Courtesy of Michel Megherbi
It’s not alternative. It’s not rock. It’s not pop. Company of Thieves lives up to its name with songs that steal from every genre.
Company of Thieves gets radio airplay from indie stations, but members Marc Walloch and Genevieve Schatz said they don’t like to label things. The Chicago-born band is scheduled to perform at 7 p.m. Thursday at Newport Music Hall.
“I think it’s great that we don’t really have a sound for fans to get attached to,” Walloch said in an email. “We like to challenge ourselves to write different kinds of songs since we love so many different types of music. It’s important to us to continue to evolve and hopefully have our fans evolve with us. I would say that we aren’t a part of a scene, we aren’t considered a new trendy, hip band and we don’t have one sound. We are all over the place and wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Its debut album “Ordinary Riches” was released in 2009 and landed at No. 5 on Billboard’s Top Heatseekers chart. Frontwoman Schatz said in an email its second effort, “Running From a Gamble,” was inspired by time on the road.
“‘Gamble’ is about the passionate and painful transition from dependence and enchantment to autonomy and awareness,” Schatz said in the email. “Basically, our first album, ‘Ordinary Riches,’ is about the birth of identity and ideas; it involves a lot of social commentary. Our new record, ‘Running From A Gamble,’ was mostly written while traveling and meeting new people and seeing more of the world. It is about the exploration and evolution of those ‘truths’ from the first record. The lyrics in ‘After Thought’ are a good example of where I’m at right now.”
Walloch said he hopes fans will find inspiration in the newest record.
“‘Ordinary Riches’ was our first real attempt at songwriting, so it’s a little sterile and stiff although I’m proud of the songs,” Walloch said in the email. “‘Running From a Gamble’ was written and performed after years of touring, so there’s definitely more of a live sound that was captured. The songwriting flows better and there is more confidence in our performance. I hope it takes people on an exciting ride through many different emotions. I hope it provokes thought, positivity, self-importance and inspiration. The songs are inspired by real-life experiences.”
Schatz and Walloch are the founding members of the group, which saw eight different lineup changes before finding drummer Chris Faller. Walloch said playing with several musicians has added to the hodgepodge sound that varies from track to track.
“It’s really tough finding peers who have the ambition that Genevieve and I have and it’s even harder now since we are the only two original members,” Walloch said in the email. “You can’t expect people to have the same kind of investment when they weren’t there to plant the seeds. Aside from that, it’s a tough lifestyle that isn’t for everyone. The upside to the lineup changes is that we get to meet so many different people and play with so many different kind of musicians. It keeps the band fresh and ever evolving.”
Walloch said Company of Thieves’ fans make the tough lifestyle that comes along with being a musician worth it.
“For me, it’s those moments that get really tough when you are constantly in an uphill struggle, and then you walk on stage somewhere across the country and there are several hundred people there who are singing all the words to our tunes and sincerely meaning it,” Walloch said in the email. “I think back to when I was a kid and dreamt for this and try to remind myself that it’s important to take in all the little things when times are tough.”