RockMusicReview: So you guys have a new record coming out on July 22. Are there any elements on this album that may surprise old fans?
Riley Breckenridge: There's a lot that may surprise people. We definitely experimented a lot more; we tried a lot of things we haven't tried in the past. It kind of seems like some people are willing to grow with us and let us try new things, and then other people want us to make the same record over and over and over and over. But I think that gets boring. There are some bands that have made a really good living doing the same thing over and over, but we're too reckless for that.
RMR: Would you say the new album is more melodic than the last album?
RB: I think it's a little more melodic than the last album but there's some stuff that's more straightforward than the last record. But at the same time that there is stuff that is more straightforward, there is stuff that has odd time signatures and a bunch of weird guitar parts. There's just a lot of weird stuff. It's gonna catch some people off-guard but we had to make the record that we wanted to make. We didn't want to just write the same record over again.
RMR: Is there anything on the album for you as a drummer that was difficult or that tested you?
RB: Um, there's a lot more odd time signatures parts that are 5/4 or like, parts that are 7/8. So it took me a while to like learn how to play drums because I always played pretty straight-forward stuff. And they needed stuff that was a lot more technical, which was cool. It's not like a billion miles an hour fast but it's really technical and we're happy with it.
RMR: Some questions asked on your message board were concerning how Island Records has been treating you since your arrival to them.
RB: It's been awesome so far. We have no complaints. Before we signed with them we were talking to a bunch of different labels and we just wanted to be totally sure that if we were gonna sign a contract with someone, we wanted to talk to them and know that they understood our vision as a band and Island were totally like that and we're really happy with the decision we made.
RMR: With this switch to a bigger label comes the possibility of a bigger fan base. Does this worry the band, or does it not even matter?
RB: Uh, it doesn't really matter. I think that, not to sound conceited, we make good music and I want people to hear good music. I definitely hope that people get into the band, but we made the record that we wanted to make and that's all a band should really focus on. If it happens, it happens.
RMR: What would you say is your favorite song on the new record?
RB: There's a song called "Hoods on Peregrine" that's kind of progressive. It kind of feels like some old D.C. bands like Fugazi and then it's got this weird Tool influence. I'm really happy with that song. And then I really like "The Artist in the Ambulance," which is the title track that's like, it's a little more straight-forward and the lyrics are really powerful and the melody is awesome. It's one of those songs that I listen to over and over and it still gives me chills.
RMR: With more fans also comes the possibility of MTV exposure. Any thoughts on that?
RB: I think it's fine. I'd rather have our video on MTV than like a lot of the other stuff they are playing right now.
RMR: What kind of touring are you guys planning on doing in support of "The Artist in the Ambulance?"
RB: Right after we go to Europe to do some festival shows, I think we're going to set up some club shows with Poison the Well and then we'll get three or four weeks off. And then, we just found out yesterday that, we've been working at it for a long time, but we're gonna a full-U.S. tour with Thursday.
RMR: Here's another question from the Thrice message board. If Cyclops and Wolverine were to get into an all-out fight, who would win?
RB: Oh, wow. I'm not much of a comic book geek, but I have seen "X-Men" and Wolverine is pretty badass so I vote Wolverine, but that is like a really uneducated answer.
RMR: Does the lyric "we are the dead" from the song "All That's Left" have anything to do with the book 1984?
RB: I don't know, but I think it's just a metaphor for the death of innocence and the death of youth and stuff like that.
RMR: Is there a certain band on the tour that you have been watching every day?
RB: I watch Poison the Well just about every day. They are one of my favorite bands right now. And Glassjaw, I watch everyday too.
RMR: Any thoughts on the on-going war?
RB: I'll try to be as simple as possible because it could turn into a really, really long answer but the thing that pisses me off the most about is that it's so hard to get truth and get facts because depending on what station you're watching, you'll get a totally different story. And then you get pictures back from Iraqi t.v. and it looks like a totally different war.
Riley Breckenbridge has been with Thrice since they started in 1998. (RMR/Jack Shepler)