th13ves (thirteen thieves) are a 4-piece band from Dundee. Alan Turner (Vocals/Guitar), Ronnie Falconer (Bass/Vocals), Paddy Brown (Lead Guitar), Gordon "Gogs" McInally (Drums).
During 2018 they have release 2 outstanding singles, got some serious airplay and recognition from radio stations from here in the UK with stations in Spain and Los Angeles getting into the Tayside vibe. We had a chinwag with frontman Alan about music, all roads that lead to th13ves, and where that road is going in 2019
Photo (left) by Sean Francis
What inspired you to pick up your instruments and play music?
For me it was Oasis and 90’s Britpop, I’ve never tried to hide that. A lot of musicians who grew up at the time shy away from it or are embarrassed by it, but that time was like no other for me, I mean just look at the state of music now, there’s no comparison. Watching Oasis, Ocean Colour Scene, Shed 7, Manic Street Preachers, The Verve… bands like that just made me want to aspire to writing music and playing live. I’ve never looked back.
How did th13ves get together?
We’ve all been in bands for years and it was actually by chance that I met Gogs, our drummer in Budapest on a stag do. I said I was looking for a drummer and he was like “I’m up for it”. Paddy has been a close friend for a while and he wanted to help me get the songs together, and Ronnie and I had talked about being in a band for about 5 years, but it never happened. It’s like everything aligned and here we are.
Photo (left) by Sean Francis
Did you all have a common goal on how you wanted th13ves to sound? Or do you mix your influences and styles to create what you do?
It started out as a solo project tbh, I was going to put out a solo album as I’ve had these songs sitting doing nothing for years. It became apparent quickly that it was a band project, not a solo project. Although the songs are mine, the music comes from the lads and it feels better being a gang. This comes from us all loving the sound we are making. we all have very similar influences, we just all love music, all very opinionated, but we agreed on most things quite quickly, everyone has an input, there’s no dictation which makes it a great place to be.
You’re from Dundee, a city very much in the cultural spotlight, what do you think of the local music scene and how much spotlight do you think it gets?
We were all there when it was kicking off 10 years ago with The View, we know how much that put Dundee on the map, obviously there is heritage in Dundee from acts in the 80’s, but in 2006-2007 Dundee was the new Manchester! Nowadays people have grown up, they don’t have the money anymore to come out every weekend. There is still a big love for music in Dundee, but so many venues have closed and there doesn’t seem to be an appetite for it as much anymore. It's a shame. There’s a really good scene though and it’s made up of some very good people like Billy Mitchell, Novella, Love Affair, Model Aeroplanes, Sahara, Nick Shane, Courtney Stewart and obviously Kyle Falconer. Now we have Slessor Gardens hopefully that will kick start some more high profile gigs. What's something exciting your business offers? Say it here.
Photo by - Sean Francis
Your latest single “Casino” is a massive tune, when you were writing and recording is that what you were aiming for?
I’ve literally had this song for the best part of 9 years. There was a demo kicking about which I always got praise for, I always planned to record it properly but never did. As soon as I got the band together Paddy wanted it in the set, so we tried it out, I said I wanted something like “Pounding” by Doves, Paddy nailed this cool guitar riff and we knew it was going to be massive when we hit the studio. When Scotty from Magic Box Studios got a hold of it, it transformed.
What has the reaction to “Casino” been like since its release?
We couldn’t believe the reaction it got when we released it. It’s been mental, we couldn’t believe how many shares and likes it got, I think we’re close to 10k plays on Facebook, which is mental. So many people have got onboard and its great. With this band there is no agenda or plan, we are literally doing this as friends who love music and want to just play and record so the feedback has been truly amazing!
Do you have a favourite gig that you’ve played this year?
For me, it’s definitely been King Tuts in Glasgow & PJ Molloys in Dunfermline last month. The sound, the crowd reaction, the venues, the laughs on the way there and back it’s what you want a band to be like, just 4 lads having the best time and playing music to people who really want to hear it.
What’s next for th13ves in terms of new music and live dates?
If you think Casino was good, wait til you hear the next single ‘Angel’ which is due for release in early 2019. We have the EH6 festival in a couple of weeks, then we will be in the studio and planning some exciting things for 2019.
Do you think there will be a day when there will be a th13ves tribute band? What would they be called and what advice would you give them?
Haha, good question! Em, that would be something wouldn’t it? I think you can officially say you’ve made it then eh!? I’d say lads enjoy every minute (cheesy I know)
Thanks very much guys, we're looking forward to the new music.
Q & A by Mark J Smith