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Pop Thief on Craiglist, Childish Gambino, and the Community behind indie musicians
Written by:
Emily Plazek
17504706_1320296978057068_2196784207805373490_o.jpg

It's just about getting the opportunity to have some open ears. Once you have em, if you're ready, they stay open…. Play play play, but at the same time be selective.”

Time to welcome Pop Thief to the MIC MVMT! Their story proves how, if you want to be an indie musician, and you open your arms to being a part of the collaborative indie music community in PGH, you can become a part of something bigger than yourself -- WHILE going for your own dream career.

(Also, brownie points for anyone who puts two-and-two together on why their name is Pop Thief.)

Let's jump into the Pop Thief world:

Quick little intro about yourselves, and your origin story? 

I, Richard (singer/guitarist), moved from Philly to PGH for college where I met Forrest (drummer). I started teaching myself guitar and writing songs solo after playing bass in a band back home previously. I was really into folk music then but started heading back to the music I knew and loved, R&B/rock/funk/HipHop.

When I met back up and moved in with Forrest after college, I had already started performing as Pop Thief solo but I wanted to flesh out the sound. A quick convo and a Craigslist ad later, Forrest & Alex were filling out the funky tunes I always had in my head.

People knock Craigslist but that's where I've gotten all my favorite gear and how we met Alex who is a great bassist and has become a great friend. We clicked instantly. It was kind of suspicious at first.

I'd played bass in a band with Forrest in college so we almost picked up where we left but with a major facelift. From driving punk music to seductive grooves.

What do you love most about being an indie band?

Indie communities are all about helping each other move forward. Everyone makes friends and we all want to connect with each other for the greater good. It's not "networking" in a real business sense where everyone's trying to connect to solely get ahead.

This Indie Rock Festival is a prime example. We all just want to have fun. Hell, Holly from Standard Broadcast played my first solo show with me because I needed a drummer (back before they picked up Matt from craigslist, haha, and she was rocking a set). We're all here for each other.

What are some of your struggles as an indie band?

Getting promoters to think of your group as actually a band could be seen as [a struggle].. Gaining the respect for your group is a big incline upfront but of course it is, no one knows you. It's just about getting the opportunity to have some open ears. Once you have 'em, if you're ready, they stay open.

Any advice for up-and-coming indie bands who admire and want to be like you?

Play play play, but at the same time be selective. You don't need to have 50 shows a month. Have a couple shows and practice so each is a great experience. Invest your energy into each one upfront. And have fun. No one wants you to have them as an audience to show off. Let them in to the experience you feel when you play your music. I write our songs to evoke the feelings I always got listening to the music I loved growing up. That need to dance, to feel lust take over your body, to feel vindicated. Have a conversation with your audiences and respect the fact that they're burning calories for you.

Play play play, but at the same time be selective.

Favorite PGH spots?

Favorite restaurant is probably Fat Heads. You don't get places like that anywhere. It's in a league of its own. Favorite park is definitely Schenley. I got lost there so many times when I first moved here. It's expansive and has a multitude of secluded spots to be taken full advantage of. I love finding a little brook and sitting my one of my guitars in the summer.

Craziest concert story?

Ok so I'm pretty obsessed with Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino. Like, when he was just in college making mixtapes and YouTube comedy bits with his friends. I went to see his Because The Internet tour and was the most excited I've ever been for a show. Drove all the way to Philly, brought a roommate and his friend and both our younger brothers. We were set for a glorious time. But, I smoked my first actual cigar that night and became severely dehydrated. I spent the whole night buzzed and propped against a pillar in the back of the venue watching people get pulled out the crowd from heat exhaustion. That was a crazy night. Even though I wasn't on the front lines of that show and was practically dying, it was the greatest I've ever been to.

Any news?

We're recording a new album with Eric of Rabbit Hole Studios. We're pretty excited because we sat down and really tried to fill everything out sonically. Our first EP felt like a great first step but I'm always ready for the next song and next album the second I finish the last. I'm ready for folks to have some new tracks to bump and hear new versions things we've played live.

Visit Pop Thief's website, and then follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Then (this is a no-brainer), come to Indie Rock Fest at Cattivo this Saturday, 7/22 -- MIC is hosting and you can see Pop Thief live, their set is around 9:30pm Saturday night!!

Here’s the Facebook event page with all the info -- go get your tickets here, $10 for 2 stages of 12 bands night long: 5pm-2am.

