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New Found Glory Interview - 11.15.07
12/03/07 at 12:02 AM by Jonathan Bautts
This is a phone interview I had the huge honor of conducting with New Found Glory singer Jordan Pundik.

First off, I just want to thank for you taking the time to do this.

Yeah, no problem.

You guys were one of the first bands I started listening to back in the day that really got me into music, so this means a lot.

Thanks man. I appreciate that.

So you guys are co-headlining right now with Senses Fail. How’s that going so far?

It’s been going really good. It’s been a really fun tour. Probably one of the funner tours we’ve had in a while.

It seems like you guys are always constantly touring of some sort. What’s a typical day like for you out on the road?

A typical day I guess would be waking up at about… I like to try and wake up a little early. That way I kind of go exploring and stuff, you know? So for me, I’ll usually wake up around 11. Then I’ll kind of scope out the scene. See what’s going on. I’ll find like a coffee shop or something, which is not Starbucks… So if there’s a rad coffee shop or something, I like to go to that and just walk around and see if there’s anything cool. Then sound check at around three or four o’clock, and hang out by the venue and just wait for the show to start. Then get a couple glasses of wine, get me jazzed up, and then we play. So it’s mostly hanging out. It kind of gets boring and tedious most of the days, but I try and find stuff to do.

I heard about your little Warped Tour fiasco with getting pulled over. Have you had anything like that happen recently again?

No nothing, thank God. [Laughs] That shit sucked. You know what’s so sucky about it was that it was like they didn’t even — granted a couple guys had some stuff on the bus but nothing too crazy — and they totally blew it out of proportion. They brought the dogs in, brought us to the sheriff’s department, had our bus impounded and searched the whole bus. It was just a nightmare. The runner from the show in Indiana had to drive like an hour away to come pick us up in the runner van. We had to borrow equipment and stuff. Then seriously, in probably like 20 minutes it was on MTV News. So the whole thing was media bullcrap, so like the cops can get their names in some sort of thing. You know what I mean? They’re like, "Oh, band bust. Let’s try and milk it for whatever."

Now that you guys are a little bit older and some of you are even married, has it become harder to keep up the grueling pace?

As far as like…

As far as constant touring and stuff like that.

A little bit. I mean we still tour as much as we always have. Luckily now with iChat, cell phones, and visitation rights [Laughs] it helps out, you know?

The first From The Screen To Your Stereo came out back in 2000. Seven years later, what made you return for the sequel?

I guess the fans just saying, "When are you guys gonna put out a sequel? Are you guys ever gonna put out a sequel? You know the first one was so great. When are you gonna put out a sequel?" I think it was the fans asking us all the time. So I guess it was the demand for it. We had always talked about doing it but we never could because we were stuck on Geffen, and we weren’t allowed to do it. They didn’t want us doing it. So now what’s great about not being on a label right now, we’re able to do what we want. Drive-Thru said they would put it out, because they put out the first one, and I don’t know. That’s it.

Since it’s obviously all covers, what was the writing process like, and how did it differ from what you guys usually go through?

The writing process was a lot more laid back because the songs were pretty much done. All we had to do was make it our own style. We wanted to pick songs that could translate into the way that New Found Glory would write their own song. There were other songs that we tried to do that wouldn’t sound right and didn’t really work. I wanted to do "In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel, and just a few different things, but some songs just didn’t work or sound like we were going to sit down and write that song ourselves. It just didn’t sound right. So I don’t know, just a lot. The environment we were in was a little different. We were in Tyler, Texas, where Chad lives — our guitar player — in a little small studio in a little town. It was kind of cool. We went swimming in Chad’s house, and we all stayed at Chad’s house for most of it.

Did you guys produce it yourselves then?

Yeah, with the help of our friend Paul Miner.

I noticed there are quite a few guest appearances on the album as well. How did you go about selecting them and deciding which people would sing on which songs?

