What are your names?
Mike Legere, Kathryn Kearns, Omar Shabbar, Adam Reid, Colin McNally and Dante Matas
What is the band name?
How did you come up with your name ‘Century Thief’
We had a hard time picking a band name- we all felt really strongly about finding something that worked for our sound and that we could all get behind, and there are a lot of us. We ended up settling on a list of words, and those two just worked together for us, so it was kind of a random selection.
What is your genre of music?
We kind of dabble in a few, we asked a sound person in Montreal what she thought and she suggested Trash Lounge Folk Prog Rock, what do you think?
Give us a little bio about you as a band and as individuals.
We’ve been playing together for about 5 years now, our debut album was released in 2015. We’re really interested in textured instrumentation and love experimenting with that, having six members gives us a lot to work with. We have toured eastern Canada and regularly play in Ontario and Quebec.
How did you meet eachother?
Adam Colin and Dante all knew each other from high school- Omar Kathryn and Mike met in University and Omar met Adam through working at a coffee shop together.
Are you a signed?
You released your track ‘406’, tell us more about the track.
Like all of our songs, ‘406’ came to the band as more of a shell of a song, just the lyrics, melody and loose chord structure. It became the song it is today because of everyone’s input and collaboration. As for the meaning of the track, Omar wrote the song near the end of a hard relationship. He really wanted it to capture both the sadness of a relationship ending as well as the almost hopeful reflection of it. It’s about pulling on loose threads through selective memories.
What was the recording process like?
We recorded the beds at a farm house in Madoc, Ontario. It’s a big wooden house, so we were able to mess around with lots of ambient micing, which gave it a spaciousness that we were looking for. The rest of it we finished up at The Root Down Studio in Toronto.
What was the writing process like?
Generally the three principal songwriters bring partially finished songs to the band and we rearrange them and mess with them together, adding different layers and textures, sometimes rewriting parts, turning it into a Century Thief song.
What was the naming process like?
Omar: ‘406’ is the name of the highway between Toronto and St. Catharines. It seemed appropriate to name the song after the distance between my old and new life. It’s also a lyric in the song.
As for the EP, we picked a line from the song Science of Solace that we felt fit the whole thing. It has a feeling of distance, of viewing everything through this specific lens that distorts the image, and of being submerged and a little helpless.
You are also set to release ‘Deaf Beneath the Waves’ EP on May 4th, what can you tell us about it?
Deaf beneath the waves is about coming to terms with your place in the world. The songs interrogate past patterns of behavior, and struggle to light a path forward. The EP is a nostalgic inquiry into mortality, futility and the desire to find meaning and purpose in life and love.
What was the recording process like?
Same as 406, we locked ourselves away in this farmhouse for a week and just worked on it the whole time. It was a lot of fun, but it was also winter and cabin fever was definitely a part of it.
What was the writing process like?
This EP was written like most of our other work, one of the three principle writers would bring a song to the band and we’d develop it for a few months, performed it for a while to figure out how it’d work in front of people, and then recorded it. One aspect that was different with this EP in comparison to our debut LP ‘Reverie’ is that we worked on all the songs relatively close to each other. When you’re working on a whole body of work you can write to that end, reinforcing the themes and creating dynamics that span the whole record.
What is the message you want to get out?
I don’t think we are really pushing a message with this- it’s more about personal expression, but in that it’s about the struggle to comprehend life it’s important to leave space and to listen to each other, because we are all dealing with being here in whatever ways we can.
Will we see any Music Videos?
Not for these songs any time soon, we released a music video for Pillar a couple years ago, I guess that’s old news now, but perhaps for one of the upcoming EPs.
Do you have any shows coming up or a tour in planning?
We are playing CMW on May 8th at Nightowl in Toronto and on July 6th we are playing the Warehouse in St. Catharines. We are trying to return to Ottawa and Montreal with some frequency, so you can expect us there within the next couple months too.
What else can we expect from you guys.
We have a bunch more material in the works right now. Currently we are thinking they will take the form of 2 additional EPs, at least one of them should be done later this year, probably.
Do you have any collaborations in the works?
We actually all collaborate in different ways- Dante has a solo project that Omar and Colin are in, Mike has a solo record coming out and Omar and Colin will be joining him on stage for that, the two are going on tour in late May- and Adam and Colin play in another band together called Honesty.
Would you be up for collaborating with other bands or artists, if so how could they contact you?
Yeah- we are open to that sort of thing- they could shoot us an email!
Who are your influences?
Broken Social Scene, Jeff Buckley, Wye Oak, Wilco, Radiohead
How do you get inspiration to write songs?
Through living life, trying to figure out how to live life.
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
We will all be ten inches taller with different haircuts, hopefully more money, playing bigger venues and festivals and some of us will have beards, but definitely we will all be much taller.
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
Some of us work at a studio called The Root Down, Adams in school for electrical engineering, video games, beer, hang out, food, be humans.
Where would your dream venue to play in your hometown?
We all hail from different places (most in southern Ontario, Mike’s from Dartmouth) but our dream venue in Toronto would probably be Massey Hall, that’d be pretty great.
what would be your dream show to have your music played on?
Definitely Gossip Girl- because one time on tour we watched it and all did the voices for individual characters- and it was fun.
If you could collaborate with one UK Artists or Band who would it be?
I mean there’s so many great UK bands out there right now but it would seem foolish not to say Radiohead.
If you could collaborate with one US Artists or Band who would it be?
Same as UK bands, there’s just so many it’s hard to choose one. Right now, a bunch of us are listening to Lucy Dacus, so sure, her!
What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more into the music scene?
KC Accidental by BSS
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
When in doubt take the extra two seconds to check your tuning
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?
Don’t focus on what you think other people are going to like, because inevitably you have no idea, just make what you want to make and do your best to hold yourself to a standard without torturing yourself.
Never stop playing, always play and always try to better your playing.
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
Be kind, treat people with respect
You get off a plane in your hometown,
1/ where is the first place you visit
Omar- My parents, then Merchant Ale House
Mike- My family for sure, and also old friends
Kathryn- My puppy Jenga
2/ where is the first place you see
Omar- My Parents, then either one of the many hiking trails in Niagara or Merchant Ale House
Mike- The airport, Trees, Lakes, Ocean
3/ where is the first food place you go and what do you get
Omar- My parents, that’s it. My mom’s the best cook I know.
Mike- I need my fix of Garlic Fingers and Donair Sauce, probably from Freemans, probably late at night
Kathryn- Lebanon Express
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
To breathe, that’s very important
To have fun, I feel like if you are not having any fun you are about 37% less fun to watch
To be grateful to all the hardworking people that are helping the show run and everyone who left their cozy houses to watch you play
Play for yourself/ your band