November 04, 2008 - Temporary Residence LTD
From left-field film soundtracks to dark literary figures like the late David Foster Wallace, Thursday’s influences have never been limited to hardcore; it’s just that the media blitz around the band traditionally gravitates toward the louder, faster elements of Thursday’s sound. Heck, even if you’re talking strictly hardcore, Thursday’s influences have always leaned more toward obscure, arty proto-screamo than to anything neatly explained in a record label marketing campaign. On this split release, the New Jersey sextet enjoy the rare privilege of recording alongside one of their biggest influences-16-year-old Japanese post-hardcore experimentalists Envy-while also proving they’ve got a wide enough palette to keep up with the Envys of the world, label and genre affiliations be damned. Across four tracks, including two instrumentals (one a remix of the other by Mercury Rev’s Anthony Molina), Thursday balance the emotionally riveting, angular post-hardcore for which they’re legendary with an orchestral edge that makes even 2006’s A City By The Light Divided sound two-dimensional. Envy’s three contributions take longer to build, and as a result (see the explosive, gut-wrenching ending of “An Umbrella Fallen Into Fiction”) hit that much harder at their peak. Where the Tokyo-based quintet’s harder side (when they rip, it’s like a hole being torn in the world) might normally overshadow Thursday’s more sensitively nuanced post-screamo, the transitions here are seamless.
Envy’s Insomniac Doze
Thursday’s A City By The Light Divided
Mono’s You Are There
IN-STORE SESSION WITH THURSDAY FRONTMAN GEOFF RICKLY
You and Envy have always had some major stylistic differences, but the tracks flow seamlessly on this record. Was that part of the master plan?
I would love to say yes, because that’d be so cool, but the truth is, Thursday’s been influenced by Envy for a long time. When I first heard them, I was really struck by the guitar work and the combination of these super-fast parts with the kind of big, huge, lush-beauty stuff you usually don’t associate with something fast. Most bands like that-like Isis and Jesu-have to slow it down to bring that epic feel. But when I heard Envy pulling it off [faster], I was like, “Fuck-I need to listen to these dudes, ’cause they’re doing some shit we haven’t figured out yet.” So I think the fact that [the split] flows together is just that both of us are in pursuit of a lot of the same goals. Originally, we were trying to put the Envy stuff first on the CD version, because we really wanted our fans to have to check out Envy. But musically, it just didn’t flow in that direction.
Given that it actually comes inside the 12-inch sleeve, the CD version is almost incidental to the LP version. Why was it so important to have this documented on vinyl?
There’s this great line from Breakfast Of Champions where Kurt Vonnegut says, “I don't want to throw away any sacred things,” and he’s listing all things sacred, and the last thing he says is, “[And] all music is.” We weren’t thinking, “There’s a bunch of people that aren’t gonna buy it because it’s on vinyl.” That’s fine. We’ll do something again for those kids who just don’t give a shit about vinyl. But for kids that actually care enough to buy it, let’s give them something they’ll actually be able to feel good about and have an emotional connection with for a long time to come.
There are obviously some geography and language barriers, but how much have you spoken with Envy about the record?
They’re putting out the record in Japan through their record label, so they contacted us about the translation. I let them know about all our songs being part of one narrative and the way the titles of our songs form a sentence, and they’re like, “Oh, that’s great that you told us, because there’s no way we would’ve picked up on that!” There were a bunch of questions like that, and because they use a translator and it’s much easier to do that by e-mail, we were able to have some really great conversations. It was also very nice that Jeremy [DeVine, Temporary Residence founder and president] passed along an e-mail that the singer, Tetsuya [Fukagawa], sent him that said, “Jeremy, I’m happy to let you know that we are very pleased with the Thursday songs. We think they are a very big step up for the band, and we’re proud to be on the same release.” [AB]