We would listen to the songs and be like that’d be a rad part for Adam [Lazzara of Taking Back Sunday] to sing on because I can totally picture his voice. Or like the Madonna song, it’d be really cool for Max [Bemis of Say Anything] to sing on because he’s a little bit crazy and the song’s called "Crazy For You." So his voice would fit perfect in that song. It was just bands and guys we’ve been friends with for a long time, and it’s guys that have — even though we’re close in age to a lot of these guys — they were fans of New Found Glory from a long time ago. They all have From The Screen To Your Stereo — the first one — and used to be fans and stuff and still are. It was really flattering because they wanted to be a part of it.

So are you happy with how Part II turned out in the end?

Yeah, I love it. I love the way it’s recorded and the song selection that we picked. I don’t know… I like it a lot. Better than the first one I think.

Now Coming Home is a little over a year old. I personally loved it and thought it was one of your best records, but it never really seemed to take off like your previous work did. Are you a little disappointed with how that all turned out?

No, I’m not at all. I think that that record came out when it was supposed to come out. We were at a point in our lives where… Those songs came out for a reason. So I’m not disappointed because it was a record that I think we needed to make to kind of show that as a band we’ve progressed. We can write songs that aren’t a sheen of vocals and like chugga-chugga the whole time. It’s funny because it’s an album that a lot of our old fans came back — got that record and kind of came back for — as opposed to like… I can’t explain it. It’s like the older fans that we have kind of disappeared for a while from going to shows and stuff, and it’s a lot of the younger kids now. When this album came out, you started seeing those older kids, those older fans, coming back to the shows as well.

It seemed like Geffen kind of dropped the ball with promoting it too. Are you disappointed with how the label handled it?

I guess to an extent. I mean any label you’re on, you’re going to have some sort of problem with. We were a little disappointed, but at the same time we’ve always been a self-sufficient band, so we can work through anything. For example, right now we just put out the cover songs CD on a one record thing with Drive-Thru. We’re not on a label. We don’t really have anything going on. I mean we’re talking to labels and stuff right now, but we’re playing all these shows and the majority of the tour has been sold out. So it’s like regardless of a label or not, we’re still able to tour, put out records and sell out shows — which is the important thing. And every record we’ve put out — Sticks And Stones, Catalyst, Coming Home — there’s always been a different freaking label president. So we’re always having to reintroduce our band to these people.

Are you guys leaning towards going back to an independent label or staying on a major?

I kind of still want to be on a major… It depends. We’re talking to independent labels. We’re talking to major labels. It really, to be honest, doesn’t matter to me. I just want a label that’s going to back our band 100%. There’s pros and cons to each thing. Some independent labels are sketchier than major labels. The good thing about having a major label is that instead of like 20 people working for your band, you have hundreds of people working for your band.

I also noticed over the last few records your voice has sounded stronger and more improved. Have you been doing anything differently?

Ummm… No. [Laughs] Just drinking wine. [Laughs] I don’t know. No, nothing really. I think just from touring for so long and being in a band for 10 years, I think that gives you a little more confidence.

Have you guys already started writing stuff for the new record?

Yeah, our guitar player Chad has been working on it. We have tons and tons of riffs and different parts, but there’s not really any kind of full songs yet. We work here and there a little bit during sound checks and stuff, but it’s not really like getting into it. At the end of January, we fly to England with Paramore and Bayside, and we’ll be in England and Europe for a month. Once we come back from that, that’s when we’re going to start writing and really focus on writing a new record.

Do you have any idea when it’s going to come out?

I have no idea. Hopefully by next year. You know, middle of next year.

It probably depends on the whole label thing as well.

Yeah, exactly. Well fuck, who knows? Maybe we’ll get someone to fund us for the recording and put it out ourselves. Who fucking knows?

Are you going to stick with the Coming Home kind of sound, or are you going to go back to the more upbeat stuff?

Well, it’s hard to say. We like to keep our fans on their toes. But I can tell you that the few riffs I’ve had are really kind of… I don’t know… It’s almost like a pop-punk snap kick or something. Just like the lead parts.... The little riffs here and there that I’ve been hearing.

