Surrounded by Thieves is an awesome punk band from Las Vegas. They have a an awesome live set and have shared the stage with my punk legends. They have played show in California, Neveda and Arizona. They also have thier first album coming out in November. I got Brandon to tell their story...
My name is Brandon, I'm the lead vocals for Surrounded By Thieves (SBT).
How did the band start?
Well, SBT started about a year and a half ago. It was a few Vegas transplants. Rich - Drums was from San Diego and Chris - Bass from Oregon got together and started an ill fated rock band but still really wanted to play music, do shows and drink beers for free. The timing was right because someone put an ad on Craigslist, not sure if it was Andy - guitar or the rhythm section but those three met up and hit it off. Before long a guy named Tyson entered the group and start dropping lyrics and spitting vocals. Unfortunately, his time was brief with SBT and ultimately left to be a full time family man before getting to do a single show. Enter in E. Serraphine on vocals. Rich had met her some way or another and the chic could sing, I mean really sing. It didn't hurt that she was pretty easy on the eyes too. So Rich persuaded the others and the E era began. They did numerous shows and for some reason the chemistry faded a tad prematurely between E and the guys. I wasn't there, so I really have no idea what happened, but E decided to part ways amicably. Thus begins the Brandon era. When I say this I mean it in the most self serving way imaginable... I'm so glad she left! Had she not left, SBT would still be kicking ass without me. Her departure opened the door for me, for that I'm reluctantly grateful.
How did you come up with the name?
It actually came from the High on Fire album.
Who would you say are your influences?
We all have various influences, I grew up on old school hip hop, but bands like Face to Face, AFI, Alkaline Trio showed me the way to the promise land. Andy is a music junky! He has damn near every punk album imaginable plus old bluegrass country, folk, rap... its crazy. Rich has some pretty eclectic tastes too. His favorite band is Cadillac Tramps, but he really enjoys that old school rock and roll. Chris, I think is a lyric guy. I haven't heard him say he really dislikes any band but if it makes him laugh or think he seems to love it. But old school punk seems to really drive him.
What is the punk scene like in Las Vegas?
There is a ton of talent here in Vegas! And if these bands were anywhere else they'd probably destroy the venues they play. Bands like Happy Campers, Battle Born, Guilty By Association... They kill. But there is SO f'ng much to do here it's really hard to compete. Plus All-Ages is virtually non-existent. Las Vegas and Clark County gov't seems to have something against kids going to a secure venue where fun, creativity, and secure social atmospheres exist. I'm pretty sure they all came from privileged environments where house parties and doing rails on the glass table were common place... maybe that's why they can't understand "good clean fun." Just my theory.
Describe the song writing process...
Now days it mostly starts with either me or Andy having a riff or sometimes a full song we just bring to practice. Its amazing to, when Chris and Rich get their stamp on it, it just exponentially gets better and becomes an SBT song. Another thing that works in our favor is that Andy and I don't see eye to eye on much at all and it's great. It opens the door for conversation and questioning ourselves. We could write for days about political topics, but we've been toning that down a bit to focus on things in life that affect everyone, topics that won't divide the audience. Most importantly we've just been writing some Break shit - Foot pounding - Kick the door down - Full Throttle melodic punk! It is entirely our goal, that when you see us live, you say "Holy shit, what did they just do to my ear hole... That was wonderful." At which point you'd go get a napkin and clean yourself up.
What have you released?
Actually, our first full length album "Prophecies of Greed" is coming out Nov. 25th 2011. You'll be able to pick it up at www.surroundedbythieves.com as well as iTunes, CD baby, Zia records and Cash for Chaos (Las Vegas).
Who are some of the bands you have done shows with?
Individually, we've all done shows with pretty decent bands. I've played with JFA, Guttermouth, Authority Zero, Agent Orange and D.I. to name a few. But SBT is now such a new band that we're only looking forward to that one true cherry-poppin show. We're ready for it too!
Do you prefer to do shows at large venues or small clubs?
There's nothing like playing to 50 - 100 drunk people ready to rage as you play. Dodging mic stands, trying to keep your guitar tuned and staying on your feet. It's rad. Having said that, we dream of the day when thousands are singing our songs back to us. Getting to hear that perfectly out of tune audience recite the lyrics we wrote. That will be success.
Have you toured?
We have not yet, but we have played out of town. Southern CA. Northern CA, Northern NV. and AZ.
Is there a favorite band you like to do shows with?
We love The Campers, GBA and Battle Born. There's still so many more that we haven't gotten to play with yet that we look forward to.
Is there a favorite place you like to do shows at?
The Double Down. Read the reviews... I'm pretty sure they're all true.
What do you see is the future of Surrounded by Thieves?
We want people to hear our music and get something from it. We plan to tour. We want to sell this album and we're 80% done already writing the next album! We'd also like tour support too! (Asking too much?)
How can people contact the band?
We can be contacted at SBTPUNKROCK@gmail.com or via facebook.com.