The Statue Thieves are a four-piece based in London who played a fantastic set at our Camden Assembly Benumu ‘Spotlight – Ones to watch in 2019’. The band are influenced by classic rock which they expertly integrate with soft psychedelia and soul tones. These tones complement – and often contrast -with lyrics that are weighted; often political. Their very title alludes to the faultiness of acceptability. However, applied to their actual sound, ‘Statue’ seems to reflect their precision and artistry when it comes to technique while ‘Thieves’ highlights their delicious roughness that keeps this band’s sonic disposition uncategorized. This is a band that suits every mood, every weather; simultaneously subtle and hard. Have a read to see how it’s done…
First question: where does your name ‘The Statue Thieves’ come from?
(Craig) I love the way everyone just looks at me straight away. (Gennaro) Well, you are the founder (Craig) I guess that is true. Well, I think it’s quite open really to what people want it to be. I would hate to say it meant something in particular, because it can really mean one hundred different things. But we did record as ‘Monarchy of Roses’ for a little while, but we wanted something original, and yeah we just spent some time coming up with it. My ex band-mate had the word ‘thieves’ and I had ‘statues’ so we just put them together and there we go!
Were you brought up by musical families or did you pick up on it alone?
(Gennaro) I personally come from a music family. Not direct family, but my cousin or my grandfather. They played, so I grew up seeing other people playing music, and that’s why I started too. (Ivan) My grandmother used to play piano, my parents don’t but they listen to music. I grew up listening to music 24/7, and I’ve played piano since being a kid. (Michal) There’s been music around, I think nearly everyone in my family plays an instrument. So I just picked it up at some point and then met these guys! (Craig) Instead of having a family tree it’s more like a rock tree – yeah, everyone in my family is a musician so I didn’t really have a choice… Wanted to work in the bar downstairs but they wouldn’t let me -laughs-
Was it a natural transition going from a solo artist to being in a band?
(Craig) Yeah, I did some solo stuff, and the original bass player from the day and I sort of formed a band out of that. I did play a show when this was BarFly’s Solo, but I think it’s hard when you’re solo you know. When you’re a band you’ve got a lot of help not just with the music but ideas, promotion, different minds. And you can’t just rock out with an acoustic guitar sometimes. I used to try, but… -laughs-
Obviously Camden is such a hot spot for finding new artists and music, but would you agree that generally the live scene is getting stronger?
(Craig)I think it’s always there. Even in Camden you’ve got the Roundhouse since the 60s, you’ve got so many artists around here. The Jazz Cafe – oh god, I’m promoting Camden now. (Ivan) It’s a weird one, because sometimes the stronger it is the more difficult it becomes because if there are a lot of great bands then it’s harder to focus and to find something because it’s so saturated. I think one of the problems – if you can even call it a problem – is that in Camden or London or the UK there are just too many great bands. Which is great , in theory, but it makes it difficult to reach people.
Do you see any trends at the moment, or genres, that are particularly popular?
(Ivan) I think there has definitely been a bit of a 90s revival. People feeding back the shoe-hazy, dream hop, along with the aesthetic as well as the music. I think there are a lot of people experimenting with new technology we have nowadays, so it’s a combination of both in my opinion. (Craig) I think for me, music’s always been about feeling. As long as there’s someone with a soul there’s going to be good music and people dig it. People hop on the vibes.
Do you have any favourite venues?
(Craig) Myself, ooh. There’s a few that I’ve always liked, I’ve always liked The Kentish Town Forum – that was a great venue. There’s so many though, aren’t there?
If you could play at any venue, anywhere in the world, where would it be?
(Craig) Camden Assembly. (Ivan) It’s not where you play the music, it’s about the people. It sounds a bit corny, a bit cliche but we’ve played some gigs in amazing venues that didn’t turn out that well and then we’ve played gigs in shit venues that have actually been unbelievable – totally unforgettable. It’s a combination of many factors, but, this is a great venue!
If you could tour with any artist, dead or alive, who would it be?
(Michal) Right now, for me, it would be King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard. (Craig) Elton John! -laughs- Sorry, I’m joking, it just came over me…Anyone who’s alive or dead? Well, there’s a difficult weigh in. It’s going to have to be – it’s a predictable one – The Beatles. Or maybe The Everly Brothers.. Or The Beach Boys!=
Craig Ingham (guitar, vocals), Iván Muela (guitar), Gennaro Oliviero (drums), Michał Domin (bass).