I also read on absolutepunk last week that you guys are coming out with a new EP. What’s the deal with that?

Well, basically since we’re not on a label, we’re able to do whatever the hell we please. So there’s a record label called Bridge 9 Records. They’re a very influential hardcore, punk rock label from Boston. We’ve been talking to them about putting out a six song 7" and CD. The CD is going to have three original songs on it, kind of faster, punkier. Like the intro song on Catalyst — that kind of style. Then we’re going to have three cover songs of hardcore, like old 7" songs. Like Shelter, Gorilla Biscuits and probably one other song.

And when is that supposed to come out?

Well, we’re going to record it this next week, so hopefully pretty soon. And it’s only going to be sold at Newbury Comics, the Bridge 9 website, or you can get it from us when we’re on tour. It’s going to be like a limited kind of thing.

You guys have been together as a band for a decade now, right?

Yeah.

That’s pretty amazing. It seems like recently there’s been a lot of bands who have either been losing members or breaking up, yet you guys have managed to pretty much keep the same lineup throughout. What has allowed you to be so different?

I guess that we don’t take anything for granted. There’s no better job than what we do, so we don’t let the little things bother us — like if a show’s not sold out or if we don’t have the bus we wanted originally. We’re just very grateful for everything and we don’t expect things. I think that’s the problem with a lot of young new bands. They see all their favorite bands doing well for themselves and being successful. Then they start a band, they start getting popular and they want that same thing, but they go about it the wrong way. They think that because they have a million hits on MySpace that guarantees their shows to be sold out. Or they’re on Warped tour so they have to have a bus, but that’s not how it is. You have to do your grunt work, start from nothing and get to that point.

Going along with that, since you guys have been around for so long, you’ve become one of the veteran bands of the scene that a lot of up-and-comers look up to. How does that make you feel?

It’s definitely flattering. What’s funny is that a lot of the bands out now are the same age. [Laughs] So we’re still pretty young. We just got a head start because we started young. We started the band when I was like 17. So I don’t know… It’s just really cool.

After all these years, what keeps you guys going and inspires you to keep making music and progressing?

The love for playing music and creating something that kids can relate to. The love of writing music and playing for kids all around the world keeps us going. We’re always constantly thinking and always constantly observing. There’s a lot of things out in the world that are very influential on us as people, so we’ll always have something to sing about and something to talk about.

It also seems like you have a pretty dedicated fan base, and you guys really seem to appreciate that. I saw a video on youtube where people were throwing up signs, and you would sing "Happy Birthday" to them or whatever. Has that been a pretty big blessing as well?

Yeah. It’s always kind of funny when that happens because it’s kind of awkward. You can’t ignore someone who has a huge poster which says, "Sing ‘Happy Birthday’" or "Play this song." [Laughs] So it’s pretty funny. It keeps us on our toes for sure. Especially when it’s like, "Hey, play this song," which we haven’t played in like six years.

Out of everything you guys have recorded, what are you most proud of?

I would say Coming Home for sure. Since we went about writing it and the things that were going on at that time… I don’t know. It all seemed to make sense at the time.

It seemed like you guys addressed a little bit more issues than your typical love songs.

Yeah, for sure.

Okay, one last thing. If you could sum up New Found Glory in a single sentence, what would it be?

Ummm… Let’s see. In a single sentence, huh?

Yeah. Or like a phrase or whatever.

[Pause] Superheroes of hardcore let ‘em see you windmill when you’re on the dance floor. [Laughs] Superheroes of hardcore wanna see you spacedive onto the floor… I don’t know.

I could see that song making the new record.

Yeah, yeah. [Laughs]

Well, is there anything else you’d like to add?

