Wishes and Thieves Interview

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Wishes and Thieves New York based indie alternative/pop group, Wishes and Thieves members consist of, Jolanda Porter (female vocalist), Mike MacAllister (guitar), Will Clark (drums), and Joseph Higgins (bass). They formed in 2010 and have since then been “compared to the likes of Bjork and Portishead.” Wishes and Thieves really do “hail from different walks of life” with Jolanda from Connecticut, Will from Oregon, Mike from Boston, and New York native, Joseph; yet somehow they’re able to “unify their sound on Lighthouse through undeniable natural talent, honed musicality, and a shared appreciation for musical traditions and the inescapable influence of the New York City music scene.” You can think of their music as a modern take on “electronic indie rock sound of The Postal Service and the trip hop and R&B aspect of British group Morcheeba.” Having just finished recording the follow up EP to Lighthouse in their Flatiron recording studio, Wishes and Thieves talks to Hopeless Thunder about their history and future music.

Wishes and Thieves tells us about their history.
We’re all working musicians in NYC, and essentially that’s how we met. Mike and Joe first played together on a really horrible jazz gig in Astoria, Queens. Rough one. But they made it through that and started collaborating on other projects. Fast forward two years, Will was playing in a jazz group with Mike and in a rock band with Joe. Eventually the three of them got together and began composing and recording instrumental tracks. But what’s a band without a singer? Enter Jolanda. Although Jolanda was originally introduced to Mike as a singer/songwriter looking for a producer, after a few sessions Mike asked if she’d consider singing in a band. A couple weeks later, Jolanda met with Mike to create an idea over one of the tracks that he’d written with Will and Joe. This session resulted in what you all know as “Parachute,” the final track on the ‘Lighthouse’ EP.

On being compared to Bjork/Portishead.
What an amazing compliment! We all love those artists. It’s a totally subconscious influence for us, but Joe and Steve Raggie, who painted our cover art, did put in some serious hours driving around their home town of Northport, NY listening to bands like Portishead while they were in high school. Windows down, music loud. Could have something to do with it.

Their inspiration for their music.
Of course we each bring a unique set of influences to the table, but there seems to be a shared interest in hip-hop and electronic music that keeps popping up. Trying to fit into those styles while playing everything live is certainly a challenge that has shaped our sound.

How their fan base has grown since they’ve started.
Since setting up our Facebook page in March of this year we’ve grown to almost 4,000 fans. We’re psyched about the support we’re getting and hope our fan base continues to grow at such an amazing rate.

What fans can expect from a live show.
Fans should expect a party!

When we can expect a full length album.
We’ve already finished our second EP ‘Forest Fire’ that will be released this fall, but if all goes well, we’ll definitely be recording a full length album in the very near future. Until then, you can just super-glue the two EPs together and pretend it’s one album. Two disc set. Collector’s edition.

What’s next for them.
More music + other fun extras! Follow us on Twitter (@WishesThieves) for the release of our next single, “Forest Fire”–with music video!

Wishes and Thieve’s message to their fans.
Come out to our show in NYC at Nublu on August 27th!!! Also, to stay updated on the latest, join our fan page and mailing list


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Nancy Hoang created Hopeless Thunder in 2007. She conducts the interviews, writes the articles, photographs the concerts, and handles the site's coding & design. (She's basically a control freak.) Her work can also be seen on music publication, CMJ. Contact Nancy for image licensing, assignments, or just to say hi.

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