Thrice: Interview With Riley Breckenridge

Anyone remotely familiar with the band Thrice shouldn’t be surprised at their mainstream crossover success. Their seamless blending of hardcore, punk and metal has earned the band acclaim from purists of all the above genres, and helped bring about the rise of post-hardcore in the American rock scene.

The band, composed of Dustin Kensrue (vocals/guitar), Teppei Teranishi (guitar), and Ed and Riley Breckenridge (bass and drums respectively), is currently in the process of recording the follow-up to 2003’s highly successful The Artist In The Ambulance, and released their first DVD, If We Could Only See Us Now, on March 29 with an extra audio disc of B-sides and alternate versions. In addition, Thrice will be playing this year’s Bamboozle on Friday, April 29 in Asbury Park.

Riley recently took some time to answer some questions about the future of the band and their upward adventures over the last six years.

First off, how’s pre-production going?

It’s been going awesome. The guy that we’re doing the record with, Steve Osborne, was just out here. We worked Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and wrapped it up yesterday. It went way better than I thought it was gonna go.

He’s worked with some amazing bands and I was kind of intimidated at first, but he’s a really mellow guy and he’s got a really cool vision. I think we made the right choice, things couldn’t have gone much better.

How did you end up working with him?

We liked the stuff that he’s done with The Doves and Placebo.We’re doing something different with this record and we wanted to make sure that we worked with somebody that was kind of coming from a different place.

I mean, we could have worked with maybe a more mainstream producer or somebody that works with heavier bands, bands that do what we have been doing for the last few years. But since we’re trying to do something different, we kind of wanted to take what we do and combine that with what he does, because he comes from an electronic background, or like a British rock background, and just see what happens when we get in the same room and work on something together.

What are you doing differently this time?

I think we’re incorporating new instrumentation. We’re using synths and piano, keyboards. There’ll probably be some electronic programming.

We’re just trying to expand the dynamic of the band instead of being heavy all the time or having everything segmented and tight-sounding. We’re trying to loosen things up and open things up and work on the dynamic between a really mellow part and a really heavy part.

It seems like over the last few years, our musical tastes have been expanding, but we haven’t really had time to experiment making music in different genres and trying to incorporate it in what we do as a band.

Because we’ve had time off and a lot of time to write, we’ve been able to experiment a lot more and I think it’s helping our music become more diverse.

How have your tastes been expanding?

Getting into electronic stuff like Squarepusher and Aphex Twin for me, and Teppei and Ed have really gotten into jazz, and Dustin’s gotten into Tom Waits. Our musical tastes are all across the board.

We don’t listen to a lot of the bands that people who listen to us listen to. We’re just trying to expand what we do as a band.