By Emma Hug Rosenstein | April 20, 2023

With only four singles under their belt, Brooklyn-based band, The Thing, already sold out Baby’s All Right for their Here’s The Thing album release party.

Thursday night, the streets were quiet in Williamsburg except for the low rumbling of a train riding on the above-ground track, a car muffler dragging on the street, or an occasional bodega with fluorescent lighting illuminating the storefront. The colored awning of Baby’s All Right was visible from down Broadway as the street ever-so-slightly curved. The bouncers sitting outside were checking people in. Once cleared, with one hand the bouncer opened the door and swooped up the big velvet curtain. 

From the street, the average person would have no idea that Baby’s was its usual bustling energy, filled so much to the brim with people that the walls just may be expanding due to the pressure from the crowd. House music was blasting from the speakers as hoards of people crowded around the bar area and lounge, each person talking ear-to-ear due to the overly loud noise, almost like a childhood game of telephone. 

Back around the corner, behind another ominous heavy curtain, sat The Thing. The large group of musicians was laughing and talking together. Spirits were high as just minutes later Mike Sabath and The Moongirls were set to go on. Adrenaline was coursing through their veins as energy levels rose, getting ready to play. The Thing stayed behind and prepared for their upcoming set, soaking in all the energy and people from backstage. 

The Thing has deep roots cemented in young friendships that grew from childhood, ultimately flourishing as time went on, and is composed of four members: Zane Acord (lead singer and bass), Jack Bradley (lead guitar), Michael Carter (rhythm guitar), and Lucas Ebeling (drums). 

We caught up with The Thing in the greenroom before their album release show at Baby’s All Right on April 13th, where they answered a few questions for the groovement. 

How did you each get started in music?
: In middle school, I met Mike, and we started playing pretty instantly. We would kind of just sneak off and play as much as we could while we were in school. We would sneak out of class, and were fixated on that, just playing all the time. Jack and I met in high school. 
Jack: We didn’t do anything back then, we were just friends. But I started playing in high school. I went to college to learn how to record in Boston. Zane, Mike and I started writing some songs probably in the first or second year of college. We’ve been playing and recording ever since. 

What was the first concert you went to? How did influence stay with you?
Jack: The first concert I ever went to was a crazy one. It was Buddy Guy opening up for Tom Petty. It was at Madison Square Garden, the only time I’ve ever been there. It was an amazing concert. Then I learned all of Buddy Guy’s stuff. Been listening to a lot more Tom Petty recently. 
Zane: My first was the Black Keys, that or Hall and Oates. Hall and Oates were probably first. It didn’t really spark anything, I got into Hall and Oates a lot later despite the exposure at a young age. Mike and I saw TV On the Radio. That really sparked something for us back in 2012. It was transcendental, and we were like 15 and we were so taken aback. We’d never heard anything like that before. 

What has been the path of pursuing music as a career after high school? How did this band form from that? 
Jack: I went to music school and Zane and Mike were playing in bands in college. We would all just write songs and send them to each other on voice memos. I think we were all kind of pretty serious about it from the get-go. 
Zane: Pretty much that. A lot of believing in yourself. There’s a lot of stuff thrown at you, makes you feel like you’re doing the wrong thing. But really all you have to do is listen to you and be grateful to meet people who inspire you, like Jack and Michael, and now Lucas. Just trying to surround yourself with people who will pull it out of you and bring you somewhere you didn’t know you would go. It’s the most beautiful part of it. But we were just trying to play every break in school and fly out to Boston, LA or New York and do a bunch of demos. We envisioned having this dream of having a project together once all the commitments faded out. Once they did, the pandemic hit, and we had the perfect amount of time. 

What was the first performance with this group?
Jack: About two years ago, we had all of our closest friends come up to East Hampton, and we put on a show in a backyard. It was the first time we organized the whole thing and did the sound ourselves. It worked out, it was very nerve racking. The first real one was at Our Wicked Lady, we did battle of the bands.

