Behind the Beat: Risk Takers

Formed in 2008 by a quartet of Hartt School of Music students, the New England band Brotherhood of Thieves, featuring members Jacob Wardwell (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Nicholas Cole (guitar), Jack Reynolds (bass) and Tim Jangl (drums), is a group whose moniker encompasses a lot.

“The word ‘brotherhood’ has become a big part of who we are,” the band says. “Even though there are only four of us, the Brotherhood is much larger than that, from our producer Chris Tsanjoures, to our artists James Inkel of Paper Hat Design and Corey Pane of Idlewilde Creations. Each brother brings something to the table and helps define who we are.”

Such an all-enveloping attitude is clearly discernible in the Brotherhood’s sound, which has been described as both “loud and bullshit-free” as well as “a hard-nosed rock-and-roll butterfly.” Songs like “Coffee, Cigarette Breakfast” and “Across the Street From Me” on the band’s most recent release, In Between Seasons, showcase a lighter side of the group with engaging vocals from Wardwell, and acoustic and electric guitars that weave haunting melodies.

Cole says, “I think with each record we learn a little more about saying what we want to say without saying too much. A lot of our older songs were very long, epic tunes with big, long choruses and long guitar solos. That is all well and good, but if you really want to create something memorable, it needs to be quick, catchy, and to the point. I feel it is something we are still learning. It’s like comparing Tolstoy to Steinbeck. They are both amazing writers, but there are few people that I know that are willing and able to sit down and finish War and Peace.”

For upcoming projects, Brotherhood of Thieves started recording its fourth album, Little Left to Lend, in early March with producer and friend Tsanjoures, and hopes to release the record by end of summer or early fall. In the meantime, the band plans to play a limited number of live shows and to continue spreading its philosophy both onstage and off.

“It is in these times we must look to art to remind us that life is a rich and beautiful thing,” says Cole. “It can lift up your spirits, and inspire us to try harder, go further, and take bigger risks. The world needs risk takers to help us move forward. All we can hope for is that the risks we take now will inspire others to do the same. Only then can we say we did what we set out to do.”

Adds Wardwell, “We bust our asses to make the best records we possibly can while never compromising our integrity, and I feel that is apparent in our music. The simple fact is that we absolutely love what we do, and I don’t see us stopping anytime soon.”•

For more information on Brotherhood of Thieves please visit, and

Author: Michael Cimaomo

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