Levi Audette (guitar, ukulele, percussion, backing vocals); Cameron Thorne (vocals, ukulele, bass, percussion, guitar).
CITY OF ORIGIN:
From Nowhere EP (2010).
Ranging from The Clash to Chet Baker’s vocal compositions, plenty of the Aloha State’s artistry and seemingly everything else in between (e.g. film, fashion, love, various vices and nature).
With a little help from online mapping resources, we can report that San Bernardino’s roughly 2,600 miles from Hawaii. But this vast geographical distance hasn’t stopped a pair of local musicians from casing out the Aloha State’s artistic wares for a little inspiration.
Armed with the requisite ukes, Naïve Thieves have heisted the best aspects of the islands, melding them with their indie upbringings. “We were listening to a lot of Jerry Byrd, Alfred Apaka, Hui Ohana, New Hawaiian Band and Barney and Atta,” says Cameron Thorne. “Once the inspiration was there it was like, ‘OK, we can’t play straight Hawaiian music. How do we make this our own thing?’”
The answer is the band’s From Nowhere EP. Now, the Thieves are from somewhere, as their origins can be traced physically (San Berdoo) or spiritually (Honolulu). But according to Thorne, the title references feeling out of place among people (specifically, artist types) who’ve been raised around an artistic limelight and are feeling a little comparatively disadvantaged. “Plus, the two of us both grew up in an area of California where the music that we loved and wanted to play had no appreciation or exposure,” he adds.
Now it’s their turn to expose locals via live gigs, of which Thorne has big plans. “We’re looking to add some live members to make the sound a lot fuller, as well as making it more visually exciting for our friends and fans,” he says.
After all, it was a visual (a French New Wave film) that granted the band its name—plus they wanted a moniker that wouldn’t stink in a couple years, as they’re in it for the haul.
“We just want to make this our job,” says Thorne. “Just like every 14-year-old kid who picks up a guitar for the first time and is suddenly ‘in a band,’ we want to be able to do this: Travel, perform, meet folks, document, get sick of the road, come home and write, record and so on and so forth. We both love playing music, and if the two of us can do so forever, we’ll be happy.”
Naïve Thieves at The Wire, 247 N. 2nd Ave., Upland, (909) 985-9466; www.thewire247.com. Sun, 7PM. $10.