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Stacking The Deck with Young Thieves
Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Stacking The Deck is a feature exclusive to Adam’s World where I bring packs of 1991 Pro Set Superstars MusiCards to artists, and we discuss who they find in each pack.

With a sound that’s pop in your headphones, and rock on the stage, Young Thieves are a band aiming to steal the spotlight in NYC’s indie music scene.

Consisting of Andrew Lynch, Alexandra Amor, Johnny Coryn (pictured L to R), and Dmitry Libman (not pictured), Young Thieves is actually a band of veterans, as Amor saw streaming success as a solo artist, and Lynch, Coryn, and Libman hit the stage at Warped Tour before linking up with Amor.

The foursome feel that while their other projects were rewarding, they’ve truly found themselves musically with Young Thieves. They recently released their first single, “What You Want,” after a full year together, and Amor enthusiastically calls the band, “The best experience I’ve ever had with music.”


I caught up with 3/4 of Young Thieves at the Think Coffee at the corner of Bleecker and Bowery to open up some packs of MusiCards, and the artists we found sparked conversations about meeting Madonna, balancing classic and modern influences, and who was buying all those Nickelback albums.



Madonna

Do you have a Madonna story?

Alexandra: I do have a Madonna story, actually. I was able to meet her at her Project Revolution event.

I’m good friends with her sound engineer. It was awesome.

Her show was broadcast live on these projectors across the world at secret locations so her super fans were able to go watch it, and she only performed it once live, which was in New York City, and I was able to see it. She was definitely phenomenal.

And you met her. Did she have crazy rules about that?

Alexandra: I had just dyed my hair brunette at that time, and she only stands by brunette girls because she wants the blonde to stand out in press photos, so she was standing next to me, and one of my best friends, Kira, in all the photos. It’s pretty cool. I got to stare at the back of her head pretty close.

Andrew: That’s quite a level of stardom, deciding who you can and cannot stand next to. That’s gotta be pretty top tier.

So if anyone reads this, and is going to a meet and greet with Madonna, dye your hair.

Andrew: Wear a wig.



Bullet Boys

Andrew: Bullet Boys are, in a nutshell, what we would all look like if we all had really awesome ‘80s blowout hairdos.

Alexandra: And if I was a dude.

Andrew: Well, some of these guys look like girls.

Johnny: They all look like girls, basically, so it doesn’t matter.

Andrew: There’s definitely some androgynous sort of thing happening here.

Alexandra: I feel like you guys did have that hair, both of you guys, at one point.

Andrew: Oh yeah, my hair used to be real long, real real long.

If they made these outfits as pajamas, how many of us would get them?

Alexandra: All of us.

Andrew: I mean, I already own this, so for me it’s more like when am I gonna wear it.

Johnny: From the LA Gear collection.

Andrew: I’m still trying to find the right platform shoes to go with it. It’s kind of like an outfit in progress.



Run-DMC

Johnny: Everyone loves Run-DMC, they’re super great.

(Their music) reminds me of first moving to New York City (in 2010), and going on the trains. I was a fan of Wu-Tang and other East Coast rappers, but it was cool listening to hip-hop based in New York City while you’re going through the city. Run-DMC is the shit, man.



Huey Lewis

Andrew: He’s got a fantastic voice, a fantastic sound … I’m a big fan of him. The guitar playing on all that stuff if really good, too. A guy named Chris Hayes (was the guitarist).

A lot of the guys in the band don’t get a lot of the talk, or the rep, that they need. They’re a really really good band.

Johnny: My dad had this in the CD player all the time and he used to blast it.

Did he go full American Psycho when he put it on, and give a lengthy explanation of why it’s a great album?

Johnny: Oh no. He had no idea. My dad likes music, but if you ask him why he’s just like, “I like it, I don’t know.”

Do you each have an album that you can give the American Psycho treatment to, where you put it on and you want to give full descriptions the entire time, possibly while murdering someone, possibly not?

Andrew: Sure. I could do that with their album Sports. Great record. I feel like they really found themselves creatively.

Alexandra: Amy Winehouse. I have her on vinyl. I play it all the time. Back to Black.

Andrew: I really like the Eagles a lot. I’m sorta like a classic guy with my music taste. I like all kinds of stuff, but the classic stuff definitely gets me.

So you’re more likely to put on a Zeppelin album, or a Queen album, than something current.

