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Interview von: arne mit Thrice, am: 09.12.2005 ]

Das vierte Album der Kalifornier Thrice ist „Vheissu“ betitelt und setzt den mit dem Major-Debüt „The Artist In The Ambulace“ eingeschlagenen Weg konsequent fort. Primär bekommt man es mit leicht sperrigem, jedoch nachhaltig eingängigem (Post-)Rock zu tun, der zudem durch eine merkliche progressive Schlagseite und den Mut zu weiterführenden Experimenten geprägt ist.


Musicscan: Give our readers a short briefing about Thrice, please. What are you guys doing right at the moment? How big is the interest in Thrice coming back with a new record?

Thrice: We have been out on the road touring for our new record Vheissu. We actually just finished up a U.S. Headlining tour with Veda, The Bled, and Under Oath along with us. Currently we are out with My Chemical Romance doing a Canadian tour, and today we are playing a headlining show on a day off from the My Chem tour, in a town called Thunder Bay with Circa Survive. The shows have been amazing and the response to the record has been really strong. A lot of bands especially have been telling us that this record is a huge step for us, and that this record will mean a lot to a lot of musicians. It’s completely flattering.

Musicscan: You are a very busy band concerning touring and stuff. How does it feel to be back in your own home and spend some time there? Can you still enjoy it and are you able to relax or do you miss the touring life with all the trouble?

Thrice: We haven’t had much time home at all since the recording of Vheissu but, I cherish every moment I have at home. It’s hard to relax because there are so many things that I need to do when I visit home, and most of them are things I’d rather not be doing, like fixing my car, or paying bills. Life on the road is kind of an escape from the reality that exists at home but, it’s not real and that’s part of the problem. I love being home, but home has always been more stress for me than the road.

Musicscan: While being on tour you have to play crowd's favourites every night, cause the people are asking for what they know. Did you ever had motivation problems so far. I can imagine that it gets boring to play the same songs over and over again...

Thrice: Oh man, every night! I feel like some of our old songs just feel juvenile. I don’t want that to sound conceited at all, but its true. It’s sad to say but those songs just don’t represent who I am at all anymore. Kids will yell for songs that we made when we were eighteen. I’m 25 now. It’s depressing to me because I’ve learned so much, I mean… We’ve been touring for 5 years and we’ve all grown, not only as people but musicians as well. I just want people to understand and grow with us. I can’t expect everyone to understand what is going on in our brains. I just have to face it and realize that some of the people that come to our shows have no clue about what it is that we love about music, and who we are inspired by musically. This new record Vheissu is such an important record for us whether our old fans like it or not because it represents us what our influences are and what we love.

Musicscan: What sort of show do you feel more at home with, your "average" hardcore show or one that places you in front of a diverse alternative/rock crowd? And what is more challenging for you guys?

Thrice: I like playing to a diverse crowd. Our shows have always had a diverse crowd because we never really fit into a specific genre. I love playing music for fans of music, not for the scene kids. Scenes tend to destroy artistic individuality. I love playing our own headlining shows, but, actually my favorite shows are when we get to play to crowds that haven’t heard of us . I love the idea of making a first impression. I guess I just get an extra burst of energy from shows.

Musicscan: How much attention you put on europe in general? It took quiete a long time before you came over here to tour in support of your last record…

Thrice: It’s really hard to tour Europe because you generally lose money. Shipping gear and paying for transport is really expensive. That’s all a part of touring though. It takes a while before you can come home with out owing money. You have to do it. I love touring Europe. I don’t really care if we lose money because the experience is worth it. And the people we meet are amazing. I can’t wait to come back.

Musicscan: And how did you experience the changes within the hardcore/emo scene over the last years? Everything has become biggger and bigger...

