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Thrice Interview


Interview by Nina McCarthy, Senior Music Journalist

Boston Rock Radio



Thrice is an American rock band from Irvine, California, formed in 1998.  To Be Everywhere Is to Be Nowhere is the ninth studio album currently out by them, released on May, 2016.  I got a chance to chat with drummer, Riley, about the current tour, a new album, and have some fan questions answered.  For those of you in the Boston area, they will be at House of Blues on Sunday, Nov 26th.  Boston Rock Radio (Nina & Dominque) will be in the house.  Hope to see you there.



(Photo courtesy of Thrice)


Thrice is:

Dustin Kensrue-vocals/guitar

Teppei Teranishi-guitar

Ed Breckenridge-bas

Riley Breckenridge-drums



BRR:  Hi Riley.  I appreciate your time today because I know you're on a busy tour.


RB:  Thank you for taking the time to interview me.


BRR:  My pleasure.  Every band's dream is to obviously be successful.  Thrice was formed by Dustin and Teppei while still in high school.  Even tho you weren’t there from the inception, you joined early on….did you ever think that success would become a reality?


RB:  No! Definitely not!  It's always something that's in the back of your head that you hope could happen but I tend to be kind of pessimistic, so even though I dreamed of it happening, I figured it wouldn't for some reason or another.  So that things have turned out the way they have, and that we have been doing this for almost 20 years, is just crazy to me and it's never lost on me.  We're so lucky to be able to do this and every night we are on tour is a reminder of how lucky we are that we are away from home playing songs we wrote for people that pay good money to come see us and are enthusiastic about it.  It's a great feeling and something I'm really grateful to be a part of.


BRR:  There's not a lot of bands left that have stood the test of time.


RB:  It's tough and I feel it’s even tougher now.  There's so much music out there and so many other bands to go see.  It's amazing that we are still doing it.


BRR:  Absolutely.  Besides a lot of hard work,  how did it actually become a reality for Thrice?


RB:  Part of it is being in the right place at the right time.  You never know what style of music is going to resonate with people at different times.  Like take nu metal for example, it was huge in the mid-late 90s and it seems like it is having a revival now.  But if you came out with a nu metal band about 5 years ago, people probably wouldn't have cared that much because it was out of cycle, I guess.  We were doing something at the time that felt pretty fresh, combining the influence of southern California skate punk with some east coast hardcore stuff with some melody, and even slight pop melodies to a certain extent.  There weren't a lot of bands that were doing that at the time so we're lucky that that style got popular and we're extra lucky that people stuck with us as our sound has kind of evolved.  We're a long way from where we started, but we're making music for the same reason, because we love to create and make music that we want to hear and just thankful that people are into it.


BRR:  You touched briefly on it, but how has the band’s sound evolved over the years?


RB:  We went from a lot of screaming and singing and hardcore metal influence, punk rock influence, to more of a combination of everything we're influenced by now.  I think the scope of what the four of us listen to has widened drastically over the last 20 years.  I think part of that is just growing up, maturation to a certain extent.  I think when you're young you kind of construct an identity based on the music that you listen to.  At least it was for us, “I'm a punk, so I listen to punk bands, nothing else. No, I don't want to listen to jazz or progressive rock, or classic rock.”  Same thing for hardcore or metal kids, or rap, or whatever genre people are into, they use that as a way to identify themselves and find friends and scenes that they feel comfortable in.  But, as you get older, you realize that it's ok to like whatever you like, no matter what genre it comes from.  Because of that, we started exploring a bunch of different styles of music and appreciating different styles.  There are really no rules as far as writing goes for us. Say I'm influenced by some jazz song or something, I can totally bring in a jazz influenced part and we try to make it Thrice-like.  The same goes for everybody else.  The influences are coming from all over and the challenges are just trying to make them all work together.


BRR:  I think that's what makes the music more interesting because it's unique with the variety.


RB:  It keeps it fresh for us too.  There are a lot of bands out there that say, “This is what we do. This is our style.” and I don't think any of us would be content doing that.  We want to just keep exploring and pushing the boundaries of what we can do.  I don't think we could be like a Slayer or NOFX or Grateful Dead.  They do their thing, and they do it really well, but there's not a lot of pushing the boundaries.


