakdowns (which echo Our Lady Peace back when they were, like, good) trade places. It’s this dedication to density, this musical cutting-of-the-fat (for the most part), that makes them convincing — and, as a matter of fact, they’re also more convincing live than they are recorded.

The Our Lady Peace comparison is doubly apt, because the Thieves seem to embody a little of that band’s Clumsy-era brooding atmosphere. What makes them unique is their understanding that dark music can be fun and accessible. They’re still mastering their craft: Wrongside is not without missteps, but for a first release, it’s an accomplishment, with plenty of promise and some room to grow. Wrongside dropped at The Piston on Oct. 6, and we got lead singer Bryan Fligg on the phone to talk about where the Thieves are at and where they’re headed.

Last time we spoke you guys were busy trying to wrap this thing up — which was a while ago. It sounds great, by the way, but obviously this was an intense process. When did you get it finished?
Well, we finished recording in April and started mixing in May. We took a break over the summer to play some shows — we did the Warrior Dash, which is basically this insane military obstacle course. There were over 21,000 people there, which was amazing. Not all of them were there for the music, of course, but the vibe was still there. We also did a cancer benefit at the Horseshoe. We finished mixing in late August and then mastered it in September at the Wreckhouse. Shortly after that, TIMA (the Toronto Independent Music Awards) wanted “Wrongside” for a promotional video, which was awesome. We also shot a fun sort of summer video for “Holding On” at my family’s cottage.

How have sales been?
Well, we managed to sell 60 copies at our CD release, and 30 packages with a CD and a T-shirt.

That’s pretty damn good for an indie CD release.
Yeah, totally. It was an awesome event; we packed The Piston at $10 apiece, and the energy was incredible. All eyes on us, everybody sweating … the audience was totally involved, and that’s what we strive for. If it feels intimate, if it feels high-energy, then we’ve succeeded. We also signed on with Indie Pool to do distribution, duplication, artwork and radio promotion. It’s really a great tool for indie bands working their way up. Basically you get 250 CDs for $500 — the same price ratio as you’d get with a bigger run, say a thousand CDs — but for a short run. Anyone making their way in the industry should check it out.

How do you feel about the final product?
I love it. It’s got a great consistency to It — it listens like a cohesive product, not like a handful of songs. A lot of that has to do with all of the preproduction we did… we recorded with Tim [Oxford] from the Arkells, and most of the preproduction was done at his place. We’d work, go out and grab a schawarma, come back and work some more. We trimmed a lot of fat. When we started getting sick of each other we’d just burn off the aggression with some N64.

What game?
Goldeneye. Four-player Goldeneye. It really works.

Who do you like in Canadian music right now?
I don’t know, man, it’s hard to say: I just keep hearing about these new bands, and they blow me away. The quality of the material coming out of the Toronto-Hamilton-Newmarket sort-of area is great. I mean, I come from a place musically where I love bands like Wilco, Spoon — but we [the band] really like Canadian music right now: Tokyo Police Club, The Reason, Sweet Thing … and, man, I saw Hollerado at Sound Academy, and it was just great. It wasn’t over the top, it wasn’t cocky: just guys who genuinely love what they do, not forcing it on you but subtly convincing you.

That’s kind of how they struck me with their answers to my interview questions, as well. I see that commonality between your bands, and the Arkells too because of the Springsteen-anthem quality, but you guys are a lot darker than either Hollerado or the Arkells, I feel.
Yeah, we are definitely darker, but… I mean, some of us used to play in a prog-rock band, and we were just all about screwing with your head — but there came a time where we just had to say “f*** it” to that. It has to feel good for the audience, it has to get the audience involved, make them feel like the material is theirs, not exclusively ours.

Morning Thieves are:
Bryan Fligg — Vocals, Guitar, Keys
Stephen Orr — Guitar, FX
Mike Appleton — Bass, Vocals
Christopher Paul Hummel — Drums, Vocals - Chris Carriere - PostCity.com


Huh. I have to say I'm pleasantly surprised by the Morning Thieves Wrongside EP. I've heard about the band, mostly because I know one of the guys in the band, but didn't know what they were about until now. And wowza, these guys are the real shit. Fully developed, radio-ready, teen dream groovy with a spice of emo, rock.
It's not even the type of music I would normally find myself gravitating towards but it's a bit impossible to ignore the well-written addictingly-structured alt-rock and all its potential.
The strong vocals, pretty melodies and soft but edgy tunes is guaranteed to make panties wet - ... with pee, perverts.
I can't stop listening to the 4 songs over and over, and I keep shaking my head in disbelief of how solid it is each time.
Radio radio radio, radio radio radio.
They're going to be all over the radio.