I always say this but I just want to give a shout out to all our fans everywhere for still sticking with us for this long, and thank them for still coming to the shows and seeing the same songs. We’ll try and keep putting out good records for them.
Tags: New Found Glory, Jordan Pundik, Interview
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Relient K Interview - 11.14.07
11/24/07 at 12:54 AM by Jonathan Bautts
This is a phone interview I had the great opportunity to do with Relient K guitarist Matt Hoopes.

So how’s the co-headlining tour with Switchfoot going?

It’s been going great. We’re really good friends with the guys, and it’s been awesome to hang out with them.

I heard part of the proceeds are going to Habitat For Humanity.

Yeah. We kind of decided to work with them after playing a show with Switchfoot earlier in the summer. I had never had a lot of contact with the organization — I had never volunteered or been friends with anyone that did — but the more we helped out the organization, the more we respected it and thought it was something we wanted to get behind and promote.

Now you guys just released a new Christmas album last month too, right?

Yeah, it actually just came out. It’s called Let It Snow, Baby… Let It Reindeer.

And isn’t it kind of an expansion on your first Christmas album?

Our first Christmas album was never technically released as a stand alone thing, and they were just going to release it as is. We were like, “It’s not quite good enough to release as an album,” so we did 6-7 new songs.

You guys covered some pretty classic Christmas songs on there. How were you able to put your own spin on them?

Honestly, we just took a no rules attitude. On the first batch of songs, we mostly tried to keep it to the pop-punk rock side of things. So every song we’d make really fast, loud and maybe a little bit off for a Christmas song. On the newer ones that we did, we just had no rules. We were like, “Well, whatever.” “Sleigh Ride,” for example, has like a jazzy, ‘50s, dancy kind of feel to it. Other songs are slower, while other songs are rock but kind of crazy. We had no rules really. Let’s just have fun with it.

I’ve noticed the band also has a pretty unique sense of humor and personalities. Were you always like that?

I like to think that all the guys in our band are pretty hilarious people, kind of all in their own way. I think we kind of have a brand of humor, and I think it comes out in different ways. Our first few records, we did a lot of really funny lyrics — kind of silly-ish songs. I think the humor tends to come out in different ways now as we get older. But we still don’t take ourselves seriously and just try to have a fun time on the road.

On a more serious note, you guys lost your tour bus to a fire over the summer. Did your optimistic attitudes help you get through that?

It is kind of a bummer to lose your computer and your clothes — it’s just a hassle to have to deal with. I lost my wallet and had to go get new credit cards and a new license. We’re on the road, so it’s hard to deal with all that stuff. But honestly when you think about it in the grand scheme of things — no one was hurt and there was nothing lost that was irreplaceable — it was just an inconvenience at worst. When we look back on it now, it seems kind of trivial, but at the time, it was slightly frustrating.

Five Score And Seven Years Ago was your fifth album, and it debuted at #6 on the Billboard charts back in March. Having grown up in Ohio, did you ever expect something like that would happen?

Oh, never. When we were a band starting out in Ohio, I don’t think any of us thought that we’d go past high school — we were all planning on going to college. Then we got a record deal right before we went to college, so we’re like let’s try it out and make a record. Hopefully try to tour for a year, have fun, and then we can get all up in alarms. So we made our first record, and then we made a second record and then a third, and it kept going. We felt like we were getting better as a band and still having fun making music that we thought was interesting. People seem to like it for the most part, so we’re going to keep doing it as long as people keep coming to the shows.

You also worked with big-time producer Howard Benson on the record. Are you happy with how everything turned out?

Yeah, it was a cool experience. We had only ever worked with Mark Townsend, who’s my father-in-law, who’s done all our records and is actually a great producer. Working with Howard, we realized a lot of stuff isn’t as different as you might think from what we were used to. It was a good experience, and it was cool to work with people on that caliber that have worked on huge records and stuff like that. So it was a good experience overall.

I noticed this record is a little bit poppier than the last one. Did Howard have something to do with that?

I think that’s just where we were at at the time. Howard’s main input was song structure. Making sure all the songs are palpable — you can understand where things are going — and there’s not as many crazy transitions, key changes and all that sort of business. I think it helped push us a little bit further in that direction, but honestly that’s where the problems were at. That’s how it would have turned out with whoever would have produced it.

