Thrice: Interview With Riley Breckenridge

Thrice have always had a certain diversity in the music, I guess that would be where it comes from.

Yeah, and there’s a core of bands that we all like. Radiohead and Isis and The Beatles. I could go on for a while. Everybody’s music collection kind of takes a turn in a different direction, whether it’s the jazz stuff or the electronic stuff or metal stuff or singer/songwriter stuff.

Since everybody in the band writes, people will bring parts to the table and it’s all coming from totally different places and it’s a really cool challenge to sit down with all these different parts with different influences and try to make it something cohesive.

After all the success of The Artist In The Ambulance have you guys experienced any pressure where people expect you to sound a certain way?

There’s a little bit of pressure. We were overwhelmed to the response we got to the last record, but I think the label always wants you to do better. So there’s a little bit of pressure from the label to do better, but it hasn’t affected the music we’re writing at all.

We don’t feel pressure from the people that listen to us, that they might expect something like, ‘Oh, they’re gonna put out another record like The Illusion Of Safety or The Artist In The Ambulance,’ but we’re just going to do what we want to do and make songs that we think are good and if it ends up being successful, that’s cool, but that’s definitely not the goal. We just want to make something that we’re happy with and that we’re proud of, and if it’s not as successful as the label wants it to be, then that’s the way it’s going to have to be.

How’d the DVD project come about?

It kind of goes along with us trying to do something different as a band.We’re kind of headed in a different direction and expanding ourselves musically and we wanted to wrap up the last six years as a band and show people that are familiar with us some extra footage of how we got started and who we are as people. There’s a lot of insight from people that have been working with us for a long time. It’s just kind of a way to wrap up the last six years and move forward and move on to the next chapter.

How about the Syrentha Salvio Endowment? How did you get involved with that?

The last two records we’ve done, The Illusion Of Safety and The Artist In The Ambulance, we’ve recorded with Brian McTernan and the guy that runs the Syrentha Salvio Endowment, Mark Beemer, is a really good friend of Brian’s. They grew up in the DC hardcore scene together.

He lost his wife to breast cancer a few years ago and started the Endowment to raise money to do free testing for ladies in low-income areas and then if somebody is diagnosed with breast cancer, they’ll help pay for treatment. We met Mark when we were recording The Artist In The Ambulance, got along with him really well, and he talked to us about the charity. Just such a good guy and so dedicated to what he’s doing and we made such a good friendship that it was kind of an easy choice to work with him.

How has the amount of work itself changed during your time in the band? You guys have kind of seen both sides, from the indie thing to the major thing. How has the actual work changed?

We’re a lot busier now. It’s kind of weird because we’ve been off the road for eight months now, so it’s like, I remember what it’s like to be on the road, but we’ve been home for so long that it’s kind of weird.

It’s such a huge change of pace from doing interviews to doing signings, to playing shows and being on the road like 10-11 months out of the year, to being home for almost a full year is kind of weird.

But on an indie label, we’d do a two-month tour and come home and try to pick up a job to tide us over between tours, and now it’s like once we’re done recording this record, it all starts over again and it’s like, do Warped Tour, go to Europe, headlining tour, go to Japan, go to Australia, and then the press starts up again and there’s interviews and it’s just nonstop. It’s crazy.

Do you get antsy to get back out on the road?

Yeah.We had been on tour for a year and a half straight after The Artist came out and we were working so hard and playing so often that I think everybody kind of needed a break and we were excited about making new music because we’d all been writing on the road and stuff.

So, to be home was such a nice break, but I think we’re all antsy to share this new music with people. We’re just eager to get out and show all the hard work with this record.

You guys are playing Bamboozle this year. Anyone in particular you’re looking forward to playing with?

We’re playing the same day as Brand New and I think we’re all really excited. They’ve kind of been off the road like we have and have been working on a record. I think people expect a lot from them and I’m eager to see what they’ve come up with. Hopefully they’ll play some new stuff. They’ve been friends of ours for a while too so it’ll be good to see them and hang out for a little bit.

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