MIKE SIMMON: How’s the tour going?
RILEY BRECKENRIDGE: It’s been really good. It’s crazy there are only eight shows left and it doesn’t really seem like that. It’s kind of flown by, which is an indication of how well it’s been going. It’s been really fun. The bands are cool. The guys are fun to hang out with. The shows have been going well and it’s just been a lot of fun.
M: Are you guys on a tour bus?…
M: Just Thrice in the tour bus?…
M: So, who uhh… Is there a spooner in the group?
R: Uhh… (everyone chuckles) No, not on this tour. We did have a tour once where we had a merch guy that had night terrors. So we’d all be sleeping while driving along and then in the middle of the night you’d just hear, “Hey. Heeeey. Heeeeeeeeeey.” Just screaming, like he was getting tortured. So we’d open up his bunk and say, “Dude, are you alright? You ok?” and he’d have no idea that it was going on. He’d be dreaming that some demon was ripping his heart out or something. But it was only when he drank, so if he went out with his friends after the show and came back saying “Hey guys I’m gonna go to bed (in Riley’s best drunken slur)” then we’d know everybody should wear earplugs tonight, or put your ear-buds in on your iPod and get ready for some midnight screams… But yeah, no spooners. Everybody here is pretty tame.
M: That’s good. No one gets lonely?
R: No. Well… I can’t speak for everybody, but I’m sure if they do get lonely they take care of business… Wherever they might do that. (chuckles).
M: Are you guys playing a lot of the new stuff during this tour?
R: Yeah a pretty decent amount. I think about two to three songs from each of the EP’s. On this tour it’s different from most for us. Usually we’ll build a set list during rehearsals before the tour and stick with that set list for the whole tour. At times that kind of gets boring just cause you get on autopilot knowing what songs come next. It has it’s positives cause the set flows better and everybody knows what’s coming. But to keep things fresh on this tour we have a pool of 34 songs and we’ll play about 20 of them a night, so every night there’s different songs in there.
M: How are the crowds responding to the new stuff? Has it been a positive response?
R: Yeah it’s been good. It’s been hard for us, back in the day everything we were playing was hard, fast, and loud, the kids would mosh, and maybe that’s a good indication of whether they were into it or not. So if you saw people running around in circles and beating each other up, you were like, “Alright. They’re getting it.” But now we have songs that are really mellow and it’s not an aggression thing, it’s more of an atmospheric thing. It’s taken us awhile to realize that people can stand, watch, and sing along and that’s okay. People don’t have to go crazy all the time to show that they appreciate what you’re doing. We’ve been talking to people after the shows and they’ve been saying that they really like the new stuff a lot, live and on record, so it’s been pretty good.
M: Was it the entire band’s decision to carry into this new direction?
R: I wouldn’t even call it a decision, cause it wasn’t like we sat down and said “We’re going to be different now.” Over the years the scope of bands that we listen to, and are influenced by, has grown so much. Back in the old days it was a lot of punk rock, a lot of hardcore, a lot of metal. Obviously if that’s what you listen to a lot then that’s what’s going to influence you the most. Over the past four or five years we’ve started listening to so many different types of music and learning to appreciate more than just punk, hardcore, and metal. We’re influenced by these different styles, so when we sit down to write, sometimes stuff like that comes out. When we go to make a record we use all the parts that everybody has compiled and written on their own, to try and make songs out of it. If there’s some piano based stuff, or electronic stuff, or acoustic stuff, we feel like nothing is off limits or that anything is too “un-thrice” to put into a song. There shouldn’t be any rules, it’s music. There shouldn’t be any rules that you should have to follow, so that’s how we approach it and that’s how we’ve got to where we are right now.
M: You can definitely tell that it’s been an organic change so to speak, just because it feels honest.
R: That’s a good thing.
First of all, I was just introduced to a band called Dead Poetic. I put them in the CD player and was blown away! Brandon’s intense lyrics coupled with his amazing voice prove to be the perfect match on their second release, New Medicines. They are much more versatile on this second album proving that they can go from hardcore on songs like Taste the Red Hands and Hostages, to getting deeper and showcasing Brandon’s voice on songs like Glass in the Trees. The only thing better than their CD was their live show. Dead Poetic is definitely not one of these bands who are over-produced and when you get to the show, sound nothing like they do on their album. They bring the intensity like few other bands do and when Brandon gets emotional singing Glass in the Trees you understand that they feel their music.
DAN ENGLISH: So Brandon, you guys just came off a tour with Papa Roach, how was that? Do you like to tour outside the “Christian” circuit?
BRANDON RIKE: We tour with a lot of non-Christian bands, the way I’ve always looked at it is like, the dudes from Papa Roach are way cooler than most Christian bands to be completely honest, you know what I mean? I think a lot of times people hide behind the title of “Christian band” and it kind of allows them to be jerks or whatever. Papa Roach, man, those are the coolest guys I’ve ever met. They’re just the most loving people I’ve ever met. More than anything, they’re an inspiration really. They were just great dudes. We also toured with the band Instruction that was on the tour. Instruction are really anti-God. But what was cool about the tour was I got along with those guys really well. We had spiritual discussions, we disagreed, but we saw from each others point of view.
