Looking for a bit of Post-punk to Brighton up your day? The Stealers are pretty killer!
Alright, for all of my post punk people out there who are seeking a new band to shamelessly headbang to, have we got one for you. Their name? The Stealers. Their music? Riotous. Go give them a listen! These are weird times we’re living through and believe me when I tell you these are the tunes that are going to get you up and kicking.
Making their debut with the single “Linger” released, what seems like ages ago, back in 2020 The Stealers are a Brighton based band made up of 4 pals, Alex, Noah, George, and Junior. Since their start they have kept up a super steady release of banger after banger with their latest single being “Chivalry” . Released in late 2021, the sound on this one is just as fast as those that came before, but has this fuller element to it, it’s less sharp, and is certainly a floor filler. It followed the harsher, darker, riotous sound of “Scream”, which is one of those tracks that undoubtably goes hard live. It’s lyrics also hold the unbelievably relatable line “don’t patronise me keep 2 meters please”, which, quite frankly, I would like embroidered on everything I own at the moment. Anyway, back to the matter at hand, of all they’ve released so far I’d say my favourite track is nestled in their 2020 EP “Pretty Killer”. The track shares the same name as this 3 song release produced by Lady Bird’s Don Bird, and as soon as I pressed play a wave of nostalgic familiarity washed over me. It didn’t take long for me to realise who the harsh guitar and perfectly yelled lyrics reminded me of, it was Slaves, specifically their 2012 album “Sugar Coated Bitter Truth”. This little link in sound makes sense as the producer’s band, Lady Bird, were signed to Slave’s label Girl Fight Records back in 2018, so the musical overlap is totally logical, small world eh? “Pretty Killer” in particular hit home for me I reckon as it reminded me of another giant I came across around 2013, Drenge, who I fell totally head over heels for. The track “Pretty Killer” is deep, it’s dark, it’s fast and oh so heavy with a chorus that’ll stick in your head for days.
More significantly though, it tackles the topic of mental health, specifically men’s mental health, and how society demonises the expression of any feeling other than anger for those who identify as a man.
With these hard hitting lyrics tackling socially relevant trials and tribukations in the modern age its hard to put the band in a genre box. I suppose you could liken them to a post punk outfit with a tinge of indie grunge about them, but, I’ll leave the verdict up to you listeners. However, with that being said, the influences that the foursome cite as individual inspirations are broad and pretty varied, which I think can only result in some exciting things coming our way sound wise. As for what they’ve been up to recently, my god have they been busy! Since the new year the band have played a solid slew of gigs in their hometown of Brighton, and show no sign of slowing down so get your tickets if you’re in the area.
Their next date on the calendar will be for Fuzzy AF in The Engine Rooms on the 19th of March. They’re on the bill with some seriously funky bands like Punkband, Scowl, and The Furlows, but I would definitely recommend heading to their Instagram to find out more info! Also, don’t you worry if you’re unable to make any of the upcoming live dates as Stealers have announced a new single titled “Ultra Violent”! The track is up for release on the 24th of March, so you won’t have to wait long to add another banger to your playlists.
These four are certainly very straight to the point with their answers to my often rambling questions. But ultimately I suppose that is the very essence of their music. There’s no nonsense here, their lyrics are as cutting as the riffs that accompany them, and they are as much the soundtrack to a solid night out as they are to a feverish riot. Now, I don’t know about you but with all this miserable weather and doom scrolling, I think a solid combination of both is precisely what we need.
Hello, hello! Thank you so much for taking the time to speak (well, type I suppose) with us today. Let’s start this super simple lads, would you both mind introducing yourselves for our audience and saying who plays what? Perhaps saying a little about how you guys came to write music together?
Yo mez, we’re The Stealers and we are made up of our frontman Alex, our lead guitarist George, our bassist Junior, and our drummer Noah. Our music is fiery, fresh and melodic and we are based out of Brighton. So I met Noah and Alex at college and Alex knew George and he was the perfect fit for the band.
So at first listen, my brain went directly to that period of time where bands like Slaves had a iron grip on the indie music scene. I felt this most especially in your track “Night from Hell” on the 2020 EP “Pretty Killer”, very much the same vibe as “Hunter” off “Are You Satisfied” (2015). So after a little digging I realised there is a connection between you guys as the 3 tracks on this 2020 EP were produced by Don Bird from Lady Bird, who were signed to Slaves’ Label “Girl Fight Records” back in 2018. There is a sneaky bit of insight into this process on your Youtube with a video titled “How to make a “Pretty Killer” EP” (I’d recommend watching just for the arm flailing at 1:50), but yeah how did you find working together? What, if anything, do you think Don brought to your guys’s sound on this EP?