Battle of the bands? Like a “School of Rock” moment? 
Jack: It was. 
Zane: That’s like the best movie. 
Jack: I cry at that movie. Our Wicked Lady, that’s our home almost. 
Zane: They opened us up to everything. After doing winter madness, we met everyone that we still talk to and work with today. 
Jack: Definitely a fast two years.

How did Covid affect having to navigate being together and getting back into playing shows? 
Jack: Something that’s been kind of a core for us has always been recording. We record all of our own stuff. During the pandemic, it was actually–I don’t want to say nice–but it gave us time to just record. We went up to Zane’s house in Connecticut and recorded songs in his living room. The next progression was to play them for people. 

What is the origin of the name?
Zane: We were initially called Boan Jenson.
Jack: We went through a lot of names. 
Zane: We thought if we make it the vaguest thing imaginable it will allow the music to speak for it. That’s how we started. I think was of us was like, ‘The Thing,’ and it just stuck. 

So what were some of the failed names? 

Jack: We were first The Barbers. 
Zane: That one was in and out. Mike wanted to be The Plums for a while. Boan Jenson was the longest living. It was our high school librarian’s name but switched around. 
Jack: We actually played some shows at Boan Jenson back in the day. 
Zane: We were really confident and cocky in the name, and we would draw it on the wall at places. And now we’re like, ‘well, shit.’

(Mike walks in).

Zane: We were talking about the Boan Jenson days. 

Any comments about the Boan Jenson days? 
Mike: It was actually a really important moment. Living together over the summer was such a  good experience. I got to know Jack that way, we hadn’t really gotten to hang out that much. It was good bonding. This was around 2018, 2019. 
Jack: We were talking The Plums. 
Mike: Great name. 

Describe your music? How does it speak to you?
Zane: Rock and fucking roll. That’s it. 
Jack: I think we look at it like what can we do project-wise. Rocking at the end of the day. 

What is your main songwriting inspiration? Is there a specific process or formula?
Jack: I don’t think there’s a specific process. We like to try out different things, it’s what keeps it interesting for us. Since we read and listen to a lot of things, we get excited about different people’s processes and then try out a lot of shit. 
Mike: Some of the most fun ways is to just play the four of us and see what happens. If we come across something nice and find a line or riff and go off that. 

Are you based out of New York now?
Jack: Yes, we all live together. We live in a big townhouse. 

How does that relate to the band relationship and how you work together? Do you find that makes practicing easier or harder?
Jack: I think we were all aware it could get messy. Just because you live together doesn’t mean it’s convenient. We practice and record at our studio in Williamsburg called Onion Records

What is your dream venue? 
Jack: I’d like to play at the Brooklyn Steel. I love that place. 
Mike: Maybe Webster Hall. 

What have been some of your favorite venues in New York? 
Jack: TV Eye. 
Zane: TV Eye, Baby’s. I have a feeling this is going to be the best. 
Jack: Arlene’s is great. 
Zane: Shout out to Arlene’s. 

Your new album is coming out tonight. Can you give us an insight into the process of it? 
Jack: There are nine songs. And it’s an accumulation of a bunch of material from the best couple years. It’s kind of scattered, we recorded at different places in New York and Connecticut. Next month, we are going up and making number two. Right back at it. 

Which song was the hardest to craft and which was the easiest on the new album?
Mike: “Country Song” was one that we were song excited about idea-wise. But it was the hardest to finish and craft. It was very Frankenstien. It was fucking crazy to do. The easiest was “Ana [De Armas].” 
Jack: “Ana [De Armas]” or “America.” We were drunk at 4am like, ‘we’re going to write a song.’ And it took an hour. The final recording was everything that we did that night. 

Besides the albums, what’s coming next?
Jack: We’re just going to be on tour. 
Zane: We’re writing the second record. And then we’re just going to tour, and tour, and tour until we have time to write album three. Just keep going. We really want to try to get to Europe.
Jack: It’s a big goal for us. 
Zane: Hopefully around 2024. That’s the biggest goal right now. 

Connect with The Thing on Instagram, Spotify, TikTok and their website

📸: shot by Owen Labate

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