Interview: Little Thief

Gemma Cockrell

On the day of the release of their new single Freak, Gemma Cockrell caught up with Charlie ‘Fitz’ Fitzgerald, vocalist of Bristol-based rock band Little Thief, to talk about the origins of the band, their musical inspirations, and their plans for the future, including their upcoming debut album ‘Under The Patio’. 

How did Little Thief form?

Little Thief emerged out of former band B O M B S, when Rhii [Williams, drums] and I went full Fleetwood and started dating. B O M B S were a six-piece band with a lot of incredible musicians involved, but this ultimately led to a case of too many chefs. Looking for something a bit more aerodynamic, Rhii and I went on to start Little Thief, driving around in our van and playing dive bars and festivals. We soon got picked up by the record label Funnel (who sadly went down during the pandemic) where with some decent funding and an opportunity to work with people at the top of their game, we went on to start making the album [‘Under The Patio’] that is due for release. Now independent, we looked to our fans to crowdfund the release, and we were blown away by the generosity and support we received. The album belongs to our fans now, it is as much theirs as ours. Funnel too, we wouldn’t have gotten this far without them.

Are there any other bands or artists who have influenced your sound?

There are lots to be honest. I grew up listening to Dylan, The Beatles, Stones, Brian Jonestown Massacre and all those other rock-and-roll bands through the 60s and 90s. This progressed to stuff like Radiohead, Queens Of The Stone Age, Eagles Of Death Metal etc. Rhii always loved heavy rock, prog, and occasionally dabbled in pop punk and emo in her teenage years, like Green Day and Blink 182. This evolved into bands like Mars Volta, Killswitch Engage, Perfect Circle etc. We listen to a lot of Billie Holiday and moody jazz sh*t in our kitchen these days and all our friends’ bands, there are so many and they are all so good.

We wanted to capture the feeling of excitement and fear that comes with those explosively beautiful people

What was the inspiration behind your latest track Freak?

We wrote it for that wild-card lover. We wanted to capture the feeling of excitement and fear that comes with those explosively beautiful people. We all know that person or group of people that have the ability to bring out our “f*ck it” side. I’ve had a load of people like this in my life, Rhii being one of them. They are magnanimous and that knock on the door on a Friday night always feels like the beginning of a superhero film. 

What was it like to record the track with producer Stew Jackson at Rockfield & Invada Studios?

It was dreamy. Rockfield has so much heritage and stories that lurk within the gear, the studios, and the accommodation. I mean, I slept in the same bed as Freddie Mercury slept in all those years ago! To sit on the actual Wonderwall where Liam [Gallagher] did his vocal take for the tune, and sing “Look at the stars, look how they shine for you” where Chris Martin wrote the song was great. I felt like Martin and Gallagher really have a lot in common, haha! Stew is an incredible producer, He’s like a silent sensei, and even if you don’t think you have heard his music you probably have. He brought a whole new swag to our music and made us work for it, creating a process that led us to make ‘Under the Patio’. It was pretty weird but f*cking rad all at the same time. 

We wrote it all pre-lockdown, so were hitting the bars in Bristol a lot and seeing loads of great bands play

What should fans expect from your upcoming album ‘Under The Patio’, which is out in September?

It’s a pretty moody, greasy record written for the reprobates and loveable scumbags of this world (aka, all of us). We spent a lot of time watching serial killer documentaries and Tommy Cash videos on YouTube. We like to think there is a beacon of hope that hides within the scuzz. We wrote it all pre-lockdown, so were hitting the bars in Bristol a lot and seeing loads of great bands play. We wanted to get a real shonk on for this one and I think we got that.

Have you got any upcoming live shows, touring or festivals planned?

YES! We have one big show for the album launch on the 17th September 2021 at the Jam Jar in Bristol. We are also supporting one of our favourite bands The Family Rain at Rough Trade Bristol on 3rd September 2021. As far as tours go, we haven’t booked anything in yet. We hope to jump on a tour with a well-travelled band, we are so ready to hit up the bigger stages and crowds. We’ve had a tiny taste of that, and it lingers on our tongues. Playing live has always been where the magic started for us, so we really want to step it up and get on a big tour soon.

Some of our favourite shows have been in the Peoples Front Room

You’ve played some brilliant stages like Glastonbury and Liverpool Sound City Festival, but what’s your favourite live show you’ve ever played?

Some of our favourite shows have been in the Peoples Front Room. It’s a tiny, intimate venue with sofas and amazing artwork that tours the festivals and when it goes off, it f*cking goes. There’s no stage so you’re right in with the crowd and it’s just vibey as f*ck. 

Freak by Little Thief is out now.

Gemma Cockrell

Featured image courtesy of Ania Shrimpton Photography. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes made to this image.

In-article images courtesy of @littlethiefband via instagram.com. No changes made to these images.

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