Quiet Like A Thief is a high energy pop-punk band, coming from Boston and Long Island. Started by Alex Kouvaris and Ryan Sweeney over their shared love of music, right from the start they’ve took their inspiration from the bands that each loved most, and their own experiences and insights. Two became five when they were joined by Nick Lopardo, Mike Marziliano, and Dan Marchelewski, and the band’s friendship is what truly drives them.
Their debut EP, ‘Through The Looking Glass’, has spawned their latest single, ‘Travel In Time’, an angst-ridden, yet energy filled, pop-punk anthem of a track. The guitar riffs pop like gunfire, and while it’s got an edginess reminiscent of blink-182, there’s plenty of emo sensibilities in the lyrics, which talk about when hard times pile up, and you just want to travel back in time.
You can watch the video for ‘Travel In Time’ below, and check out more about Quiet Like A Thief and their music online, on their official website.
Lisa had a chat with Quiet Like A Thief and found out what makes them tick.
Hi there, thanks for agreeing to talk to Essentially Pop!
Thank you for having me! I checked out your website and saw some really cool artists posted. Looking forward to the band being a part of Essentially Pop!
First up, what’s the story behind your band name, I really like it!
Glad to hear that! The band name actually came from lyrics of one of my favorite bands, Can’t Swim. The song is called “Amnesia 666” and there was a line that really just stuck with me. The song says “Will you notice me? Silent like a thief.” It is a funny story actually, because when I first listened through the album, I had mistaken the lyrics for “quiet like a thief,” rather than “silent like a thief.” However, I thought it was very catchy and made the executive decision to keep it that way. Fun fact: I got to chat with Can’t Swim’s singer, Chris LoPorto, and I got to tell him how the band name was formed. He was flattered, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t fan boy a little.
You’ve recently released your new single, ‘Travel In Time’, and performed it live on Sounds Of The Underground. How’s the pandemic been treating you, and what are your plans now that things are opening up a lot more?
COVID-19 has certainly turned the music industry upside down. Shows/touring were cancelled for a long time, and some of our favourite venues were forced to shut down because they could not keep afloat. Thankfully, we have been grateful to have opportunities, such as Sounds Of The Underground, and remotely recording our debut EP with Alan Day of Four Year Strong. 2020, and even 2021 brought on some really dark times, and we are so fortunate that we could still record and perform our music – something we are all truly passionate about. This band is made up of such genuine people and good friends. We use this band as an outlet to channel our feelings/emotions and a way to escape the day to day grind that can be stressful, such as work, having a bad day, etc. On November 19th, we will be playing our debut show in Amityville, NY with some great acts! Additionally, we just recently partnered up with Damaged Heart Records out of Portland, ME! We are currently working on new material and will be hitting the studio in person early December. We are very excited to be recording our sophomore EP with the insanely talented Pete Adams, and expect it to release early 2022.
The video for ‘Travel In Time’ is a literal trip back in time, with even the subdued, burned out Kodachrome style colouring; it takes me back to the 80s – well at least to films made in the 80s! But even without the video, there’s a real retro vibe to the song. Listening to ‘Through The Looking-Glass’ this still rings through. Have you consciously decided to make music with a retro style? Who are your musical inspirations? I can definitely hear the influence of blink-182, for instance…
You’re spot on! The video takes viewers back to the 80s/90s. With this whole pandemic, it made all of us think back to simpler times when life just felt easier and people were just happier overall. It’s an extremely fun blast from the past, taking viewers on a nostalgic ride back to much happier and simpler times. We believe it compliments our featured song nicely, showcasing strong vibes from the 80s and early 90s like sitcoms such as Saved By The Bell and Happy Days, ice cream parlors and burger joints, and of course, the iconic 76’ Camaro which makes its debut throughout the entire video. Our director/editor Tom Flynn combines a modern day performance with decades of the 80s and early 90s perfectly, bringing us back to childhood and teen years through the lens of a VHS camcorder. We can’t help but feel like it’s a Saturday morning, watching music video reruns on MTV, Fuse and VH1 with a bowl of Cap N’ Crunch. Blink-182’s “First Date” was certainly an influence, including many of the bands from the Drive Thru Records era such as Rufio, New Found Glory and The Starting Line. Just some good ol’ “feel good” pop punk!
Talk us through the creative process of writing and recording your songs. Is it a collective work? Do the lyrics come first, or the music? Is the group a democracy or a dictatorship? Or something in between?
Although Ryan (bassist) and I are the main contributors when it comes to songwriting and lyrics, we are ALWAYS open for new ideas and constructive criticism from the band or producer/engineer. From lyrics, to melodies… we want to hear any and all ideas because even if we only use 5 seconds of a part, it may be something to spark an entirely new idea… possibly a whole new song. If something doesn’t sound good, we want to know. We will never refer to ourselves as being perfect and always strive to be better than the last record. Our last recording experience brought us to the next level, and we can really see and feel the difference in the material we are currently working on.
What advice would you have for other artists starting out? Are there any lessons you’d be happy to share that you’ve learned along the way to releasing your debut album?
Always be yourself and believe in the music you’re recording and releasing to the world. Influences are great, but make sure that you are putting your own spin on the material you write to stand out in the crowd. Even if it is something as simple as a specific guitar tone or vocal effect being used that fans recognize you as a band, you know you’re doing something right. After releasing our debut album, the best lesson we learned was keeping an open mind. We explored new ways of recording, new ways of writing, and strategies on how to make catchier songs, especially hooks, to keep the listener engaged. That first 10-20 seconds is crucial for first impressions!
If you could do it all over again, what, if anything, would you change or do differently, and why?
Aside from starting this band sooner, there is nothing I would want to change except recording our debut EP in person. You can only do so much remotely, and there is nothing like face-to-face interaction and on the spot ideas when working closely with a producer or engineer. However, we are so proud of “Through the Looking-Glass” and feel it is our most mature work to date. It was an incredible experience and working with Alan Day was a blast. The technology we have today, allowing us to work remotely, is an experience in itself! We cannot wait to share our new material and how much we have grown since then.
And finally – I ask this question of everyone I interview – what question do you wish someone would ask you in an interview, but nobody ever does? And what’s the answer?
Becoming a famous/successful band is a dream for most, but aside from music, what other dreams do you have in your personal life?
Over the past 3-4 years, I have become extremely passionate about craft beer and breweries. Aside from the beer itself, I find the entire process and history of brewing beer to be quite fascinating since it all comes down to a science. I love venturing out to new breweries and trying all different beers from IPAs to sours. In the next 5 years, I aim to gather a skilled team of people and open/run a brewery of my own. I lost my father to COVID-19 in March of 2020, and I would love for the theme of the brewery to be inspired by my father and heavy metal/hair metal/rock and roll of the 80s, as he was a well known lead guitarist in the rock band RIOT.