You have already released two videos from the album. Are there any plans for another one?

Not right now. We have the Christmas record right now, so we’ll just wait and see where that goes into the new year — keep doing what we’re doing and see what happens. I don’t know if they’ll be another video or single off this record. It depends on whether we’ll go into the studio now or keep touring on this record.

The last song on the record is an 11-minute song entitled “Deathbed,” which not only features a wide array of instruments but also tells a very powerful story through the lyrics. What was the inspiration behind the song?

It kind of portrays this idea of what grace is — this idea of forgiveness and entering heaven that’s not something earned by doing everything right your whole life, as far as what we believe. It’s just an interesting way of portraying that in that it’s not like a preachy, sermony kind of thing. It’s more like this is real life, and a picture of how we believe it can happen. It’s not a transient, all encompassing thing for sure. As far as music, it kept going on and on, adding verses, ideas, instrumentation and whatnot. It was a fun song to do, and I think it’s the best song we’ve ever done as far as a group.

Jon from Switchfoot also sings on the song. Have you been performing it on the tour at all?

No. We actually had talked about that, but it just came down to performing an 11-minute song means that we can’t do 3-4 other songs. [Laughs] So we decided to be able to play more songs. Also, pulling off the instrumentation might be a little bit tricky. We thought it might be better served for when we’re doing a headlining tour on our own when we don’t have a time limit, and can fill the stage with random useless instruments and have people help us play it. But yeah, it does seem like it would work out well when we are on tour with Switchfoot. [Laughs] It just didn’t come together before the tour started.

Last month, Dave announced he would be leaving the band at the end of the tour. Did that come as a bit of a surprise?

Honestly, no. He’s been talking about doing his own project, and we’ve just been able to talk him out of it until now. [Laughs] We’re all on really good terms with him, and we’re all just trying to enjoy our last tour together and have a fun time hanging out with each other. Dave’s going to pursue his own musical project with his wife, and we all wish him the best with that and hope that he does well.

The band has also seen a couple of other members come and go throughout its existence. Has it been hard to readjust and keep on going?

Yeah, in a way. I still talk to Brain, our old bass player, and I definitely miss him. We’re still friends and we still hang out when I’m at home — it’s that sort of thing. In a way, it brings a new light to the band. We’re very careful to bring someone on who would be an uplifting person to be around, and someone that would bring the whole group up as a band. We brought someone on who was a really good friend and a solid person. I think in a way it’s just a growing process. It’s the same with the drummer. We’re hoping to try out friends first, and I really hope that one of them works out. It’d be cool to bring someone on who we already know their character really well.

You guys are frequently labeled as a Christian band, and it seems that you’re always having to answer that whole Christian music question. Does that ever grow old?

Honestly, no. I understand there is a Christian industry, Christian bookstores and people who are concerned with whether music is Christian or labeled Christian or not. I understand that, and I’m not angry about it. We choose not to label music in that way, and we’re people who don’t think it’s that important what the label is on the music. It’s more of a non issue to us than an issue of contempt — it’s not like we have anger towards it. We just explain that we write songs about our lives and things we experience, and as Christians that’s definitely a part of our life experience. It’s really whatever you want to call us. We’re not angry if someone calls us a Christian band, but we probably wouldn’t introduce ourselves as a Christian band. That’s my philosophy on the whole thing.

You kind of just want to let the music to speak for itself.

Yeah. I mean Christian music as you define it is a little bit odd in the fact that it’s the only kind of music that’s defined by lyrical content rather than musical content. I think when you bring that up to someone when you say you’re a Christian band, it automatically puts connotations in people’s heads — whether it’s good or bad and whether they’re a Christian or a non Christian. It puts a certain idea of what the music is, and we try to avoid that connotation.

