Interview with Thursday: The Impending War

—by , September 17, 2003

Well, I’m just liking you more and more! (laughs)

Geoff: Well, thank you. (laughs)

There was one song that I was most surprised by on War All The Time…can you guess?

Geoff: Umm, ‘This Song Brought To You By A Falling Bomb?’

What inspired you to go in that direction?

Geoff: Our producer saw that we were getting really burned out so he brought us up to this studio in Massachusetts which is a farmhouse. It’s just in the middle of all these beautiful woods, basically it’s a log cabin with a fireplace, it’s just really beautiful. We were up there and Andrew, our keyboard player who is a new addition on this record, had written this really beautiful organ part. Only up there at the farm they had this amazing grand piano. We kind of all sat down and started helping him figure out the rhythm for it. So he played it over and over again and we had him record it. We thought it would just be in between songs. I just kept hearing this little thing over it. I guess part of being so burnt out and so stressed on the record…I just had this feeling of wanting to escape the outside world and escape the news. On the news every day there would be all these things about the war going on and that terrified me. The idea of us being at war with another country…I feel like nobody really even cares, it’s just sort of this blocked out thing. It gave an impulse for me to want to block it out. So that song was kind of about me just wanting to be alone in a room with my girlfriend or somebody that I love and keep everything else outside.

Did the title track ‘War All The Time’ come before the album title?

Geoff: We actually came up with the album title first, then it sort of lyrically worked its way into that song. To me, it wasn’t the first immediate title to that song. There were other titles that I had, but I realized after awhile that that song really is the center of the record. So, naming that song ‘War All The Time’ was kind of to draw your attention to that being the focus of what the whole record is about. The song is mostly about growing up in New Jersey…it’s sort of three short stories about it. ‘War All The Time’ is sort of like love all the time, and the price of trying to have love all the time. With Thursday, I’ve always tried to keep songs away from boy/girl heartbreak. In doing that, I always avoid talking about love. It’s a very serious thing, it’s not like just ‘I have a crush and she won’t look at me,’ and all that stupid stuff. I was so scared to write about love for the first time that I had to make it about war, in a way. I had to kind of give it a double meaning.

After all this time has passed, how have you grown since your last album?

Steve: I’m still trying to figure it out. Every time someone asks, I’m still trying to explain it. We’ve kind of taken the ideas we explored on Full Collapse further. But we’ve also been listening to a lot of different stuff that’s coming out in music but with our twist. What you are listening to constantly affects how you’re playing. We’ve been listening to a lot of mellower stuff, but what’s weird is that it’s been coming out a lot heavier. On tour we listen to a lot of Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Mogwai, not that they are really mellow, a lot of it is heavier in a different way A lot of people have asked us if this album is going to be like ‘Jet Black New Year’ because at one point it was the heaviest song we wrote. I keep saying not really because that was just somewhere we went for a little while, and we are going somewhere else now. People have taken that as if we are going lighter. But we’ve actually gone a lot heavier.

Tom: When we did ‘Jet Black New Year’ that was way out there for us. I was like, I can’t even imagine ever writing anything like this. I’ve also always told people, it’s not quite where we’re going, it’s just kind of where we went for a bit. But it definitely runs thematically throughout this record.

Geoff, you were quoted in NY Magazine as saying ‘I want to be a high school English teacher by the time I’m 35.’ Yet, in your current bio, you said, ‘this is the first record we made knowing we want to do this for the rest of our lives, as musicians and writers.’ Has your perspective changed?

Geoff: Yeah, it definitely did change my perspective, making this record, I just realized that that was it, this is what I’m going to do for the rest of my life. Even if I’m not able to make a living out of it. I just have to write. I just have to keep making music. It’s a different thing because when you think the other way, you think that it’s your last chance to say everything that you need to say. When you think that you’re going to be doing it for the rest of your life it’s about exploring. That’s where it comes more into like finding out who you are as a person right now. It definitely did change. I never really put my finger on it, but yeah, you’re right. I think it’s changed for all of us.

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