By Chyrisse Tabone, Tampa Correspondent and Chris Patmore, London Photographer
I recently discovered B-Movie Thieves and was smitten as soon as I heard their debut EP Deal With It (released in April 2015). Every song on the six-song EP is catchy and humorous pop-punk with a retro or even 60s vibe. My first thought was “B-52s with a harder edge.” Who could resist songs with titles like “All My Lesbian Friends Have Children” or “Madonna’s Face”? I knew I had to interview this cheeky bunch.
B-Movie Thieves: Lara-lead singer, Kevin-rhythm guitar, Steve-bass, Philip-lead guitar, Xilo-drums: Formed in 2012
INTERVIEW WITH LARA AND KEVIN
Rock At Night: How did you guys meet and form the band?
Kevin: I’ve been friends with Philip since school….20 odd years. Philip moved to London. I kept saying ‘C’mon, move to London (from down south, a place called Portsmouth)’. So when he did, we started a band.
So we got Steve, who is a friend-of-a-friend of mine, and asked him to play bass. Lara said she’d sing and Xilo came a bit late. We’ve had about three or four drummers since 2012.
Rock At Night: Do you have a history of being with a lot of different bands?
Lara: Us two don’t, but the rest of the band do.
Kevin: Steve, yes, and Xilo have played with lots of bands. He actually played with James McCartney, Paul McCartney’s son. He’s been out to Chicago to record with James.
Rock At Night: When you formed the band how did you decide on the name of the band? What’s the story with the name?
Lara: It was really hard to think of a name as it would be like naming a child—or naming a pet. You want it to be right, I suppose. It took ages and we went through different iterations. We would joke around and think of really stupid names. We were watching a film called ‘Driller Killer’ (I’m not sure if you’ve seen it).
Rock At Night: I don’t think so [laugh]
Lara: Basically, it’s about a guy who lives in a cheap apartment with very thin walls and he gets so annoyed with his next door neighbor because he plays in this band constantly. You can see him throughout the film getting crazier and crazier. And it’s called ‘Driller Killer” so you can imagine what happens at the end!
This band is the best band that ever existed! They are called ‘Tony Coca-Cola and the Roosters.’ And they have this wicked, riff bass line. We said, ‘We’re gonna’ have to get that one day. We’re gonna’ have to steal this.’ But, we haven’t stolen yet…so now we probably can’t.
So the name ‘B-Movie Thieves’ probably came from that. You need to check it out.
Rock At Night: Is it a British movie?
Lara and Kevin: No, it’s an American film.
Rock at Night: Does he go around with a drill and kill people?
Kevin: Yes, he gets totally pissed at the band next door.
Rock at Night: So, how did your style evolve?
Kevin: Geez, I don’t know? We just play.
Well, I guess everyone has a lot of different influences. Phil really likes Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath(lead guitarist). I like everything, really. My heroes are Sonic Youth, Pavement, The Fall and Iggy. Xilo likes reggae. The bands I mentioned (he probably hasn’t heard of these bands). I don’t know if he even knows AC/DC? [laugh] or even Guns & Roses. And Steve, he likes The Fall.
Sometimes we think, ‘Let’s write a disco riff…let’s write a grunge riff and put it together to see what happens.’ A lot of it is made up in rehearsal. ‘That sounds good…let’s put that.’
Rock at Night: So, do you jam and spontaneously come up with something? Is this your process?
Kevin: Like the song ‘11 Rooms.” We had a jam and Lara read [on a sign] the rules of rehearsal place off the wall ‘Hence, you must pay up front….we have 11 rooms.’ We came back later and put more lyrics to it. It wasn’t that simple but it started out like that. She read the rules in the studio….and it was called ’11 Rooms.’
Rock At Night: Do you typically write the lyrics, Lara?
Lara: Yeah, yeah…
Rock At Night: You have a sense of humor, no doubt?
Lara: Uh, yeah! I like to play around with words. Sometimes things are really funny, probably to me.
Rock At Night: What the story behind your song “All the Lesbian’s Have Children” ?
Lara: [The song] is actually about female empowerment. It’s about you can do whatever you want to do. Don’t let norms kind of hold you back. Lesbians can have children. Go for it! Do what you want!
Rock At Night: What’s the story behind ‘Madonna’s Face’?
[Lots of laughter]
Lara: We make up ridiculous song title names (it’s like the name of the band). It’s [about] the things that make us laugh the most.
I think with that song the most solid lyric that was put down was ‘I want to live between the gap in your teeth.’ [laughter]
We were thinking, ‘What should we call it, what should we call it?’
Kevin: And I think Steve called it ‘Madonna’s Face.’
I think we call the song a name [during rehearsal] so we can remember it (as a joke). We don’t really change it after that. We’ll just call it ‘Madonna’s Face’ after that so we’ll remember the song. You’ve got to make it fun.
Rock At Night: So, is this EP your first?
Kevin: Yes, this is our first recorded EP at the moment. It was released in April.
Rock At Night: So what is the name of the EP?
Kevin: Deal With It. So if you don’t like it, deal with it!
Rock At Night: You guys are something else! You’d be fun to hang out with, no doubt!
Are you planning to do any touring?
Kevin: We are. We are at the moment planning. Probably at the end of the Summer.
Rock At Night: Are you planning to go outside the UK?
Kevin: In the UK. We are busy gig-wise to really…October.
Rock At Night: Do you have any musical training?
Kevin: Me. I’m self-taught. I played ‘bedroom guitar’ for years and years.
Lara: Steve the bassist used to play in folk bands with his mum since about 10. He used to play at festivals. She used to play the accordion (she still does).
Philip is self-taught. He’s played in a few bands. I don’t know about Xilo.
Rock At Night: What are some of the challenges a band faces today?
Lara: In London it’s really to start a band. It’s really easy to get your first gig. It really not that easy to get any sort of event after that. It’s about networking…You can get in and do a gig easily (put together a few songs). Then there’s promoters that say you need to bring 30 people in each time. So you’ve got to bring your mum and your dogs…So this can be difficult because there’s so much going on in London in one single night and people don’t have that much spare cash anymore for people to go out on a weekday to see you….so you’ve got to really add something to persuade people to come down.
[Another challenge is] getting together to rehearse. Our drummer lives two hours away.
Rock At Night: You are playing the Camden Festival this weekend. That’s really a big deal!
Lara: Yes, we are really happy to be there! This is our first proper festival. It’s going to be interesting as opposed to a gig. I’ve never been to the festival so it will be nice just to walk around and see what’s going on.
Rock At Night: Do you consider yourself to be an introvert or extrovert.
Kevin: Yeah, I’d say introvert.
Lara: Yeah, I think we are. I think that’s why we joke around so much.
Let’s keep hoping B-Movie Thieves keeps that humorous, fun music rolling in!
Meet the B-Movie Thieves
“Trying to Attack” – LIVE
LISTEN TO “All My Lesbian Friends Have Children”
BANDCAMP Listen and buy their EP here
I grew up in a household full of rock music, studied journalism in college, and then became a scientist.Although my science career has served me well, music has always played a major role in my life. I grew up reading "Creem" magazine; I play several musical instruments as a "hobby";and it seems a camera has always been in my hand. Now, I am combining what I love the most--music and photography--serving as editor of Rock At Night. My motto: life is short...no regrets. Chyrisse