BRR:  You don't want to play the same thing over, and over, and over for 20 years.


RB:  That's totally cool for some people to do that and I think it's awesome that it can happen.  The way we are wired as people we would have gotten bored if we did 10 versions of our debut record.  We would have gotten tired of it.


BRR:  Exactly.  Now, the band donates a portion of your proceeds from each album release to different charitable organizations. That's awesome.  What made you decide to do this and what are some of the charities?


RB:  Kind of going back to what I said earlier, we feel so lucky and so fortunate to be able to do this, and it's such a gift to us.  It feels like it's a good thing to do to share that good fortune with people who need help.  We stopped donating proceeds of album sales, I think with the last record we did just because album sales have gone down a lot across the board and the math got pretty complicated for labels.  We felt it might be more effective if we did focused charitable donations or charity events, whether it's raising money for hurricane victims with a single we have out or bringing an organization out on tour that we want to make people aware of.  That's the stuff we're doing now instead of giving a percent of album sales out.  We've worked with everything from disadvantaged kids, to breast cancer charity, to charities that have benefited some Ugandan refugees, to clean water stuff to, climate change stuff.  We try to pick causes that are important to us and where we think that the money is being used in a fine fashion and try to align ourselves with those people.


BRR:  That's commendable. In 2012, Thrice went on a 3 year hiatus. What led back to the reunion in 2015?


RB:  It was kind of Dustin's idea.  He was the one that called for the hiatus, but each of us needed a break in our own way.  Not only because the grind of touring and making records for 15 years, or wherever we were at that time, but when you have families and kids at home, it's hard to be an absentee dad for 8 or 10 months out of the year.  We wanted to take some time to reconnect with our families and explore some other opportunities.  It was also great for us because it refreshed our appreciation for this opportunity.  You gain some perspective when something disappears for awhile.  You realize how lucky you were able to do that.  I think we're all in a much better spot emotionally, creatively, and as far as communication goes.  We're communicating better than we ever have.  But as far as getting back together, Dustin was working a job up in the northwest and I think the organization he was with started to crumble and I got a text from him not to far after that saying that maybe we should start thinking about making some more music together.  I didn't really want to take a hiatus in the first place, so I was quick to say, Yes!”  It was really scary that we did it back then, but I think it was a wise thing, given the years to reflect on the hiatus and the couple years back in action, I think it was good and think it will be great moving forward.


BRR:  I'm glad you guys did reunite as I'm sure many others are.  Can you enlighten me a little on the inspiration behind the song  “Black Honey?”


RB:  Dustin would probably be the best one to explain exactly where he's coming from, but to me it has to do with greed to a certain extent. like self fulfillment at the cost of others, and how that's pretty prevalent in society today.  There's a lot of “Me first” and not a lot of sympathy, or not as much as we could use.  It's about people who continue doing the same thing over and over again to get what they want despite its consequences to other people.


RB:  How do you feel about Seether covering “Black Honey?”


RB:  That's funny, I'm standing outside the venue today and there's a billboard and Seether is looking right down at me.  That's really weird.  It's cool.  I guess they play it pretty regularly, which is crazy because we're out playing the same song on our tour, but they're turning people onto what we do that probably wouldn't have checked us out on their own volition.


BRR:  Free promotion!  But I must admit, they do do a really good job with it!


RB:  Them playing that song to their crowd, which is not necessarily a Thrice crowd, has been cool.  Every once in awhile something will post up on social media like, “Oh my god, why have I not listened to Thrice before?” and in several cases it's because they saw Seether play that song or saw a cover on YouTube or something.  It's awesome.  Our music is for everyone, so I'm totally into that.


BRR:  I listen to so much music, it's hard for me to keep up, but I hear “Hurricane” a lot on Sirius XM Octane and that's what really brought Thrice back into my radar.  I loved that song from the first time I heard it.  But like I said, it's hard keeping up.


RB:  There's so much out there and you can have all of it with the tip of your finger.


BRR:  Dustin has been quoted as calling himself and the rest of the band “introverts.”  Do you agree and can you elaborate?


