Thursday Bring “Full Collapse” to SOMA
Being a fan of Thursday since high school, I was very excited to listen to them perform Full Collapse in it’s entirety, but I was also worried that all these years later the album would not hold up to the glory it had maintained in my mind over the years since I first listened to it. So in the weeks prior to the concert, I began listening to the album again so that I would know whether or not it was still as epic as I once thought it was. Tentatively, I found the album on my iPod and hit the play button, and proceeded to be blown away by how well this album holds up after ten years. I would venture as far to say that it could still easily compete with anything that’s coming out of the scene today. This is one of few albums from our generation that is truly timeless, and I became unbearably excited to hear these songs performed live, and to talk to the band about how far they’ve come since Full Collapse.
Before watching the guys take the stage and perform Full Collapse, I had to opportunity to sit down with their vocalist, Geoff, and drummer, Tucker, and discuss the tour, their new record, and their past 10 years together.
First of all, when did the idea come up to do a 10th anniversary tour for Full Collapse?
Geoff: I guess about a year… a little more than a year ago we had the idea to play a few of our records front to back, and basically it was a lot of fun. Then we realized the 10th anniversary of Full Collapse was coming up and we thought it would be a great idea to mark the occasion and go out on tour. We love touring, so it was just a great reason for us to go out there and tour. The first few nights we definitely felt like a cover band of ourselves, playing these songs again, but now all the pieces have fallen back into place and I remember how great it was to tour on that record.
What was it like, dusting those songs off and going back to them? Did you make any adjustments to the songs?
Tucker: I’m pretty sure they’re almost completely as-is. We never even actually dusted them off because we only had like, a practice or two [before the tour]. There were a lot of blizzards and stuff around the time we were leaving, so our practicing pretty much got thrown out the window.
So just kind of picking it back up as you go along?
Tucker: Yeah, but we picked it up FAST.
Geoff: It was like, fingers crossed for the first show, but it’s been going great.
And how has the crowd response been, do you see them still remembering all the songs?
Tucker: It’s funny man, you look in the crowd and theres young people, and then there’s people like, our age, which is a spectrum that we don’t usually get at a show, all singing along.
With this being the 10th anniversary, have you done any reminiscing, looking back on the past decade?
Tucker: I guess the biggest thing is just seeing faces from back then… These friends of ours that don’t really go out to shows anymore and are coming out, that’s kind of like, heartwarming, you know, to see that. And every face, every venue, it brings you back to a certain time. I wouldn’t say that we’re remembering any crazy memories from back then. But sometimes it will be little things like, oh remember when we were touring here back then and we were so broke Tom actually got diagnosed with malnutrition… Just stuff like that, little things. Like the other day we were talking about when we were in Dallas with the Murder City Devils and a complete fistfight broke out on stage…
Geoff: And shortly thereafter, some girl tries to come up and burn me with a cigarette. So yeah, bringing back some good memories… (laughs)
How do you feel you guys have progressed musically and artistically since then?
Tucker: It’s really hard to say how, but like, every now and then when we’re playing at night, there’s a part and it’s like… we would never write this now.
Geoff: We were kids, you know, kids that just wanted to hang out together and play music. We never thought we would write a complete record and go on tour or anything like that.
Tucker: So yeah, the approach now is so different it’s hard to even say how… You know, now we’re people writing music that have been in a band together for 13 years. Like back then, it was like, “Oh wouldn’t it be cool to write something like this? Imagine what that would sound like!” Now we know what it’s gonna sound like.
Geoff: And “Let’s hurry up and start a band because Hot Water’s coming through town and we might get to open for them.”
That brings me to the next thing I was going to ask… Back then did you guys have any idea you would even still be together 10 years down the road?
Geoff: No, we had no idea.
Tucker: It’s like every day, when we wake up, whether it be in a van, in a bus, in a hotel or anything, it’s like “Holy s—, Geoff, we’re still doing this man.” Every day is like a blessing, to still be doing this and having fun, and have people still coming out…
Geoff: And I think back then it was like us all banding together, trying to make these songs, and now it’s sort of the opposite. Like, well you know we still wanna hang out, we still wanna be each other’s buddies… “So do you think it’s time do do a record now? Okay, this is gonna be fun, spend some time together, do a record.”
