Last summer, before the release of 2005's Vheissu, Thrice drummer Riley Breckenridge promised fans the LP would be the band's most ambitious offering — which is a claim most rock dudes seem to make these days.
But Vheissu is small potatoes compared to what the Thrice guys are cooking up for their next outing.
According to frontman Dustin Kensrue, "this record we're working on now will be, by far, our most ambitious effort." And he might be right. The singer said his band's taking the double-album concept and squaring it.
"There's going to be four discs, and they will each be themed differently," Kensrue said. "It will be a large body of music — maybe around 25 songs or so. I've never been a fan of double albums; I'm a fan of shorter records. This will kind of be just multiple, shorter records, and each one will be self-sufficient. But also, they all tie into each other. We have a lot of bass material written for it, and we're kind of at this point where we have the core parts of the songs written, and we've been getting together and trying to flesh those out.
"We're actually recording it ourselves too," he continued. "We are kind of trying to approach it in a different manner: We're recording pieces of it and building it and shifting it around. We did that sort of on the last record, with songs like 'Atlantic.' We had the basic idea and we started finishing it off while we were recording it."
Kensrue said Thrice plan to spend the rest of the summer writing material for the yet-untitled album — as they've been for some time now — and they'd like to record it this fall, with the hope that it will be out next spring. Vheissu has sold close to 200,000 copies since its release last September (see "Thrice Going Underground — In A Sense — For Enigmatic Vheissu").
At the same time, Kensrue's finishing up work on his solo debut, several tracks from which he'll be playing on the road. His acoustic, one-man trek kicked off Thursday in Philadelphia and will make stops in New York, San Diego, Las Vegas and Los Angeles before winding down in San Francisco on August 6. The singer's decision to do solo gigs fueled speculation that Thrice were calling it quits — a rumor Kensrue flatly denied.
"Hopefully, my solo album will be out in October," he said. "I'm halfway done with it at this point and am producing it myself. [Thrice guitarist Teppei Teranishi] is engineering it. All the songs are acoustic-based, but the majority of the record will have bass and drums, along with the acoustic guitar. It's a stripped-down vibe."
Kensrue, who is close to signing a solo deal with one of the "bigger indie labels" out there, said his record will contain 10 tracks, including "Blood and Wine," "Prodigal" and "Weary Saints." He said he has been tinkering with several of the tracks for years now.
"Some of them are pretty old, or at least the foundations for them are — just stuff I'd kick around when I was playing acoustic guitar," he said. "But the material never really worked for Thrice. I just really enjoy playing acoustically, by myself. It's kind of a whole different animal, and I've been doing that longer than I've been doing Thrice. I decided to just write a couple more songs, put out a record and sit back and see what happens."