In a dark and dingy pub in the middle of Bristol, I caught up with Lucky Thief aka Ed to talk all about his upcoming album – DIY.
Liz Sargent: Hey Ed, nice to see you again! Can you introduce yourself & the band, and tell everyone who might not know you a little bit about Lucky Thief?
Ed: Hey! I started the project 7 years ago, playing all the instruments you would normally find in a rock set-up; bass, guitar, drums & vocals. I recorded 3 singles to start with in 2018, and was enjoying it and got a good reaction. But then I did some other stuff [away from music] and went back to it, and started writing. I got 4 or 5 tracks together and my girlfriend and best friend suggested I go for it and record an album. So I put together a 10-track album, played all the instruments, recorded in Bristol. It took 3 years to put together and I’ve spent the last year teaching the band to play it live.
Between releasing the few singles in 2018, and this year you say you had a bit of a break, what were you up to?
Yeah, I was writing but not releasing. I was still finding my sound while writing and recording. There is a song that is on the album that I wrote in 2018, and re-recorded as it still holds up with this album.
Bringing the live band in, was that just so you could perform live, or do you think that has changed the way you write creatively?
At the moment, it is just so that we can play live. I write so that every part of the song has a job. I have arranged all the songs in a way that works with my style. The band are there to play the songs, but they have added their own embellishments to their parts. Intros and outros have a more collaborative approach. It was all agreed at the start, they all believed in the project and the music and wanted to bring it to life.
Do you think it will evolve to be more collaborative with the writing as you put out more music and play together more?
I have already started writing the second album, nearly finished the 3rd track. So for this one, it will be the same, with me writing and them bringing it to life. I think I will leave the door open a bit more if there is a 3rd album, but we shall see!
So far, you’ve released: Silencer, Landlubber and Spit on the Pavement. What track from the album are you most excited about releasing?
There is a track called Menace, the last one on the album which is definitely the heaviest. I listen to much heavier stuff usually, and Lucky Thief has elements of that, but for the metal guy in me, it really satisfies me. It has a bit of a drop in it, and the more ‘horrible’ sounds of metal, so personally because I love that style of music I am excited to get that one out there.
How was the process of putting the album all together?
It was pretty stop-and-start over the 3 years. I started writing 2 songs at a time. I was trying to get the funds together to be able to record. So I would write 2 songs, record them, and go away and write some more. There are some songs I’ve written that haven’t made the album. It was all recorded at Humm studio in Bristol, with Dom Mitchison, (heavy lungs, the manatees) as producer. He knew what I wanted, and it was pretty chilled when I went in to record.
How are you feeling about the album launch gig on the 27th?
A mixture, I put a lot of pressure on myself. It is such a celebration of 4 years of work and it is amazing what me and the guys have achieved, but at the same time I really want to do the best I can. We have only played 2 shows before (supporting Phoxjaw and Crooked Tongue), but this is one we have organised ourselves and our first headline with support from Life in Mono. I’m really looking forward to it, but putting that excess pressure on myself to make it really good!
You’ve done the 2 live shows before, how do you prepare for a live show? Any weird rituals you like to do?
I should probably prepare a lot more… I will make sure I do more vocal warmups for this one! I do always make sure I have picks in my pockets, just in case I lose one. I used to play without and my fingers would just bleed. Also, I always have a fear my strings might snap, so I make sure they have been restrung a week before and have been played.
Lucky Thief as a project is very DIY, did you stitch the DIY into your first batch of merch?
Admittedly… no. It was Jo – my partner. She also did all the designs for the embroidery for the singles and the album art. The first 20 tees were hand-stitched by Jo, but she has said she won’t do it for every tee! The first 20 are limited edition.
We were meant to have this chat at 2000trees but didn’t manage to. Did you have any standouts or surprise acts?
The first band I saw from the festival was one of my highlights. I hadn’t heard them before. It was this female-fronted band and she had the meanest voice – Cage Fight. So I have been listening to them a lot since as I thought they were awesome. The Bronx also had one of the heaviest pits I have ever been in, it was really heavy party music. This year was good, but last year’s line-up for me was amazing: Tiger Cub, Knocked Loose, Turnstile & Jimmy Eat World were all amazing.
What would your dream festival or tour lineup be?
My favourite band in the world are Queens of the Stone Age, that would be amazing, if I could be remotely near them, not even necessarily to play on the same line-up, I would make their food or do anything. Deftones have also been a huge influence, Alexisonfire too, from a young age I have loved them they have had that beautiful melodic arrangement of instruments and that perfect mix between heavy and loveliness.
Lucky Thief are launching their album “DIY” live at the Louisiana in Bristol on 27th August. You can get tickets here: headfirstbristol.co.uk/whats-on/the-louisiana/sun-27-aug-lucky-thief-diy-album-launch-party