Drummer Devin Mauch is sincere when he says he and the rest of The Ballroom Thieves are excited for tonight's return to Bethlehem.
The Boston-based folk-rock trio performs tonight on the Fowler Blast Furnace stage, inside the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks.
"People there are always so kind," Mauch said during a July 7 phone interview. "You can tell it's a pretty tight-knit community vibe. We feel pretty accepted there, which is nice."
Mauch said he is looking forward to the intimacy of the space and getting to know the audience a little better. The band plans on incorporating new material into this evening's performance, as well as cuts off of their debut full-length album A Wolf in the Doorway, Mauch said.
Mauch revealed cusic has already been recorded for a follow-up to A Wolfway in the Doorway. However, he stopped short of announcing a tentative release date or working album title. Mauch teased the new songs stretch their previous songwriting boundaries even further.
When you think they are going to hit harder, the group takes a softer approach and vice-versa, Mauch said. "You don't know what's coming next," he joked.
A venue such as the ArtsQuest Center, Mauch said, allows for an honest response from the crowd. He explained that The Ballroom Thieves have consistently done their best to avoid being pigeonholed into a specific genre -- which is reflected on the musical tapestry that makes up A Wolf in the Doorway.
"It's a nice chance for us to test the waters with these new songs," he said. "It's similar to A Wolf in the Doorway in that it's a wide range of genres and feelings we're not (already) touching on ... Our rule is that there are no rules."
Mauch said maintaining a rigorous touring schedule for the past two-and-a-half years is a testament to how the music industry has evolved -- spending more than 10 months out of the year away from home. Gone, Mauch said, are the days when record sales were the driving force behind a band's fame and fortune.
"To make money as a band these days, you have to be able to tour heavily. That's a huge change and something we embraced and dove into head-first," he said. "It's hard and not everyone can do that. It weighs on a person, it weighs on a group. But if you want to make money doing this, you have to be on the road."
Asked to pick his bucket list touring partner, Mauch said he would love to share a trek with either The Lone Bellow or Frightened Rabbit. "I think that would be really interesting, to share a (tour) with one of those bands and learn from the people who have been doing this longer than you," he said.
The Ballroom Thieves will resume a heavy touring schedule in September, which will last through the Christmas holiday.
The Ballroom Thieves perform 7:30 tonight at the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks, 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem. Tickets cost $15.