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Since their first full length, entitled “Movement”, was released in early July, Thieves and Villains have been on a few tours with such bands as The Morning Of, Socratic and The Years Gone By. I had a chance to catch up with front man, Sergio Otaegui, at Café Metropolis in Wilkes Barre, Pa while on tour with Cruiserweight (Doghouse Records) and Jonas Sees In Color (Right Hook Records).
Gabbie: Ok Sergio, state your name and your part in the band. Sergio: I play guitar and sing.
G: Where are you guys from? S: We’re from the Hudson Valley Region of New York.
G: How and when did your band form? S: We started in earlier 2007, we put our first songs online about April 1, 2007 and that was because me and Chris met through the music scene back home in New York and Justin knew Chris and they were friends, and then Justin joined, and, you know, Jimmi just joined the band recently.
G: How did you come up with your name? S: Chris wrote some lyrics and it was in there. And the meaning behind it is, lots of times you have to do really shitty stuff to get ahead and, you know, get somewhere in life and we decided to take it seriously, that we weren’t going to really do anything shitty to get ahead, we were just going to be cool and really laid back and never think that we’re this or that, and step on anyone, so we decided to name the band Thieves and Villains, so that we as people wouldn’t be Thieves and Villains.
G: I like that, it fits. So when did you decide you wanted to be in a band? S: I started playing guitar when I was about 13; my aunt gave it to me. That was because I started listening to music a lot when I was about 10, and I was just like “Why not?” If I like something, its like, “just do it”. I started playing in about 7th grade, and I kept with it. And, you know, Thieves and Villains started when I was about 19, and it just went on, that’s how I started music.
G: What influences your music? S: A lot of hip hop, I like hip hop a lot. Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, Lil Wayne. Then Indie bands like Vampire Weekend, Tokyo Police Club, and then more bands like Jimmy Eat World, The Killers, it all melts, we don’t care if it’s a dude on a spoon and a pot, as long as he’s trying to do music and its original and inspiring we’ll feel it, because that’s what we try to do with our music, not exactly sound like everyone else, we try to make people feel it.
G: What is your favorite venue that you’ve played at? S: I really like this venue in Chicago called Subterranean.
G: If you could choose another profession, what would it be and why? S: I’d be in college right now, with all my friends, and I’d probably be pursuing something in English. I love reading and writing and that carries over into this. So I would probably be goingfor journalism, probably an English major would be the last option, but I would want to do something creative no matter what.
G: What kind of music do you listen to? Any bands you prefer? S: Basically the ones that influence us, like I said, I love Kanye, Lupe, Wu Tang Klan. I love everything, like Jimmy Eat World, I love Vampire Weekend so much. Old bands, like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sublime, just a lot of everything.
G: If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why? S: I’d probably fly, because it’d be sick to fly around.
G: Ok, now we’re going to do a few favorites. Favorite food? S: I’d probably say pizza, I’m a vegetarian, and New York is so pizza’d out.
G: Favorite childhood toy? S: Oh man, I had this teddy bear named Blue Bear that I had for so long, I took it everywhere. One time, I went on vacation, and I left it in the hotel room, and I freaked out. My aunt called up and they sent it back to us. So it’s safe and my mom has it in a drawer somewhere.
G: Favorite ice cream flavor? S: My favorite ice cream flavor was this brand from Stewart’s. We have it in New York, and it was graham cracker flavored ice cream. The one day I was having it, and I was sick and ever since then I haven’t been able to have it again. I haven’t had much ice cream since then.
G: Favorite type of toothpaste?
S: I don’t know. Whatever’s at people’s houses. No favorite.
Gabbie Ronchetti is a staff writer in the East Coast region at Musiqtone.com. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(C) 2008 Musiqtone. All Rights Reserved. Any part of this interview cannot be used without written express consent from both the representatives of Thieves and Villains and Musiqtone.