By Julie Lawrence Special to Published Jan 16, 2008 at 5:10 AM

Meet The Identity Theft, an energetic band that began as a trio back in 2005. Now down to a duo on the hunt for a third member, the band shows no signs of slowing and kicked off 2008 with the release of its nine-track EP, "Breaking Away."

The results are quite pleasant.

On the surface, it's indie rock at it's best, harnessing the soft-loud-soft dynamic in clever, complex ways. A deeper look reveals poignant poetry, delicate piano and ambient sounds, creating a softer, moodier soundscape.

They call themselves The Identity Theft, but what Martin Moore and Brian Farvour have created as an identity all their own.

We caught up with frontman Moore to find out a little more about the men behind the music. Your bio mentions your eagerness to create something new for Milwaukee, rather than copy the formulaic trend of an already saturated scene. How have you achieved that? And isn't that, essentially, the opposite of an "identity theft?"

Martin Moore: I believe our singing style is one of the most prominent differences compared to any other band in the Milwaukee area. It is a very slow, melodic sort of singing, rather than a fast paced, how-many-words-can-you-get-out-in-one-sentence style, which is fine, but not for our band.

The music, we feel, takes a completely different direction as well, compared to most Milwaukee bands. We are only a three-piece so every note we play needs to be perfectly placed and have a meaning. We try to write music so that even with our lyrics, you can tell the feeling of the song. Every note has a purpose and we try to get the music to eat right through you, so you can almost feel the song.

We use lots of half steps, time signature changes and different tunings to try and achieve a sound that no one else is doing around here. Our name The Identity Theft comes from how people, government, religious groups, etc. try to push their ideas, beliefs and opinions on everyone rather than let us be who we are, hence trying to strip us of what gives us our identity. The Identity Theft is what we believe is, and has been, going on for the past few years.

OMC: The title of your EP has a similar-minded tone, implying that you'd like to break away from the rest. Was that intentional, or are we looking too deeply into things?

MM: Bingo. That was our intention.

OMC: Which direction do you see local music going -- yourself included?

MM: We have all been in bands for the good majority of 10 years now in Milwaukee and at one time there was some really great music coming from some really great bands. There still is. The Response, Red Letter Diaries, Marashino, Fable & The World Flat, From The Headline, to name a few.

But, it seems lately, these past few years, there just isn't a great deal of good, diverse music coming out of Milwaukee. A lot of it sounds the same. There are a lot of bands trying to copy those other guys. There are pretty much two categories in Milwaukee, the "radio rock" bands as we call them, and the "power-pop" bands. It is a shame that our scene is not as diverse as Chicago, DeKalb and Rockford and Minneapolis, which aren't that far away. They have an incredibly diverse sound with bands like City Of Sound, The Felix Culpa, Wax On Radio, Kid You'll Move Mountains, The Moment, etc.

We have a huge power-pop scene here and it is getting tiring. Everyone is singing about the same thing: girls. We're not sure where local music in Milwaukee is going, but hopefully we can help it move in a different direction by creating powerful emotional music, and a different writing style, lyrically, than most everyone else is doing.

OMC: How is the band surviving without a current bass player? What's your plan?

MM: We are currently recording a three-song EP, which will reflect the acoustic set we have been playing for the past three months -- lots of piano and melodic guitar stuff. We don't want to rush when looking for a bass player just so we can start playing our full set again. That's what we did last time and look where it led us. So, if you know of anyone who is interested, you know where to send them. As soon as we get a bassist, and possibly a second guitarist, we are going to tour this spring / summer in (the Midwest) and also try to record a full-length. We have lots of material we are dying to get out.

OMC: It's the start of a new year. What are The Identity Theft's goals for 2008?

MM: Find a bass player who is on the same page as us, play as much as we can and get our music out to everyone we can. Anytime we play a show and someone is seeing us for the first time, we always get the same type of response. Either, "You guys have a really different sound" or, "Your sound is so refreshing" or "I haven't heard anything like that around here before."

We feel a lot of times people don't get our music at first, but the more they listen the more the get hooked. So, our biggest goal is to get our music out to as many people as possible this year. Music has done so much for us in our lives. I was extremely depressed years back and after I quit drinking, music is what got me back on track. Music does so much for so many people and all we want to do is give something back to the scene, for what it has done for us.

Julie Lawrence Special to staff writer Julie Lawrence grew up in Wauwatosa and has lived her whole life in the Milwaukee area.

As any “word nerd” can attest, you never know when inspiration will strike, so from a very early age Julie has rarely been seen sans pen and little notebook. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee it seemed only natural that she major in journalism. When offered her an avenue to combine her writing and the city she knows and loves in late 2004, she knew it was meant to be. Around the office, she answers to a plethora of nicknames, including “Lar,” (short for “Larry,” which is short for “Lawrence”) as well as the mysteriously-sourced “Bill Murray.”