INTERVIEW: Nothing But Thieves’ Joe Langridge-Brown On Deluxe Edition Of ‘Dead Club City’

Nothing But Thieves’ guitarist Joe Langridge-Brown talks us through the band’s upcoming deluxe edition of their No.1 album ‘Dead Club City’, featuring the latest single ‘Oh No :: He Said What?’.

Nothing But Thieves

RS: Tell us about the new songs included on the Deluxe Edition. Were these part of the original album sessions?

JOE: “Yeah, they were recorded at the same time. We spent five months recording. A lot of the songs, especially the latest single, really came together in the studio. They were only sort of half formed ideas before we went in. It was a way to allow ourselves to take the energy from what we had done previously and finish the songs off. With ‘Oh No :: He Said What?’, we tried a million times to write the chorus but couldn’t really figure it out. Then we got to the studio and once we’d worked on the album for three months knew what the sound was, it came in an afternoon. So that was really beneficial.”

RS: It’s got to be nice to keep dipping your toe back into the conceptual world you created on the album.

JOE: “I guess we’re still in that frame of mind. That is actually what spurred the song on in a way because the end of the main album, ‘Pop The Balloon’, was kind of meant to be this full stop finale but it didn’t really feel right. I didn’t really want to leave it behind so quickly. ‘Oh No :: He Said What?’ opened the door and left it ajar for if we ever want to come back and write a Dead Club City song. I’m not saying we’d do that next but I quite like the idea that in 5 or 10 years time, that would be a possibility.”

RS: ‘Oh No :: He Said What?’ Is another track that plays with the more disco and dance influences we heard on the album. You must be enjoying the ability to keep using that creative muscle.

JOE: “It’s definitely refreshing. I think we’ve always changed it up. A lot of people don’t know what to expect from us next which is also quite freeing; to not feel like you have to be suppressed into what you’ve done before. Something may not sound like a Nothing But Thieves song until it does. Now I think people have discovered our band, it feels like the band took another step up after this album. It might have been a lot of people’s introduction to us so I still feel like it’s quite early in our career, really.”

RS: Now that you have finally been able to play some of these new songs live, has the audience reaction surprised you at all?

JOE: “Yeah, for sure, there are things happening. In the song ’Do You Love Me Yet?’, that just always seems to get a really good live reaction. I think there are some moments in that song I didn’t realise would resonate so well with the crowd. ‘Oh No :: He Said What?’ comes across a lot rockier live, I think, so maybe some people are surprised when they hear it for the first time. When we pull it all together live and we play new stuff with the other songs, it kind of puts everything in perspective. We are still the same five people playing the songs together so that’s gonna have an effect, that’s why you don’t really want to mess with the chemistry. Even on this run, Dom our guitarist, he got incredibly sick incredibly quickly and had to go to the hospital. He got given the all clear eventually that evening but he was way too sick to play so all day, we’d been rehearsing with one of our techs to try and get some of his parts down and I was learning some of these parts to try and get the show together. The tech did a great job but you can just immediately tell when the chemistry is changed, the push and pull of who’s playing ahead of the beat and who’s playing slightly behind the beat. So, once you put all the old songs and the new songs together, you’re still gonna get that feeling of the same guys playing.”

RS: Next time we see you in the UK, you will be supporting Green Day on tour, including a date at London’s Wembley Stadium. That has got to feel pretty special.

JOE: “Yeah, it definitely is a pinch yourself moment. I don’t want to say that those get fewer and far between but once you’ve done the O2 Arena, you’ve done a lot. But to get an offer like that, that’s something I just never ever thought would happen. And on this tour, they’re playing ‘Dookie’ and ‘American Idiot’ in full. Those are albums that we really grew up on. We definitely feel incredibly lucky. I feel Conor (vocalist) is even more lucky because he gets to go ‘Hello Wembley’, you don’t really get to do that as a guitarist which is quite annoying. Last time I was there, I was watching the Taylor Hawkins tribute gig which was incredible. I was there with my girlfriend and she was saying ‘do you think you’ll ever get to do this?’ and I was like ‘definitely, definitely not’. The band is going well, but it’s just a whole different level. I didn’t really think about if someone might ask us to support them. So yeah, pretty, pretty cool.”

RS: Beyond this Deluxe Edition, have you started to think about more new music?

JOE: “No, we haven’t come together to write at all. And I’m not actually sure we’re going to at all this year. I think we made the decision to really go for the touring this year. We really have been going since April last year and we’re not stopping until February 2025. There’s a lot more to come. It feels like we’ve given ourselves some time now. If the album hadn’t done so well, sometimes you really will go back and get cracking and get to the next one. But I feel like we can probably take a bit of time and make sure the next thing we put out is 100% perfect for us and really get it right. So it’s just a year of touring.  I’ve started writing some notes down but that’s just a consequence of travelling when you’re bored on planes. That’s what happens.”

RS: Whatever does come next, have you got the bug for creating grander concepts and worlds like ‘Dead Club City’?

JOE: “I’ve been thinking about that, I don’t know. A lot of our albums and the way we sound is a reaction to what we’ve previously done. So I don’t know. I really enjoyed the world building and it was quite ballsy, and I quite liked that as well. So I wouldn’t rule that out. But the thing that I really enjoyed was having some way of hanging all the songs off of this central theme. I think that was really easy for us to think about and for the fans to connect to. So that hasn’t really got to be a world or a concept in that way. I think it is just finding that niche, that is something that I’ve definitely learned works for us.”

Nothing But Thieves’ ‘Dead Club City Deluxe’ is out on March 15.

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