Brooklyn-based band, The Thing, is a group so magnetic that with one listen, you’ll be hooked on their rock ‘n’ roll forever. The four-piece band includes Zane Acord (lead singer and bass), Jack Bradley (guitar), Michael Carter (guitar), and Lucas Ebeling (drums). We first talked to the band on the night of the release of their debut album, Here’s The Thing, at their sold-out Baby’s All Right gig. Since our first conversation, The Thing have been on a cross country tour, which continues until the middle of November.
On the evening of their biggest show to-date at Brooklyn Made, the air was filled with an intense pull of anticipation. The Thing had access to the notorious finger-print locked green room apartment above the venue, which served as their home for the night. Once the sound check finished, the ball got rolling and everyone eagerly awaited the show.
The whole evening felt straight out of the 1970s. There were cases of beer in the fridge and empty bottles strewn around, a set list written in a thick black marker, the stack sitting on the kitchen island waiting to grace the stage. There were high-top red Converse and silver jewelry, a stack of black stickers wrapped in a rubber band. A pack of cigarettes. A lighter. A pile of denim. A record by The Band playing on the turntable. Musicians sang “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” as they zipped up their leather boots. The Thing are steeped in individual confidence. They’re not trying to be anyone else; they’re just themselves.
We sat down with The Thing in the green room of Brooklyn Made ahead of their show on October 5th, 2023, where they answered some questions for the groovement.
Since the last time we talked, you went on tour – what have been some of the most memorable moments?
Jack: Wow, yeah. We played in Austin, that was a really fun time. We played with Grandmaster, who are friends of ours and had a super party at their house, which is what they call it. That was the highlight. Denver was also a great night.
Zane: Denver was great. Crested Butte was probably the most memorable. Or Wisconsin
Mike: Mile Of Music Festival was really cool. We played with The Heavy Heavy which was great.
Was this your first big tour?
Mike: For me, yeah.
Jack: For me too.
Zane: It was bigger than the one I’ve done previously.
What are the trials and tribulations of being a touring musician?
Jack: It gets intense, but we keep getting more organized which is good. We got road cases and figured out how to stack the van properly so everything goes in the same place every time. Packing lightly was a hard one for me.
Zane: We tried to get our lives into just one duffle bag which was pretty fun.
Mike: As people, it’s just nice to be out and about for long. You have to kind of go with the flow a lot, and that’s a really good exercise. We didn’t have AC for a little while, so we had to keep our cool, and it was the hottest summer on record. Sometimes you get tired and stuff.
Zane: That’s the biggest thing for me. It shows you what it’s about, meeting new people in each city. It’s sad when you leave because you just got that one moment, but it’s good to cherish it. That’s such a blessing.
Let’s talk a bit about your debut album Here’s The Thing, The most popular song on the album as of now is “Beige Bouquet,” following with the second most popular “Right Where You Need To Be.” When you were writing the album, what were your predictions of what songs would be the most popular and why?
Zane: “Enter Lucas.”
Jack: I’m most surprised by “Beige.” I love that song, it’s nice to see it get the attention it deserves.
Zane: I thought “America” would be the hit.
Jack: That one came together in like an hour one night. We were wasted. But it’s nice to see “Beige” get the attention. “Right Where You Need To Be,” we tried to have that be the first song, because it goes in a much different direction and takes some unexpected turns. So we were like, if we put that one out first, we can’t be put in a box, anything can go.
Zane: Well put.
“Beige Bouquet” was first released as a single in 2022. The end of the song says, “and that’s the end of the first song.” Since the beginning of releasing music as The Thing, has every song and release been strategized and planned out revolving around the debut album?
Jack: It was planned. It was a planned move, orchestrated. Zane had that lyric when we were recording it, and I think maybe as a filler, and we were like maybe let’s just keep it.
Zane: Exactly. We were like, screw it. We didn’t really decide then, but I guess in a way we did, because it wouldn’t make sense if it was the third song. It would be funny.
April 13th was the album release party for Here’s The Thing, which is the first album for this group. How has that release affected the success of the band?
Zane: I think we’ve been pretty amazed at how well it’s been received. We just kind of put it out, and then like on to the next one. We don’t really like to really sit in it and think about it too much. But that one, I was surprised by how many people really enjoyed it. The feedback we got was awesome. That was kind of a surprise.
Mike: The success was getting over that first hump and now we can keep going. That was the main success. It took a lot of organization. It was really cool to do our first thing.
Jack: It was a big hump because it was hard to release something especially as the first thing. When it’s been in the works for a while, and you want it to meet the expectations that you have for it and it’s nice. Like Mike said, getting over the hump of putting something out for the first time. Now things can roll.
