Thursday's Geoff Rickly wants you to know that his band is not breaking up.
No way, no how. Despite the rumors floating around on the Internet, despite an interview Rickly himself gave to Revolver magazine, despite the bandmembers fighting amongst themselves. Thursday are not breaking up. In fact, they're probably stronger than ever.
"When I did that interview, I was sure Thursday was breaking up. I was going to quit," Rickly said. "I was sick and really tired of the band, because I was feeling betrayed. Everybody was feeling that way. No one paid attention to each other, because we were each lost in our own little world. And that was really bad."
Maybe a little back story is in order. In September 2003, Thursday released their major-label debut, War All the Time. It capped a five-year period in which the band released three albums and one EP, and went from playing basements in their native New Jersey to rocking massive stages at the Reading and Leeds Festivals in the U.K. In fact, Thursday were pretty much always on the road. And five years of tour buses and crappy hotel rooms, coupled with what Rickly describes as "some personal problems, and some really bad health issues," began to wear the band down.
"I hadn't had a place to live in five years, because we had been on tour for so long. The year that War All the Time came out, we had seven days off," Rickly explained. "So all at once we realized that we hadn't done anything in our lives other than tour. Nothing at all. We hadn't taken care of friends and marriages and families. The band was having a lot of tension within itself.
"And when we were touring, it was discovered that I have epilepsy, which is sort of weird for the lead singer of a band to have, with all the flashing lights and stuff that could set it off," he continued. "So I began taking medication, and it turned out I was allergic to it. My stomach hurt all the time, and there was a lot of blood. I'd wake up with blood in my mouth. And it all culminated at Coachella. I was coughing up blood and couldn't sing and we had to cut the set short."
After the Coachella debacle, Rickly spent five days in the hospital, and then Thursday had to take off for a full European tour. When he got back, he did his interview with Revolver, telling the reporter (who was a friend of his) that Thursday were finished. The band decided to play the Warped Tour and then call it quits. It should have been, for all intents and purposes, Thursday's farewell tour.
"We started the Warped Tour as our last tour. And looking at it that way, there was this weight lifted off our shoulders. We were having the best time and we were best friends again, and we realized how fun it was to play together again," Rickly explained. "And it's so weird because personally and musically all these things started to happen where we felt good again. It was like a relationship, because all of us would say little, flirtatious things about how great things were."
Reinvigorated, Thursday charged off the Warped Tour and did what any band riding a wave of momentum would do. They took a break. Maybe five years of nonstop activity was too much. So they all went home, spent time with friends and family. Rickly got married. And that's pretty much where the band is at right now. Each member is currently writing material, and Rickly, guitarist Steve Pedulla and bassist Tim Payne get together at a rehearsal space to work out ideas. Rickly says that's exactly what Thursday needed.
"This is what it was like when we first started Thursday. It was a very organic process," he said. "It wasn't like we were writing with the goal of making a record so we could go on tour. And that's what it was like with War All the Time. It was like, 'We need this so we can go on tour.' And you can't just write a song with the intention of playing it live."
There's so much new material that right now Rickly is considering releasing two new Thursday albums: a "really traditional, scream-y, heavy album," and a keyboard-heavy "slower and epic sounding" second disc, similar to instrumental acts like Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Mogwai. But don't line up at the record store just yet. The band doesn't plan on releasing any of the material until late next year.
"With these new albums, they're only going to be finished when we're sure they're the best things we've ever done," Rickly said. "And after all we've been through over the past five years, I think we've earned the right to take it easy for a bit."