Caravan of Thieves is one of the most innovative bands to come along in a long, long time. It’s a toss-up as to whether they are more entertaining to watch or to listen to….but one thing is for sure, it doesn’t take more than a moment to become a fan. Gypsy jazz is not something that you hear every day and when it’s done as magnificently as it is with Caravan of Thieves, it’s a joy to experience and savor.
Their latest album, Kiss Kiss is a thematic recording of sorts. It focuses on all varieties of love—the good, the bad and the ugly. Fuzz and Carrie Sangiovanni say that they enjoy writing about concepts that most listeners can relate to while seeing how far they can bring it to the edge of their imagination.
You know you’re in for a great deal of fun when you enter the Caravan of Thieves website. It sweeps you right into their world. How could anyone resist that gypsy magic and that spectacular energy?
The Caravan of Thieves produce remarkable videos to accompany their music.
Check out this video for “I Got You”
Here’s a fun video for “Home.”
The band has been together for about seven years. Do you feel the direction of your music has evolved in any particular ways since you first started playing together?
Fuzz: Absolutely. We love so many styles of music, and want to keep introducing our audience to new and interesting genres. When we started the band, we mainly used gypsy jazz as the backdrop to write our songs around.
Carrie: That’s still a big part of it but over the past few years we’ve brought in other styles to blend like other swing music of that era, folk, early R&B, percussive music, etc.
You’re known for your stage theatrics and antics. Do you have any favorite stories about any of them that went so well that you couldn’t believe it and some that didn’t quite end up being so successful?
Dragging everyone out of their seats and on the floor to stomp and clap and sing with us in our song “Raise the Dead” while we play it “unplugged” was a hit with the audience the first time we did it so now it’s a regular occurrence in the set.
A great quote by a writer for the Huffington Post calls you “The Three Stooges with a sexy sidekick and musical skills.” That’s quite an image!
That’s just scratching the surface!
Are you ever afraid that your over the top stage act could make people forget the talent and musicality that drives your live appearances?
Yes that’s why we try not to overdo the antics and shtick and also make sure we pay close attention to the songwriting and tightness of the music.
When you first started singing together as a duo, did you ever imagine that you’d be playing as part of such a high-energy group known for their on-stage musical antics?
F&C: We didn’t imagine the whole Caravan of Thieves concept at first, it developed over time, especially the interactive moments which came about through years of on stage performance. But back when we were doing our duo sets people often commented on how high the energy was for an acoustic duo. We both have outgoing personalities and an interest in many forms of entertainment beyond music, so it wasn’t something we envisioned all at once, but it’s also not too surprising.
You’ve been quoted as saying that by bringing your street performance to the stage that it led you to the 1930s style gypsy jazz. Were you familiar with musicians like Django Reinhart at the time or was this a moment of real musical discovery?
Fuzz: I had been a fan of Django Reinhardt for many years but never imagined I would be playing that style of music. But it was a eureka moment for us once all the ideas converged.
Carrie: And since we wanted to create a stripped down sounding acoustic project and have it be something we can perform either on a street corner or a big stage, the gypsy influence was very appropriate.
What would you consider the high points of your time together as a group?
Carrie: We’ve had lots of fun touring around North America over the years, some of the less traveled locations certainly stick out like Baffin Island, Canada or beautiful scenic areas like southern Oregon.
Fuzz: But we still get the biggest high going to a place we’ve never been, not sure if anyone has even heard of us, and finding out the show is sold out or close to it. It’s very exciting to know that what you do is being appreciated.