You’re affiliated with Onion Records?
Jack: It’s the studio that we have. We record all the albums together.
Do you do all the recording, producing, and mixing yourselves? Or, do you have someone else helping with some of the other aspects?
Jack: I produce the songs, and then we take it to our good friend Josh, who works at a studio called Dimension 70. He helps us put the finishing touches and helps with the final mixes and masters. And he’s amazing.
In our last interview you said, “I think we look at it like what can we do project-wise.” In what ways do you take the songwriting, recording, mixing, the whole process of creating an album to be a complete project? Is it devoting all your time and energy into writing, doing everything in a straight line instead of taking a break?
Mike: The last one we kind of just took some time and hung out in the studio. We took like a few weeks, maybe a month. Not every day, but we would go into the studio with an idea and by the end of the day we’d have the take. That would be a whole song.
Jack: The goal for this next album that’s coming out was to knock it out as fast as possible. And to make it in a timely fashion, we recorded each song live, with just the four of us. Lucas plays drums on all the songs. It came together really quick, which sounds cohesive.
Lucas: We kind of achieved this feeling each day when we would get to a place of when we know the song is right, and that’s when we keep the takes.
Zane: We try to do three takes. That’s the rule. First one to get it all out, nothing holding back. Second one, you want to have it by the second one. And the third is a victory lap.
Jack: In doing that process, you really realize that once you get to take five or so, it starts to get worse and overthink.
Mike: The max we do is six, and we have to take a break.
You have a new album coming out soon. Can you give any insight into what we should be expecting?
Mike: A lot of guitar, a lot of bass, a lot of drums.
Jack: It’s done. It took a month to record everything. Our tour manager has a pool house, and we set up there. We set up all of our tracks and our boards, and we were out there for a month.
Zane: FIrst single is November 3rd. And February for the full thing.
Jack: 11 songs.
Zane: Two more than last time.
Your debut album has come out, you’ve been on tour for months, and you have new music coming out soon. Are you happy just riding this wave or are you hungry for more?
Lucas: I guess just output, just make as much as we possibly can. It was our goal to do it as fast as we could.
Mike: The first time took us a bit longer, but we wanted to make something as fast as possible to make it. You really feel that when something is made fast it sounds cohesive.
Are you currently signed to a label?
Jack: Hit us up.
Zane: We’re right here.
Jack: Captured Tracks.
Zane: Hey, what’s up?
Jack: Send us a message.
Zane: Respond to us.
At our last interview in the spring, you said your goal was to play in Europe by 2024. Have you booked any shows there yet?
Jack: We did it.
Zane: We’re going to go.
Jack: That’s so cool.
Zane: That’s so sick, that was from the last interview?
Yeah, we asked about your biggest goal at the last interview, and you said play Europe by 2024.
Jack: That’s so sick. Manifestation. We’re going to go. It’s not all confirmed yet, details are still being worked out. We’re either going to go in April or September. Just everywhere, as many places as they’ll send us.
Who’s sending you?
Jack: This company called Annibale.
Zane: Luca is the agent. He’s the talent man. We don’t want to count any chickens before they hatch but, that’s what seems to be set up.
As a band, what do you think is your edge?
Mike: I think it’s our friendship that we’ve had. It started very young, and I think that has a lot to do with it. And then no exaggeration, Lucas Ebeling on drums.
Jack: It’s the truth, Lucas has taken it to the next level.
Lucas: I’m the new guy, but I feel like I’ve lived a parallel life in a way. We grew up listening to the same people. Zane and I grew up playing with our parents, family band.
When did you join the band?
Lucas: February this year. I met them through Zane’s old friend. Through another band I was playing with. One of the members’ boyfriends recommended me. I was telling him how I wanted to start touring more, and then he had the conversation with Zane weeks later.
Zane: It was crazy cause I reached out to him and nothing came from it, and we started getting pretty desperate at that point because we did have a tour booked and our agents were going to have to drop us. I ran into Joey at the coffee shop around the corner from the studio, and he’s like, ‘yeah, I got a drummer for you.’ He gave me Lucas’ contact, I texted him, and he was in the studio a week later.
What would be the moment that you would feel like you made it?
Jack: Going to Europe was the moment. When we found out we were going to do it, I yelped a little bit.
Mike: Playing Red Rocks on 4/20.
Zane: I think Japan would be fucking sick.
Jack: Having five albums would be awesome.
Zane: Having a greatest hits album.
Any last comments?
Zane: We’re happy to be here and happy to be talking to you. This is a good night, it’s the biggest show we’ve ever played.
📸: shot by Tori McGraw