RB:  I would definitely agree with that.  We're not large personalities or particularly outgoing, but I feel that once we get to a certain comfort level, we open up, each of us to a level that we feel comfortable with.  Those levels definitely vary within the band.  We're not as extroverted as a lot of bands are.   We've met plenty of introverts on the road for sure.  But there are a lot of people that you know he wants to be seen and he wants to be heard and he wants to be “the guy” in the room and I don’t think that's us at all.  We'd much rather be quiet and observe.  Maybe that's why we get along so well.


BRR:  You are currently on a co-headlining tour with Circa Survive.  After this tour, what is next for Thrice?



RB:  We have a record to write.  We're in the middle of writing on the road as best as we possibly can.  So we're working on new music and the goal is to get into the studio, I think at the beginning of February and then have a record out sometime next summer.


BRR:  Great!


RB:  We're going to shut down the touring machine for a while and do it... hibernating and creating and having a record by summer


BRR:  Are you aware of the Thrice Facebook Fan page, “In Exile?”


RB:  I've heard of it, but I have not yet visited it.


BRR:  I went on there and asked if there were any questions from your fans for you and had an overwhelming response.  The fans are very active on that page, so I just picked a few.  First of all, Corey Jensen wanted to know if the band would ever consider doing a Q&A session via the page?


RB:  I don't see why not, when the time is right, I'm sure we'd definitely do that.  Right now we're on tour and pretty busy writing and when we get home we're going to have to write like crazy to get the songs finished up to go into the studio for February.  But maybe during the down time after finishing the record and waiting to go back out on tour the next round.


BRR:  That would be a good time for that publicity. Another question from Pip Zertuche was...Do you have an official release date for the Alchemy Index vinyl repress?


RB:  We do not, but I can say that it will be available before the end of November.


BRR:  Tyler Gundlach wanted to know if you are you still sitting in the Captain's Chair?


RB:  Oh God!  That's a bit from our DVD that we put out that was like the band's first 7 or 8 years of history, and something stupid I said because I was over caffeinated and under slept when recording an album, and it's on the DVD and I will never live it down.  I hear that all the time!


BRR: I wasn't quite sure on that, but it seemed to be a popular question, so I figured I'd throw it out there.  I'll have to check out that DVD!


RB:  It's definitely a huge Thrice fan inside joke, I guess.


BRR:  Sj Ramírez wants to know if there are any plans to tour South America in the future?


RB:  Yes, we would love to get to South America, Eastern Europe, Singapore.  We'd love to get out to Hawaii and Australia again.  It has to do with timing, availability, bands we could go down there with, and figuring out a way we can make it work for us so we don't lose a ton of money because it's expensive to travel with our gear and stuff like that.  It's definitely something that is on our radar and it's something we've wanted to do for a long time.  We're just trying to find out how to make it work.


BRR:  They will be happy to hear that because there seemed to be a lot of fans in South America. That's all I have for today.  Do you have any further comments or anything to say to your fans?


RB:  Make sure you come see us on this tour because we're going to go away for a little while to make a record.  If people are on the fence about coming out seeing a show on this tour, I would highly recommend it, not only to catch us before we go into the studio, but Circa Survive is putting on an amazing show.  Chon is amazing and Balance and Composure  is one of my favorite bands and they do a great job opening these shows up.  I encourage people to come out and I thank everybody for their support.  Like I said earlier, we're really, really lucky to be able to do this and we're very thankful for the opportunity.  We couldn't do it without the people who support us and spread the word about us and come out to shows.  We're so thankful.


BRR:  I'll be seeing you Sunday in Boston and I can't wait! (remaining tour dates below*)  Thanks for spending the time letting me get to know you and what is next for Thrice.






Hurricane Video



*Remaining tour dates:
Nov. 24 - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory
Nov. 25 - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory
Nov. 26 - Boston, MA - House of Blues
Nov. 29 - Toronto, ON - Rebel
Dec. 1 - Rochester, NY - Main Street Armory
Dec. 2 - Cleveland, OH - Agora Theatre
Dec. 3 - Detroit, MI - The Fillmore
Dec. 5 - Kansas City, MO - Uptown Theater
Dec. 6 - Clive, IA - 7 Flags Event Center
Dec. 7 - Chicago, IL - Aragon Ballroom
Dec. 8 - Maplewood, MN - Myth Live



(A special thank you to Nathalie Rubin, Tour Publicist at BMG for making this interview possible.)


© Boston Rock Radio 2017








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