3hree Things: Shameless Horn-Tooting By Yours Truly

Watch out for 3hree Things every Tuesday, where Riley Breckenridge, drummer of Orange County's favorite local alt-rock band Thrice, gives his take on life in Southern California as an OC native.

I'd like to apologize for two things. First, I am currently unable to regale you with stories of pooping myself on New Year's Day, dissecting popular music for your amusement, or forcing myself to eat something that makes me feel like death just so I can find new ways to describe the sounds my bowels make. It's been a busy week. Second, I hope you're OK with a tiny bit of shameless self-promotion, because that's what you're about to get.

My band, Thrice, has a new record called Major/Minor that is out today. (You can also read our cover story this week on Thrice if you haven't yet–Ed.)

I'm not usually one to toot my own horn, but HOOOOOOONNNNNK. I think it's pretty great. (Bows, and shuffles quickly behind the curtain, fully aware that I have no ability to be objective about things I've put so much time and effort into.)

So, in lieu of your regularly scheduled 3hree Things, I thought I'd share three of my favorite tracks from the record (although my favorites from this record are constantly changing), with the liner notes that I wrote about each of them for the “exclusive” vinyl LP insert. I hope you enjoy what you hear.

Bear with me. Or got somewhere else. The internet's a huge place.


1) Call It In The Air

This song stayed fairly true to the arrangement that we came up with in our fall writing sessions. And when we reconvened after the end-of-the-year break and the passing of my dad, the story that the song had been telling (instrumentally) really took on new meaning to me.

It starts out feeling so hypnotic and delicate, which (put very simply) is what life felt like during the initial stages of my Dad's battle with cancer. I felt so mesmerized by fear, and so overwhelmed by helplessness, but so aware of the gravity and delicacy of the situation.

The turn that the song takes after the first chorus in to a much darker more aggressive tone really represents the darkness and heaviness I felt while I watched that horrible disease take everything away from him. And the percussive, cathartic ending does a pretty good job of capturing some of the rage I felt when I lost him.

2) Blur

It felt like it'd been a while since we wrote a song as uptempo as this one, and it felt damn good to do it again. It took a long time and a good amount of rewrites, revisions, tempo changes and time signature tweaks to get it to a place we were all happy with, but I'm glad we stuck with it and saw it through. It's one of my favorite tracks on the record because it juxtaposes some of the more aggressive stuff we've done in a while with some really jazz-influenced chords in the verses. 

Lyrically, this song speaks to me the most, because it deals with a sensation I was trying to capture in photos right around the time my Dad went into hospice care. I was taking a bunch of slow shutter photos and when I shared them with the rest of the guys I wrote:

“I like them (the photos) because they signify a feeling that I've been having a lot over the past year and a half, with so many life-changing events happening so randomly, so seemingly stacked on top of each other, so overwhelming and impossible to comprehend. With so many whys and what nexts and how comes, at times it feels like the speed and instability of things (as of late) makes it difficult to focus on an individual moment. That's what these pics feel like to me…an attempt to focus on a moment, but only being able to grab bits and pieces of it before it passes you by or pulls you in another direction.”

That was life for me at the time, and I think Dustin did an great job of capturing that in the lyrics for this song.

3) Words In The Water

This is a track that took an awful lot of honing to get it to where it ended up, not necessarily in how it was structured, but in the feel of the verses, push and pull of the dynamics, and the key of the song.

The song spawned from an idea of Ed's that was much more atmospheric and mellow than what you hear on the record, but as has been the case with a lot of our music over the years, songs usually end up turning out best when they've strayed a bit from their original demo and become a collective effort.

It's always a challenge to give up control of an idea you bring to the table, but a lot of what has made us the band that we are, is realizing that we are (at our best) a just a sum of our parts and individual influences.


Thanks for reading and listening. (If you got this far.)

If you're interested, you can purchase the record on…



I hope you like it.

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