Ages and Ages Bella Union

Horse Thief at Lincoln Hall

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 Perry

I absolutely love discovering new music.  Listening to a new band for the first time is like a hopeful first date or trying on a pair of those super cute jeans that are remarkably on sale, you just hope it fits!  Usually, it takes some warming up for me.  I listen to an album a few times though and then I'm hooked.  

But, when I listened to the first album released by Horse Thief, "Fear In Bliss", it was love at first note!  This debut LP, released under the record label, Bella Union, is a perfect collection of smooth melodies and intriguing vocals.  Lead vocalist, Cameron Neal has the perfect "stand out" voice; recognizable, yet different.  

On March 10th, Horse Thief performed at Lincoln Hall, as a stop on their tour with English alternative rock band, Dry The River.  Horse Thief opened the set to a hesitant crowd, but soon shed them of their quite mood.  

I spoke with Horse Thief about how they made their start, the recording of "Fear In Bliss" and their first (official) gig in Chicago!

Half Stack:  How did you all join together to make up Horse Thief?

Horse Thief (Cameron): Cody and I moved up from the Denton, Texas area to attend ACM@UCO (Academy of Contemporary Music at University of Central Oklahoma) through attending the college we met Alex, Alberto and Zach. Only Alex attended the school as well but the Oklahoma City music scene is a small family and it doesn't take long to meet fellow musicians and artists in general. 

HS: What keeps you inspired as musicians and song writers?

HT: Our lives are surrounded and motivated by music. I'm constantly inspired and searching for ideas to sing about in everyday life. We all play music because it's what keeps us sane. The rest of life is just finding out ways that we can play more and eventually support our never ending habit of touring and writing.

HS: You released your latest album, 'Fear In Bliss' this past year.  Can you tell us a little bit about the journey of how that album came together?

HT: Well, this current line up of the band formed in December 2012. Fear in Bliss was written in four months from the formation of the group, so it happened fast. Nothing was forced, it all came together quite naturally. I think it was us finding out how each other works and musically connecting with each other on music we were all excited to be writing together.

HS: Why did you decided to start the album with an "Intro" track?

HT: We all like the layout of long form records. I love the idea of someone sitting down and listening to the entire album in one setting, because that's how I've always enjoyed listening to records. The intro was meant to set a tone for the record and to draw you into the atmosphere we were trying to create. 

HS:  What was it like recording out of your element, in LA?
HT:  Quite peaceful, we didn't go out to much honestly. Mainly long days in the studio away from everything you are close too. I think recording away from where you live is important, makes you fully focus on what you are doing and why you're doing it.

HS:  What are you looking forward to the most about your upcoming tour with Dry The River?
HT:  We actually met them at a festival we played in the Netherlands in the fall and ending up drinking together at the after party. It's nice to go on the road with people you have already met, they are really nice guys and we were already fans of their music. 

HS: What are some other bands/artists you have enjoyed collaborating and/or touring with in the past?

HT:  Last year we toured with Midlake and The Paper Kites, and by the end of the tour we were leaving good friends. I think that's one of the best parts of touring.  You meet these people for the first time on night one and by the end of it you have something you both shared together. Touring is a unique lifestyle, I can understand how it's not for everyone but for us we've always loved it.

HS: Lincoln Hall is one of my favorite Chicago venues, but what venue would you love to perform at that you haven't been to yet?

HT:  We've actually never played in Chicago proper! Last fall we played with Ages and Ages in Evanston at a cool venue called Space ,  but I've only heard great things about Lincoln Hall and would put it on the list of venues we are looking forward to.

HS:  What is coming up next for Horse Thief?

HT:  Touring and recording, going into the studio in May to finish recording our second album. We will be releasing songs for the next release throughout the year. 

For more information about upcoming tour dates and news, check out

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