Thrice: Yeah, everything has become over saturated and watered down. It’s sad because the origin of the music is so real and so pure. And it’s awesome that the indie/emo scene has gotten so popular but in it’s popularity it has birthed some of the worst, most un-original bands ever selling millions of records. Much like Nu Metal and Rap rock and Punk rock has in the past as well. It comes from bands that want to be rock stars (music is secondary) and kids that don’t know any better. I get really bummed out about it sometimes. The people that ruin it don’t know they are ruining it too. Ha… it’s really sad

Musicscan: You surely have been confronted with kids speaking of sell-out and blaming you for stupid reasons for signing with Island? Is this still a problem for Thrice, or have those kids been convinced with your major-debut?

Thrice: It’s not a problem for us at all. It was for a bit, when we first signed but, I think that was just kids that were scared that we would compromise our sound when we made the switch. Which obviously isn’t the case. We are making exactly the records we would have made otherwise. It’s funny because the pressure is there from the label to write that “hit song” but, frankly we don’t give a damn. We are trying to write songs people can connect with and be challenged by. Music to us is about experimenting with sounds, displaying emotions, and expressing ourselves.

Musicscan: Coming to “Vheissu” – it’s kind of a different Thrice-record as your sound progressed a lot. What was more important to you while working on the new songs: to represent pretty deep emotion and/or kinda bleak real life situations? I’m asking cause the new songs are a lot more atmospheric and intense in a different way compared to your earlier releases…

Thrice: I think the new album is just an extension of where our heads are at musically. That sounds redundant but it’s true. We had all been listening to a lot of the later Talk Talk albums, Danny Elfman movie sound tracks, which are quite atmospheric. We were also listening to a lot of blues and jazz and the heavy influences of the record were bands like Isis and Botch. Actually the list of influences is endless. I think it’s the most intense record we’ve ever written.

Musicscan: You were always tagged with having an emo-sound in the past. Do you still feel attached to this label, or have you outgrown that now with the new record?

Thrice: I don’t even know what emo means anymore. I remember emo as Drive Like Jehu, and Sunny Day, and Orchid, so… I don’t know if we were ever really emo.. Maybe we are, I don’t know. I hope we’ve grown the “scene”.

Musicscan: Is it an intentionell drive to make the songs as varied emotionally as possible? Out of my view "Vheissu" is a perfecetly balanced record in all aspects. Has this been something you were heading for?

Thrice: We made 16 songs and cut 5. We were thinking about having a 16 song album but we decided it would be best to make the album flow as well as possible. We loved all the songs. Some were mellower than any of the songs on the record and some were more aggressive. It was important to make the album flow. I’m glad you think we balanced it well. That was our goal.

Musicscan: Would you agree to say the new songs are more focused as well as being more controlled while still keeping a lot of room to grow for the plain music?

Thrice: Our new songs are more free, less rigid than songs in the past. We can improv live and we’ve been experimenting a lot with sounds and pedals and instruments so there is always room to grow. I’m excited because our next record feels like it has no limits to it.

Musicscan: It seems that your sound is continually changing, while other bands are stagnant. Is it just me or is there any truth to this?

Thrice: YES! I hope we change every record we write. I look at the Beatles and Radiohead’s careers, and how they’ve gone about making music. The point of making music is to create. We will create not recycle.

Musicscan: Were there any particular adjustments or things that you wanted to improve upon from a technical aspect of writing in comparism to "The Artist In The Ambulance"?

Thrice: Heck yeah! We wanted to incorporate different instruments and not think about our band as “Thrice” but rather, a clean slate. Music coming from our hearts, not from an idea of who we are and who we have been in the past.

Musicscan: With the new record you had a larger amount of time to spend on it, right? Did this make the whole process easier?

Thrice: It made the process much more organic. We had time to practice, take things home, listen to songs, and play the songs live. It was amazing. I feel lucky to have had the time we had to write it because for Artist we had no time at all, no days off, and little perspective on the songs. The experimenting, with instruments like Synth and Rhodes and Piano and Pedals, for Vheissu was also a product of the extra time we had, and is shows. We had time to let our instruments catch up with our brains.

Musicscan: Any plans for coming to Europe again?

Thrice: We will be in Europe with “Coheed and Cambria” and “Circa Survive” in January and February.