Thrice have just released their new album ‘Major/Minor‘ via Vagrant Records / Shock, you can pick it up on CD or Vinyl with free postage [Here] if you are yet to get your hands on a copy. Deborah Konopnicki recently caught up with Teppei from the band to chat about the album and if we’ll be catching them on Australian soil anytime soon. See below to take a read of the interview.
Hey Teppei! How are you going?
Good thanks. Yourself?
I’m quite awesome. I’ve been a huge Thrice fan for nearly ten years so this is a huge thrill for me this morning!
Oh cool! Thanks!
Well it’s always a highly anticipated time when there’s word of a Thrice album on the horizon and this one is certainly no exception. How are you feeling on the eve of the release of “Major/Minor”?
Good! The vinyl was released a couple of days ago and as far as I have seen the reaction has been really positive.
Yeah, I saw that the vinyl was released a little before the album version. Was there any specific reason for that?
It was kind of just like a special treat and an extra incentive for people to buy the vinyl.
Do you have anything special planned as a band for the album’s release or are you at the stage or your career when you just want to get out and start touring for it?
Yeah, nothing so far. I don’t think that we’ve even talked about it. Maybe we’re just jaded at this point in our career! (laughs)
It feels like this record has kind of wiped the slate clean in a couple of ways. While the albums before this felt like they were following a progression some of the parts of this record have come out of left field. What was the process like getting back into the swing of things?
The normal writing process for us is that we all write on our own and compile ideas just in the touring cycle whenever we get some downtime. Everybody is just kind of writing and compiling ideas. At the end of the touring cycle we’ll take some time to rest and just get back to writing another record. At that time we get together and share the ideas that we have and then just start jamming together as a band. We just then see what happens when the four of us are jamming together. That’s the normal process for us and to tell you the truth it doesn’t really differ too much from that.
With past releases it been interesting to see the progression and see how certain ideas evolved but as I said this one has some really unique parts in there. It’s different to everything that you’ve ever done. It’s quite dirty and grungy and pretty damn awesome! what kind of things were you drawing on for inspiration? Where did this new direction stem from?
I don’t know! It’s funny because we never really plan for a record. I think that everything that we do is pretty organic and we never know what the next record is going to sound like before we start writing for it and even while we’re writing it! It’s only a few months into the writing that we kind of see what direction that the record is heading into and how it takes shape. It just kind of happened that way. It’s not like we were listening to a whole lot of grunge or anything like that! (laughs). I think what it is is that if you do anything in a concentrated amount of time that it’s going to be perceived as a theme.
Have you ever gone into a record with a pre-conceived idea of what you wanted to create or has it always been that you’d write for a period of time and whatever happened, happened?
Yeah, pretty much that!
The lead single off of the alum “Yellowbelly” created a huge amount of buzz, when you offered it to fans to download it total crashed the website. How was that?
It’s always flattering. You never really know what to expect and especially in this day and age. I think that the music industry and how things work just changes so rapidly that you never know what to expect from release to release and what’s going to happen. I think that we’ve been really lucky though in the same sense that we’ve always had pretty dedicated fans and there are so many people that are really supportive of our band. It’s really nice to know that we can release something and there are going to be so many dedicated people there.
The working title of “Yellowbelly” was actually the album title to begin with. You’ve said in interviews that it’s a bit of a homage to 90s grunge where bands would toy around with orthodox chord structures and the like. Not to re-hash on questions but that obviously wasn’t something that you wanted to include form the get-go… or just turned out like that?
I don’t know. Like I said I just think that it’s the product of us doing something over a concentrated period of time. We just ended up evoking that kind of theme and feel.
Do you have a favorite track form the record at this point in time?
It’s pretty early for me but I like all of them… can I just say that? I like “Yellowbelly” a lot. I think that it’s fun to play and that it’s got a really cool groove and is energetic. I feel that it harkens back to the early 9O’s grunge just with how the chords feel. I really like that track and feel like it’s a good representation of that album as a whole.
Have you had a chance to play much of the new material live yet?
No we haven’t and I’m really looking forward to it! I think that it’s going to be a fun record to play. We’ve played “Yellowbelly” twice now though. We just played a hometown show a few weeks ago and it was just kind of like a little random one-off show that we did and we thought that it would be cool to play a bunch of new tracks. I think that we played four or five tracks. It was a lot of fun.
How has the response to “Yellowbelly” been when you’ve played it live?
Well it’s always funny because you never really fully get a grip of what’s going on on stage but there was a YouTube video that someone forwarded onto me of that song and it was awesome; people were actually singing along-which was completely shocking because that was a little while before the vinyl was released as well and anything else had been released. It was really surprising and really cool.
Any idea on when you’ll be back in Australia to tour for the record? Hopes were raised when you were announced for Soundwave Revolution, but that fizzed out quickly when revealed to be false, and we missed you during the “Beggars” album cycle!
Definitely! There’s intentions but no solid plans to be honest. I always say this but Australia is one of our favorite places in the world and we can’t wait to get back down there. I’m not sure when or how. I like our own club shows but if we get a festival offer and there’s a chance for us to come down we’ll definitely take it. We’ll take whatever comes to us but we’ll see.
So as I alluded I’m a bit of a Thrice nerd so I want to take the opportunity to ask you about one of my favorite records of all time. Your 2005 album “Vheissu” totally changed the way that I looked at music. Do you think that that particular album had a similar effect on your music? Was it a sort of launching pad for the experimentation of “The Alchemy Index”? It seemed to change Thrice’s musical landscape. Would you agree with that?
Yeah, I would actually. I do actually like that record a lot. It’s definitely the first album of ours from a while ago that I don’t cringe at at this point. I agree. I think that it was a big turning point for us and it’s been a general launch pad for where we are now. I think that ‘fondly’ is a good way to describe it. It’s kind of nostalgic and fun I that sense. As far as musically it’s not where our heads are at for sure.
Is there anything in particular that you’re hoping that kids are going to take away from this upcoming release?
Honestly not much more then I hope that they enjoy it.
THRICE – Major/Minor
Instores now via Vagrant / Shock.
Available on CD and Vinyl [Here] with free postage.