Andrew: Exactly, but I try to listen to everything, especially being in this band, you need to stay current. I don’t think that you can draw everything you need off of old stuff, you gotta get a nice blend, but I definitely bring, especially with my guitar playing, I think I’m influenced by a lot of older stuff. I tend to stick with the classics. I dig that.



Soundgarden

This one’s a little sad.

Andrew: Soundgarden is a little sad. I would actually be curious to see how long ago it was that Chris Cornell passed away, because it feels like it was a month ago, but it was probably like a year ago.

I feel like the way that things are today, something major happens, and it’s the topic of discussion until something else major happens and pushes it out of the limelight, and that’s just kinda how everybody is now with social media, and news, and stuff like that.

I feel like (his passing) was a huge deal, and then everyone kinda moved on. It definitely was a big deal, though, especially for me. I like a lot of rock music, and I remember the reaction from the rock community was pretty intense. You never realize how much of an impression somebody has on a lot of other musicians that you like. Even though Soundgarden was never really my favorite band, I think that I listen to a lot of people who were probably influenced by, or in the same sort of wheelhouse as them.

Johnny: They’re always playing on classic rock stations, too.

Andrew: Honestly, all that stuff is probably one generation before me. I think me getting into anything like that, or even getting into Nirvana, was more of a post thought for me. I think that was just five years before me.

Once again, you have classic influences.

Andrew: I feel like that’s just from me playing guitar.

When you pick up an instrument does that happen, do you almost immediately start digging deeper?

Andrew: I think for guitar, I used to get Guitar World magazine a lot when I was younger, and there were definitely articles in there about modern people, but a lot of the things that are praised are from the ‘60s and ‘70s and ‘80s. For some reason that just happened to be the golden age of what people wanted to learn.

When I was growing up the first songs I was learning were like Ozzy Osbourne, and stuff like that. I wasn’t learning Blink-182, (although) I’m sure there were kids that were.

Johnny: My first song I learned was Creed. When I started playing drums, my first song from beginning to end was Creed. {sings} Can you take me higher!

Andrew: Creed was big, dude. They were pushing really hard. They had a great run. I don’t even want to say … Nickelback.

Nickelback had an album on the charts for like four straight years, and everyone’s like, “They suck!” Well, who’s buying all these records then?

Johnny: My uncle is.

Andrew: Everyone’s lying. Everyone’s saying that they’re not good, and secretly going to the record store right after that and buying the album.

Johnny: My uncle’s like, “Let me put on some background music,” and it’s Nickelback. Love ya uncle John.



George Michael

Johnny: ‘80s music is awesome. Wham! was the shit.

George Michael was awesome. I definitely like his music.

He also changed genres a lot. Have you guys done any genre hopping? Is that something you want to do?

Andrew: It’s tough to say now because we’re still trying to make our mark. I feel like we’ve definitely started things, found our focus of what we want to sound like, and I think anyone would have to establish that before you ever decide to branch into something new.

But before this band you all had other projects. How different were those projects from Young Thieves?

Alexandra: Completely, but it’s cool because we fused the different elements together, and also put a dance twist on it.

I was straight soul, then we incorporate the rock elements of (the band), so our tracks, when you listen to them, they’re mainstream, they’re very radio friendly, but then when you see us live it’s a totally different show because you have all the rock elements, and they fuckin’ shred. It’s really cool because you get two different experiences.

Andrew: I think everybody went into this trying to satisfy something that maybe they weren’t getting out of what they were doing before. I know me, Johnny, and Dmitry were in a band and kinda wanted to change things up, and change our sound a little bit. Then we were able to meet Alex, and sort of give her a platform to really express herself, and maybe branch out. We all love the fact that she had neo-soul influences, and R&B influences, and we met in the middle in a way.

If it wouldn’t have worked it definitely wouldn’t have worked.

Alexandra: {laughs}

Andrew: The first time it would have been like OK, we are just on totally different pages. But I think we found that we really did come to this place where we were all happy about the product that we made, and being like, this is satisfying this need that I had to get to this sound that we have now.

We’re still exploring it. We aren’t so rigid in our form that every track sounds like the next track. We try to have a little bit of variance. I think that’s important, but I also think having too much variance in genre can kinda make you seem a little unfocused. You need to know what your sound is, and I feel like right now we’ve found a good balance in what we sound like.


For more Young Thieves, check them out at weareyoungthieves.com, and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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