Tuesday, February 3, 2009


For many bands being around for just a little over a decade may not qualify you as legend, yet for New Jersey post-hardcore heroes, Thursday, that is indeed what they are. A band that has broken every boundary and risked it all in a thankless genre only to come out on top. From intensely memorable live shows, full of fun and scary moments to heartfelt and painful songs, Thursday knows how to keep a fans attention. Passion, curiosity and society are what drive these six men to do what they do. That formula has lead to success but rocky roads as well. With famously going in and out of record labels, non stop touring, the band always knows what is important to them; the music and the fans. As the band readies their fifth album, Common Existence, due it stores the 17. I had the privilege and honor to speak to guitarist Steve Pedulla to discuss the bands longevity, latest record, and influences. Take a look at my interview below.
1) What can you tell us about the new album?We recorded the new album up at Tarbox Studios with Dave Fridmann and it comes out on 2-17-09. We’re really proud of the record and excited for everyone to hear it.
2) How does Common Existence differ from previous Thursday records?
Every time we make a new Thursday record we’re always trying to progress and bring the songs some place new. Common Existence was no different in that regard. However we realized that along the way there were certain aspects to our songwriting that we had abandoned. On this record we revisited some of those ideas and tried to re-invent them.
3) Thursday has seemed to have had homes at so many different record labels. By jumping around from label to label does it take a toll on you as artists, and style and sound?
I don’t know that it really affected our style and sound all that much, but the moving process can definitely be frustrating. When you are busy trying to find a new home it takes time and energy away from really being able to concentrate on the songs.
4) How is the new home at Epitaph?
Epitaph has been awesome. Everyone there seems to be on the same page as us. We’ve always respected them as a label and we’re excited to be working with them now.
5) You recently did a split with Envy. Tell us how the idea came about to work and release a split with a heavy Japanese band.
Well we’ve all been fans of Envy for a while now. I’m not sure of the specifics of how it all came together to be honest. I just remember Geoff mentioning the idea and we were so excited that we forgot to ask about the details. I think Geoff met Jeremy from Temporary Residence at a show in New York and they started kicking around the idea. All I know is that we were honored that both Temporary Residence and Envy wanted to work with us. Like I said we’ve been fans for a while.
6) Thursday have never held anything back about society, politics and action. This past year saw a tremendous change in America, has the new change in America changed Thursday?
Wow that’s a tricky question. I guess it depends on what changes you are referring too. Some of the changes seem very promising and some of them are very disappointing. But it seems like that’s always the case. We’ve always been a band that believes in hope and compassion, but we’ve also always been aware and outspoken about the things that stand in the way of compassion. We still believe in a lot of the same things so in that regard we haven’t changed but we’re constantly influenced by what is happening around us. But I think that’s the case for everyone whether they realize it or not.
7) Common Existence was produced by David Fridmann (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, MGMT), someone who generally works with lighter sounding and more experimental artists. What was it like working with him? What was it like being the heaviest sounding band he has worked with?
Working with Dave is great. He creates a great environment to work in. While we are all stressing out wondering if we are making the right choices he is the guy that is calming us down. I’m not sure being a “heavier band” than he usually works with really changed much about his process. But then again I don’t really have another experience to compare it too.
8) One thing that has made Thursday a legendary band is the intense live shows you put on. What is your favorite song to play live?
Playing new songs live is always the most fun for me. Lately I have been having fun playing Resuscitation of a Dead Man and As He Climbed the Dark Mountain. But I’m looking forward to playing more new stuff on our upcoming tours.
9) What is your favorite on stage moment?
I guess it would have to be anytime we are on stage and really feel a connection with the crowd. I just love playing live so its hard to pinpoint it to anything more specific than that.
10) Is there anyone you would love to tour with? Past or Present.
It would have been fun to tour with Fugazi or Quicksand, or Sunny Day Real Estate, or Jawbox or... I really could go on forever with that question!
11) Many bands from the Post-Hardcore era have fizzled out, yet you guys keep going. What is your staying power?
We just keep making the music we want to make. We don’t really have control over much outside of that. So I really don’t know.

Special thanks to Steve for the interview! Common Existence out Feb 17!!!

Above: Thursday with Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance performing "Jet Black New Year" live at Hellfest 2003. / Below: Banned from MTV version of "War All the Time"