Thrice Talk Touring, Technology Ahead of Festival Pier Show

Featured image courtesy of Jonathan Weiner

After a 2012 “farewell” tour and a hiatus that, thankfully, didn’t last too long, hardcore legends Thrice have been busy touring and promoting their comeback album, 2016’s To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere. The four-piece is in the midst of a tour with fellow alt-rock staples Rise Against and Deftones, all of whom will be making a stop at Festival Pier this Saturday, June 17 (resale tickets available on Ticketmaster here).

Drummer Riley Breckenridge spoke with Rock On Philly in anticipation for the show, speaking about post-hiatus touring, the impact of social media and technology on the band, and Thrice’s favorite Philly hangouts.

Rock On Philly: How does it feel to be back on the road? Have you noticed a lot of new fans at shows or is it mostly old fans that have stuck with you through the years?

Riley Breckenridge: It’s been great. It’s been a little combination of both. We’re very thankful that people stuck by us even though we took a hiatus but there’s also been a surprising number of new people getting into the band.  A lot of interaction on social media or even just talking to people after shows where they’re like “I’ve never heard of you guys before” and we’re like “Where have you been, we’ve been doing this for 20 years!” [laughs] but it’s been great. I can’t put my finger on why we’re reaching new people right now; I don’t know if it’s because the record’s a little bit more accessible or if the label’s doing a better job with promotion. Maybe it’s because of Spotify and Apple Music making it easier to find bands… its really cool. The response we’ve had especially for the new material in a live setting has been really awesome and surprising in a way but it’s been really cool and encouraging.

ROP: I’ve interviewed a few other bands who came off of long hiatuses around the same time Thrice did and the issue of social media always seems to come up. How did the growth and changes of social media affect you guys when you came back?

RB: Oh my God yeah. Out of all the band members I think I have the most social media presence but I’m still not at the level of these younger bands. I was just talking about it in an interview at this festival we were at last week and it’s like you see a guy from so-and-so band and he’s got a hundred and fifty thousand followers and he’s posting like fifteen times a day and he’s doing live videos and it’s just…i don’t know if it’s because we’re old [laughs] but it’s a huge responsibility and it’s not something any of us are super comfortable with, being very accessible. It’s important for us to keep a certain level of privacy but it’s also important to use [social media] as a marketing tool. I think we’re trying to figure it out. Like I don’t know how to use Snapchat, shame on me! I tried to make one for the band when we were recording and I was like, “I don’t know how any of this works, I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing!” We are making a concerted effort to be a little bit more active on Twitter and Instagram, but that being said we’re miles behind most bands in creating social content though we’re working on it. Ultimately music is the most important but we can do a better job if we’re engaging people with social content.

ROP: Speaking of technology, I found that you guys recorded To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere using business software like Asana and Dropbox to share ideas. Did you find that more beneficial than the average studio collaboration?

RB: Insanely valuable for us, The ability to share music ideas through something like Dropbox or using a program like Logic to map out songs virtually before we have time to work on them in the same room was a necessity for this record. Teppei [Teranishi] and Dustin [Kensrue] were living up in the Pacific Northwest and Ed [Breckenridge] and I were back down in Southern California so that was the easiest way for us to start building songs from the ground up without us being in the same room. Asana has helped us communicate and get organized. In the past when we were talking about song ideas or band business or whatever other band related stuff we would just have a ton of random emails that would get buried in our inbox- Asana is organized by topic and the entire thread is archived so if there’s something that you missed down the line you can go back and get it and it doesn’t get buried…people don’t respond to the wrong emails anymore which would happen a lot. Technology’s been great for us.

ROP: You guys have been touring for decades now. Are there any places you like to regularly hit up in Philly?

RB: You’re gonna have to help me with names. There’s a fried chicken and donut spot…

ROP: Federal Donuts!

RB: Yes! Federal Donuts. Had that once and it blew my mind- I’ve been trying to get back there. My friend is a baseball writer for ESPN and he took me to a sandwich spot that made the most amazing roast pork sandwich…that’s not helping anybody saying I had a good roast pork sandwich, but for years and years we always said “Yeah we’ll go to Pat’s or Ishkabibble’s and get a cheesesteak” but once my friend took me to that sandwich spot I decided to skip the cheesesteak after that. We also used to go to Tattooed Mom all the time but we haven’t been there in a while.

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