Outside of yourselves and Switchfoot, lately it seems there’s been an influx of bands into the mainstream who are Christians but don’t fall under the Christian label. Have you witnessed any reason for this at all?

I don’t know. We feel like we have our philosophy, and I think that as Christians we believe that there are different Christians called to different things. Some are called to be pastors and teachers, some are called to be lawyers, doctors and park rangers. We feel like this is our place as far as Christianity goes, and we’re secure in that. I don’t really know if there’s a reason for a large group of bands feeling the same way or not, so I can’t really speak to that.

You guys are going to be celebrating your 10th anniversary next year, right?

Lets see… Yeah, I guess so. [Laughs] That’s kind of funny. I didn’t even think about that.

That’s a pretty phenomenal accomplishment in and of itself.

Yeah. We feel lucky to do this as long as we have. It’s almost funny because you think of the band starting in 2000 when our first record came out, but we had actually started at the end of ’98. It’s pretty crazy to think about where we were then and where we are now.

After having released all those records and having been around for that long, what do you think is the next step for the band?

Honestly, I don’t know. We’ve always just kind of taken life as it comes and taken the opportunities that are there. We’re honestly just thankful for the opportunities that we’ve had and don’t expect there to be any more necessarily. [Laughs] We have fun with what we’re given — have fun touring and making records. We don’t really have a set plan, like a project or goal or anything like that — just living life as it comes.

Do you have anything else you’d like to add?

Just to say that we’re thankful for the fans that have appreciated our music, and thankful that we’ve been able to do what we’ve done so far. It’s a blessing to us personally.
Tags: Relient K, Matt Hoopes, Five Score And Seven Years Ago, Interview
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Thrice Interview - 11.07.07
11/11/07 at 08:09 PM by Jonathan Bautts
This is a phone interview I had the great privilege of conducting with Thrice guitarist Teppei Teranishi. It’s part of an article I’m writing on the band for Biola’s newspaper, which should be coming out later this month.

You guys just released the first half of your album a couple weeks ago, The Alchemy Index, and each disc is centered around one of the four natural elements. How did you guys arrive at that pretty abstract concept?

I guess originally it was Dustin, our singer’s, idea. He kind of came up with it just randomly, and when he brought it up to us a while ago, we just kind of thought it’d make a good record. At first, we were a little apprehensive, we just weren’t sure if we could pull it off... Just trying to figure out ways to do it. If we did it, we wanted to do it right. So we just kind of talked about it for a while.

At first, we actually decided to do it as almost like a Thrice side project… It still would have been a Thrice release. It wasn’t going to be like a traditional record, it was going to be a little more indie. Kind of experimental stuff… Less song based. And the more we wrote for it, the more we started to realize we were actually making some pretty cool stuff. I guess along the way we decided to make the record what it is.

How did you go about creating each disc’s unique sound, and was it hard to get the different styles to feel right?

Yeah, definitely. I guess we sat down first and discussed what we thought each element sounded like to us, and plotted out a basic outline. For Earth, mostly acoustic instruments... The kind of instruments and sounds which felt earthy to us, or airy or watery or whatever. Then we started to come up with ideas which felt like… Okay this idea feels like it could work for Water or this idea could work for Fire.

Then in the recording, we tried to record every element pretty different. With the Water stuff, we used a lot of reverb and subtle modulation to make it seem a little more underwater. A little more muted tone, electronic drums… Stuff like that. Fire obviously is all pretty heavy and guitar based.

Like I was saying with Earth and Air, which are coming out next year, Earth is all stripped… I guess just getting a lot of acoustic instruments, like acoustic piano, upright bass, acoustic guitar, even horn. Air is kind of the most in the middle of all the elements. I think there’s some stuff on there a little stripped. There’s stuff on there that’s electronic. There’s stuff on there that’s traditional band, like guitar, bass, drums… I guess everything all just ties together with all the songs on there.

Just kind of a combination of all of them.

Yeah, that makes sense. [Laughs.]

You guys decided to produce this yourselves and were essentially just working at your own pace. How did this come about to affect the creative process?

