As Thick As Thieves' Zak and Kenny Discuss How the Band's Change Helps Them Grow

It's been three years since last speaking with As Thick As Thieves, who formed back in 2012. Founding members Kenny Barton and Zak or Zachary Banks, brought the band forth, releasing some material when first starting out, but as the band progressed, so did their style, line-up, and much more. Both these guys took some time to discuss how much the band has changed since we last spoke, talking about their new EP "Whiskey Bent" as well as future plans.

1. First of all, who are you, and what do you do in the band?

Hey guys! This is Zak Banks and Kenny Barton. We are the guitarists and founding members of As Thick As Thieves.

2. It's been three years, since we last spoke, during that time; you were in the recording process of your EP "Vagabond". Did that EP ever see the light of day?

Unfortunately, it did not. There was some great music on there too! We ran the gauntlet with that one. Between interchanging members, producers and even having our entire EP’s original stems stolen, we found ourselves wanting to move in a new direction. Ultimately, we are much happier with where we are now and are looking to the future

3. Would you say that the EP that was "Vagabond" ended up becoming the EP "Whiskey Bent"?

Not even in the slightest. The two are completely different animals. The band is a completely different beast at this point, as well. We really took a step back and realized that the sound we had originally pursued just wasn’t us anymore. A lot of that came down to picking up Nate Butcher on vocals. The new As Thick As Thieves is much more aggressive, much more in your face and a lot more progressive. We all grew up listening to rock ‘n’ roll and I don’t think we’ve ever had an easier or more fulfilling writing process since that decision.

4. Why the title change of the EP, and is any of the material that was going to be on "Vagabond" on "Whiskey Bent"?

The two are completely and entirely different - different vocalists, different genres, and different attitudes. We decided the best course of action was to wipe the slate clean and give everyone an equal opportunity to create something that would define the future and direction of this band.

5. How come you saw it fit to release another EP, as opposed to releasing a full-length album?

Same answer as above, to number 4. Just because you have a bunch of songs written doesn’t mean that they make an album. We sort of burned the old As Thick As Thieves down and recreated ourselves through “Whiskey Bent”.

6. Do you plans to write, record, and release a full-length, or will we be seeing yet another EP?

It would depend on how a few pieces fall into place, but rest assured that we are continuously writing and we have a whole group of songs we can’t wait to show you!

7. Dating back to that first interview, your debut EP "Guardian" is a lot difference, in style and sound when compared to "Whisky Bent", why the style and sound change?

Musicians grow and change over time. “Guardian” was the first recording we ever put out and that was about 5 years ago. If we still sounded the same, we would definitely be doing something wrong.

8. How would you describe, this new style, and sound, for those who may have not heard yourearlier works beforehand.

It’s that unabridged, throw-caution-to-the-wind, testosterone fueled, hangover inducing angst. We went back to our roots and found that we wanted a lot more solid rock sound, without the same regurgitated riffs and vocals. We think we’ve created something really rad. If you’ve ever had a crazy night in your life, this EP is for you.

9. After that EP "Guardian" you went and released one another "new" release in terms of a single called "Badwolf", which remains to the EP "Guardian" style and sound, as opposed "Whiskey Bent", again why the change of heart?

You live, you grow, you change. There were definitely some growing pains, but now that the dust has settled, we’re much happier where we are now and are looking forward to the future.

10. During that time frame, you guys were facing a lot of ups and downs as far as band situation goes, have you settled things and figured everything out?

For what may be the first time in the history of the band we can confidently say, absolutely. Music videos are in the works, more songs are being recorded and business is in the works. We really cannot emphasize enough how everything from “Whiskey Bent” forward is what we will be focusing on in As Thick As Thieves.

11. What is the line-up as of right now, in comparison to back then when we last spoke?


Nate Butcher: Vocals

Zak Banks: Guitar/Vocals

Kenny Barton: Guitar

Ryan Robles: Bass

Ryan Mabee: Drums/Vocals

12. How about plans, for the rest of this year, what do you have in-store?

Well, our next show is coming up on Friday, September 9th in support of our friends in Emerald Isle’s EP release of “Lost Empires” at Club Red. That’s our next appearance. Last time we played there, we booked the whole show ourselves with Ella Kaye and we sold the place out.  So it should be an absolute banger. As for releases, look for a 2-3 music videos coming out of the woodwork and a few new singles before the end of the year.

13. Do you have any last words for fans, or potential new fans?

For those still here, we cannot thank you enough. For anyone just showing up to the party, grab a drink! You are more than welcome. It’s been a rocky road, I think that’s just our style, but ATAT is back and here to stay. Check out “Whiskey Bent” on iTunes, Sound Cloud, Apple Music, You Tube and all the others and stay tuned for all of the new songs, videos and shows that we will have coming your way shortly! Thank you to all of our fans and friends and thank you for the interview.

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