Don brought a lot of creativity to our first recording session which made us feel welcomed as it was our first professional recording session. We found working together was very easy as we were very like-minded about what we wanted the EP to sound like. We still have a good relationship with don to this day and regularly keep in touch.
I was going to try and single out a line from your 2021 single “Scream” to formulate a question about how you guys felt coming together and creating during lockdowns, but to be quite honest that was a in impossible task as the whole track was unbelievably relatable. I think my favourite line was “don’t patronise me keep two meters please” as it perfectly describes how it’s been working in hospitality during the pandemic. How have you found creating over the last two years, and what was the process like for getting your music out into the World?
At times during the lockdowns everything felt really uncertain but after keeping in touch as a band the process of writing became a bit more bearable. But it didn’t compare to being in the same room as each other!
Out all of the tracks you’ve got on Spotify, the lyrics in “Pretty Killer” were the ones that stuck in my brain, I think its because it reminded me of the line “baby faced cold blooded killer” from Drenge’s “I Want to Break You in Half”, also a very high energy song. The line “I don’t belong, I’m always in the wrong” comes pretty early on in the track but really sets the tone, and the repetition of “put your finger up to the system, we’re going to make ‘em listen” was a simple masterpiece. Where did this track come from, and what inspired such iconic and relatable lyrics?
At the time of writing, Mens mental health was a big thing in the news and we wanted to write something that people could relate to.
I think if I was to describe your sound I’d call it riot music. Like I’m not saying necessarily that it would start a riot, but its got that that kind of “get up and go” quality to it that a lot of punk-y music has. I think this is particularly noticeable in your first single released in 2020 titled “Linger”, the guitar is sharp and the vocals punctuated, and all this is spurred on by a crashing drumline. I guess I’m wondering how you guys build your sound, like where do you each draw inspiration from? What bands or artists or genres would you cite as an influences?
We each take inspiration from different genres. For example, Alex takes great inspiration when writing from MF Doom, George takes sound inspiration from Josh Homme, Noah takes inspiration from hip hop/rnb drums which you can hear and will be able to hear in the near future! 😉 And as for me I take inspiration from bass players such as Tim Commerford and Sam Rivers.
On that note, not that genre’s really mean much, how would you guys describe the music you create? What do you want listeners to take from your sound or feel when they listen to it?
Our sound is very post punk but we draw influences from other genres. When people listen to our music we want to them to go away feeling energised and a part of the band.
Your latest release is a single titled “Chivalry” which came out in November of 2021 and it definitely has a, not cleaner, but just a different kind of scrappy sound to it. How do you feel your music has developed since your first single, and how do you feel you’ve developed as a band, if at all?
We have definitely found our feet since our first release and we gain more of an identity with every song we write. We don’t like to let one genre define us. as a band we are very open with each other which helps with the writing process.
So, something that I did notice is that each release has an absolutely incredible piece of artwork as an album cover. I saw that the cover for your latest single “Chivalry” was done by Joss Athey (@artjossm8), super cool. Did you have a specific design in mind or did you let Athey just go for it? And yeah, where did you guys find the other pieces? And how did you come up with the ideas for them?
For “Scream” and “Chivalry” we had a specific idea in mind but let Joss have creative freedom. For “Pretty Killer” we let him have full control over it.
So you had a fair few shows lined up at the end of 2021, such as supporting Baby Strange (super jealous, I love them) at The Boileroom in Guildford, a then couple of more local gigs at The Hope and Ruin and Green Door Store in Brighton. You’ve also got a some solid up and coming dates supporting The Skinner Brothers at Green Door Store on the 6th of March, and then at the Engine Rooms in London on 19th March 2022 for “Fuzzy AF” with Scowl, Punkband, Furlows. How have you guys found playing live? What if anything is the difference between you guys recorded and you guys live? And also, most importantly, what can an audience expect from a Stealers gig?
Since coming out of lockdown playing live has been insane! In Brighton everyone was itching to get back to live events and we couldn’t wait to play either! The difference between playing to an audience and recording is that we can let loose a bit more and show our true colours on that stage! People who come to our gigs can expect to jump around and have a fun time.
Now, the independent music scene in Brighton is a pretty solid one, do you guys have any recommendations for stuff we should all be listening to? Whether that’s bands local to you or just bands in general!
Noah’s band recommendation would be ‘Squid’ and a song that everyone should listen to is “2am by Foals”. Georges band recommendation ‘Tigercub’ is and a song that everyone should listen to is “I.W.G.F.U” by Tigercub. My band recommendation is ‘Ordali’ and a song everyone should listen to is “Just Like This by Limp Bizkit”. Alex’s recommendations are a band called ‘Refused’ and a song to listen to is “New Noise” by Refused.
Alright, that’s pretty much all of the questions I have for you guys! All that’s left is to ask is what, if anything, do you have in store for us in 2022?
2022 is going to be exciting. that’s all we’re going to say!