For over a decade, Orange County, California quartet Thrice have been blazing new trails for progressive, heavy music. They blended caustic screams with heart-aching melodies years before the Warped Tour deemed it fashionable. They helped open the doors for raging guitar solos to be re-embraced by the rock world, and they encouraged their peers and fans to give back to the community by contributing to worthy charities.
Liberation and personal revelation have always kept Thrice thriving. When they formed in 1998,guitarist Teppei Teranishi and singer/guitarist Dustin Kensrue were high school friends looking for a creative outlet, so Teranishi called his skateboard pal Eddie Breckenridge and encouraged him to learn how to play bass so he could be in the group. Since Riley Breckenridge wasn't playing with anyone else at the time, he agreed to play in his brother's group until they found a replacement, but he had so much fun jamming with them that he decided to stay. By late 1999, they recorded their first album Identity Crisis, which they released themselves. This foreshadowed the oncoming metalcore movement.
Identity Crisis earned them a deal with Hopeless/Sub City, which reissued the album and released its follow-up: 2002's stronger and more cohesive Illusion of Safety. Sub City, which gives a percentage of album sales to charity, also woke up Thrice to the importance of giving back, and kick-started their long history with charitable causes. Thrice then signed to Island Records and re-entered the studio to create the more melodic and mature The Artist In the Ambulance, which doubled the sales of Illusion, and increased the band’s fiercely devoted fanbase. As part of its contract, the band insisted that a percentage of album sales be donated to the SSE Foundation. Thrice took a similar path for Vheissu, dedicating a percentage of sales to 826 Valencia, a tutorial program designed to help underprivileged children improve their communications skills. "We feel so blessed and so lucky, we want to share some of our good fortune with people that are less fortunate," Riley says.
To take stock of Thrice’s discography is to witness the dramatic evolution of a band perpetually committed to pushing their own creative boundaries, taking their music to new and breathtaking heights of expression and challenging fans to explore each startling soundscape the group conjures, while simultaneously promoting social awareness and change. From the raw power and technical onslaught of early records Identity Crisis and The Illusion of Safety, to the perfect marriage of fury and melody on The Artist In The Ambulance, to the bold, mesmerizing experimentation of Vheissu, Thrice has always been a band on the cutting edge, running well ahead of their peers. That divide is about to widen still further.
Thrice followed the New Pantheon Award-nominated Vheissu’s radical metamorphosis with The Alchemy Index, a four-volume collection spread between two releases comprised of four EPs, each devoted to one of the classical elements in nature—fire, water, earth and air—with each EP sonically and thematically tailored to evoke the atmosphere inherent in its corresponding element. For Thrice, it was the realization of a year-long process of writing and recording, which was done primarily in the band’s own studio and engineered by guitarist Teppei Teranishi, without the assistance of an outside producer.
“We’re kind of doing something that’s the opposite of what a producer is supposed to do on a record—which is make everything make sense and kind of fit together—whereas this project is all about taking things apart and pushing them one way,” says Teranishi. “We really wanted to try doing things our way this time around, and make this record sound the way we want it to sound, not the way it’s “supposed” to sound.”
“Dustin [Kensrue] came up with the idea of using the elements, and separating all of the feels that we normally come up with,” adds bassist Eddie Breckenridge. “That was scary at first, because part of what our sound is, is that combination and the experiment of mixing different feels, but this is actually helping us push each feel in a further direction.”
In 2009, Thrice released Beggars. Dustin Kensrue explained the name with this simple yet profound statement: "I think we are at most times deluded in thinking that we are totally responsible for our circumstances, but in the end almost everything is beyond our control to a high degree and we can’t even be sure we will wake up tomorrow. Whether you believe that God created you for a purpose, or that the world is governed by blind chance, everything in life is a gift at its core; we are beggars all."
With every release, Thrice destroys the rock rulebook and creates their most engrossing and accomplished work to date…The true evolution of a band.
Listen to Thrice Here
|First Impressions EP||1999||Independent|
|Identity Crisis||2001||Sub City Records|
|The Illusion of Safety||2002||Sub City Records|
|Live from the SoHo & Santa Monica Stores||2003||iTunes Exclusive|
|The Artist in the Ambulance||2003||Island Records|
|If We Could Only See Us Now EP||2005||Island Records|
|Red Sky EP||2006||Island Records|
|The Alchemy Index, Vol. 1 & 2: Fire & Water||2007||Vagrant Records|
|The Alchemy Index, Vol. 3 & 4: Air & Earth||2008||Vagrant Records|
|Come All You Weary EP||2008||Vagrant Records|
|Live at the House of Blues||2008||Vagrant Records|
|Myspace Transmissions EP||2008||Vagrant Records|
|Major / Minor||2011||Vagrant Records|
|Manchester Orchestra/O'Brother/Thrice Split EP||2013||Independent|