Soon.
I bet. - Sarah Litt, Agency Group


Huh. I have to say I'm pleasantly surprised by the Morning Thieves Wrongside EP. I've heard about the band, mostly because I know one of the guys in the band, but didn't know what they were about until now. And wowza, these guys are the real shit. Fully developed, radio-ready, teen dream groovy with a spice of emo, rock.
It's not even the type of music I would normally find myself gravitating towards but it's a bit impossible to ignore the well-written addictingly-structured alt-rock and all its potential.
The strong vocals, pretty melodies and soft but edgy tunes is guaranteed to make panties wet - ... with pee, perverts.
I can't stop listening to the 4 songs over and over, and I keep shaking my head in disbelief of how solid it is each time.
Radio radio radio, radio radio radio.
They're going to be all over the radio.

Soon.
I bet. - Sarah Litt, Agency Group


Discography

Wrongside EP - October 2011
1. Holding On
2. Wrongside
3. Sweet Silhouette
4. Words In These Notes

Kind Of Alive Demo - October 2010
1. Contrast
2. Before You & I (Live at Rancho)
3. Words In These Notes (Live at Rancho)
4. Holdin On
5. Sweet Silhouette (Acoustic)

Photos

Bio

Let's not waste any time. The Morning Thieves are a guitar-based alt-rock outfit from Mississauga, and they've just released their studio debut, Wrongside, an atmospheric, radio-ready E.P. that's charming the bedroom-headphones crowd the way their live performances have already charmed Ontario audiences. The Thieves are feeling confident, and there's a good reason why: these three childhood friends have taken the time to hone their sound and songcraft to a fever pitch.
Everyone knows that good songs come first, and the Morning Thieves have allowed their songwriting approach to ripen to a startling level of maturity. The result is the opposite of self-indulgence: quality material that audiences can get excited about. Fans already know the words to the songs, and newbies are going to have a tough time listening to the title track "Wrongside" even once without chanting along with the infectious prechorus.
The same maturity comes through in their indie-meets-pop approach. It's a careful balancing act of restraint and intensity. Songs like "Sweet Silhouette" grab listeners with catchy hooks and then turn heads with unexpected melodic twists. "Holding On" starts off wrapped in pop sheen, then sheds it to slam us with a seriously ballsy rock coda. They're the kind of guys that'll drop a Radiohead cover into a live set, sandwiched between a tightly-written Kings Of Leon-style FM radio single and an angsty Queens of the Stone Age-inflected barnburner.
There's a self-assured swagger in the way that the Thieves deliver their soulful, melody-drenched songs. Its easy to say that the voice of lead singer Bryan Matthew Fligg is a big part of that; it's the power of Jeff Buckley meets a Thom Yorke falsetto. But the Morning Thieves also have a secret weapon: the soaring harmonies of Christopher Hummel (drums) and Mike Appleton (bass). These aren't your token backup shouters: their smooth, ghost-whisper contributions on "Words in These Notes" showcase a knack for transporting the music to a place that's both eerie and eerily familiar. All the while, distorted guitars and impressive-but-not-showy instrumental sequences keep things from getting sentimental.
Even before Wrongside, the response was stellar. In 2010 Morning Thieves were invited to play with Canadian Idol alumni Ryan Malcom's new band (Low-Level Flight) and were awarded a recording grant through FACTOR. With the release of Wrongside, the Thieves are making a play for the hearts and ears of music listeners everywhere. They have been recently awarded another grant through FACTOR and are currently working on their new EP, scheduled to drop mid 2013. They're hungry and driven, and there's no mistaking it, but there's something rarer at work here, as well: an electricity, a charisma, something that is audible at a venue in the few seconds of silence before a gig starts.