An Interview with Company of Thieves

Posted by on Feb 25, 2009 in Music | Comments Off on An Interview with Company of Thieves

As someone who has spent 10 years in the Chicago music scene, I have found some success stories are accepted as inevitable and some come out of the left field. For Chicago’s own Company of Thieves, you could say that both were the case. Years of tough luck and disappointment were washed away in a matter of months for the members for this trio.

Company of Thieves has taken quite a path to get where they are today. After spending a couple years toiling around in local bands, founding members Marc Walloch and Genevieve Schatz found the winning formula when they collaborated together on songs that became the backbone for their debut record, Ordinary Riches. After a quick assent through the Chicago local scene, the buzz quickly built and the band signed a record deal with Wind-Up Records.  They are currently smack dab in the middle of their first national tour, but while home for a show at Double Door they spoke with our very own Shawn Kellner (Shawn now is editor-in-chief at Chicago Music Magazine.

This is part one of a two part interview.

Hello this is Shawn Kellner from Review Chicago Dot Com. I’m here at the Double Door with Company of Thieves in their hometown Chicago.  I’ll start out by saying this.  A record deal with Wind-up records, a national tour, and a new record. Have you guys had any time to breathe?

Marc: (laughing) No, but I guess we kind of only ever wanted to breathe this to begin with.

Genevieve: We feel very lucky and appreciate being in the position we are in being able to share our music with a lot of people and getting the exposure.

Marc: We are very fortunate.

Genevieve: It’s really hard to do these days. Every day we wake up and are like “Alright, here we go, what’s next.”

Well with that said, you guys are about half way through this tour, how has it been going for you so far?

Genevieve:  It’s been really splendid every night. We’re meeting people from all over the country. We’re getting really tight as a band.

Marc:  It’s great to see crowds who are very open minded. Every single band on this tour is very different. Even thought the majority of the crowd is there for Thriving Ivory it is cool to see them react to Barcelona and react to our set the way they do and for them to really get something out of it. They get to take home all three bands every night. You don’t always experience that so we are very fortunate to be out on a tour with different kinds of bands like we have and with the crowds that we have encountered so far.

Have you guys had a favorite stop on the tour so far (besides tonight)?

Genevieve: Last night in Columbus, Ohio was very special to us. We felt very connected to the audience. The Newport Theatre has a lot of history and it felt very special to be there. South Carolina was a great stop on the tour as well.

Marc: We also had some days off of this tour where we were able to book our own shows to fill in the gaps.  We did Bloomington and Indianapolis. It was cool to have a breather from the tour and have shows with a smaller more intimate crowd made up of mostly our audience.  Those were some of the best shows we have had in a long time.   They were high energy, everyone knew the words.  It was nice to have that when we are use to being the new opening band on a big tour.  It was nice to have a few days to just boost our self esteem a little bit.

Speaking of high energy how was it to be on Last Call with Carson Daly?

Marc: We thought it was going to be really nerve wrecking, but the production staff of the show made it very comfortable.  They were very welcoming. We had the whole day to relax and sound check and get everything just the way we wanted it.    The sound was great and it was just very exciting.

I want to compliment you guys on how much you brought out on that show the fact that you are and always will be from Chicago with the signs and the hi Mom, ect.   I thought that was really incredible. How has your band changed from when you were independent to now that are on Wind-Up and have a whole team of people working with you?  How have the workings of the band changed?

Marc: We haven’t changed that much. There shouldn’t really be a difference in how the band works. Every band that starts out should act, how that want to act 20 years from that starting point. We’ve done a really good job with that. We are all very real people.  We’re all very real musicians.  Even though we are not satisfied with how we sound yet, we know that every day is a step forward to the point where we can say…”Wow, we’ve done everything we wanted to do.”  I think it is very important to keep in mind every day why you do it. Why you want to do what you’re doing and to be thankful for the place you’re at that day.

Well now that you are being exposed to a whole new medium at the national level. Are you finding new avenues of creativity and inspiration from being able to tour the country and see new places, new people, and new faces?

Genevieve:  Absolutely, as far as new avenues are concerned. Going all over the country is a very eye opening experience. You get to see America for what it is and what it isn’t, and realize what you thought it was. It’s been a learning experience. It’s very heart breaking and heartwarming to meet people from all over every night and hear their stories and what makes them tick, and what made them come out to the show and learn about them.

This has been part one of the Company of Thieves interview. Look for part two in the next couple days, as well as an entire feature on Company of Thieves as they will be our featured Artist of the Month for March!

Check out Company of Thieves at Myspace!