“It feels like we never stopped,” guitarist, cofounder and cowriter Marc Walloch of the indie rock band Company of Thieves said to me in an interview on Saturday.
The Chicago-born trio, made up of singer and founding member Genevieve Schatz, Walloch and bassist and keyboardist Chris Faller, reunited this September to play a slate of shows nationwide to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their debut album Ordinary Riches. They ended their 12-show run with a hometown show in Los Angeles at the Troubadour Saturday night.
After being on hiatus for three years, the band spent that time discovering their own solo careers — Schatz released a solo EP Show Your Colors in 2013 and Walloch released Through The Seasons under the moniker Spill. As the band quickly became a favorite among the Chicago indie rock scene, only then to be discovered by Wind-Up Records in 2009 with a follow-up release Running From A Gamble in 2011, the band’s legacy and music has stayed.
“We would run into each other around town and see each other at shows and realize we missed playing,” Schatz said.
To kick off their reunion, the band released their newest single “Treasure” — their first release in six years — earlier this summer.
The Company of Thieves blew the Troubadour away with a packed house and raw energy that was just infectious. Schatz’s expressive stage and vocal presence commanded the crowd as the love was felt from audience to stage — fans sang back lyrics to favorites such as “Pressure” and “Oscar Wilde,” and maybe even got emotional with their acoustic performance of “Even In The Dark,” a song Schatz mentioned being one of her and Walloch’s first songs they wrote together as teenagers.
When asked what is different about their songwriting approach this time around — a little older and maybe a little wiser — Schatz mentioned: “It’s a lot more natural and less pressure. Before we would create songs like an architect and had this whole plan mapped out … Now we just write and play whatever feels natural.”
That “natural” approach seems to be what has made Company of Thieves stand out as a band. Schatz’s expressive vocals matched with heart wrenching croons and an air of positivity has always made an impression on me. Her expressiveness matched with Walloch’s impressive guitar skills — from grungy guitar riffs, reverbs, licks and wallowing rhythms — played to the beat and expression of Schatz’s vocals. Faller’s steady bass, drums and key sections provided a nice backbone to the band.
For their DIY reunion tour — a tour in which they gathered up their own funds supported by fan donations, ticket packages and merchandise sales — Schatz and Walloch were immensely grateful to still have the support of fans. “It feels like a fan record label,” Schatz said.
For listeners new and old, the Company of Thieves is here to stay. They are writing more music, so we can definitely expect to see them back on the road sometime soon.
With 10 years behind them and a whole new musical landscape, the band expressed how we live in a time of “singles” instead of “albums” that feel like “re-experiencing a very long relationship.” The 2017 culture of singles can be hit-or-miss and the Company of Thieves is well aware of the growing presence of the Internet and social media.
But if there’s anything to take away, it is that good music stays. When asked on what she would tell her younger self, Schatz said that life moves on fast, so “laugh a little more” and “see the light in people’s eyes.” In a place like Los Angeles, people can get so caught up in “getting ahead” that she’s embraced the current moment now more than ever.
Check out more photos from the Company of Thieves’ show at Troubadour by Ken Ben Raymundo below:
”Nothing’s In The Flowers”
”Queen Of Hearts”
“Death Of Communication”
”Won’t Go Quietly”
“Even In The Dark” (Acoustic)
”Tallulah” (Encore Horn Ensemble)
”Oscar Wilde” (Encore)
Keep up with Company of Thieves at companyofthievesmusic.com.
This article was featured on SFCritic.