Protothief in Conversation


Full band_Tom Tom Magazine Prototheif Best Woman Drummer

Protothief is a Dream-pop/indie/experimental band based in NYC and has one EP “Satellites” which can be heard on their Facebook and Bandcamp. They are due to head into the studio for another EP within the year.

Jamie – Vocals/Keys

Nyesha – Drums

Marsha – Guitar

Dan – Bass

Full band_Tom Tom Magazine Prototheif Best Woman Drummer

Tom Tom Magazine: How and when did the band originally start?

Nyesha: Well I met Marsha and Jamie in high school around the year 2005, I heard them playing guitar and keys and wanted to play with them so I started drumming and we found great chemistry with each other! Together we wrote a few songs and 2 of which can be heard on our EP. In late 2010, we asked our friend Dan to play bass for us since we knew he had musical experience and thus Protothief was formed.

TTM: Who would you say is the main contributor to writing new music or material.

Jamie: In general I write what I call the “skeleton” of each of the songs and I write all the lyrics. But it is also a group effort to flesh out my ideas and we just build from that! Some of our best songs come from all of us just jamming and learning from each other.

TTM: Who are your biggest influences?

Dan: Minus the Bear, Beach House, and M83

Marsha: Autolux, Loquat, and Metric

Jamie: The Cure, Cocteau Twins, Depeche Mode

Nyesha: Silversun Pickups, Interpol, Bloc Party

_Tom Tom Magazine Prototheif Best Woman Drummer

TTM: Do you believe that the band has progressed in the last 2 years since the full line-up was completed?

Nyesha: YES! Our last show at Goodbye Blue Monday, we played a brand new set list and had no songs from our debut EP and the crowd’s reaction was very positive! Our sound has become more distinct and our songs have become more dynamic. Our latest song The Shining is probably our most progressed song.

TTM: Any plans for a new EP?

Dan: We are trying very hard to record a follow up to our debut EP with either a new EP. A full length album would be awesome to do but I think we will start off small and get more locally known unless the chance is brought to us of course.

Nyesha: I think that an EP would be good enough for the time being, it will most likely contain that set list, but we will not stop writing and we will probably have enough for the full length within the few months.

_Tom Tom Magazine Prototheif Best Woman Drummer

TTM: Where do you play most of your shows? Is there any way for people to know when your next show is going to be?

Marsha: We mostly play in the NYC area in parts of Brooklyn and Manhattan and people can always check our Facebook/Twitter/Bandcamp for updates on new shows or information about the band!

TTM: Nyesha, who are your top 3 drummers of all time?

Nyesha: I actually have 4 favorite drummers that I can say are my favorites:

1) Chris Guanlao of Silversun Pickups

2) Matthew Tong of Bloc Party

3) Sam Fogarino of Interpol

4) Stella Mozgawa of Warpaint

_Tom Tom Magazine Prototheif Best Woman Drummer

TTM: Do you think it is harder out there being a female drummer or do you think it opens up new opportunities that give you the upper hand?

Nyesha: I think it can go both ways for me. I think people do underestimate me as a drummer for being a female, but I think that I can play as well as or even better then some guy drummers. I see no difference in gender when it comes down to musical skill. It all depends on how much you practice and how determined you are to be a better musician! I think it’s really great this magazine gives female drummers get the spotlight that they deserve.

TTM: Why did you decide to become a drummer?

Nyesha: I originally wanted to learn how to play guitar in the beginning of high school but after meeting Jamie and Marsha when they were playing their own instruments, I felt that if I could learn drums we can play together. The knack of playing drums came naturally from them on out and it’s been 7 years since that day.

TTM: Ok, lets talk gear! What kind of equipment do you use?

Nyesha: I play on a Gretsch kit with Wuhan cymbals and Vic Furth 5A sticks. I also use an Alesis Performance Pro Pads for the electronic drums that are used in the songs Alter and Massive.

TTM: Thanks you guys!

_Tom Tom Magazine Prototheif Best Woman Drummer

Interview by Michael Arbitblit
Photos by Jamie Subol (keyboardist/singer) 

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  1. Fantastic article! Michael Arbitblit’s interview was interesting as well as informative! Terrific photos of the band! Best wishes to all of you!

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