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The Gang of Thieves: Strange Encounters, a Puppy, and the President’s Pants | August 2011

Photography by Olivia Vande Griek

There’s something about Gang Of Thieves’ magnetism for the odd and surprising. It might have been that, while we stand outside of Nectar’s, BVT for an interview, a Native Indian, middle-aged woman named Maggie approaches them for a cigarette. She confesses she just got out of prison, mentions a lot of “rug munching” while in the Can, shows off her only possessions, (a wad of bills and a blue jumpsuit), and leaves the group with some dirty jokes, (How do you get a nun pregnant? Fuck her!).

Michael Reit & Tobin Salas | Gang Of Thieves

It might also be their disheveled homeless friend that comes up shaking his head. He asks if we heard ab out his girlfriend, who went missing two days ago after telling her dad she was going for a swim. He hasn’t slept, is sucking down Vitamin Water to stay awake, and appreciates our keeping a lookout for a blonde woman on a bicycle. He hugs the Gang, thanking them for being good to him, which they are, offering encouragement, saying they’ll do their best to help.

Or it might be the Gang themselves, as they live in their tour bus, have a seemingly endless supply of guitar riffs, hooks, and sing-along choruses, as well as interesting stories to tell, especially surrounding their new album, Dinosaur Sandwich Party, an unmistakable party album.

But whatever it is, the Gang Of Thieves approach it all with a smile, a laugh, and all in the name of rock n’ roll. Their charm is so powerful that when they ask Maggie to check them out inside, she later appears on the dance floor, grinning and dancing, alongside many eager fans, all of whom lose themselves in 90s-style pop/punk/grunge/funk of G.O.T., who, in the interview, explain how they got from there to here in just under two years.

What was the motivation behind the album?

Nick Wood: It was something we were cooking on for a long time. We had our first CD and then, not even a month later we said, “Whatever we do next is going to be off the goddamn hook,” and then we go on this three-month tour adventure and have these crazy stories that we wanted to chronicle in song form.

Michael Reit | Gang Of Thieves

Mike Reit: A lot of the songs are stories from last summer. The title of the album even came from our roadie, Zack. He came up with the phrase “Dinosaur Sandwich Party.”

Nick: ‘Cuz it was the only three words he knew in sign language.

Mike: It was so ridiculous, all the things that were happening all the time. The only way he knew how to say a raging party in sign language.

Nick: It stuck, and the hook for that song came up in the back seat of the van, and I guess we based the rest of the CD off that wild hook. (Laughs)

Mike: It’s cool to find our own sound.

In what ways did you find your sound?

Mike: Well, our first album was really, “Man, we want to be in a rock band, and these are all bands we like, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage Against the Machine... “Sexify”, “Filipino Girl”, “Rise”, they’re all really Chili Pepper-esque. They show our influences heavily. This next album came from our own experiences. We started listening to a lot of other bands, like Funkadelic and Tool.


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