Born out of Austin, Texas in 2009, Thieves is an aggressive, four-piece, pop-punk band, fronted by Billy Canino, whose love for energetic music and convictions for a hard work ethic brought them together. Using powerful riffs and atmospheric guitar leads, the Texan natives deliver a uniquely refreshing twist to the pop punk scene. After playing SXSW a second time, the band was asked by pop–punk legends The Story So Far to open for them on their San Antonio tour date, which only further established the wake they were making in the scene. Most recently, the band teamed up with Revival Recordings to release their “No Motive” LP this past November, recorded by renowned producer Sam Pura.
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SunCity Paradise: Coming from Texas, describe your home state a bit. What’s one aspect that really stands out to you and makes it special? Also, what’s one sight you would suggest a first-time visitor to see?
Billy Canino: Texas is just massive. That’s the first stand out quality, another is the weather. You can go swimming in the local green belt, with people drinking ice cold beers and jumping into the water from a rope swing … in February. The summers are brutal, but you can’t beat the winter weather. I would suggest that first-time visitors to Texas check out the NASA space center in Houston, or go camping in one of the many gorgeous state parks.
SCP: What peaked your initial interest in music? Did you know early on or did it evolve over time?
BC: The first time I got really excited to play music was when I was 10 years old. It was the night I saw Green Day play a sold out show in Houston in 1996. Billie Joe Armstrong called a kid on stage to play guitar during a Ramones cover, and then gave the kid the guitar. His face lit up like his life would be forever changed, and I realized instantly the connection you could make with people through music.
SCP: Did the allure of travel help motivate you to pursue a career in music? Why?
BC: It actually happened the other way around. My musical career has inspired me to travel. As a kid, I was never interested much in travel, or getting out of my comfort zone. Then our band really started getting into touring. Often times the shows were terrible, sleeping in the van sucked and not showering for days at time just really wore into me. Our band always made the best of it by seeking out cool (free) places to visit. These were often natural areas and really made me love and appreciate the outdoors. I’d say my biggest passion in life is now travel, and I probably wouldn’t have discovered that had it not been for DIY touring.
SCP: Your “Rookie of the Year Tour” just wrapped up. What was special about this experience? How was it to link up and rock out with the Alteras across the south?
BC: This experience was different than most, because Alteras has a totally different sound and fan base than we have. It was nice to walk into a room every night and know that we’d have to prove ourselves to some people who might not typically be into what we do. The friendships you make on tours are always the best part, and we really enjoyed hanging out with those guys. This tour was also special, because it’s looking like it may have been our van Blackjack’s final run. His transmission died halfway through the tour.
SCP: When searching for a personal getaway, are you looking for a serene beach or after a more active, adventurous getaway? Why?
BC: I’m typically looking for a mixture of both. I like to be able to take a long day hike with multiple serene stops to relax throughout the day.
SCP: One of our core objectives at SCP is to bring people together while traveling, not only to influence people to see and appreciate our beautiful world, but to also minimize cross-cultural divides. What effect does traveling have on humans in this regard? How has it broadened your perspective of the world?
BC: I’d argue that travel is the most humanizing experience. Going to a foreign country where you can’t speak the language has got to be the most humbling experience ever. Seeing other walks of life really tend to put the vastness of the world into perspective. We’re all people, and we don’t know anyone’s struggles but our own. Be nice.
SCP: Everyone has a list of places that they still have to hit. What are three destinations that you still need to see? Why?
BC: My first destination is Tokyo. Continuing off my answer to the last question, Tokyo seems to be totally different from anywhere in the entire world. I love everything about Japanese culture, so I really want to just lose myself in that city in order to soak up as much as possible.
My next destination is probably the Amazon jungle. That’s a bucket list item for sure. It’s probably so alluring to me because it’s so dangerous. I’m a huge fan of wildlife and region specific ecosystems, so I think exploring that rain forest would be the coolest thing ever.
Then, I’d probably say the Maldives Islands. They seem like the most exotic, beautiful beaches in the whole world, and the rising sea levels threaten to cover them completely in the next few decades. As soon as I can afford the tickets, I’ll be checking them out.
SCP: Most destinations have a festival that they’re known for, whether it’s Mardi Gras in New Orleans or Oktoberfest in Munich. Which one would you choose to attend? Why?
BC:Oktoberfest has also been on my list for a long time so I’d have to pick that one. I’m part German and love beer (who doesn’t) so that one seems like a no brainer.
SCP: When you’re relaxing on a beach, or just have some downtime, what are you listening to?
BC: If I’m on a beach, I’m listening to Vacationer, no questions asked.
SCP: Lastly, when’s the next vacation and where to?
BC: My next vacation will probably be my bachelor party this summer. I’m not sure where we’re going yet. I’d love to make it out to the redwood forest in California, but we’ll probably end up camping somewhere regardless.