“We are a horde of mutants who banded together to take down a mighty evil overlord!”
Despite a fairly serious sound, this is how fun-loving Reading rockers Attention Thieves choose to describe themselves. But more than their sense of humour, it’s their music that should make you bend an ear.
Taking elements from a cross-section of British alternative rock, the four-piece deliver a sound straightforwardly led by guitars and vocals. Rather than mimicking the jovial vibes from the likes of Don Broco or the overt screams of heavier counterparts, Attention Thieves find solace in something more emotionally tinged.
To begin with, they tell us, it was all a bit indie. But as they worked together more, the sound evolved. “Over time, as is the case for most bands, we channelled all of our influences and developed more of an understanding about what music we wanted to create. Now we’re a crossover of many genres.” Those original indie-rock elements do underpin the sound, but by no means define the style. Rather, it’s defined more firmly by the band’s darker overtones.
“The song is about a dark period of [singer] Alex’s life,” they reveal, w
hen we ask about their most recent single, ‘Can’t See The Light’. “It’s about desperation and feeling like there will be no end to it. Like not being able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.” These moodier tones support the honest and often difficult lyrics. Their newer material is a clear step from their previous EP ‘Look A Little Closer’ – and one that is likely to guide their debut full-length.
The band are optimistic about this direction, and enjoying it too: they describe their most recent recording process as their favourite moment since performing at last year’s Reading Festival. Working with producer John Mitchell’s also clearly excites them, considering his work with the likes of Enter Shikari, Kids In Glass Houses and another of Attention Thieves’ contemporaries, Lower Than Atlantis.
Their sound doesn’t mirror LTA or Don Broco, but it certainly follows a similar path. Mitchell’s investment has been to harness the accessibility that led to the success of their peers. But more than that, he has also given them the space to hone their more unique elements.
“We already had a good relationship with the studio and knew they would put in their all to make the songs the best they could be. The outcome proves this and it has turned out exactly the way we wanted it to.”
Attention Thieves have been garnering increased attention since their performance on last year’s Introducing stage at Reading Festival. Acting as a homecoming of sorts, the band hold the performance in high regard.
“It was the best show we’ve played so far. We’ve been going to Reading Festival for years, so it was great to play a home town festival. It helped to validate how far we’ve come since we started.” Undoubtedly a milestone in the band’s career, but it nearly didn’t happen – “Alex was really ill with Whooping Cough and a slipped disc, but the show was so important we forced him on stage with snapping turtles and red hot pokers.”
The jokes are keeping them humble, but the truth is they know full well what such a performance did for them. “We’ve had a great reaction from fans and industry and it has helped us to build a hard working team for the band.”
This team is now preparing to take them even further forward, with a debut album hopefully coming later this year. “Alongside that we will be touring tirelessly with a lot of festivals in the summer as well. We will be pushing ourselves to be the best we can be.”
With the taste of success on the tip of their tongue and the recent release of their most accomplished track to date (‘Can’t See The Light’), Attention Thieves are on their way to indeed being the best they can be. The band have the opportunity to split from the British rock pack they currently inhabit, and with continued clever songwriting we think they’ve definitely got the skills to go out and do it.
“If anyone wants to join our mutant horde, tweet us with #mutanthorde and we’ll sign you up. You need to have mutant powers, be fearless and own 2 pairs of spandex for when one’s in the wash.”