Geoff speaks about the No Devotion, the end of Thursday and a new beginning.
This week, Thursday announced their reformation and first show since their split in 2011. So of course, we got frontman Geoff Rickly on the phone to find out what went down at the end of the band, what their reunion means for No Devotion and what exactly is going on with Thursday in 2016.
THURSDAY ARE BACK TOGETHER! HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE PLAYING MUSIC IN THE BAND AGAIN?
"Well, we haven’t even been in a practise room together yet! We haven’t made music again yet but we have been spending time together. The dynamic of all of us in a room together again feels so good. A few terrible things happened between ourselves at the end that we kept between ourselves so as not to sully the memory of the band, and that stuff we’ve all kind of made peace with and are OK about now.
"We never stopped clicking when we played music. We have to start practising again now because it’s been five years but I’m not really worried about that! It was never, ‘I can’t play music with this guy,’ it was more, ‘I don’t even know if I can be around this guy!’ I think anybody who tours together for any extended period of time will find that, though."
DID YOU START SPENDING TIME TOGETHER WITH THE IDEA OF REUNITING? OR WAS THAT JUST A NATURAL PROGRESSION FROM BEING AROUND ONE ANOTHER AGAIN?
"It was very much the second one. Thursday was too much of a special thing for too long, so to be in a really negative place with each other, not talking or going to each others weddings even, was like, ‘Guys, come on, we’re meant to stick together!’ That was my feeling, anyway.
"That’s why we got in a room, but as soon as we tweeted some pictures of us hanging out we almost instantly got an offer to play. Our booking agent – and we’ve had the same one for about 15 years – was like, ‘You should fucking play, you’re all friends, go do it’. I wasn’t sure, but he explained to be that we didn’t have to do a record or anything we didn’t want to do, it could be literally whatever we wanted it to be. That was the inspiration for it, being in a place of total freedom."
WITH THE PRESSURE OFF, DO YOU FEEL AS THOUGH YOU’LL BE ABLE TO ENJOY PLAYING IN THURSDAY MORE?
"I think we’ll be a bit truer to the spirit of playing for the hell of playing. We turned Wrecking Ball Festival down four times because I thought when we came back we should play in New Jersey, that seemed obvious to me. I also kinda wanted it to be an intimate show, but by the end of it they counter offered it with lots of things which allowed us to do things in our own way, including involving a charity and some other things which haven’t been announced yet which will be incredible. Oh, and then we heard the line-up, which blew my mind! I’m getting to play with all my heroes. But I mean, we decided this on Sunday and they announced it on the Tuesday, it’s been really quick."
SO ARE THERE ANY OTHER PLANS GOING FORWARD? MORE SHOWS? NEW MUSIC?!
"This all was such a rush that we haven’t talked about anything else. I mean, we’ve kinda talked on our weekends about some things, but decided on none of it. Some of the guys are like, ‘Oh my god, we never played a last show in California, or in London’ and blah blah blah but it’s not been a ‘Let’s go do it!’ thing."
YOU’VE SPOKEN BEFORE ABOUT THURSDAY BEING A CAPSULE IN TIME FOR YOU. HOW DO YOU RECONCILE THAT WITH THIS SHOW?
"All the conversations we’ve had leading up to this have been, ‘What went wrong with Thursday?’ We very deeply had a sense that things didn’t go the way we had planned when we first started the band. Immediately with ‘Full Collapse’ we were bigger than we ever expected to be so it wasn’t a talk about why we weren’t the biggest band in the world, it was more a case of ‘Why did those last two albums feel wrong? Why did the tours start to feel shitty? Why did we want to break up?
"If you listen to ‘Stay True’ the last song on ‘No Devolución’ it’s a pretty clear, ‘See you later’, y’know. For a band who hadn’t spoken about breaking up, we all looked at each other over that song and knew we were going to. So we’re trying to work out where we lost it, where we lost this thing that we had."
AND WHERE DO YOU THINK THURSDAY LOST IT?
"I’ve heard this theory that the hype train was so insane around ‘Full Collapse’ that when we came to play the big shows like Reading and Leeds main stage, we actually turned in some pretty below average performances! There was a backlash from that and we didn’t take that very well. But in a way I’m sort of proud of that, Thursday was never a well-oiled machine and I like the idea of that capturing the human nature of this band.
"But the other thing I keep coming back to is that we were a band of the people – I put on shows before I was in a band and we’re all very invested in the idea of DIY community. But I remember playing the Fireside Bowl in Chicago which is a famous DIY venue and we sold it out and they turned 800 people away. That night the promoter said to me, ‘You’re going to get us shut down, will you do me a favour and never play here again?’ After that it felt like for the good of the DIY scene we needed to move away from it.
"The problem was we then moved so far from that scene and doing tours like Taste Of Chaos with bands like BMTH and Four Year Strong. One year Taste Of Chaos were selling tickets to meet us. How can you be a band of the people if you charge people to shake your hand? That was a demoralizing thing, and instead of seizing the moment we just gave in. I think that’s a huge part of what went wrong the first time around. Coming back is about rewinding to what we had that was great in the first place. It’s about putting it back in our hands and making it feel special. I can’t wait, I’m so excited and happy and proud of us."
AND WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOUR INVOLVEMENT WITH NO DEVOTION?
"I’ve seen some people bowing their heads and going ,’I can’t believe No Devotion is over’ but it’s really not like that at all. We’ll be coming back and doing something that patches some of the energy I’ve got going on right now; something a little more upbeat and positive. Those guys deserve everything, they’re some of my favourite fucking people!"
Thursday play Wrecking Ball Festival in Atlanta, Georgia in August.