Silent Uproar: With the new album you seem to have kinda pulled away from songs crammed full of guitar riffs and chaos in favor of the more structured song. However, many argue that what made The Illusion of safety so good was that chaos and brutality in the songs. What is your take on this?
Teppei: I do agree with that statement, but I think we just wanted to try something different. We kinda did the whole crazy guitar riff linear song structure stuff for two records now and we could have done that ever again but we just wanted to try something different. I think that the new songs are a lot more cohesive as a whole and are really stronger songs as opposed to having strong parts. With the Illusion of Safety I think there were a lot of really cool parts, but not a lot of really cool songs as wholes. With the new record I feel like the songs are a lot stronger.
SU: So is that the new sound of Thrice? Or just another record and then the next one will be different again?
Teppei: Yeah it's just another album. With every record we want to try and so something a little different. I am already really excited about the new record and hopefully this next record is going to be even more different than Artist was from Illusion. I think progressions is and important thing for us and I think we always want to try something different.
SU: Well that's what keeps people interest too, you know. It is great to hear the same stuff you like, but if a band gets stuck doing the same sound over and over then it gets boring after 3 or 4 albums of that.
SU: I read that you wanted to experiment with electronics, violins and cellos on the next album. I see the sounds in "Paper Tigers" as the most developed on the new album: will the new material go along the same lines or what?
Teppei: You mean as far as the heaviness of the song or what?
SU: Yeah, more of the texturing to it. I guess we are kinda hitting on the same thing again as far as asking about the sound of the band.
Teppei: Yeah it is kinda hard to tell at this point, we haven't started writing new stuff yet. I think we all want to be a lot more experimental and try new stuff for the next record. So I am sure there will be a lot of different effects and sounds.
SU: I think it is obvious from listening to the record that there are several songs that would do really well at radio. Is that something you are looking for?
Teppei: Well it isn't something we aim for. We just wrote the record and gave it to the label and they picked out what would be good on the radio or whatever. We never wrote anything like, 'ok we need to write a radio single' or 'we need to repeat this chord 4 more times so it will be catchy'. It is just kinda how it came along I guess.
SU: Are you enjoying all the attention the band I getting right now, or is just something else to deal with.
Teppei: I mean it's cool man. I definitely appreciate people wanting to write about us or wanting to give us the time of day. I don't know, it's just part of what we do so I can't really complain about it.
SU: Some bands seek that in a way I guess and some or more content with just doing the music and that iswhat they are about and then the press and attention is just something that comes along with it.
Teppei: Yeah yeah, that is how we are. I mean give the choice I am not a very talkative person, so I would rather not I guess. I mean I really don't mind it, it isn't like a negative thing, but it's cool.
SU: So you're not in torture right now or anything, right?
Teppei: Of course not dude (laughs).
SU: Now some random questions thrown in…So are you voting for Bush in 2004?
Teppei: Uhhhh, yeah probably not (laughs).
SU: You're playing Jimmy Kimmel on Thursday. Will this be your first network TV appearance?
Teppei: Nah, it is going to be the second. Right before we left to go to Europe last time we played the Craig Kilborne show.
SU: Oh really?
Teppei: Yeah, so that was the first time, but I didn't even get to see that because we taped it and left the next day to got o Europe, so I didn't even see it yet.
SU: How strange is it to play for TV cameras?
Teppei: It was pretty strange man. It went by really fast though because it was just one song. I think this time will be cooler because I have seen Jimmy Kimmel before and the way it is setup, there is a real stage and real kids and he is going to have us play 4 or 5 songs. So it feels more like a show then just that you are taping for TV. So it should be fun, I'm looking forward to it.
SU: You guys are kind of at the point that a lot of the bands we talk to seem to be at in that you have put out a couple really good records on an indie label, got a lot of attention and then signed to a major and dropped a new record. Do you feel any added pressure for this album to do really well because of the new label and such?
Teppei: To be honest, not really. We didn't sign to a major label to get big. We are just doing the same thing we were doing a year or two ago, so it honestly doesn't feel all that different.
SU: Yeah, I guess the angle I was coming at is more of the money behind it in one sense you know. It's like now your talking about this major label that has sunk a lot of money into advertising and press and all these thing.
