Sugarthief Discuss their Debut EP & Touring the UK | Interview

Photo by @Brionygrahamrudd

Birmingham Band Sugarthief hint at a new direction for ‘i before e’ EP

With their long-awaited Debut EP right around the corner along with their launch show, we managed to grab some time from Sugarthief, who are proving to be one of the hottest bands in Birmingham.

Hey guys, been a while since we last checked in with you! How are you all, has anything changed since we last spoke?

Honestly I would say nothing and everything has changed… it’s all a bit of a whirlwind at the moment. But being so busy is far from a bad thing, we’re just loving life recording/writing a load of new stuff and playing a bunch of shows in support of our new EP.

So you’re halfway through your ‘i before e’ EP tour, how’s it been, and what sort of reaction have you had to the new tracks like ‘Good Luck I Hope You Make it’?

It’s surprised us how well the tour has been going. We had a sold out show in Manchester at Jimmy’s and a crazy crazy show at The Bodega in Nottingham where there were a load of people singing every song which was hard to process considering it was an out of town show. They gave the same reaction to Spilt Milk Society too which was amazing to see and shows something positive is happening right now. We want to play as many shows with Spilt Milk as possible – it helps considering Harry, their lead singer, now plays with us on keys! as well those guys just being all-round amazing people and musicians.

As I mention ‘Good Luck I Hope You Make It’ just wanted to congratulate you on getting on the debut Flying Vinyl LP with that track! How did that come about?

Thanks so much! Well it all started around 3 years ago when I messaged them sending them our demos. We ended up being the first ever band to get in a Flying Vinyl package through submission of music. From then on we’ve been good friends with Craig and he’s one of the few people who have backed us from the start. He asked us if we wanted to be a part of the first ever Flying Vinyl LP via Blood Records, his other amazing company, and of course we said yes! The record has a load of amazing artists featured including our brummie pals, The Cosmics!

With the long-awaited EP soon to make it’s appearance are you happy with the final cut of it? And is that why it took a bit longer than expected, so you all were 100% happy with it?

Yeah, the main reason it took so long to finish was because we have been constantly creating new sounds and ideas for the EP. So we kept going back and editing the mixes, recording new bits, taking bits out etc. It was worthwhile doing because now we’re all very happy with the result and there’s a lot of different stuff in there for everyone to – hopefully – enjoy.

Also, where did the name ‘i before e’ come from? When I first saw it I thought it was a way of stopping people potentially spelling the bands’ name wrong!

Haha, you nailed it on the head! We just get our name spelt wrong constantly by promoters, bloggers, fans so we decided to put an end to it with the old golden rule of spelling – I before E except after C. Hopefully that stops people spelling it wrong or at minimum makes them look very stupid if they do. 

Since you guys have started out, I feel like your sound has changed a lot from the tracks ‘New Ends’ and ‘Crowing Youth’ to the mammoth sounding ‘Modern Man’. Yet you’ve always kept that pop sensibility about your tracks. Will the band be heading down the more ‘Modern Man’ Sound going forward, or are you always looking to try out something new?

Modern Man was definitely a song that was aimed to show people our new direction. But once you hear everything on the EP you’ll see that our direction is much more diverse than it’s ever been and Modern Man is somewhat the tip of the iceberg. Our writing style and influences change constantly so I don’t think we even know where our sound will be going. We all somehow seem to be on the same wavelength and we’ve already written a bunch of post-EP songs.

Photo by @Brionygrahamrudd

From the last time we spoke there’s been some new bands breaking out in the Midlands area like The Novus and Sunset Beach Hut. Is there any under the radar that you’ve been enjoying recently that we should keep tabs on?

It’s so cool to see how many bands are breaking out in the midlands right now! Ones that spring to mind are Robert Craig Oulton, Cave Girl, Mass House, Echo Beach, George Pannell & Sorry Grace. We could keep going forever but give all those guys some love! 

You have a big show coming up this Saturday (23rd March) with a great Birmingham based line up with The Cosmics and Spilt Milk Society. Does this have the potential to be one of the biggest gigs you’ve done so far? Especially with the EP coming out.

It’s definitely the biggest headline show we’ve ever done and such a great line up! The line up was really important to us so we picked the bands and made sure they were available before we set a date. We want it to be about all three of us, we know the crowd will dig the music from when the doors open and we’ll be having a big old party backstage and on stage. We’re all good friends so it’ll be a pretty crazy one! It’ll be very cool to see if anyone manages to learn any of the songs from the EP before coming to the show too. We can be hopeful!

You also have 3 more shows after that to close out EP tour, which sees you playing some great venues including The Cookie! Have you played all these venues before, if not which one are you looking forward to having a crack at?

We haven’t played any of those venues before, no. It’s a really exciting experience playing new cities that half the time we’ve never even been to! Glad you mentioned The Cookie because that show is actually already sold out. It kind of blows our minds, we’ve never even been to Leicester before!

Finally, with us still being at the start of the Year. Does the band have any goals for the end of the year? or are you just riding the wave and seeing where it takes you?

I wouldn’t say we have any dead set goals. We’re focusing a lot on writing at the moment so we have more material to release after the EP. Other than that we have the tour and a few festivals including a headline slot on the This Feeling / Pirate Studios at Truck Festival (our fave festival in the world) and a slot at Camden Rocks. Hopefully we’ll have a few more festivals to announce too. 

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