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Interview: Summer Thieves Unveil New Album 'Paradise Down The Road'

Interview: Summer Thieves Unveil New Album 'Paradise Down The Road'

C.C. / Friday 19th November, 2021 9:24AM

Founded in Dunedin all the way back in 2011, Summer Thieves have prevailed over the past two years worth of madness in Aotearoa to unleash their new album Paradise Down The Road. Written and recorded over multiple lockdowns, and produced with Matt Sadgrove (Sons Of Zion), Tiki Taane, and Alex Wildwood (SACHI, Broods), the genre-spanning ten track long player sounds primed to get local crowds moving again — which is exactly what will be happening when Summer Thieves hit stages at forthcoming festivals Electric Avenue, That Weekend, Bowl Of Brooklands and First We Eat. Packed full of soulful and sun-soaked grooves, Paradise Down The Road arrives today digitally via Loop Recordings, with the limited vinyl edition set to ship in February 2022. Singer / guitarist Jake Barton kindly took time out to answer Chris Cudby's probing questions about the record, scroll downwards for their informative Q & A and tuck into the stream below...

Summer Thieves - Aotearoa shows

Saturday 8th January - Bowl Of Brooklands, New Plymouth w/ L.A.B
Saturday 29th January - That Weekend Festival, Tirau w/ Netsky, Leisure + more
Saturday 5th February - First We Eat festival, Tauranga w/ The Black Seeds, Tami Neilson + more
Saturday 26th February - Electric Avenue, Christchurch w/ Subfocus, Drax Project, Teeks & more

Head over to Summer Thieves site HERE for more info + details on upcoming shows

Chris Cudby: Hi Jake, congrats on the new album! Paradise Down The Road was written and recorded over multiple lockdowns, and you've talked about how there's two emotional sides to the album: one contemplative, the other celebratory. What do you feel is worth celebrating in this crazy year that we've all been experiencing?

Jake Barton: It’s definitely been an interesting year for us all, with some extreme highs and some serious low points. But I think if anything it’s made us / me realise how important we are to one another, and how the band is such a big part of us. A true family. So I just hope if anything this year's helped some people realise & find some importance in their lives they may have previously taken for granted.

Did the time you spent in lockdown spark ideas that you didn't originally envision for the new record?

Yeah for sure, this idea behind the album started at the beginning of the first lock down in 2020, with the track ‘Stuck On You’. That track was the beginning of PDTR. The lockdown gave me a lot of time to write, which I think has helped step my whole game up, and made us all more inspired to do more.

The new songs absolutely sound ready to get summer festival crowds moving. What's the oncoming sunny season looking like for Summer Thieves, will you be touring the new record?

We have so many shows ‘waiting to be announced’, but yes 100% when it’s all safe to go we are touring. We've already been announced to be playing at Electric Avenue, That Weekend, First We Eat in Tauranga, and a few Australian shows in April in Queensland with L.A.B. Keep ya eyes peeled on our socials and website for tour updates coz we've got more where that came from for sure.

Is the Summer Thieves membership the same as for last year's Bandaids and Lipstick EP?

We are now a five-piece. Jarni Blair, one of our oldest musical brothers, has joined us & this is his first full album with us. You can hear the flavour he adds to our sound on this record.

Summer Thieves have worked with some pretty big name producers in the past including Tiki Taane, Alex Wildwood (SACHI, Broods) and Matt Sadgrove (Sons Of Zion). What was the recording process like this time around?

I worked heavily alongside Matt Sadgroove again for this album, and sat in on all the sessions as a co-producer. We also mixed the album together, apart from the track ‘Stuck On You’ which Tiki mixed. We worked with both Tiki (three tracks) and Alex (one track) on this album too.

New to the mix is a good friend of the band Allister Meffan, who worked on the track ‘Floating Away’ with me. Brad Kora, Joel Shadbolt and Tiki joined us for a writing session, which was the creation on the track ‘Saturday Night’. But generally how it goes is we will have a song written and then take it into the studio with a producer or just us. We are starting to produce our own stuff now also and are already deep into working on our next release.

What does the artwork by Taki signify? How did that collab come together?

I found her on Instagram and was instantly drawn to her images. They were very unique, but also had powerful meaning and they looked like classics. Old school album art. We got talking and I explained our vision and the album name PDTR and discussed some lyrics that we wanted to get across, like “Another man down to the machine”. If you look through all the art we’ve done with her, it’s quite a beautiful thing.

Paradise Down The Road brings together a variety of elements including folk-pop, rock, reggae and even trip hop beats, with a strong emphasis on soulful lyricism and hefty grooves. Were there any specific musical inspirations or touchstones for the new record?

To be honest we just wanted to make music that made us feel something. We wanted rawness and we wanted emotion. We still added some zest on some tracks, but overall we just wanted to make some good music, that’s still gonna be good to listen to down the road.

Any plans for Summer Thieves to head overseas once Aotearoa's border finally reopens?

Australian tour coming in April. Yew!!!

Summer Thieves' sophomore album 'Paradise Down The Road' is today digitally — limited vinyl LP edition ships February 2022.


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