November 12, 2007

Interview: Geoff Rickly of Thursday

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:38 pm by leahpav

[fun fact: he likes to get in fights with microphones]

 

The crowd at the Fillmore (formerly TLA) on Sunday didn’t really make sense; half underfed looking teenage boys and their heavily eyelinered girlfriends, and half men and women in their early to mid 20s looking as though they couldn’t decide to make fun of or join in on the enthusiastic mosh pit. The only thing these two uneasy factions had in common: they loved the crap out of the band onstage. Despite numerous near breakups, albums deemed “unsuccessful” by the music industry and 10 years of spending way, waaay too much time on a tiny tour bus with the same few people, New Jersey post-hardcore outfit Thursday still sells out venues and inspires the kind of devotion in their fans that their numerous ripoffs can only dream of.

To celebrate 10 years as a band, Thursday put together a DVD entitled “Kill The House Lights”. The DVD features specially taped live performances and a documentary retrospective of the band’s journey from the basements of New Brunswick to becoming one of post-hardcore’s more successful bands.

Fulfilling one of my Top 10 Life Goals when I was 16 (okay, it might be on my current list too), singer and super nice guy Geoff Rickly was able to sit down with me and answer a few questions about the documentary before the show.

L: So who’s idea was it originally to put this documentary together?

G: I guess the feature part was mostly Steve. He’s the one with a background in film-making.

L: Was everyone on board for it from the beginning, or did anyone take some convincing?

G: If anyone wasn’t into the film part, it was me. I really just wanted to straight through the whole live show we recorded [at the Starland Ballroom]. It was kinda like “I want to do this” and everyone else was like “We want to do this.” And then I was like “Ahh…okay!” It actually turned out better this way, I think.

L: It seems to be a pretty comprehensive history of the band. How do you feel viewing it now?

G: It’s really crazy. I just can’t believe all that has actually happened. As a younger band, you spend so much time looking forward – what are we going to do next, next tour, next album, that sort of thing. It’s a very weird thing to actually look back for once and see all that we’ve accomplished.

L: Any feeling like “Well, what now?”

G: Definitely. I’m old enough now that I’m a different person from the guy that writes the Thursday lyrics, and there’s the sense of “Okay, if I’m not that guy, what do I do now?” I’ve got all these subjectively praised subsets of skills that don’t really have much meaning in the real world.

L: A lot is made on the DVD of your history with Victory Records. This question is kind of an oxymoron, but do you ever get tired of people asking about it?

 

G: Yeah. [pauses, laughs] Was that the question?

L: Yep, that’s all I wanted to know. How about anything you wished made it on the DVD but didn’t?

G: There’s definitely a few songs in the live footage I wish we could have included; I wanted a lot more from 5 Stories Falling. We could have put in more about the Victory years too, I think.

L: There’s a lot of footage of you guys just being dudes and goofing around. Is there anything you all looked at on tape and agreed should never see the light of day?

G: [laughs] There’s a few things we don’t want to end up on the Internet, yes. Let me put it this way: there are things in existence that would make the pictures from Pete Wentz’s Sidekick look tame. There are two guys in this band who are very twisted individuals.

L: It seems like the recording process has always been a bit arduous for this band. There’s a few new tracks on this release – did it go any better this time around?

G: Oh this one had it’s set of hurdles too. We thought “Okay, three new tracks, this will take a week.” It ended up taking 5 weeks. I completely missed summer – literally did not see the light of day because I was spending 20 hours in a recording studio every day.

L: This band means a lot to a many, many people…do you think the DVD will change public perception of Thursday at all?

G: Oh, I don’t even know anymore. You really can’t have an idea. With the last release we had kids coming up to us saying things like “This totally redeems the last piece of crap you put out,” and we’re kinda like “Those were B side that we recorded in 10 minutes, and you like it better than something we poured all our effort into?” You just can’t predict how people are going to respond. I used to think things like “This sounds like something the kids will like, lets put it in” and they’ll either love it or hate it. At this point you just have to do what you like and not worry about it.

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