By Nicholas Jason Lopez
The best song lyrics can sound like pure heart-to-heart conversations and for Boston/Long Island pop punk act Quiet Like A Thief, this was the case for their latest single “Window Pain.”
Lead singer Alex Kouvaris and fellow bandmate Ryan Sweeney spoke on societal norms and how their parents’ outdated visions of “graduate school, college, get married and then have kids” can leave the current generation feeling like they aren’t “up to par” if they aren’t there yet by a certain age – and it’s perfectly okay. The song encourages people to go at life on their own pace and don’t let others cloud their own destiny.
“Window Pain” follows up previous single “LAK,” which garnered praise for its heartwarming emotion and was deemed a worthy tribute to Kouvaris’ late father, as he had passed away from COVID-19 in 2020. “LAK” was produced, mixed and mastered by Four Year Strong’s Alan Day, with the music video being featured on VEVO with over 60K views to date. It was directed by Miguel Barbosa (YEAH! Films), Chris Fox and Norris Guncheon (Ryeland Offices, Inc.).
The band’s work with Day is a signal of what’s to come, as a six-song release recorded with him is slated to drop in Spring 2021.
The Music Bugle had the chance to speak with them about their new music and more.
Music Bugle – How did you guys decide the band name?
Alex Kouvaris – The band name comes from lyrics of one of my all-time favorite bands, Can’t Swim. In their song “Amnesia 666,” the lyrics say “Will you notice me? Silent like a thief.” It’s funny because I actually thought it was “Quiet like a thief” and it had stuck with me ever since, so I decided to move forth with that as the official band name.
Music Bugle – Given its emotional backstory, did the video for “LAK” come out the way you had hoped?
Alex Kouvaris – Absolutely. We were fortunate enough to work with some very talented people currently in the scene, who took our vision for the video to the next level. We were blown away by the final product and I couldn’t have asked for a better tribute for the passing of my father. It captured raw, heart-on-sleeve emotions through lyrics, while truly rocking out as a band. Most people who know QLAT know us as a pop punk band, so this was a great addition to our roster, introducing a new side of us while reaching new audiences in other scenes. The song hit home for so many people, even if their loss wasn’t COVID-related. Millions can relate to this song and it brought tears to the eyes of people who have never heard of us before. Writing a song that impactful is a huge success for us alone.
Music Bugle – Would you say your geographical separation works either for or against you?
Ryan Sweeney – Sending music and ideas back and forth can be difficult for sure, but I think Alex and I both have the chemistry and always know what the other person is looking for. Communication and transparency are extremely important in our writing process and luckily, that is something we do well. However, because we don’t have the luxury of being able to get together once or twice a week like most local bands do, we make sure that we dedicate our time to writing and promoting as much as we can – working just as hard, if not, harder than others.
Music Bugle – How would you describe your 2020?
Alex Kouvaris – It’s safe to say that 2020 sucked. It was hands down the worst year of my life so far. Within a year, I lost my father to COVID and two grandparents for issues unrelated to COVID that I was extremely close to. It was such a difficult year for my family and I, but I’m thankfully coping with it better than others do. Music is so important to me and I’m forever grateful that I can utilize the band as a way to positively channel my emotions.
Music Bugle – What was it like making your record?
Alex Kouvaris – We are currently working on our debut record as we speak! We’re stoked to announce our debut six-song EP, which is scheduled to drop in late Spring of 2021. Alan Day of Four Year Strong will be producing, mixing and mastering the entire album and we couldn’t be more excited. Ryan and I have released singles in the past, but we’ve been dying to release an actual album as a band. The time has finally come and we strongly believe that this record will define our true sound and who we are as a band. So far, it’s been an awesome experience and the process has been going very smoothly.
Music Bugle – Does social media help or hurt music?
Ryan Sweeney – This is a great question, because I think it can do great things, if you’re using it to your advantage. We love being able to interact with new followers and listeners and find a lot of music ourselves through social media as well. I think some people who think it “hurts” music might just be upset because they regret saying something inappropriate that lost them listeners and possibly their band. You really have to be careful with how you represent yourselves, because you have one chance to make a lasting impression. Use it to your advantage to show your true colors.
Music Bugle – What motivates you to keep doing what you do?
Alex Kouvaris – Ever since I was in my very first band, I couldn’t get enough of it. From scheduling band practices, writing new songs, playing shows and communicating with our fans. To this day, the thrill of it all is still just as strong and since the passing of my dad – a seriously talented and passionate musician – I’ve never felt so compelled to keep going. I love everything from recording scratch tracks, to hyping up a release of a new song or music video. It can be a lot of work at times, but the final product is so damn rewarding. The past month, Ryan and I have been communicating with existing and new fans through social media and it’s been a blast. We’ve found so many new faces and new bands and when they get hyped for new material, it’s such an awesome feeling. Music has always been an outlet for me.
Ryan Sweeney – To me, it’s just the feeling that writing music is something I simply can’t give up. There’s been times where I swore I was done, sold all my gear and called it quits, but it never quite happened that way. Music has always been there for me, through the hardest times of my life and the most beautiful. I think that writing music is my way of returning that favor that other artists have done for me and hoping that we write can reach others during their highs and lows.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Alex Kouvaris – My playlist varies from time to time, but right now, definitely pop punk, rock and hardcore bands and artists such as Seaway, Knuckle Puck, Currents, We Came As Romans, The Story So Far, No Pressure, Tilian, Movements, Can’t Swim, Four Year Strong, MGK, Emarosa, Girlfriends and Grayscale. However, pop punk and hardcore will always be on deck in my car.
Ryan Sweeney – Seaway and Wicca Phase Springs Eternal, as far as newer stuff goes. I’ve been feeling nostalgic lately and have been listening to a lot of old pop punk records from the “Drive Thru Records” days. New Found Glory, The Starting Line, Rufio, etc.. I shouldn’t say “lately” actually, because I think some of those albums have been in constant rotation for me for the last 15 years.
Music Bugle – Where do you go when you need an escape?
Alex Kouvaris – Listening to music in my car has always been an escape for me. Blasting my favorite bands or listening to a new album or single with the windows down. Nothing beats that feeling, especially during warm weather.
Music Bugle – What’s something you wish happened more in today’s music industry?
Alex Kouvaris – Taking the time to listen to your music or music video. It’s what… three or four minutes out of your day, tops? I think many people forget or just don’t realize how much time, blood, sweat and tears go into writing, recording and shooting videos. It could take weeks, even months and sometimes is an exhausting process – all worth it in the end. Music is a form or art, a form of expression. If everyone took more time to listen and appreciate a band or a musician, I think our music scene and community would thrive and result in a larger following all together. Instead of saying “This sucks” 10 seconds in, listen through the entire song. You might be surprised what you’ll find.
Ryan Sweeney – Less egos and rivalries. It’s hard watching your heroes become human in front of you – meeting musicians or bands who think they’re better than their fans. People forget where they come from sometimes and it’s sad to see. Also, you see a lot of bands who talk other bands down, like they’re against each other. There’s room for plenty of us here. We need to make the best of everything, especially in the world we are in now and get along and support each other more than ever.