"We want information...information...information..."
Rather than give you a biography of the band that's gushing with hyperbole, ridiculous adjectives, and sales pitches that this sound more like a car commercial than a band bio, we'd thought you'd give you history and facts, straight up. It might be a boring read, but if you want information and only information, this is your best bet.
We had our first practice in August of 1998, in Riley and Eddie's parents' living room. Dustin and Teppei had been trying to start a band at Irvine High School for a little while, and things hadn't been working out. Teppei and Ed used to skate together, and when starting a band was mentioned, Ed offered to play bass, even though he'd never played bass before. Riley had played drums in a band a few years prior, but had given them up in order to finish school and work full-time, and when the guys asked him if he'd practice with them until they found someone else, he figured it would be fun to dust off the drums and see what could happen.
We got our first chance to play live at a benefit show put on by the city of Irvine. Our friend threw us on the bill so we jammed out 6 songs in a month and played them at the show. Many a late night was spent in the lunch room at Dustin's dad's work, practicing, writing, dorking out, etc. We played any show that would let us be on the bill, which included some youth group shows, a last place finish in a battle of the bands, and assorted house shows ("basement shows" sound cooler...but there are no basements on the west coast).
Two months after our first show, we had written 7 songs, and decided it was time to record a demo to give to friends, and club promoters to see if we could get a "real" show. "First Impressions" was the product of a two-day recording session at A-Room Studios with Brian Tochilin. We pressed 1000 copies and started giving them to friends and selling them at shows to pay Dustin's Dad back the money he loaned us to press them. Thanks to the high-tech world of file sharing and the world wide internerd, these songs are available online, so everyone can marvel in the suckage of early Thrice. . Apparently, copies of "First Impressions" are selling on eBay. Don't waste your money on a turd disguised as a shiny disc that can be read by lasers.
1999 was a pretty slow year. We still played occasionally...more parties and youth group functions, and the Irvine Harvest Festival. There was an unscheduled three to four month hiatus that we took, for reasons that we are all unsure of. After the hiatus, we started writing songs to try to make a real record. We were all busy working and going to school and weren't really sure what the band situation was. Dustin spent a lot of time at Greene Records in Tustin, which is where he met Andy Greene and Ron Martinez. Ron booked shows at Chain Reaction in Anaheim, and after a good deal of pestering by Dustin, he put us on a show as an opener for the Ataris (in September of ‘99...we think). A lot of our friends and family came out to support us and Ron agreed to put us on a couple more shows. We did some mid-week, local band shows here and there, and got lucky and had the chance to open for Death By Stereo, Backside, and BoySetsFire. The more we played live, the more fun we had, and we started getting excited about writing some better songs and getting back in the studio and recording again.
By December, we'd written 6 songs, and pooled our money to be able to spend three days at For the Record Studios in Orange. Andy and Ron offered to put out the our record, and suggested that we work with Paul Miner of Death By Stereo. So we did. After that session we locked ourselves at Dustin's dad's work and wrote enough songs to constitute a full-length, which would become "Identity Crisis". So we headed back in to the studio to record another 6 or 7 songs in January, and released the first pressing of "Identity Crisis" of 1000 CD's on Greenflag Records in April of 2000...with limited edition green artwork and some tasteless band photos on the insert.
In 2000 we spent most of our time hopping on any local bill that would take us, playing about 3 times a month. Most of our time was spent working crappy part-time jobs and going to school. We'd get together a few times a week to practice and write, but not much was happening.
Then the Hopeless/SubCity family came into the picture. A writer for a local magazine who was friends with Louis Posen (owner an operator of the label), showed him "Identity Crisis" and Louis came out to a few shows to see us play, and offered to sign us, and re-release "Identity Crisis" on SubCity. We had a few other offers, but we really connected with Louis and the Hopeless/SubCity family, and having the opportunity to work with charities and be on SubCity was something we really wanted to do.
So, that brings us to 2001, which started with the re-release of Identity Crisis, that benefited Crittenton Children's Services (a home in Fullerton, CA for abused and neglected kids). The label wanted us to get out on the road and promote the record, and got us on a tour with Samiam, out to the South By Southwest Music Festival in Austin, TX. Samiam ended up canceling the last two weeks of the tour, and we ended up playing a less-than-stellar performance to a bunch of industry folks. Nice way to start out, eh? Once we started touring, we realized that this was something that we really wanted to do full-time, so we all came home and broke the news to our parents that we were quitting school and jobs to tour (you can imagine how that was received). In May we went out on tour with Midtown and Hot Rod Circuit, and got lucky enough to get 4 days on the Warped Tour (which ended up being the death of our first van, Lorenzo...a light blue 1989 Ford Econoline that looked like it had been rolled down a hill and eaten with a Louisville Slugger). In the meanwhile, we'd been writing, and itching to get back in the studio, and we had been in touch with Brian McTernan about recording the new record. He'd heard "Identity Crisis" and wanted to hear some demos of the new material to see if he'd be into doing the next record. We recorded a demo on a Dictaphone (with Dustin screaming everything because the recorder wouldn't pick up the weak PA if he didn't,) and sent him a tape, and four days later, we get a call...
"um, guys, I think you might want to talk to someone else about doing your record."
We freaked, and set up a ghetto 8-track and re-recorded our demos and sent them to him, and after a decent amount of coercion, he agreed to record what would become "The Illusion Of Safety". Many a late night was spent, after-hours, at Dustin's Dad's work...we'd practice 5 days a week, from 7pm to
4 am...until we were totally delirious, so that when the time came to record, we'd be ready...which we weren't. We spent 18 days at Salad Days Studios in Beltsville, Maryland, and learned more about our band and ourselves as people in those 18 days, than we had in the previous 3 years of being together.
