Galaxy Thief are a Dorset-based indie-rock four-piece who first caught our attention last year when they released their powerful and anthemic tune ‘FREE’. They followed that up with ‘Timewaster’, and we at Indie Top 39 instantly recognised that the band were onto something quite sonically special. They recently returned with another belter in the form of ‘Reason’, and we were so stoked when they agreed to an interview with us. Chatting about their farm-based studio, their eclectic mix of influences, and what they have in store for the world next, please give a big welcome to Galaxy Thief!
Welcome guys! I’m not going to lie, I’ve wanted to interview you guys for a while now. I’m so glad that you obliged. So, for those who don’t already know, who are Galaxy Thief and how did you all meet?
Hi, we are Rhys Messenger (lead vocals/rhythm guitar), George Bowerman (lead guitar), Jake Trim (bass guitar) and Ben Watton (drums) from a studio on a farm near Swanage in Dorset UK. Galaxy Thief began a few years ago (2017) with George and a sequence of events has led to our current lineup which we feel is now just right for us to power forward with our sound. Rhys came onboard during the lockdown and has brought with him a new era of growth and development culminating in our current session at a studio in rural Oxfordshire with our super talented producer Michael Smith of RYP Recordings.
My introduction to your music was when I first heard ‘FREE’, and it was the energetic and anthemic nature of the tune that I instantly fell in love with. I want to turn the tables around now and ask you, in a world that’s changin’, why are we so fickle with our pride? (I had to!)
Haha! Glad you like that line! It has to do with a current perceived habit generally for people to jump onboard any bandwagon going without really thinking issues through and forming their own opinion.
A few months after ‘FREE’ you released ‘Timewaster’, and as much as I dig them both, I just connected in a special way with ‘Timewaster’. It’s a song that I still listen to on a near-daily basis. With over 38,000 plays on Spotify, and another 50,000 on YouTube, how proud are you of the tune?
Thanks – that’s amazing! We’re so glad you like it. Developed from an idea Jake brought to the table, we feel like it stands out on its own as a new direction which brought all our creative input together. We’re so excited that it has done so well and hope that continues to grow as more people hear it, share it and stream it.
The accompanying music video for ‘Timewaster’ is superb! How did you come up with the concept? Also, how important is the visual side of things for you? Or does it always come second to the music?
As with most of our videos, we have had to work with what we have at the time which often involves the farm. We came up with the idea of a fuse burning to represent running out of time. The subsequent explosion coincides with George’s big guitar solo and he had to get a lung full of smoke to achieve the big scene. This video involved a high degree of pyromania which we’re kind of proud of! We also tapped into some historic footage from George’s grandmother’s cine films from the 1976 making of the film Man In The Iron Mask with never before seen clips of Richard Chamberlain and Jenny Agutter (of Railway Children fame).
Now moving on to your brand new release ‘Reason’. I know I’m probably starting to sound like a broken record, but I just love your guys’ sound! What does ‘Reason’ mean to you?
‘Reason’ is really quite a lighthearted story sharing an experience that a lot of people are familiar with in looking for friendship or maybe more when meeting someone for the first time. A somewhat failed blind date leads to an unexpected encounter with someone special and follows through as the chance meeting turns into something more real and enduring.
We try not to take ourselves too seriously but it also helps to share life experiences through our music and maybe this is the appeal to our listeners.galaxy thief
We hope people enjoy this track and we are already lining up more new releases, every one a bit different from the last.
I know that you’re based on the south coast of England, and I read that you have your own farm-based studio. That honestly sounds like the dream. Please tell us more.
It’s really quite a practical situation in that George is a farmer for his day job and it’s handy that he has created this space in one of his barns where we can base the band. It’s allowed us complete freedom and unlimited studio time which has undoubtedly helped us move forward quickly.
We’re always intrigued by the different approaches that bands and artists turn to in their creative process or processes. Can you tell our readers a bit about yours? How do you take an idea and turn it into a complete song?
We are all very much involved in the process together. Sometimes one of us introduces an idea and we all work on it together, other times one of us may come up with a whole song but we will always then look at it together and take it on to the next level by sharing our own ideas. Fortunately, we have all got quite well used to working together and our system seems to work as we have more than enough material to work with – the opposite of writer’s block!
I remember you mentioning that bands like Nothing but Thieves, The 1975, and Angels & Airwaves have been influences on your sound. Is there anyone else you’d credit for shaping your overall soundscape?
We all have very diverse personal tastes which we subconsciously bring to the mix.galaxy thief
For instance, Rhys is a massive Pink Floyd fan and George will often introduce his Joe Satriani training when putting a solo together. We all listen to anything going so no doubt there’s a whole blend happening but that’s what’s great about writing the next generation of music – it’s a kind of evolution and listeners will hopefully be drawn by sounds that resonate for them already.
What would you put down as the band’s biggest achievement to date?
We were pretty happy to be made the first band to become Yamaha Music London Ambassadors in 2021. And that went to the next level when Yamaha recently told us they were so happy with our contribution that they are making us permanent ambassadors going forwards. Alongside that, any performance where the audience interacts with us and has a great time is the greatest buzz. We had this recently when we played at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for a Saracens rugby match in March. The crowd just built up and gave us such a great response. It was probably one of the first big events post lockdown and people were really enjoying the live atmosphere again.
OK, guys, if you could ‘steal’ one song in the world and claim it as your own, what would you go with?
There is such a mass amount of music nowadays that it’d be difficult to just choose one song! But the first one that comes to mind is ‘This Love’ by Maroon 5. It’s just a really great track that always gets people going!
So, I did a little snooping and came across your cover of ‘Gold on the Ceiling’ by The Black Keys. I think it showcases a different side to your sound which is really exciting. What drew you to the song?
I think we really liked the rocky sound and interestingly our recent music has been heading more in that direction. Again you’ll see that the farm features heavily in the video!
You’ve been given the chance to collaborate with any musician or band. Who do you choose and why?
I think that each member may have a slightly different take on this but if we were to have to agree on one it would either be Foo Fighters or Nothing but Thieves. These bands are huge inspirations to us and it’d be so cool if we could work with them in some way!
Guys, I can’t thank you enough for chatting with us today! It’s been a real treat! Just before we let you go, what comes next for Galaxy Thief?
Thanks so much for showcasing us! We are literally this week working on new tracks with our producer and can’t wait to release these going forward. In the meantime, our live shows are really taking off and we are getting booked up well ahead.
The main focus, for now, must be taking our live set to the right venues to move things forward.galaxy thief
Ideally, we would love to support some other established bands and it would be amazing to take things overseas at some point. Who knows what the next year or two will bring?
Thanks again for having us. GT
We added Galaxy Thief’s single ‘Reason’ to the playlist of all the artists we interviewed so far.
Don’t be shy to give it a listen!