B: Aw man, this guy’s kicking us out. I hate when they do that. Let’s just stay here.
AARON ROBERTSON: Alright so first off, I know the tour is just a few shows deep, how would you say it’s going so far?
JOSH HEAD: I think it’s been going good. It’s been a lot of fun, all the bands on the tour are really good. We got all the bands we wanted to be on the tour. The crowds have been good, the kids have been awesome, really into the shows. Like, it’s pretty rare that kids stay all the way through a show. Some of them filter out on different tours for different bands but it seems like all the kids are cool and stay for all the bands. So that’s rad.
A: With this being your first headlining tour, are you a little more nervous?
J: Yeah definitely. Especially starting out cause we just didn’t know what was going to happen… Like, if people were even going to show up or whatever. So we’ll see how it goes, we haven’t done well in the Midwest on previous tours and stuff like that. We’ve been on like four or five cross country tours now so we’re sure hoping that all that helps out with all that stuff… But we’ll see what it’s really like. Definitely stressful, it’s just like making sure all the bands show up and you have to worry about set times so you don’t play at midnight and people aren’t tired. So it’s a lot more stressful and stuff but it’s cool.
A: You kind of answered this question, but, how do you feel the fan response has been?
J: Yeah, it’s been really good. Definitely.
A: Now Seth has chosen to leave the band, I’ve heard that you have taken over on drums. What’s the whole situation with that?
J: Yeah. Well he got married about two months ago and decided he just didn’t want to tour anymore, like he wanted to be with his wife, go back to school, grad school, and stuff like that. So we support him in that, I thought that was cool, that’s what he wants to do. I played drums four or five years ago in different bands. I haven’t played since then. So they were like… Well… So I just kinda took that over.
A: Do you like the drums more than the keyboard?
J: I’m a better drummer than I am a keyboard player. So…
A: Really?! I’d have to say that you were the craziest keyboardists that I have ever seen in my life!
J: I’ve grown to play a lot. I’m very limited in my knowledge of playing.
A: Do you miss not being in the front?
J: A little bit yeah… Yeah a little… But it’s fun to be able to just freak out on the drums.
A: Cause you were always the one getting the hand clap, and just going crazy out there…
J: Yeah it was fun, really fun…
AARON ROBERTSON: Have you guys had your first big fight yet?
JON BUNCH: No… Not really. I mean, I’m still very new with the guys and getting to know them every day still so. It’s like, imagine having seven brothers in a band, you’re going to argue over stupid stuff you know. We try to keep it down to a minimum, but you bicker over things that don’t matter and let some steam off or whatever but it’s been going really well, considering the fact that I’m brand new to the family… The Further Family… They’re not as crazy as everyone says they are.
A: Is that true?
STEVE KLEISATH: Eh… For the most part. Every once in awhile we’ll get crazy.
J: Yeah. We actually have more fun than I thought too. The after parties have been really fun and we’ve had some good times together so far.
S: It’s been good camaraderie.
J: Yeah. It definitely outweighs the pettiness.
S: I would say this lineup definitely has been the most fun, on a daily basis, in my experience since the origins of the group. You know, just hanging out, no drama, there hasn’t really been a lot of drama or just crap tension or anything.
A: That kind of leads to my first real question… How do you feel the tour has gone so far? This being the first headlining tour with the new lineup, the new lead singer?
J: From my experience I feel like it’s definitely a situation where the band is starting over in a lot of ways. One of my fears was that we would lose all the old Further fans because I joined or whatever, but it hasn’t been the case at all. All the Further fans have rallied to the cause and they’re supporting the new album and they’ve received it really well. This tour has been really great. Every night’s been worth coming out and playing and I’m pleasantly surprised with how well it’s gone. They said the other times, when Jason toured, there was a lot more static and was more difficult to make the transition. I think the smartest thing we did was to make a new album right away and so that period in between records went by fast so. They (the listeners) have a new record to listen to and decide whether or not they want to continue with the band.
A: As far as live performances go, where do you feel you guys are at right now, just starting out the tour? I know you guys have done a few shows and Cornerstone Festival up till now, but where do you guys feel you’re at now?
S: I think we’re light years from the first Cornerstone Festival, haha. I mean it’s sort of hard when Jon’s coming in on his first show and we’re playing in front of ten thousand people. We’re at the point now where we’re half way through tour and it’s a well oiled machine at this point and we’re definitely getting in a zone and definitely enjoying where we’re at in our set now.
J: It becomes second nature at this point. There’s all these things you want to try and improve upon in your own mind and you think of how you can do something better. But everyday is different because it depends on how you’re feeling on that day, you might not be the healthiest on one certain day and so you’re just trying to, like, improve and at the same time one day you’re feeling really good and you’re not able to pull it together. It’s just really weird, touring is a definite challenge.
AARON ROBERTSON: So, this is your first interview. How does it feel?
BRADLEY HATHAWAY: Feels weird.
A: Yeah? Does it feel cool?
B: Yeah. What’s that movie?… Notting Hill? When he kept going to all those different… he kept pretending to be the horse people or whatever. It feels like that.
