An Interview With: Thrice

Posted: Monday 21 October 2019

Back in 2012, we all thought we’d lost Thrice for good. After some time to refresh and a clutch of live shows that reignited their fire, the band returned with their ninth album, To Be Everywhere Is to Be Nowhere in 2016 and we welcomed them back with open arms.

Now, a year on from the release of their tenth album, Palms, the band are teaming up with post-hardcore titans, Refused, for an almighty co-headline tour. Before it kicks off, we sat down with drummer, Riley Breckenridge, to talk about the break and what’s next for Thrice.

Who started the conversation between you and Refused about touring together? Was it something you’ve wanted to do for a while?

We actually share a booking agent in the UK and Europe and he’d been talking about it ever since they reunited. We’ve been huge fans of Refused since the early 90s, so obviously the idea of touring with them was really appealing to us. I think it just came down to when our timelines/record cycles lined up. We’re really excited that it’s finally happening and honoured to have an opportunity to share the stage with such an amazing and influential band.

You’re doing a special anniversary tour for Vheissu next year in the States, can we expect to hear a good selection of tracks from the record on this tour?

We aren’t playing anything really out of the ordinary with regards to Vheissu songs, just the tried and true favourites, but we’re also playing a Beggars 10-Year Anniversary show in the States in December, so we’re pulling a couple of oldies out from that batch of songs.

You’ve also asked fans to help choose the setlist for the UK tour, have there been any surprise choices in there? Anything you’re a bit nervous to play?

The only surprise is that there weren’t many surprise choices in there. We’ve done our best to put together the strongest, most diverse, best flowing set possible out of everyone’s selections.

How about a live collaboration with Refused? If there was one song of theirs you could be a part of, what would it be?

Haha. I doubt that’s in the cards, but we’re very excited to watch them do what they do. I love ‘The Deadly Rhythm’ and would hate to mar that with anything additional. It’s perfect just the way it is.

It’s been a year since you released Palms, what has been your favourite moment of that album’s journey so far?

Personally, it’s been playing ‘Beyond The Pines’ live and seeing/feeling people’s reaction to the weight of that song. I think it’s one of our most powerful songs on a number of levels and it’s been awesome to see that manifest itself in a live setting.

What’s a story behind the record that fans may not know about?

I’m not sure there is one that we haven’t shared. We’re generally pretty transparent about the writing and recording process.

Have you put much thought into what comes next? Have you started writing at all?

Yes. We have an idea of the direction we want to take it (although that idea and where an album ultimately ends up are pretty different places, usually) and have begun writing individually. We’ll continue to do that on this tour with Refused and then hunker down once we’re home and start collaborating.

You took a time out from being a band back in 2012, do you think that was essential for you so that you could continue as you are now?

Yeah. I think the space was good for everyone involved. Everyone came back refreshed, focused and eager to work. We’ve made some adjustments to the way we practice, tour, write, handle band business, organise communication etc. and it’s really helped us out. We kinda needed a hard reset in 2012 because people were burnt out, exhausted and dealing with loss. We’re in a much better place now and I think that bodes well for our future.

What have been the biggest factors in keeping the band together and passionate about creating music?

As I just mentioned, the hiatus was helpful in some ways, but I think never feeling tethered to a certain genre or scene has very been helpful too. Our writing process is very collaborative and democratic, and each member brings their personal influences into the song-writing process. Everyone in this band is into a different style of music, although we do have a few places where those influences connect. If we felt like we had to put every idea we had into a “Thrice Filter” or an “(insert genre) Filter” we’d have burnt out long ago.

If you could have done anything differently, would you have?

Not really. Even the mishaps we’ve had have been crucial to our development as a band and as people, and everything we experience together is a part of a greater learning experience. I think we’re in a pretty good spot right now and I don’t think we’d have gotten there without everything that came before it.

It’s not often you get to see two of post-hardcore’s greatest bands in one room together, so grab your tickets to see Thrice and Refused now:

O2 Academy Birmingham: Saturday 26 October Buy Tickets

O2 Academy Bristol: Tuesday 29 October Buy Tickets

O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire: Wednesday 30 October Buy Tickets

Want to keep up to date with all our interviews, competitions and more? Why not sign up to our newsletter?

Sign Up

You can now purchase Academy Music Group gift cards! They can be used on thousands of shows across the UK in our venues. For more information, click here.