Interview: Thieves in the Palace

Thieves in the Palace is David Thompson (bass/guitar/vocals) and Chris Anderson (drums). Chris lives in Massachusetts while David lives in a completely different part of the country, Florida. David reached out to me a couple of months ago and we’ve been emailing back and forth all summer. Their debut full length, Stay, will be out anytime now. I asked David for some photos of the band but they’ve been so shocked at how much attention their music has been getting that they aren’t prepared to provide photos yet! What a wonderful whirlwind to be in. Before you get started, open up their SoundCloud page so you can read and listen:

MFL: You have a good number of fans on SoundCloud, I noticed! What’s your secret recipe to garnering fans?

Thieves in the Palace (Thieves): We’ve been fortunate with the amount of support in the Soundcloud community. They’ve really embraced us and gone out of their way to help our music be heard, especially with reposts. That being said, Soundcloud is a platform where you get what you give – I try to set at least a few hours aside every week to visit the pages of people who “like” or comment on our music and reciprocate. Whenever I post a new track I make sure to add it to the applicable groups to give it a bit of a boost. Finally, our page has been active for over two years! Time will always reward effort.

MFL: I found a short blurb on SoundCloud, it says you’ve been writing songs for 6 years and you’re now getting an album out. What has that process been like and have the 6 years felt like forever? Maybe they’ve flown by too quickly?

 Thieves: They’ve certainly flown by for me. As a songwriter I tend to wait for the moment a song is starting to haunt me to record it. I’ve spent many nights sitting down in my studio trying to force a song, eventually realizing that it’s better to wait until it’s ready to be written. I write about four songs a year this way.

MFL: It seems like this musical project is based a lot on friendship. How did this all start and what has made it last?

Thieves: All of the music enthusiasts were part of a pretty close knit scene in the high school we attended, so we met pretty early on. Chris and I first wrote music together in 2007 for a metal project called “The Awakening.” After that we kept working together and everything since has become Thieves in the Palace. I think our friendship is built on mutual respect and interests. We can go months without talking and pick up right where we left off. 

MFL: Are there aspects of releasing a debut album that make you nervous? If so, what are they?

Thieves: Very much so! I think almost everyone who writes music worries that it may not be good enough or accepted. For me, these are the most honest songs I’ve ever written and many are centered around very personal subject matter. I just hope that people who listen can find something to relate to and have a positive experience they can take away from it.

MFL: Where do the stories you tell in your songs come from? Dreams, personal experiences, wishes?

Thieves: Stay is very much a concept album which follows a timeline of roughly ten years. I would say it’s a mesh of personal experiences written in a general way so that it’s more accessible. The songs are essentially about myself but they could be about anyone.  As you progress through the album, you get of a sense of the characters within the concept. It was written with a definitive beginning and ending. 

 MFL: You’re hoping for a late summer release. What are the remaining steps you have to take to reach that goal?

Thieves: I have lyrics and vocals for three songs remaining, then Chris will finish the final mix and master. This is a tremendous undertaking and he’s much more suited than I am for these crucial finishing touches.  

MFL: What are your favorite songs off of this record and why?

 Thieves: “Exodus” because it’s probably the most lyrically honest song I’ve ever written. “Digital City” for the overall energy and the middle section which really showcases Chris’s ability as a drummer. “Nova” is a favorite because of the scope of the song – it’s very much a progressive rock song with no repeating sections and easily the heaviest tune on the album.

Check out this video of Chris tracking drums for “Digital City”:

MFL: Finally, if Thieves in the Palace were to open or share a stage with their top 3 bands, who would they be?

Thieves: Wow, that’s tough! I have to say Third Eye Blind (the original lineup with Kevin Cadogan and Arion Salazar) The Wallflowers, and Biffy Clyro.

Big thanks to David for reaching out to Music For Lunch! Keep your eyes peeled for an album review in the coming weeks. And, one last note. They thrive on feedback from fans. It’s what inspires them to do more of what they do best. SO, if you like their music, please tell them. Send them a message on SoundCloud.

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