Teppei: Right, right. Well it isn't really our money though so (laughs)…
SU: I mean if they're not making you feel it, then that's great for you guys…
Teppei: No, I mean Island has honestly been really cool. They haven't pressured us to do anything we don't want to do and it has been really cool so far.
SU: Who's a greater rock and roll hero, Johnny Cash or Elvis?
Teppei: Elvis Costello or Elvis Pressley?
SU: Let's say Pressley.
Teppei: For me personally, Id have to say Elvis Costello. I love Elvis Costello, I think he is one of the greatest song writers of all time.
SU: Absolutely. As far as the label, what made you decide to go with Island? I know you said you weren't really looking for a major for the money or anything, but what made them stand out?
Teppei: They just seemed like they work really well as a team. It just seemed like the whole label was behind us. I mean we had meetings with some labels where we would meet the CEO of the label or whatever and he is just like, "whoa re you guys again"? That wasn't the case with Island though. They just seemed really supportive of what we were doing and from the start they were saying they would let us do what we wanted to do and just support us in that. That is definitely what they have done so far, so it has been great.
SU: I see you are still donating some record proceeds to charity, through Sub City, do you think that is something you will always try to do as a band?
Teppei: Well, with the new record it isn't through Sub City, it is through Island this time. But yeah I think it is something we will probably keep up as long as we are a band. The whole charity thing came from when we signed to Sub City and we just thought it would be silly to stop doing that just because we signed with Island. So when we signed with them, we made it part of the deal that they would keep doing this and pitch in money for proceeds too.
SU: I know you had Brian McTernan produce the album once again, but what was it like working with someone like Andy Wallace?
Teppei: Well we actually didn't work with him because he just mixed the record. Yeah, Brian was there, but we weren't there. We did get to work with Mike Marberaa who has worked with Metallica and Guns N Roses and everyone, so it was cool. He is a really cool guy and it was definitely an honor working with him.
SU: You just recently played Reading and Leads right? I would imagine it would be somewhat surreal to be playing such a huge festival.
Teppei: Yeah it was really cool. I think it is a cool way to get exposed to the UK and it was fun. We played the second stage on both of the events, but we got to play with a lot of our friends and it was a good time.
SU: Are you psyched about the upcoming tour with Thursday and Coheed & Cambria?
Teppei: Yeah, totally. We are good friends with both bands and it is going to be a lot of fun.
SU: And then the shows with Deftones in November and December, that's pretty awesome too!
Teppei: Yeah, that is just amazing. I really don't know what else to say about that.
SU: Whose idea was it for the limited-edition artwork?
Teppei: Well the concept of it was Matt Moth. He came up with the idea and came to us and it was really cool. So we asked Island about and it is kinda an expensive thing to be doing forever, so they said we would do a limited pressing. It actually turned out being cool. We did 100k, so we figured that kids that have been with us for a while would pick up the record early and so those kids will get the special packaging.
SU: Well that was one of my questions, I was surprised that Island was willing to pay for it for a lesser-known band.
Teppei: Yeah I mean it was a big investment on their part, but I think it was worth it. I mean the kids are happy with it and I like the way it turned out.
SU: Yeah, I think it is great and the design of the package is cool, but also the things you all wrote on the back of the cards about each song.
Teppei: Yeah, it's funny, we were talking to them and they were saying that all their Hip-Hop artists are like "what's up with this band Thrice, why do they get a special packaging", it's funny.
SU: The music industry seems to be crumbling down and the labels are scrambling to find ways to adapt, what do you think is the key, what does the future of the music industry look like?
Teppei: There is definitely a lot of really stale and kinda heartless bands in the mainstream right now, but it is also kinda cool because it feels like there is a real push from the underground. Bands like Thursday and Glassjaw and now Brand New is getting played on MTV2 and it's just like maybe that will kinda push the crappy nu metal stuff out. It is very cool to see bands making meaningful music and one that are actually pushing "music" getting support from major labels.
SU: Now that you are part of the big label game, do ever worry that the floor may fall out from under the label due to industry problems? Sorta like what happened to 311 and a ton of other great bands several years ago.
Teppei: To be honest, I have never really thought about it, but we kinda started this thing out on our own and doing things for ourselves so even if we do lose the label support, I think we can definitely still survive. I don't see that being to devastating.
SU: Cool, well that's it really, other than telling you that you are an amazing guitar player.
Teppei: Thanks man.