When you listen to “Virginia Woolf,” the first song on Thieves and Villains Myspace page you would swear this was Patrick Stump’s next project. Do not be fooled, because even though lead singer Sergio Otaegui’s voice sounds a lot like the former Fall Out Boy front man, there is something harder and grittier wrapped around his vocal cords that makes Thieves and Villains a lot like their name. The meaning behind the name comes from lyrics written by guitarist/pianist Chris Pennings. Even though in this interview they band said it could be determined as open-ended, the band has said in the past : "People often have to engage in sketchy behavior to get ahead, so we decided that instead of ever allowing ourselves to follow that path we'd name our band 'Thieves and Villains' so that we as people don't have to be."
The band had first formed in 2007 when Pennings and Otaegui decided to start playing together. Several lineup changes later they finally solidified things in Spring 2009. They had known each other from the local music scene in the New York area. After relentless touring, the band signed to Victory Records in 2008 and released their first full-length, “Movement.” Their songs had appeared on “Gossip Girl,” “The Real World,” and “Making the Band.” Their second album “South America” was released in august of this year. Absolute punk, offering some constructive criticism, praised “South America”: “Everything about Thieves and Villains is bigger and better now, a lot better. Sergio Otaegui has certainly breathed life into his voice now, adding more drive and heart into it. That goes for the entire band as a matter of fact." When asked if the band felt that this album was a step up from “Movement,” Otaegui replied: “Yeah, the new album is definitely a lot different than the first album. We just wanted to grow and take the band where we always wanted it to go.” And taking heat from the critics and if they have any influence… “We take the criticism and if it’s constructive then its even more welcome. But no, we never have anyone in mind when we're making music. We like to just go with our own vibe and make ourselves happy. Hopefully others will be on the same page.”