Nothing But Thieves on their new LP, mental health, and Japan

“In a weird way, I’ve already achieved my dreams; I’m here and I’m proud of us and myself.”

Following their sold out tour last December, Nothing But Thieves are preparing to return to Australian shores off the back of their latest creation ‘Broken Machine’.

It’s an emotionally charged album that was inspired by the highs and lows they’ve encountered on their musical journey.

“There were a lot of things that happened on the road, especially with myself with mental health issues and sleep problems,” frontman Conor Mason explains. “I think during the eye of the storm, it came through that we weren’t all right about these sort of things, so in a way the dark times of the band helped to produce our album.”

Nothing But Thieves have certainly faced a rollercoaster of highs and lows throughout their journey, but Mason believes that the band has developed significantly over the years.

“We’ve worked so hard, we work on what we do every single day, so I think we’ve become better songwriters,” Mason says. “I feel like with anything you do, you need more practice so that you can become better at what you craft. You improve daily because you want to work on it.”

Mason draws his musical influences from a wide range of genres, from rhythm and blues, to hip hop, to heavy metal, in order to find inspiration.

“I’m the biggest Radiohead fan,” Mason says. “I could expand on genres, but I guess for me it’s more about whatever is good and whatever sparks your interest. You can be influenced by anything.”

Nothing But Thieves are also keen to tour Australia again, reveling in the energy of their Aussie fans.

“Australia is such a wonderful place, the weather is fantastic and I’m obsessed with the food, you’ve got it right,” Mason says. “Part of it is that we don’t get to go out so far away; the fans are so energetic and the shows are always insane so I’m looking forward to more of that.

“My style of frontman is to be totally immersed in the music and very personal with everyone. If I can get across that I’m enjoying myself, which I do anyway, but I want to show that I’m totally immersed because it engages people.”

He recalls one of his most treasured moments with the band as the first time ever played Reading Festival in the UK, something of a ‘pinch-me’ moment for the singer.

“It’s the festival we went to as kids and festivals are so important to us,” Mason says. “England can be quite mundane, but then the sun comes out for a little bit – honestly when Reading Festival is on, the sun always comes out, and you head down there to see your favourite bands. For me, playing the main stage there was incredible for us.”

Japan is another favourite touring location for Mason, who loves how quirky it is. A destination so far removed from what he’s used to.

“Japan is a completely different world. I feel like I’m stepping into a different planet while I’m there,” Mason says. ‘The culture is different, they’re quite reserved people and in a way it’s like taking a holiday when you go there, it’s refreshing.”

Nothing But Thieves are stoked with what they’ve achieved on their musical journey, but for Mason the band can always continue growing and developing.

“For us, if we can keep playing shows and never stay on the same platform – just keep growing – then I’ll be happy because that’d be good for me,” Mason says. “In a weird way, I’ve already achieved my dreams; I’m here and I’m proud of us and myself.

“You’ve got to do something that makes you happy and work at it. It’s very important to maintain that happiness and not get lost. I think that happens a lot with people in my career. For me, it’s always about finding something you love and letting it kill you, that’s what I like to say. Life’s too short to not be happy.”


Nothing But Thieves will play at the Forum Theatre on Sunday July 29.