*This article was altered on March 9, 2011.
Looks like it's that time of year again—you know, when we indulge in the clichés of hair metal and attend MusInk, the annual music and tattoo (and alcohol!) festival. Think of it as a Vans Warped Tour for grownups. This year, Thrice headlines the festival's second date alongside Circa Survive. With a new record in the works, drummer and occasional OC Weekly blogger Riley Breckenridge shares his insight on Thrice's new sound and the ups and downs of life on the road.
OC Weekly: Do you have any cool tattoos?
Thrice play MusInk Tattoo Convention and Music Festival at the Orange County Fairgrounds, 88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa; www.musink.org. March 4-6. Visit website for times. $25-$50.
Riley Breckenridge: I don't know if I would qualify any of my tattoos as cool, but I do have tattoos. I have some that have special meaning for my girlfriend and me. I have some paying tribute to some friends that I lost in a car accident when I was 19. . . . It's a Radiohead tattoo that are lyrics from a song . . . the bear from Kid A . . . some lyrics from "How to Disappear Completely." And then some of them are just little things I got here and there along the way.
What's the difference between playing a festival and a concert? Are the crowds different?
This crowd for MusInk, I think, is gonna be a lot of people who probably have no idea who we are. Hopefully, there will be some of our fans there, but it's an opportunity for us to play in front of people who might not be familiar with the band.
Is playing in OC it any different from performing anywhere else?
Yeah, obviously there's that level of comfort there because you're not in some strange city in the middle of nowhere. You're not traveling; you're not away from family and friends. But there's also a level of discomfort. . . . Hometown crowds are always a little more critical because they might have seen you play 10 or 15 or 20 times or something, so [making] a little mistake or misstep or if the show is not up to par to a show they saw back in 2004 or something, they might let you know about it.
What is it like being in a band with Eddie? Do you think that being brothers makes things easier when making music, or is it like a "Gallagher brothers" situation?
No, it's amazing. It's something that I'm super-grateful for; it has brought us closer together. I always used to hear horror stories like "a) don't start a band with your friends, and b) don't start a band with family." But Ed and I get along really well; we have very similar but different taste in music. I think we understand each other creatively, and we both push each other to improve at our instruments and [be better songwriters]—and just having him around when we're out on the road, having a piece of family there with you outside of your band family is awesome.
We heard you guys are releasing a new album. How would you describe the sound you are aiming for in this next release?
I think it's kind of a logical progression from where Beggars was. I think it's more rock oriented; there's a lot of '90s influences creeping in, like Fugazi-ish stuff, heavy, groove-oriented.
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Can we get a little exclusive as to how it's shaping up or an approximate release date?
We don't have a release date yet, but I'm pretty sure that the plan right now is . . . doing a couple of shows on the East Coast at the end of April, and then we're gonna come back home and start recording. Hopefully, the recording process will only take about a month or so, and then we're going to try to have the record out probably by late summer, early fall.
This column appeared in print as "Think Ink."