I thought it was really cool. We pretty much ended up doing everything that had to do with this record ourselves… Even the artwork Dustin did. I think it just gives you kind of the ultimate creative control… You know what I mean? We were in control of everything about this record, and it was fun. It was nice. It was challenging, but it was a good experience.

You were the main producer right?

Yeah, I engineered the record and was in charge of basically recording it.

Did you find it difficult to handle both that producing aspect and the writing stuff?

Yeah, definitely. It’s hard because you have to have your head in two different places at the same time. While I’m worrying about writing stuff and doing songs, I’m also worried about how to record it, get it on tape and get it to sound good. It’s definitely challenging, but it’s also fun. I really enjoy recording, and it’s something I want to keep doing. So I definitely enjoyed it.

You produced Please Come Home (Dustin’s solo record) too right?

Yeah, yeah.

So this is something you can see yourself getting more into in the future?

Yeah, definitely. I like it a lot. It’s fun.

The Alchemy Index was originally the title for your guys’ website while you were writing the album. Was it always the plan for it to be the final title?

Yeah, pretty much. I think by the time we ended up making that journal page, we were pretty sure that was going to be the title. But it wasn’t 100% set in stone.

The whole project is split up over two releases. Was this your decision or the label’s?

It was our decision. I guess ironically we felt like the best way to let people grasp the whole breadth of the project was to split it up into two pieces. It’s 24 songs to give people all at once, especially something that’s pretty heavily conceptualized like this record, and we thought it would be a little too much. We wanted people to take their time with each record and really grasp each one, and we thought the best way to do that was to split it up in two releases.

One of the things I most admire about your band is how you support a number of charities and different causes. You donate a portion of the proceeds from each record to a different organization, and the one for Fire & Water is Blood: Water Mission. What are they all about, and what made you pick them?

They’re an organization that raises money to go to Africa to go build wells in communities. Clean water is something that I think we all take for granted, especially being in a rich nation, but children and a lot of people in this world don’t have it. It’s something that’s very important for health and survival, and we thought it was a pretty cool cause.

We like the way they do things. They go into communities and instead of just erecting a big building and kind of westernizing the society, they try to integrate themselves into the community… They help do sustainable wells that will be dug by the people and run by the people. They also collect clean blood for blood transfusions and whatnot.

Having been blessed with your musical success and the fan base and influence that comes along with that, do you feel somewhat responsible to get involved with things like this?

I don’t think it has to do with being in a band or anything like that. It’s just something that I think we’d be doing even if we weren’t in a band, or in some other type of public place. It’s just something we want to do, and I think it’s a personal decision… I think the reason why we even mention more or less isn’t to tell people, "Hey, look what we’re doing." It’s more or less to just bring awareness to the causes we think are worth supporting.

How’s the new tour going? Is the new stuff getting a good reaction?

Yeah, it’s been awesome. It’s been a lot of fun, and the shows have been cool. All the bands on the tour are super rad, and all the people on the tour are super rad. So we’re having a really good time.

After the tour’s finished, what’s next? Are you going to be doing a headlining tour any time soon?

We’re trying to figure that out. I think the rough plan is to release the next record sometime in the spring, and then do a headlining tour after we release the record.

The whole Radiohead thing from last month got a lot of people talking about the future of the music industry and the role of major labels. Now that you’re back on an indie, where do you think music is heading, and how do you see Thrice fitting into that spectrum?

I don’t know. It’s hard to tell. When we signed to Vagrant we actually signed for only the two Alchemy Index releases, and then we’re free agents after that. So it’s literally up in the air for us. We’re not really sure what we’re going to do. We’ll see… I guess the music industry is at an interesting point right now.

Can you see the band releasing something yourselves without a label?

Yeah, I think that’s definitely something that at least we’re considering in the future.
Tags: Thrice, Teppei Teranishi, Alchemy Index, Interview
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Last Updated: 03/15/14 (129,960 Views)
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