Tucker: It’s almost the same, actually, because there was no pressure back then and there’s no pressure now. You know, in the middle there was kind of a little bit of pressure, but now its just… let’s make a record, it’s fun.
In another interview you mention how you realized that the average band isn’t full of money like you thought when you were younger. Any other misconceptions from back then?
Tucker: Not really, I think that was the main one. I remember when like, “Understanding In A Car Crash” was playing on MTV and people automatically thought like, “Oh, they’re making bank” and this and that, but that never really actually comes to fruition. That’s the biggest one is just the finance thing… It’s a hard life, like everyone thinks we’re so lucky to tour the country and yeah, true, but we leave everything at home, everything we have, and all we do is take each other out here.
Geoff: And that’s another thing, like people think it’s so exciting to see the world, but… (gestures out the window to parking lot) This is what I think San Diego looks like. This parking lot. We’re not gonna go anywhere today, we’re not gonna go to the beach or any of the cool parts of San Diego. We’re gonna see this. This doesn’t look any different than Ohio to me, or New Orleans, like they all look the same. Every behind-a-club looks like this.
That’s something I’ve heard in other interviews and stuff, and it blows my mind. You don’t really even get to enjoy the places you go?
Geoff: Well we do get some days off that are pretty bangin, and every so often you get to play the venue that is downtown, that’s exactly where you want to be, and you’re kind of like, “Oh we don’t need to sound check today, nah, we can just go out and walk around!”
What are some of your favorite bands you’ve toured with over the years?
Geoff: We did a tour with The Cure, and that was amazing. That was probably my favorite, at least top three.
Tucker: Yeah, that and playing with Hot Water Music, that was like a real dream come true for us.
Geoff: We toured with the Deftones, that was fun… Done some touring with Muse, The Flaming Lips… some really good bands.
On the other side of that question, are there any bands you still want to tour with?
Tucker: I think touring with the Foo Fighters would be sick. They’re as punk as you can get for being a huge band.
Moving on to the new record, I saw an early 2011 release scheduled, is that still on track?
Geoff: Yup, right now it’s looking like probably April.
Is there anything else you can say about the record right now?
Geoff: There’s not really a whole lot to say right at this point, but I think definitely the recording turned out great, in my opinion it’s the best the drums have sounded on any of our records. I think I’m singing better than I ever have. There’s a real beauty with the record, which I think we’ve always tried to balance out with the chaos and heaviness, and this time I think we really kinda let the beauty shine through.
And that record will be released on Epitaph… how is it being on Epitaph in comparison to when you were on Victory for Full Collapse?
Geoff: Being on Epitaph in comparison to anything is awesome. They’re just great. We really get along with them, they really try to help us see through our vision and our dream, and they also really love our band which is just such a weird thing for us. Like we’ve been on a major, we’ve been on Victory, and it’s always been like “Oh yeah and Thursday, we have to deal with them.” Not Epitaph, they’re like “Yeah, Thursday, this concert’s gonna be amazing!”
Fast forward now to the moment Thursday take the stage, and I am filled with an anticipation I have never felt before. As the opening lyrics of “Understanding In A Car Crash” begin, what would turn out to be an unbelievably amazing concert had just begun. There was something profoundly powerful about hearing hundreds of people, who have loved this band for ten years, screaming their hearts out along with Geoff, as he masterfully worked the stage, playing to the crowd and nailing every note.
Full Collapse is an album that deserved to be heard from beginning to end, because it is an album that is truly great all the way through. After ten years, Thursday brought all their experience to the stage and powered through song after song, letting all the beauty of the songs shine through. It was an experience I am eternally grateful to have had, and one that I will never forget. This was a performance put on by a group of friends that are still having fun, ten years later, and absolutely loving every minute of it.