26 February 2009

Thursday Answers 5

A decade old band, Thursday has defied the common expectations for longevity. Five albums into their career (“Waiting” (1999), “Full Collapse” (2001), “War All the Time” (2003), “A City by the Light Divided” (2006), and “Common Existence” (2009)), they continue to produce fresh music that is relevant and urgent. Where the music market continues to favor frivolity and pleasantries, Thursday projects introspection and is willing to take on serious issues. Where musicians are willing to formulate their music in a specific format for radio play, Thursday continues to compose and arrange music that demonstrates consciousness of craft. All that and they kick ass live.

Though they are touring North America through April, before heading to Europe, Steve Pedulla of Thursday took the time to Answer 5.

1. Who are your musical and nonmusical influences?

Quicksand, The Police, U2, Sunny Day Real Estate, Genesis (the Gabriel years), Philip Glass, Clint Mansell, P.T Anderson, Coen Brothers, etc. I could go on forever.

2. Why the break with Island Records? Has Epitaph been more nurturing?

The "Island Records" that we signed with was no longer the "Island Records" that we were dealing with. All of the people that made us want to be a part of the label either quit or got fired. So we wound up working with some people that we felt didn't really understand the identity of the band. The split was amicable though. They were very classy about it. They told us that they wanted to do another record with us, but that it was up to us. Obviously we decided to move on. Epitaph has been amazing. They definitely have a way better understanding of the band and we really get along with everyone that works there.

3. In the digital age, the music industry is changing quickly. Between pirated music and companies caring more about numbers than talent, where do you see this trend will lead bands that do not rely on radio or other pop mediums for exposure?

It's tough to say. It almost seems like having a web presence is more important than radio these days, which in a way makes it easier for bands to promote themselves, but on the other-hand its more difficult since there are so many bands on the Internet. It's all a mess right now and the attempts at change are exciting and scary at the same time. I think the whole downloading thing might really hurt everything more than people tend to realize (and I'm saying this as someone in a band, and someone that has downloaded music). The fact that people are no longer buying records could eventually lead to labels (majors and indies) going out of business. Which in turn makes it more difficult for bands to be able to afford to record. Some people argue that these days its "easy" for bands to record their own records, which it is, but more often than not this severely compromises the sound quality of a recording. I guess it comes down to how much people really value their music. I'm hoping we all value it enough to figure out the next step without compromising the music.

4. In "Friends in the Armed Forces," you take on the issue of the war. Many other songs have political subtexts. Do you believe that musicians have a responsibility to take on social and political issues?

I don't think that every band needs to take on social and political issues. There has to be a balance. Everything has its place. If every band was super serious and only discussed social and political issues I think that would be super boring and possibly counter-productive. It's just as important to make people laugh and smile, as it is to make them angry or sad.

5. I've always wondered, why the "dove" as a logo?

We chose the dove because Thursday has always been about hope and compassion.

Catch Thursday Live; here are tour dates:

Sunday 2/22 – Englewood, CO
Tuesday 2/24 – Milwaukee, WI
Wednesday 2/25 – Cincinnati, OH
Thursday 2/26 – Rochester, NY
Friday 2/27 – Worcester, MA
Sunday 2/28 – Harford, CT
Monday 3/2 – Providence, RI
Tuesday 3/3 – Clifton Park, NY
Wednesday 3/4 – New York, NY
Thursday 3/5 – Sayreville, NY
Friday 3/6 – Philadelphia, PA
Saturday 3/7 – Baltimore, MD
Monday 3/9 – Cleveland, OH
Tuesday 3/10 – Detroit, MI
Wednesday 3/11 – St. Louis, MO
Thursday 3/12 – Chicago, IL
Friday 3/13 – Minneapolis, MN
Saturday 3/14 – Kansas City, MO
Sunday 3/15 – Louisville, KY
Tuesday 3/17 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Wednesday 3/18 – Orlando, FL
Thursday 3/19 – Atlanta, GA
Saturday 3/21 – Houston, TX
Sunday 3/22 – San Antonio, TX
Monday 3/23 – Dallas, TX
Thursday 3/26 – Bosie, ID
Friday 3/27 – Portland, OR
Saturday 3/28 – Seattle, WA
Sunday 3/29 – Spokane, WA
Monday 3/30 – Vancouver, BC
Wednesday 4/1 – Calgary, AB
Friday 4/3 – Edmonton, AB
Saturday 4/4 – Sasktoon, SK
Sunday 4/5 – Winnipeg, MB
Monday 4/6 – Thunder Bay, ON
Wednesday 4/8 – Toronto, ON
Thursday 4/9 – Montreal, QC

Saturday 4/11 – Munich, Germany – Give It a Name Festival
Sunday 4/12 – Cologne, Germany – Give It a Name Festival
Tuesday 4/14 – Vienna, Austria – Give It a Name Festival
Wednesday 4/15 – Bologna, Italy
Thursday 4/16 – Zurich, Switzerland
Friday 4/17 – Meerhout, Belgium – Groezrock Festival
Saturday 4/18 – Manchester, UK – Give It a Name Festival
Sunday 4/19 – London, UK – Give It a Name Festival

For more information and to keep up with the band; you can check them out on their homepage or MySpace.