Intensely lyrical are the first words that came into my head when listening to Century Thief’s acoustic EP titled, Plume, a lead up to their upcoming full length record which is currently in production.
Century Thief is comprised of six very different musicians, including Mike Legere who plays guitar, piano and supplies a good chunk of the vocals for the band. Mike originally started playing drums and picked up guitar later on once he began writing songs. He is originally a Maritimer from NS, and moved to Toronto to study English at York University where he was fortunate enough to meet the rest of the members of Century Thief. Mike and I spoke from Toronto where he now calls home.
Band members Kathryn Kearns, Omar Shabbar, and Mike himself were all originally playing music together and each of them have released their own solo EP’s with each other playing on one another’s solo records. They eventually decided to form a band and bring their individual talents and influences together to form Century Thief. Rounding out the band is former metal drummer, Greg Francis, along with Steve La and Adam Reid who provide vocals and cello, and trumpet, respectively.
Although they may have felt rushed in the past when recording their acoustic EP, ‘Stay Stranger’ which was released in June of this year, they are finding the recording process this time around more enjoyable. They are again working with producer Matthew Drost while recording their full length record, in a studio which was once a mannequin factory, which is owned by Drost. “We had a help from Matthew on our acoustic EP but did a lot of it ourselves. We are very fortunate to have him on board for this album and having his expertise to guide us.”
For the full length, they are taking their time and enjoying the long but rewarding recording experience so far. “We are lucky to be able to take our time with this record, really enjoy the experience and polish it into what we ultimately want it to be.”
Due to the amount of members in the band, although they wish they could all record together as a whole band, it is often just not feasibly possible with their schedules, “As many people that can go in to record, go in together at one time. With time constraints with each members schedules outside of playing music, it gives us each personally more focus on the tracks and how our instruments are going to sound.”
Although there was no intended theme to this record, Mike can see one emerging all but by accident. “There are a few tracks to do with distance, distance between people, hierarchical distances, it definitely wasn’t intended.”
Century Thief also had the pleasure of recording two videos with Mitch Fillon of Southern Souls which took place on band members Kathryn Kearns deck in Toronto. “Most of our members are from Ontario are familiar with, and love Mitch’s work and have been watching his videos for awhile. We wanted to do a video but didn’t have the means to do a huge music video production, so we turned to him to help us out.”
They were invited to play a showcase during this years NXNE festival in Toronto, a week long music and arts festival. “It was a lot of fun, definitely one of my favourite shows we have played so far and it was a great experience.”
Century Thief will take a short break from recording while they embark on a Maritime Tour, introducing some of the band members to the Maritimes for the very first time.
Being a huge music fan myself, I am always picking my musician friends brains on what they are currently listening to, so i had to ask Mike what was on his playlist right now. “I love Land of Talk, Wye Oak, Okkervil River and Formalists who are from Thornhill just released their EP. And of course Wilco, definitely a big favourite.”
You can catch Century Thief on their Maritime Tour starting in PEI at Baba’s on October 8th, in Fredericton at James Joyce with locals Shorty Tubbs and Cedric Noel on October 9th, in Halifax at Michael’s Bar and Grill on October 10th, and in Sackville, NB at Pickles European Deli on October 11th with Fredericton’s own Josh Bravener.
Mike also plays drums for Toronto band, The Benefit of the Free Man and you can check them out here: http://thebenefitofthefreeman.bandcamp.com/