It was probably the most important 3 weeks in the life of this band, and it motivated us to begin writing as soon as we left the studio. Brian became a fifth member, a brother, and a good friend.
After our time at Salad Days, we headed out on our first US Tour with Hot Water Music, Alkaline Trio, Cave In, Selby Tigers, Mike Park, Strike Anywhere, and the Eyeliners, as a part of the Plea For Peace/Take Action Tour benefiting 1-800-SUICIDE. We were very fortunate to be a part of that tour and learned a ton about the life of a touring band, writing, and recording music, and general band relations from all the bands on that tour.
After Take Action, we headed out for the most polarized batch of touring we'd ever done. We did three days as an opener for New Found Glory, and then headed out east to meet up with Converge, American Nightmare (now known as, Give Up the Ghost) and the Hope Conspiracy, to open for them for about three weeks. Right after that, we met up with Piebald for about two weeks of touring in the southwest. We didn't fit it very well on any of those bills, but we learned a lot about playing to crowds with blank stares, and really became a tighter knit group because of it.
We took the holidays off, and anxiously awaited the release of "The Illusion of Safety", which came out on February 5, 2002. We chose A Place Called Home, as the charity that proceeds from the sales of the record would benefit. APCH is a youth center in south central Los Angeles that provides opportunities and activities (tutoring, hot meals, music instruction, and athletics) for children who need a safer and more positive options than wandering the streets or being involved in gangs. We had a record release show at the Virgin Megastore in Costa Mesa, CA, and immediately headed out to Chicago to start a tour with Anti-Flag. This is when major labels started sniffing around, meeting us at shows, talking to us about our plans for the future, and making things pretty weird while we were on tour. We talked to people, let them know that we weren't in any hurry to sign a deal, and continued touring to support our new record.
We toured the west coast and southwest with Hot Rod Circuit and Further Seems Forever for about 3 weeks in the spring, and then headed out on a 7 week tour of the US and Canada with Face to Face, Midtown, and the Movielife, and made a lot of good friends in the process.
Although it seemed crazy to us, we did our first headlining tour on the east coast, with Brand New and Recover and things turned out pretty good. Label talks were continuing, and we were narrowing our choices down, when that tour ended. When we got home, we met with some labels in LA, and flew out to New York to meet with Island Records, which was when we realized we'd found the right label to work with. We signed in June, and headed out for our second stint on the Warped Tour...nine days in the Midwest heat.
After the Warped Tour, we took three months off. Teppei and Dustin both got married, and we used the down time to begin writing songs for what would become "The Artist in The Ambulance". All summer, we were looking forward to a fall tour that would end up being the best tour we've ever had.
We co-headlined the US and Canada with Hot Water Music, and Coheed and Cambria in October and November of 2002. After spending the fall of 2001 with the Hot Water guys, we couldn't wait to get back on the road with them. They took us under their wing and taught us a lot on the Take Action tour, and it was great to be with them again. The Coheed guys became some of our best touring friends, and the tour ended up being amazing. Good people and good music, every night, and a bunch of really good shows. We tried to write a little on the road, but it was tough trying to arrange songs without being able to get together as a full band and hash them out.
When we got home, right before Thanksgiving, we locked ourselves in our rehearsal spaces, and bore down to write as many songs as we could before we were supposed to head into the studio in February. We practiced 5 days a week, from 10 to 5 or 6 and tried to make sense of all the parts we'd written over the past year. Brian McTernan came out to Orange County a few times to see how thing were coming along, make sure we weren't slacking, and that we'd be ready to record. We took time off for Christmas, but other than that, there wasn't a waking hour that we didn't spend writing or arranging new material.
In February, we flew out to Bearsville, NY to record drum tracks. Recording there was equal parts intimidating and inspiring, due to the fact that so many amazing artists have worked in those studios. The drum sessions were engineered by Michael Barbiero, who had worked with Metallica, Guns N Roses, James Brown, Whitney Houston, Tesla, and many others. Just being at Bearsville, and working with Michael and Brian, in such a perfect setting, was probably the coolest thing this band has ever done.
After we finished drum tracks, and wrote a song in the studio (which didn't make it on TAITA but will be released eventually), we drove south to Beltsville, MD to finish the record. We spent five weeks at Salad Days (a refreshing change from the 3 weeks we'd spent on IOS), and recorded guitars, bass, vocals, strings, and overdubs. Again, the recording process was a learning experience, and we really benefited from being able to work with Brian again.
"The Artist In the Ambulance" is scheduled for a July 22nd release on Island records, and will be benefiting the Syrentha J. Savio Endowment (SSE). The endowment was formed in Washington, DC, by Mark Beemer, and aims to provide free cancer screening for individuals who cannot afford the expense.
If someone is diagnosed, the endowment will provide financial assistance for treatment. We have developed a great friendship with Mark, and are really happy to be working with someone so dedicated to making a difference.
Spring of 2003, is when things start to get busy...
Straight out of the studio, we played three southern California shows, that we were totally unprepared for, and headed out for a month with the Used and My Chemical Romance. After the Used tour, we made our first Trek to Europe with NOFX, Strung Out, the Bouncing Souls and Boysetfire, and despite a number of bus mishaps and other assorted madness, we made it home in one piece, which brings us to today...the Warped Tour, which we'll be on all summer long...
Chances are if you haven't seen us live yet, you'll get a chance to, really soon...we'll be on tour...forever.
Regardless of when you joined us in this journey, we sincerely thank you for your support...for singing along, talking to us after shows, emailing us, or sharing our music with your friends and families, etc...and we hope that you'll stay with us as we write the next chapters in this story...
--- from the official Thrice website