Sneaky Thieves

Sneaky Thieves

 Seattle, Washington, USA
BandRockAlternative

A musical response to the constant loose ends of life - unsettling, moody and introspective.

Biography

Some Sneaky Thieves facts you may use for purposes good or ill:

Sneaky Thieves play atmospheric downtempo rock with an experimental edge.

The band was formed by brothers Robert and Freddy Bale in 2003. Together they forged a sound built on a bedrock of acoustic minimimalism and dusty electronic experiments.

The origin of the band's name is a mystery even to those who chose it, but a careful Google search indicates that in 2003 Governor Matsuzawa of Kanagawa province, Japan, called all foreigners "sneaky thieves." It is assumed he said this in Japanese. Connection?

Brendan McDevitt joined the group in late 2003, bringing many years of marching band experience and hundreds of slick Jazz flourishes.

In the summer of 2005, Brendan's brother, Darby McDevitt, joined the group a fortnight before their first recording session, bringing his love and respect for Post-Punk, New Wave, No Wave, and Electro to the table.

Jeramy Koepping - member of Voyager One and Grand Hallway, and producer for Kinski and Jen Wood - recorded and produced the record. Jeramy taught the four Sneaky Thieves how to be serious.

Here is an incomplete list of influences on the Sneaky Thieves, circa 2006: Werner Herzog. Napoleon Bonaparte. Yacht Rock. Will Oldham. A box of gravel. Brian May. Talk Talk. John Millington Synge. Friends and Families. Brian Eno. Children. Leos Carax.

The record "accident(s)" was completed in late 2005.

In January 2006, the four Sneaky Thieves enlisted the help of local multi-instrumentalist Bryant Moore to help recreate the lush sound of the album for live shows. This was the smartest move they ever made.

The Sneaky Thieves gigged about happily. They toured the west cost of the USA twice between 2006 and 2007.

In mid-2007 the quintet began work on their second record. However, a series of confused and unfortunate decisions led to a delay of more than half a year, and further recording was slowed down by the busy schedules of individual members. What were they doing?

Bryant Moore remained incredibly musically active, playing with a number of northwest outfits. Between 2006 and 2009 he recorded and gigged with his solo project The Celestial Shore, as well as Come Say Hello, The Coyotes and Christina Antipa. The Celestial Shore released a record entitled "Campaign Trail" in 2007.

Darby McDevitt - a writer, filmmaker and game designer - edited film material for Canadian auteur Guy Maddin in 2006; in 2007 he worked with Spike Jonze as a designer on the video game version of "Where the Wild Things Are"; in 2009 he wrote dialog for two games in the Assassin's Creed series, and recorded a solo album under the moniker Autographic called "The Attic".

Freddy Bale earned his Master's Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Seattle University. He is currently working on a solo record.

The Sneaky Thieves' sophomore album "brotherly" was completed in early 2009 and will be released in February 2010. It was recorded by the incomparable Matt Brown of Tresspasser's William fame. Mel Kadel, the brilliant illustrator responsible for their first album cover, returned to design the artwork for "brotherly."

"Brotherly" is a monstrous album, sonically rich and stylistically diverse, teetering on a trembling foundation of glass, flame, and stormwater; thematically, it charts the slow dissipation of faith and hope in an increasingly dissolute world. We shudder at the thought that those closest to our heart are the very people most capable of damaging it; as Freddy sings in "Quarry", "...and the wolves set out upon me, in a way most brotherly." But, set deep in these shadows cast on vacant walls, there is hope. When the light outside is lacking, we ignite our own fires and carry on, pushing, straining, punching through the dark, into the limitless galore.

Thank you for your kind attention.

Lyrics

"the din"

Written By: freddy bale

Just look at my hands. I am made of nothing.
Just look at my eyes. There is something missing.

Just look in my eyes. I am half dead.

Just look at my skin. The weight of my sin is pressing through my bones.

"chaff"

Written By: freddy bale

strike the chaff from wheat
pull them to their knees
i have no shame to speak of
i have no shame to speak of

leave them where they lapse
just pull out their eyes
leave them in the streets
side by side by side

leave me where i am
cornered by your hand

strike the chaff from wheat
pull them to their knees
purified by pyres and chimneys
baptized, a subtle cleansing

leave them where they lie
spent shells on their eyes
i have no shame to speak of
i have no shame to speak of

leave me where i am
cornered by your hand

god how I feel sick
who put me to this?
just wash our hands clean of it
wash our hands clean of it

leave me where i am
cornered by your hand

"with a smile in a suit"

Written By: freddy bale

do you have a heart still beating?
did the ice take you completely?
in your hands, I pray you're shaking.
in your hands, I pray you're shaking.

no on that lives by fire
sees that in their final hours
the rich will starve

open eyed awake still sleeping
do you have a heart still beating?
in your hands, I pray you're shaking.
in your hands, I pray you're shaking.

do you have a heart still beating?
or did the ice take you completely?
in your hands, I pray you're shaking.
in your hands, I pray you're shaking.

"perfect"

Written By: freddy bale

i hear you calling in the night
though i'm not afraid to sleep
i hear your footsteps in my heart
though you're still a ghost to me

I hear you calling in the night
though you're still a ghost to me
feel your fingers at my throat
though I'm not afraid to sleep

please don't tell me
i've got no time
please don't tell me
no more lies
please don't tell me
i've got no time

i hear you calling in the night
though i'm not afraid to sleep
feel your fingers at my throat
though I'm not afraid to sleep

please don't tell me
i've got no time
please don't tell me
no more lies
please don't tell me
i've got no time

I hear you calling in the night
though you're still a ghost to me
feel your fingers at my throat
though I'm not afraid to sleep

"oh yes you won't"

Written By: freddy bale

and you need me
more than i need you
i'm calling on your phone
lying here
alone

and these are words
that i sell to you
my heart is made
of stone
lying here
i'm breaking

you need me me
more than i need you
i'm calling on your phone
lying here
i'm breaking.

"quarry"

Written By: freddy bale

i call your name
it rings out
like an afterthought
my body sinks
deep in a quarry

and the wolves set out upon me
in a way most brotherly
to my god i cry my anguish
he just turned and saw...

i cry your name
i remain
your afterthought
my body sinking
deep in a quarry

and i feel my face has swollen
my tongue fills up my mouth
to my god my praises falter
they catch on teeth and blood...

"shadow"

Written By: freddy bale

i caught you listening
close to my ribs
your hands
cut my insides
my head was broken
and confused

here in my shadow
i can bring you back

i caught you listening
close to my ribs
your hands
cut my insides
my heart was broken
and confused

here in my shadow
i can bring you back

Discography

"accident(s)" - Oct 31, 2006. Other Electricities Label

"brotherly" - Spring 2010. Other Electricities Label

Set List

quarry
shadow
eyes
chaff
all right
triumphant return
the discarded
the point is this
quiet
nothing, nothing
perfect
with a smile in a suit
old tired joke
oh yes you won't
forgotten