Pop Thief on Craiglist, Childish Gambino, and the Community behind indie musicians
Pop Thief on Craiglist, Childish Gambino, and the Community behind indie musicians
MIC is my baby.
17504706_1320296978057068_2196784207805373490_o.jpg

It's just about getting the opportunity to have some open ears. Once you have em, if you're ready, they stay open…. Play play play, but at the same time be selective.”

Time to welcome Pop Thief to the MIC MVMT! Their story proves how, if you want to be an indie musician, and you open your arms to being a part of the collaborative indie music community in PGH, you can become a part of something bigger than yourself -- WHILE going for your own dream career.

(Also, brownie points for anyone who puts two-and-two together on why their name is Pop Thief.)

Let's jump into the Pop Thief world:

Quick little intro about yourselves, and your origin story? 

I, Richard (singer/guitarist), moved from Philly to PGH for college where I met Forrest (drummer). I started teaching myself guitar and writing songs solo after playing bass in a band back home previously. I was really into folk music then but started heading back to the music I knew and loved, R&B/rock/funk/HipHop.

When I met back up and moved in with Forrest after college, I had already started performing as Pop Thief solo but I wanted to flesh out the sound. A quick convo and a Craigslist ad later, Forrest & Alex were filling out the funky tunes I always had in my head.

People knock Craigslist but that's where I've gotten all my favorite gear and how we met Alex who is a great bassist and has become a great friend. We clicked instantly. It was kind of suspicious at first.

I'd played bass in a band with Forrest in college so we almost picked up where we left but with a major facelift. From driving punk music to seductive grooves.

What do you love most about being an indie band?

Indie communities are all about helping each other move forward. Everyone makes friends and we all want to connect with each other for the greater good. It's not "networking" in a real business sense where everyone's trying to connect to solely get ahead.

This Indie Rock Festival is a prime example. We all just want to have fun. Hell, Holly from Standard Broadcast played my first solo show with me because I needed a drummer (back before they picked up Matt from craigslist, haha, and she was rocking a set). We're all here for each other.

What are some of your struggles as an indie band?

Getting promoters to think of your group as actually a band could be seen as [a struggle].. Gaining the respect for your group is a big incline upfront but of course it is, no one knows you. It's just about getting the opportunity to have some open ears. Once you have 'em, if you're ready, they stay open.

Any advice for up-and-coming indie bands who admire and want to be like you?

Play play play, but at the same time be selective. You don't need to have 50 shows a month. Have a couple shows and practice so each is a great experience. Invest your energy into each one upfront. And have fun. No one wants you to have them as an audience to show off. Let them in to the experience you feel when you play your music. I write our songs to evoke the feelings I always got listening to the music I loved growing up. That need to dance, to feel lust take over your body, to feel vindicated. Have a conversation with your audiences and respect the fact that they're burning calories for you.

Play play play, but at the same time be selective.

Favorite PGH spots?

Favorite restaurant is probably Fat Heads. You don't get places like that anywhere. It's in a league of its own. Favorite park is definitely Schenley. I got lost there so many times when I first moved here. It's expansive and has a multitude of secluded spots to be taken full advantage of. I love finding a little brook and sitting my one of my guitars in the summer.

Craziest concert story?

Ok so I'm pretty obsessed with Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino. Like, when he was just in college making mixtapes and YouTube comedy bits with his friends. I went to see his Because The Internet tour and was the most excited I've ever been for a show. Drove all the way to Philly, brought a roommate and his friend and both our younger brothers. We were set for a glorious time. But, I smoked my first actual cigar that night and became severely dehydrated. I spent the whole night buzzed and propped against a pillar in the back of the venue watching people get pulled out the crowd from heat exhaustion. That was a crazy night. Even though I wasn't on the front lines of that show and was practically dying, it was the greatest I've ever been to.

Any news?

We're recording a new album with Eric of Rabbit Hole Studios. We're pretty excited because we sat down and really tried to fill everything out sonically. Our first EP felt like a great first step but I'm always ready for the next song and next album the second I finish the last. I'm ready for folks to have some new tracks to bump and hear new versions things we've played live.

Visit Pop Thief's website, and then follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Then (this is a no-brainer), come to Indie Rock Fest at Cattivo this Saturday, 7/22 -- MIC is hosting and you can see Pop Thief live, their set is around 9:30pm Saturday night!!

Here’s the Facebook event page with all the info -- go get your tickets here, $10 for 2 stages of 12 bands night long: 5pm-2am.

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