“We don’t want to have that big head that most people have,” guitar player Kyle Pritchett said. “We all just want to get along with everybody, no matter who you are.”
The five-member rock group can be traced back to vocalist Phillip Johns, who, upon returning home from the military, decided he wanted to learn how to play the guitar. From there, he began playing with fellow bass player — and his cousin — Andy Pruitt. Johns was into playing “just for fun” until the band came across its drummer Lane Dewberry around September 2010. Dewberry was so good that “it got real serious real quick,” Johns said.
After undergoing a name change and a lineup rearrangement, the present-day First Right Theft has come into being. They have been playing across the state, writing their own songs and playing covers at their shows. The group finds its songwriting inspiration in “everyday life,” says Pritchett.
“If [something] causes an emotional response with us … we think it could probably get a response out of other people, too,” he said.
“We all come up with lyrics to the songs,” Dewberry added. “We all try to help out.”
Although Dewberry says that “for most of us, this is the first band we’ve been in,” this experience has been rejuvenating for rhythm guitar player Cody Doss. He had actually given up playing guitar years ago because of carpal tunnel, but recently picked one up again. Now that he is in the band, Doss said he feels like he has been given another chance at pursuing what he loves.
“I guess I came out of retirement,” he said. “It’s kind of surreal.”
The band members get along well, and aren’t in need of a group leader to get work done.
“Having everybody’s input is what it’s all about,” Dewberry said.
“We’ve got five good guys on the same page ready to go,” Johns said.
Although playing shows and gaining fans is nice, Pritchett feels that the most enjoyment comes from hanging out with his bandmates.
“I think we have the most fun when we’re practicing,” he said with a laugh. “We’re all really, really good buddies.”
For now, the band is looking to play more shows and record an album, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they have to be in a rush to do so.
“We got something good going, we don’t want to take a wrong turn anywhere,” Pritchett said.
For the first-timers planning to be in the audience for any upcoming shows, Pritchett references an encounter from a recent show where several people came for the first time. The members shied away from telling attendees what they were going to play, preferring for the people to listen with an unbiased opinion.
The crowd’s response was honestly put: “I didn’t really know what y’all were going to play, but I was happy with it,” Pritchett said.
First Right Theft will play at The Smoking Moose at 10 p.m. Saturday. For more information, visit the band’s Facebook fan page: facebook.com/FirstRightTheft.
Erin Williams is a graduate of Faith Christian School and the University of Alabama. She is a performing arts aide for the Washington Post Style section.