Interview with The Jewell Thieves – Father and Son Alternative Music

by Joshua (J.Smo) Smotherman 

In this interview we chat with the father and son duo, The Jewell Thieves, to discuss their musical tastes, their newest project, and surviving as an indie musician in this digital world.

Introduce yourself to our readers and describe the style of music you create.

The Jewell Thieves are a father-and-son, independent, Boston-based alternative music band. We mix in a little rock, folk, blues and progressive sounds to come up with our music. What started out as a side project turned into an opportunity for us to learn, create and entertain our friends, family and fans, and do something fun together that we both love.

Who or what influences your playing and/or writing styles? Also, what motivates you to keep creating?

Mike: I love listening to music and will listen to pretty much anything, Miles Davis to Black Flag, The Meters to Clutch, Flaming Lips to Lorde, The Who – they are one of my favorite bands and stand alone in my book.

As an artist I innately love to create. Even though I like the end results of most of our projects, I thoroughly enjoy the process. Coming up with a new riff, finding a different sound, applying lyrics, learning better ways to put a song together – the process is what motivates me to keep creating.

Nick: As the lead singer for the Jewell Thieves, I like to listen to a variety of different types of music from pop, EDM, to Heavy Metal, and my Dad’s “classic rock” for ideas and enjoyment.

The most motivating person to me is my Dad. He enjoys writing as much as I do and he is always open to ideas. Again, my Dad motivates me to create songs and continue to write.

What was the last song you listened to?

Mike: I listen to lots of different types of music and genres so I am constantly listening to new and different. As I was flipping through the dial I caught a DJ raving about this guy Jason Isbell and his song Children of Children. Because I was driving I could not look it up right away, but I found the song when I got home and I’m glad I took the time, great song.

Nick: Since I was born, my Dad exposed me to a variety of music. Ever since this band was created and I started singing and playing guitar, I am happy to be introduced to a variety of music.

The last song I listened to was Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes. I had never heard of Jack White before and was amazed at the amount of sound that only two people could make.

Other than the digital era overwhelming us with access to an abundance of music, what are one or two of the biggest challenges you face when trying to attract listeners to your music? 

One of the biggest challenges is figuring out where our music fits in and choosing the right channels where we think listeners would appreciate what we do.

Being as close as we are to the music, it is often hard to describe our sound. This has an up side and a down side. The up side is that we like to think we are somewhat unique and do not go out of way to sound a specific way in order to gain a following. We make our music, and hope the listener enjoys it and will support us. One struggle we’ve come across is that we are not trying to sound a specific way, so we have trouble comparing our music to something already known that we can leverage and need in order to find listeners that appreciate and support it our music.

Do you gig, tour or perform through any live streaming services? Where can music lovers see you perform?

We currently do not perform through any live streaming services, but as we build up our fan base, we are finding that most are outside the country, this is something we are investigating. We would love to perform more but due to Nick’s age, he just turned 12, our options are fairly limited. However, when the opportunity presents itself, we always take advantage of it.

Where is the best place to connect with you online? Discover more of your music?

All our music is available on our web site, www.jewellthieves.com A few of our singles can also be found on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Play, YouTube, and many other stores.