In the beginning, Thrice was a post-hardcore band with some metal influences. They found huge success with this sound, but they were never a band satisfied with staying in one place. Today, the band is an ambitious rock band focused on creating wonderful textures and sky-high crescendos, and they’ve never sounded better. Currently, they are headlining a tour with La Dispute, Moving Mountains, and O’Brother, and I sat down with guitarist Teppei Teranishi to get the insider’s perspective on things. Check it out:
Tanner Fisher: So how has this tour been so far?
TT: It’s been good man. We right in the middle of it, and at this point, everyone gets mid-tour blues where everyone gets real sloppy and lethargic. Other than that, it’s been good. I think we’re going to pull out of this mid-tour blues in the next couple of shows, then we’ll be good.
TF: It’s pretty cool that you’re taking some of these younger up-and-coming acts out on the road with you, giving them some huge exposure. Would you like to speak about that?
TT: Yeah, I mean we’re really happy about the lineup. All of the guys in the bands are great people, and they’re all great musically as well. We’re really happy with the lineup and there’s good comradery on this tour.
TF: I like what La Dispute are doing…you know, because they’re one of the leaders of this whole 90s scream revival thing. What do you have to say about what they’re doing?
TT: Yeah I definitely think that they had an interesting little niche going on. Like you were saying, they’re pulling a lot of influence early 90s scream…very 90s D.C. influence, and yeah it’s interesting that they’re going that route, especially that they’re all younger dudes.
TF: So how the reception been to your new material?
TT: It’s been really good. I try to pay too much attention to what people are saying online, but everything that I’ve seen has been really positive, and I think that this record is the most…easily accepted record that we’ve done in a while. But yeah, the shows have been fun, and the kids have been really responsive to the new material, so that’s great as well.
TF: Speaking of the new material, let’s talk about the new record Major/Minor for a second. What were you trying to accomplish with this record? With you guys, every record is different, so what was the goal for this one?
TT: I mean, we never really have an agenda; I know everything that we’ve done is all pretty different, but at the root of it, it’s just getting together and writing what comes natural and what is just happening at that moment.
TF: But since you guys change your style a little with every record, do you ever feel worried that your audience might like the direction the you’ve gone in?
TT: I feel like at this point, the people that are listening to us still, most of them have gone through this journey with us, and I think they understand what our band is about and they are, for the most part, along for the ride. It’s not really a fear of ours.
TF: Was the writing for this record any different from what you’ve done in the past?
TT: Not really; basically, we all write on our own…like we are right now. While on the bus, I might pick up this acoustic guitar and just start noodling around and come up with something cool. We’ve made it a habit of just recording on the spot so we don’t forget it. In this day and age where you can pick up an iPhone and record what you’ve done, it make it easy. Everyone has their little clips and files of stuff that we’ve accumulated over time, so everyone brings all their little ideas and brings them together. Most of the time, it’s just someone coming up with a cool melody or a cool part and we’ll just track it real quick. At the beginning of every writing cycle, we will all get together and listen to everyone’s ideas just go from there.
TF: So what is the true meaning behind the name Major/Minor, besides referencing literally major and minor chords?
TT: Well there’s obviously the major and minor chord thing…the title actually came from the first track, “Yellow Belly”. “Major/Minor” was a working title for the song, and it was named that because of the root key of the song, I guess. It just kept switching between B major to B minor, and that was kind of an unintentional theme that developed during the writing of this record, which I think gives it a pretty unique sound, at least a part from our other stuff. So we felt that the name Major/Minor fit musically, but it also fit metaphorically as well, because we’ve a pretty crazy couple of years from doing Beggars to this album…a lot of family illnesses and things like that. We’ve had a pretty rough patch, so we were talking about it and there are of these crazy things that happen in your life and need to sort out what’s really important in life and what’s superfluous. You know, you need to figure out what’s major, and what’s minor in life. There’s also this juxtaposition of some really horrible things happening, but at the same time, there’s some really great things happening in our lives as well. So there that whole polar opposite thing of major and minor.
TF: That’s really cool. As a band, the four of you have stayed together as a core four-piece…What’s your secret?
TT: I don’t know. I think at the core of it, we’re doing this because we like doing it. I don’t think we’ve taken any of it for granted, and we understand that we’re very lucky and very blessed to be doing what we do, so I think that keeps us pretty grounded. I just think that we’re all really mellow personalities, so there aren’t any big egos or big personalities in the band.
TF: So what’s next for the band after this?
TT: Well, we’re just going to take the rest of the year off and spend the holidays back home. After that, there is a spring tour in the works, and I’m not sure what’s next after that.
TF: Awesome. That’s all I have, and it was great talking to you.