B: I’m not nervous, but it’s just that it’s going to get written down. It’s kind of different. But Blindside’s bread is making it ok… Hahaha…
A: So, first off… er, second off I guess, is this the first time that you’ve done your act in front of a church, to a bunch of young kids?
B: Actually the first time I ever did poetry was in front of a hundred and eighty or two hundred junior high kids, but they were from the ghetto, so they kind of thought I was trying to be Eminem. So they didn’t really get it… I forgot about that until just now actually. So it was a different vibe, cause they were like ‘thugged out’ kids. I didn’t have The Boobie Poem then so I wasn’t worried about anything. This is the first time I’ve done The Boobie Poem in front of… well this other one was a Christian concert, but it was on a college campus, so I wasn’t as weirded out about it. This was the first time in front of a full on church show. I was a little uncomfortable. I felt a little weird.
A: Can you explain what The Boobie Poem is all about?……
A: So just to let the readers know, we took a break cause Bradley just got tasered by a police officer for the fun of it. Tell me how the experience of being tasered went.
B: Dude, it was pretty cool. No, it wasn’t… to me the tongue thing felt worse, but that was still shocking, cause it was a taser gun.
A: The tongue thing?
B: Like when you stick a battery on your tongue. That feels worse, but um, that was just really funny.
A: That was a good time, I mean, how many times has someone done that after a show?
B: I wish somebody would have taken it up the rear.
A: I wish someone would have taken it for like twenty seconds.
B: No, it was tough. It was cool. I felt tough.
BRANDON RUSSELL: So you’re quite a veteran to snowboarding… you’ve been riding since… ’86?
MIKE BASICH: Yeah… ’85-’86ish. Next year will be my twentieth year.
B: How do you think you’ve lasted so long with out completely killing yourself?
M: Riding the soft stuff, haha. I quit riding the hard pack quite a while ago. I kinda started off with the world cup halfpipe, that’s what started my career, the competition thing. And it turned into big air after that. My body started feeling it, my back, my posture’s horrible. Five years ago… or, four years ago I stopped competing and started photography and wanted to do something that set my own schedule, so now I ride and chase the snow around in my van, wherever it’s soft. I rode Northstar yesterday and I am aching today, from one day of riding, cause I don’t ride resorts that often anymore.
B: Now you mentioned photography… is that what you love to do now? Your Point of Views and Self Portraits are amazing.
M: Being in the sport for twenty years I gotta keep things interesting for me. Going from competition, to starting my own business, to running the business and negotiating contracts, going to filming, and stuff like that is to always bring something new in that I haven’t done yet. Photography is something that I got interested in after shooting with so many photographers and wanting to shoot what I see, so I’d tell a photographer to go over here and over there and they don’t like that too often so I had an interest to try and capture what I had in my mind and it turned into what I see as a rider, so it turned into Point of View stuff. I got a couple remotes so I can shoot myself from the ground. That’s been interesting, my new little spark to keep things interesting for me…
B: Like your now infamous 120-foot acid drop out of the helicopter, how’d you come up with that crazy idea?
M: That happened two years ago and it was about a three year project that I wanted to do, it was on the back burner for awhile until I told my girlfriend at the time about it, I’d just started getting more into photography that year. I wanted to shoot a photo like that but run it without the heli, so you see this guy falling out of the sky and there’s no cliff or anything next to him from where he took off. That was the original vision that I wanted to try to capture but it turned out that no one ran it that way. That’s kinda how that thing started.
BRANDON RUSSELL: Mikey, thanks for taking time off of your busy schedule, touring for loveHate. How is the tour going?
MIKEY LeBLANC: A party, a plane, an hour and another party.
B: Are kids getting as stoked as you hoped they would?
M: I think so, the tricks are unquestionable, the video and the music grows on you like fine wine… I’m really at the point where I edited it with Shelby, and have seen it so much. And I still really love the video so… at this point, selfishly, I don’t care… because I love it.
B: Tell us a little about Kidsknow and the loveHATE video.
M: Kidsknow is my production company, I did the vid In association with Burning Bridges. That is Shelby’s company. loveHATE is a lot of my friends and me making what we do during the winter visible to kids.
B: Who is touring with you for the loveHATE and Positron tour?
M: Mostly Justin Hebbel, Darrel Mathesen and Jon Kooley for loveHATE, and Devun, Dufficy, and Dionne for the Positron video. It’s a nightmare, or, a dream come true. Six a.m. flights, one hour in the hotel room, straight to the premiere, straight to the bar after. Drink all night, and then get a cab to the next flight. It’s rock star shit.
B: Who are you most stoked to be touring with? Who in this video do we most need to be watching?
M: I like everyone. For loveHATE; Hebbel is insane. So tech. It takes a lot of watching to tell what he’s doing. And Darrel is also ridiculous.
B: What is your vision for Kidsknow?
M: Make snow videos that are non-scripted, and in the middle, have some social commentary fun. Possibly say something without beating you over the head with it.
B: Switching gears to some other projects of yours, How is Holden going?
M: Amazing and crazy. The gear is making me happy and I pretty much know the whole business now. From start to finish.