Company of Thieves are back! After a long almost six year hiatus the alternative indie band from Chicago is finally back together and have released their first EP, Better Together, since their 2011 release, Running From a Gamble. Thankfully, we had a chance to catch up to guitarist Marc Walloch to talk about the reunion tour, why Company of Thieves needed a break, more about the EP and what the future holds.
We are so honored to present to you, Marc Walloch from Company of Thieves!
Lemonade Magazine: First off, welcome back! We here at Lemonade are so happy that you are back making music.
Marc Walloch: Thank you so much! We are thrilled as well.
LM: So we know that Company of Thieves went on pretty long hiatus. When you initially decided this, was there a sense of finality or was there some inkling that it was temporary?
MW: It wasn’t really even a conscious decision. It just needed to happen because we were not aligned with each other anymore and we needed space to grow. At the time, I felt like it was over forever and needed to feel that to properly move on and grow because I was truly heartbroken about it. We never discussed the terms of taking space. We just sort of split and did what we needed to do to get healthy emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
LM: Thankfully, you decided to reconnect and glad you took time to heal. What was that first conversation like after the long layoff?
MW: We didn’t have communication for a few years which was very new to us since we’ve been inseparable since we were 18 years old. I think that space was vital but eventually it felt like something very important to me and very grounding was missing. We moved to Los Angeles at different times in the same year so eventually we would run into each other at mutual friends’ shows so we would say hello and have little “catch ups” here and there.
Then we started meeting up at coffee shops and discussed our years apart. At one point Genevieve [Schatz] told me she really wanted to make music again and that excited me but it wasn’t something I could just jump into without continuing to slowly re-align ourselves. Then, we went on a camping trip to Big Sur and Genevieve and I talked for hours around a fire that we never made in the rain and she said, “The only thing in our way is us.” We then decided to write, record and book a reunion tour which happened the following fall!
LM: That is so awesome! What was it like to get back into the studio together for the first time after five years and how did time change the songwriting process?
MW: The very first time we got in the studio it wasn’t necessarily a “Company Of Thieves” session so it was very relaxed and loose. I set it up as I would for any co-write session and didn’t know if I’d be helping Genevieve with a song that she could use for her solo work or something else. I think these are the best sessions because it’s more about making a song with someone and that’s it. There’s no pressure from some plan, agenda, or expectation you may have with recording a song.
That song is one of my favorites and we haven’t released it yet but I’m very excited to! The songwriting process is mostly the same. Genevieve and I like to get together and work out the bare bones first. Something that we have been doing new is trying to be more present with our writing. Instead of having a bunch of 70% ideas, we have been starting from scratch and building vibes that inspire us to write something new in that moment. That’s how we wrote “Treasure”. It was very fast and very “of the moment.”
LM: The EP, Better Together, feels so complete even though it is only 3 new tracks. I am enamored by “Younger”. What was the inspiration behind that track?
MW: Yes, it does encompass a lot of time! We had that riff and most of the song from right before we took the hiatus but never nailed the vibe. I’m so glad we had all these years of growth to apply to that song because now it sounds like a dream. “Younger” is a love song looking back.
LM: And the word is that you are working on more new music as well. Could you tell us a bit about that?
MW: Yes! Lately it’s been a little tough carving out time since we were just on the road for two months and now are planning our acoustic tour while balancing out other jobs, etc…But we plan to get together later this month and in April to get a few more tunes cooking. Since we were away for about 5 years, we don’t want to already disappear to make a full length record which costs tons of money and time. We would rather just keep writing and keeping a flow of material coming to our community while we find our sound and get back on our feet.
LM: You are currently on tour with Walk The Moon. What quirky habits or rituals do you have while on tour?
MW: If you’re being “bad” or “ridiculous” and need to be reprimanded, we like to put people “ON BLAST.” If Walk The Moon’s tour manager tells us our soundcheck is cut short, we say, “Hey Blake, you’ve just been put on blast.”
LM: Haha! I have a friend who loves you, but is living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She wants to know if you have any plans to tour Asia soon. Ha!
MW: Oh man! We get messages from people all over the world sometimes and it blows our minds how they even know of us! We would obviously LOVE to visit far away places and play music, but it’s so hard and expensive to make a trip like that happen without proper funding and promotion. I see it happening in our future though. We just need to keep working on making the best art we can make and we will eventually get there!
LM: Thank you again for your time! We really appreciate it. Congrats on the EP and we are looking forward to more new music!
MW: Thank you so much for having us. This is the kind of support that’s truly helping us get back on our feet and stay motivated knowing there’s love for us out there.