By Brian Ossip, DC Music Live
Every now and then a band will come out that has a unique ability to inspire and engage a fan base, forging a distinct bond. Thrice, who will be headlining The Howard Theatre on May 23, is one of those bands that has touched and moved its fans throughout their career. And now, after 14 years including multiple world tours and eight full-length albums, they have decided to take a break with their recently announced indefinite hiatus.
As could be imagined, the reaction from both the band and the fans has been intense, but ultimately encouraging and understanding. “I think for the most part [fans] have been really supportive,” said bassist Ed Breckinridge. “From people coming up and talking to us, it’s obvious that people care, and even though they are upset, they still support us.”
The band kicked off its farewell tour on April 30, with support from D.C’s own Animals as Leaders and O’Brother. The tour runs until June 19. For its last tour, the band decided to do something different by getting the fans more involved. According to Breckinridge, “We’ve got a pretty long set. And all of the songs that we’re playing were chosen by people voting online. People chose what they wanted from each album, and we picked the songs that they wanted the most.”
Over the course of its 14-year career, Thrice’s sound has evolved in incredible ways, from originally being known for their heavily distorted guitars, prominent lead guitar riffs and complex time signatures, to later the addition of keyboards, electronic beats, and more experimental songwriting.
The band’s evolution has also resulted in an evolution in their fans, and while some of their older hardcore fans may have been lost, they also gained incredible numbers of newer fans, while still maintaining the core of their original, strong fan base.
And it appears as if the newer songs are the ones fans want to hear most on this tour. “They want to hear a lot of the newer stuff,” said Breckinridge. “We are still playing older songs, as they chose from all of our albums online, but we definitely have people that enjoy our more recent stuff, too. It’s cool having fans that span our entire career.”
The band members are trying to not look back and reflect on their careers too much while on tour, choosing rather to concentrate on enjoying the moments of this tour as they occur. “I feel like we always have had a pretty good perspective about [our career],” said Breckinridge. “But I think the biggest thing may be that this tour has shown me is that sometimes when I play I get in to my own world and drift away with the music. But now, I’ve really been making a point to open my eyes and just sort of think, ‘Wow, thank you, to everybody.’”
“We’ve somehow been fortunate enough to have people connect with our music and allow us to do it full-time for over 10 years,” he continued. “It’s one of the most rare things. It’s crazy. And I thought I was grateful before, but it hits me even deeper and harder now, thinking about it not being there anymore.”
The tour will be coming to town on May 23, and the band is excited to be making its return to the district. “We actually recorded two albums outside of Baltimore, which isn’t too far away, “said Breckinridge. “We’ve made friends through that process that are in D.C. bands, and so is [tour opener] Animals as Leaders.”
Breckinridge continued, “There are a bunch of really good people and I think there’s a lot of really good music that is going on there. It’s awesome to be surrounded by that energy and that vibe.”
So what’s next for the guys in the band band, now that they won’t be touring around the world and creating new music together? “We’ve all got different things going on. Some of us have families we want to spend more time with, and others will probably continue on with music,” Breckinridge concluded with. “But I tell you what, it’s going to be weird if I have to try and find some sort of “normal” job, haha.”
Thrice will be playing at The Howard Theatre on May 23. Doors are at 6:30pm, with show time starting at 7:30pm. For tickets, head here.