Thursday Common Existence
Published Feb 18, 2009Remember the Deftones? They weren't a nu-metal band but they were a little weird and a little heavy and put out records at the same time as Korn and Limp Bizkit. They ended up touring with shitty bands and getting lumped into a maligned genre that limited their audience because people thought they sucked. They didn't. Thursday are the Deftones of nu-emo, a band that made some questionable business decisions in the early stages of their career and can't shake the image of straightened hair and 13-year olds from the minds of people who would probably lose their shit over a record as good as Common Existence. A brash attack of creative post-hardcore that recalls At the Drive-in's more aggressive material, songs like "Unintended Long Term Effects" thunder forward through inventive rhythmic patterns and discordant guitars that sound like Jawbox being played double-time. The band's recent split with Japanese hardcore legends Envy has obviously influenced some of the sounds here, with a more angular attack mixing with sweeping, melodic instrumental passages on songs like "Circuits of Fever." Forget what you think this band sound like and check out this record.
You guys have been victims of this weird genre scramble where you were tagged with the new-wave emo thing, then for a while you were labelled screamo and now people have accepted you as a post-hardcore band.
Drummer Tucker Rule: I used to care and now I don't care too much. Post-hardcore is fine. Punk band is fine. Rock band is fine. I can't pay attention anymore. Everyone wants to pigeonhole every band in the world. It's very irritating but I guess it's a necessary evil.
Is it something you worry has limited your audience?
It is a little frustrating. I think the fact that we're synonymous with screamo might give people that are over that whole genre the wrong idea of what we actually sound like and who we actually are as a band. It can be really frustrating but we try not to think about it too much. We're proud of what we do and we're happy with what we do, so I don't care what you call it.
I thought you guys putting out a split with Envy was perfect, because I can't think of a better band for you to be aligned with. Was there anything you guys learned from doing that split that carried over into Common Existence?
The whole record was written after that split with Envy. We've always wanted to work with Envy in some way, in some form, to bring them on tour or go tour with them in Japan. After we wrote all the songs for the split, I think that sparked some of the ideas for Common Existence.
In what way?
I think we had never thought of doing an instrumental and having it be nice and grand. That was something we were really proud of. Just hearing it and being like, "Oh, shit" made us want to write better.
The new record is tied together lyrically and I'm wondering if those themes are developed collectively.
Usually those are Geoff's [Rickly, vocalist] ideas, which he'll develop and present to us.
So you guys practice in a warehouse where you built a jam space?
We built sound walls and everything. We were in that space for about a year. We currently have no practice space. Another company came by and offered the landlord double the money we were paying.
Did rehearsing in that space influence the way the record came out?
I don't think so. We made it nice and comfy. But maybe it did a little bit. I think anywhere we wrote the record we would have written the same record.
What about recording with David Fridmann again? Was there anything different this time out?
Not really. We were just more familiar with the way he worked and he was more familiar with the way we work. We got in there and had fun. Making this record was a whole lot more fun than the last record, just because the songs came along much more quickly.
It's hard to listen to this record and imagine the people making it having a great time. It's pretty dark and intense.
It can be very tedious. But Dave's always down for a good time.
His studio being in a cabin off in the woods sounds like a pretty sweet way to be removed from distractions while you're recording.
It is. Sometimes it's a little too removed and you go a little stir crazy. We were fortunate to have really great weather while we were there, unlike when we recorded A City By The Light Divided and there was three or four feet of snow on the ground. We could go outside and play badminton and Frisbee. We got to do some outdoor activities, which kept us saner.
Is that where those badminton promo photos came from?
[Laughs] Yeah. We had to get something together really quickly and we figured why not do it badminton style? That's what we're doing.
Has badminton always been a passion for Thursday or is that a recent development?
It's a recent development. When we recorded A City By The Light Divided, it was ping-pong. Somehow we always end up writing records with some sort of racquet sport influencing us.
Do you look forward to that being the next genre you guys are tagged with, like badminton-core?
I think we could get down with some racquet-core.
Yeah, put some tuning pegs on the end of the racquet, see if we can mic it up and make some sounds. (Epitaph)