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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Music City

Tri-State musicians move to Nashville, Tennessee, all the time chasing their dreams. Reitz Memorial High School alumni Nick Goss and Austin McCool did just that, but not with country music in their heads. They went to rock.

Goss and McCool grew up like many other Midwestern rock fans listening to a mixture of classic and alternative rock. They played in bands together, trying to find their footing in the local music scene playing school talent shows wherever they could.

“We were like a lot of high school kids, taking lessons. Just about everyone I knew was learning an instrument,” says Goss. “As high school kids we couldn’t just gig anywhere, so like most we played at places like 1123 and Wired Coffee House, and we recorded at the old Guitar Lab off Green River Road.” 

Goss attended his first concert at the now demolished Roberts Municipal Stadium, a place where many dreams of rock and roll started in Evansville.

“It was Styx and REO Speedwagon,” he says. “I remember seeing what was going on and knew that’s what I wanted to do.”

After a brief stint at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, the musicians headed south.

It was in Nashville where the Evansville natives met vocalist Elliot Collett and drummer Gianni Gibson, and the band Future Thieves was born. The group pulls strongly from the southern-tinged sounds of Kings of Leon and My Morning Jacket, with deft melodies, big hooks, and tight arrangements. Their sounds suggest song craft, which certainly is a Nashville influence.

“As we write, we layer on and each of us brings their own point to the song. Elliot finds the melody in there and the words come from there,” Goss says of the band, which came together in the fall of 2013.

“We started after having a lot of experience individually, whether it was in the music industry or for Austin and I, it came after we both were at Purdue, and realized that we didn’t want to do that at all,” says Goss.

Collett came from the hills of Kentucky and a coal-mining family. Gibson grew up in Los Angeles and lived in London, hailing from a music industry family.

“We’re all in our mid-20s, and we have a big drive and we love the music we are playing,” says Goss.

Like most ambitious bands, Future Thieves has traveled around the country performing.

“Life on the road is new for us. We bought a van and a trailer and we sleep in the van to save money on hotels,” says Goss. “We play the teeth-cutting clubs and play mostly in front of people who have not heard of us before. We’ll go across the country to find that one person — you never know who they know.”

For the band, the pay-off is communicating with the different audiences they come across. Goss reflects, “It’s great to see how people respond to our music in different parts of the country.”

Future Thieves is doing something right, for sure. So far they’ve had slots at Bonnaroo and Nashville Live on the Green. This year they will be seen at the much-coveted Forecastle Festival in Louisville.

Future Thieves played in Evansville last Thanksgiving at the Backstage Bar and Grill. With their drive and abilities, odds are each time they come to town, the room could get bigger.

The band anticipates playing another show in the Tri-State in April.

Their 2015 debut LP, entitled “Horizon Line,” is available now on all available digital media.

For more information about Future Thieves, visit futurethievesmusic.com.

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