You might recall a while back when I posted the video for Oscar Wilde by Company of Thieves. We got such a fabulous response from you all! We were psyched that you guys are into Company of Thieves too – so when we were able to catch the lovely lead singer Genevieve Schatz for a quick chat before their appearance in Indianapolis, we went nuts!
Meredith (who works for FP) and Genevieve talked about the band’s new album, Ordinary Riches, fashion, traveling, and peanut butter! And, as if that weren’t enough, we are pumped to announce that the band are going to do an intimate acoustic set in our We The Free store in Brooklyn this very Saturday at 5pm! Don’t miss it!
Until then, check out the interview below!
So how is the tour going?
Actually we just got home from a west coast run. We are about to leave in a few days for about a month and a half (tour) so I hope it’s going to be fabulous!
Did you have a very steady tour schedule so far this year?
Definitely. We left at the end of January and went out for about two and a half months with Thriving Ivory, came back for about a week. Then we went to the west coast to have our own run of headlining shows and it was just amazing to be out there. I’d never been out to Seattle or Portland or San Diego and places like that. It’s been a really wild ride. I’ve gotten to the point that I’m more comfortable on the road than I am when I come home!
Better with dirty laundry than clean clothes?!
Yeah! You become part of the earth! It’s a totally different rhythm that you sink into.
I love the webcasts you did on Youtube from the road! They’re so cute and they made me feel like one of your friends, watching you bopping around while you traveled.
Haha! That’s awesome! That’s the whole point! We want to always include our fans, our friends in what we’re doing. We just always want to share it.
Were you happy to share when your van got broken into at SXSW (a music festival)?
Well, it’s cool to show all sides of the game because a lot of people are under the impression that, you know, it’s always a very glamorous lifestyle. You have your ups and downs just like anything.
Your latest album, Ordinary Riches, is clearly very influenced by Oscar Wilde. Are you often influenced by other arts than music when you write songs?
I always have been. It’s something that isn’t really sought out for me, I kind of always end up in the middle of… I don’t know! A lot of things open my eyes constantly. I’ve always been very aware and conscious of what’s going on around me. It’s always been hard for me to keep it out, I always let me fill me up! And so the whole album is really based on personal experiences and also sometimes being in the center of a lot of commotion just by the nature of living in a major city and being in a lot of crowded areas and coming into contact with other people and relating to them and things like that. It’s kind of an album about a coming of age.
Have you been writing on the road?
Absolutely! Every day!
Are you getting a different tone with being out of the city and in these new places?
Yes yes! I would say… How do I explain it… It’s much darker but much more focused.
The thing I find interesting about this album is the lyrics are fairly dark and introspective but the melodies, though not necessarily “pop”, are definitely accessible and often upbeat. I found it weird to find myself happily bopping along to a song and then realize what I’m singing along to.
I think that’s something that I’ve come to really embrace is the fact that, for me, I feel like the painful things in life and the joyful things in life have a lot of similarities and the physical effects of feeling overjoyed or feeling deeply deeply hurt are very similar to me – just the weight of the world. That’s kind of what our songs, even our new ones, have that tone where there’s a contrast going on with a shared vein.
So what is the dynamic between you and your bandmates on the road?
As far as the three of us go, I feel like Marc (Walloch, guitarist) is the guy who is the problem solver and will just bulldoze through anything and be a soldier. Mike (Ortiz, drummer) is the guy that makes sure everyone keeps calm. He seems impervious to disasters. It’s really funny – he has this energy level that’s super calm of just “It’s all ok. We’re going to get through this.” And I’m the person who… well everyone jokes that they see the little girl in me all the time. It’s because I’m definitely the explorer. I’ll be like, “Let’s go on this adventure! What’s this?! Let’s do this thing!” They’ll turn around and I’ll be climbing a tree or something, shouting “Come here! You guys have to see this!”
What is some of the stuff you’ve discovered while you’ve been traveling that’s been exciting for you?
Honestly, one of the coolest things was a town in Tennessee called Tallulah. We just wrote a song about it. It was a town that has been almost completely abandoned and every single building, the school house, the post office, the homes and store fronts, were completely left. There were a only a few human beings in the whole town. You know, at first I was really scared and I couldn’t believe that this happens. But when I realized that this is what happens when people leave, nature just comes in, I had this glee. When I looked closer there were vines coming up from the earth and wrapping around buildings and taking them back in. It was almost like nature trying to say that nature prevails and things change. I found that comforting.
I’m really excited that you guys are going to be able to do an in-store set for us. But you also recently did a set for another “store” of sorts- Etsy.
Yes! Oh my gosh!
How did that come about?
Well, a few months ago I was talking to the band saying that I feel that we’re at a time in this industry where independent arts really does have a huge window of opportunity and there’s a lot of presence. I’m really into supporting other independent artists so I was like, why don’t I incorporate pieces in my wardrobe that are very personal to people that they’ve spent a lot of time and put a lot of heart into? That’s what I do with my life so I should have a full circle representation of that. I started getting into Etsy because there’s a local artist in Chicago that I buy a lot from, dresses that no one in the world has but me and it feels so cool to wear them on stage! So basically we contacted Etsy about it and talked about different things we liked and performed for the creative people on Etsy. It was so cool to be able to do that!
Yeah, Etsy really is a great platform for a marketplace. It’s amazing how quickly it’s taken off and all the talent on there.
Definitely, and also a lot of unexpected surprises. I found this person who makes these wooden peg figures of casts from Wes Anderson films. It’s so hilarious! It’s like a child’s toy but who would ever have thought that someone would think to spend their time doing that, and it’s great that they do and it makes them happy.
Are you a fan of fashion? Do you look out for trend or do you have your own vibe?
I definitely have my own style but I’m a huge fan of fashion! It’s obviously a representation of the greater picture of the world that at least can be broken down into personal perspective and I’ve always loved that. I really believe in expressing yourself through fashion. I do believe it’s an art.
And your song was on Gossip Girl…
That was crazy! I didn’t get to see the excerpt because I don’t really watch television but I heard about it the day it was happening and I was kind of blown away! To start off I didn’t know how I felt about it to be honest but it was a very cool opportunity for us to get exposure.
I always think it must be quite surreal the first time you hear yourself on the radio or on TV.
I still haven’t heard us on the radio! I hope that if it ever happens it will be like the That Thing You Do moment when we’re all screaming and running from different parts of the city and meeting up just as the song ends.
Now I have all my stupid questions…
Crunchy or smooth peanut butter?
Wait what? Oh, crunchy.
Innie or outie?
Pink or black?
Spots or stripes?
Ocean or country?
Winter or summer?
Wow! What an awesome interview! Thank you Genevieve! And thank you Meredith for your interviewer skills! I couldn’t have even imagined a better interview than that!
Check out more from Company of Thieves on their Myspace – and don’t miss their in-store appearance, this coming Saturday afternoon at 5pm at We The Free in Brooklyn!