I will never again run into such a cheerful and inviting gang of thieves. Clearly they were walking on air; it was the day before The Ballroom Thieves would take the stage at the historic Newport Folk Festival. After a long walk in the blistering sun we spotted a shady tent that might as well have been an oasis in the Sahara. I felt immediately welcomed and engaged by the sharply dressed trio.
How would you describe your music without using genre names?
Callie: Loud… sometimes loud, sometimes not loud
Martin: I’d like to say… Honest– I think it comes from the heart
Devin: Unpredictable. We really operate under a no rules kind of thing… we’re not trying to be someone or something, we’re creating what we are creating in the moment. That allows us to stretch boundaries.
Are you all big Game of Thrones fans?
Callie: Very big.
Martin: We should do the rest of the interview just about that. Theories and…
Devin: We played the intro at our show last night
Martin: When we finished the fifth season we felt like there was a void in our lives so we started the series over again. We’re on the third season and we watch one almost every night.
Callie: It’s kind of embarrassing.
(Spoiler alert!) Do you think Jon Snow is gone for good?
Callie: No we don’t think Jon Snow is gone for good, that’s ridiculous.
Devin: We have a couple of theories but I don’t know how deep you want us to get into this. You’re opening up a can of worms.
How did it influence your album?
Martin: I was reading the books while I was writing most of the songs for the record. So there are definitely some.. at least literary themes that are somewhat influenced by the books. So thats why there is a lot of medieval imagery on the record. Archers and daggers and knives and stuff. We’ll definitely have to pay George R.R. Martin some royalties for that. Hopefully he lets it slide… I think he’s doing all right.
Devin: We’re not writing a Game of Thrones record but… we love that shit. We play the theme from the show as an intro to one of our songs during the season.
Who’s the biggest nerd?
Callie: We’re all a little bit nerdy in different ways…
Martin: I don’t think Devin’s very nerdy.
What about nerdy hobbies like collecting coins?
Devin: We go to antique malls all over the country. I bought an oar the other day. We buy so many antiques it’s not funny, and we don’t have homes so it’s really stupid.
Callie: We just collect the antiques and they live there with us… it’s pretty crowded.
Devin: If music doesn’t work we can certainly open up a pretty decent antique store.
Martin: I think Callie is the biggest music nerd… mostly because she went to music school. So she’s one of those Berklee kids. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I read a lot of books and stuff…
Devin: I’m very good at quick arithmetic… I’m trying to make us all a little nerdy.
When you are out on the road does anyone cook?
Martin: We have a big conversion van. It’s comfortable with a bed to use while we’re driving and a TV so it’s pretty homey for the three of us, but certainly no kitchen.
Devin: Her name is The Chariot.
Callie: She doesn’t help us cook on the road at all.
Martin: We either eat at restaurants or the venues will arrange some sort of catering or hit up the grocery stores.
Callie: Pound veggies. Eating on the road is very interesting I feel like there [are] five or ten ways to eat whether it be a home-cooked meal, a horrible meal you find on the side of the road, a catered situation. It feels like we do one a night. Something different every day.
Martin: A lot of granola bars.
What is your favorite venue you have ever played at?
Callie: We all agree that the Sinclair at our hometown in Cambridge is a spectacular venue in every way. We have a great time there. Of course it’s a hometown show so it’s a bit rowdy and full of people. It’s always great.
Devin: Might have a different answer for you after 12 o’clock tomorrow. At this point a hometown show in Boston is still pretty untouchable. To date the Sinclair has kind of been our home and everybody who works there and at Bowery Boston has really incubated this band and believed in us from the beginning. Playing there is a really special experience every time.
What venue do you dream about playing at?
Devin: Red Rocks. We went there and checked it out when we were driving through.
Callie: It’s in the mountains. It’s so beautiful.
Devin: It’s almost indescribable.
Martin: It’s an amphitheater that is built into the rocks.
Callie: Red rocks surrounding it, great acoustics.
Martin: My dream venue would be on Mars, it’s a different type of red rocks but…
Callie: That’s a big dream there.