Despite performing the last show of their farewell tour June 17, 2012, the members of American post-hardcore band Thrice just couldn’t stay away from each other and dropped their ninth studio album, To Be Everywhere Is to Be Nowhere, May 27 earlier this year. We caught up with lead singer and guitarist Dustin Kensrue to see how the reunion and new albums has been treating the rockers.
After being on hiatus for a few years, how did it feel to come back together and make a new album?
Dustin Kensrue: It felt really great. I missed playing with the guys a lot. Having played together for that long, there is nothing quite like the musical rapport that we have between the four of us.
After the farewell tour, what prompted you to make a new record?
DK: For me I had been thinking about it for a little while and finally seemed to be in a spot where I had time to reengage at a full time capacity and my kids were not quite so little.
What does the album’s title mean?
DK: It’s a quote from a Greek Philosopher named Seneca the younger. While it was applicable to Seneca and his protege a couple thousand years ago, it seems to really speak strongly into the current milieu of social media and technological oversaturation. It is basically a warning against spreading yourself too thin. For me it’s a reminder to present where I am with whomever I’m there with.
Any story or concept you’re trying to convey with the new record?
DK: No, though some seem convinced that there is a secret concept record in there. Who knows? Sometimes I don’t see the patterns till much later.
Do you think the album is accessible to new listeners or was it meant more for longtime Thrice fans?
DK: I think it really speaks to both groups. It’s been very well received by our longtime fans but has also caught the ear of many new listeners.
What do you think makes To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere different from your previous albums?
DK: In my opinion, it’s some of our strongest songwriting, as well as being extremely cohesive as an album, probably more so than any other record we’ve made.
The first song, “Hurricane,” has a guitar riff in it that is later done on piano in the album’s final track, “Salt and Shadow.” Where did the idea come from to start and end with same music?
DK: Teppei was messing around on the piano in the studio one day, noodling around and figuring out how to play that riff on piano. There was talk of having it intro the song, but I think the guitar worked better for that task.
We’ve always been a fan of the album format and enjoy playing around with it.
If you had to pick one track to represent the entire album, what would it be?
DK: “Hurricane” probably? I think it captures the beauty as well as the heaviness of the rest of the record.
How do you all feel about the upcoming tour?
DK: We are really excited to get back out there. Especially now that we’ve decided to break our tours into more manageable chunks, 3 weeks at most, it’s a lot more appealing. All the fun of playing live music with your friends without the interminable drag of 7 to 8 weeks on the road away from family.
Dustin, in your latest solo album, Thoughts That Float on a Different Blood, why did you cover the songs you covered? “Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus, “Creep” by Radiohead and “Dance me to the End of Love” by Leonard Cohen to name a few.
DK: “Wrecking Ball”: I like to cover songs that are unexpected, especially pop songs, and strip away the varnish to reveal what’s underneath. Many times there are beautiful and heartbreaking songs buried in a bunch of layers of pop production. The original tune is fun, but you don’t get the same emotion from it.
“Creep”: It’s got great dynamics and it’s one that I’ve been playing since I messed around busking in high school.
“Dance Me To End of Love”: Leonard Cohen is one of the best lyricists of all time, and that song is a great example of it.
What’s one thing or person you think the world would be better off without?
DK: Flies, though I know they are necessary. I could do without them personally though.
If you could tour with any band, living or dead, whom would it be?
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Check out Thrice’s tour schedule here.