3hree Things is where Riley Breckenridge, drummer of Orange County's favorite local alt-rock band Thrice, gives his take on life in Southern California as an OC native.
I'm four days away from leaving for the (very brief) European/UK portion of Thrice's “Farewell Tour”, and since my brain feels like it's being pulled in forty-seven different directions at the moment, you're about to get a look at three of the them. There will be no curmudgeonly rant this week, no glowing record review (although you should buy Torche's Harmonicraft which came out today and is awesome [in this person-who-really-likes-Torche's opinion]), and no harrowing tale of gastrointestinal roulette. Sorry.
No, what you're about to get will just be what falls out of my brain over the next hour or so, and gets hammered into my keyboard while I drink all of the coffee in my house and try to figure out how to shoehorn “all of the things that I could have done over the past few months” into a single day.
Procrastination. Have some.
1) Honesty Wrapped Up In A Clumsy Metaphor
Getting ready for this tour by playing along to songs that span what has been an incredible, surreal, and unexpected (and highly improbable) fourteen year career, has forced me to be a little more introspective than I usually care to be (or feel comfortable with). Saying that there are a lot of unforgettable memories packed into those songs, be it the writing and recording of them, or touring on them and playing them live, seems like a gross understatement to me. There's really no way to explain it from this side. Fourteen years is more than a third of my life. That's nuts to me. And as I listen to and play along with these songs, those memories rush by like when my elementary school teacher would leave the projector on as he/she rewound a filmstrip we watched. They move by too quickly to hang on to any or all of them, but there's a resonance there (beyond the spinning of the reels). For me, that resonance is gratitude.
I'm so grateful to have been able be a part of something creative, something that I truly loved, and something that afforded me the opportunity to do many amazing things, meet and work with and share the stage with so many outstanding people, and see so many places I never thought I'd get a chance to see. And that I got experience all of this through the writing, recording and playing of music? What?! And that people cared enough to support and facilitate that for over a decade? Mind-blowing. What a gift.
2) The First In A Series Of Lasts
Like I said, I leave in a few days, and the thing I can't keep from popping in my head is the notion that this tour is essentially a series of potential “lasts”. And yes, I know this is a “hiatus” and not a “break-up”, and yes I know what “indefinite” means, but what I don't know, is what the future holds for me and my bandmates. I could get hit by a bus in July. (Or tomorrow, actually, but for the sake of this argument, let's agree to ignore that that's even a possibility. Cool? Thanks.) Teppei could become the busiest handcrafted leathersmith on the planet and not have time to tour. (Is leathersmithing a thing? It should be.) Ed could win Mega Millions and move to Hawaii to surf for all eternity. The planets may never align. The Mayans might have been right and the apocalypse might be eight months away. Who knows?
Taking all of that into consideration, I've got to look at our show in Belgium this weekend as “The First In A Series Of Lasts”. Will I ever play music in Belgium again? Dunno. Will I ever be in Belgium again? Dunno. Will I ever be in Europe again? Dunno.
Will I ever set foot in The Metro (in Chicago) again? Grub at Stubbs' BBQ in Austin again? Have an incredible day off in Savannah, Georgia? Smell Puget Sound in the air after a show at The Showbox (Seattle)?
Play this song again? Play that song again? Chat with those fans outside the bus in X, Y, or Z?
I guess that's how every day should be lived.
(I apologize for being hyper-cognizant of it, but given the circumstances, I think it makes sense. Maybe my brain being stuck in this cycle and feeling the need to blather about it here will remind you…we have so much to be grateful for, no matter where we are or what we're doing.)
Aaaand, deep breath.
3) A Mildly Unfortunate 3hree Things Status Update
I'm going to take a break from writing 3hree Things for a couple of months so that I can better focus on this tour, our touring partners, my bandmates, our crew, our music, and most importantly, our fans. I spend more time than you might think (certainly more than is evident) on 3hree Things, and don't want to spend my last few “days off” on tour with my face buried in my laptop while my bandmates and touring buddies are out gallivanting around some glorious city (like Boise)! I'll be back after the tour is over and I've had a little bit of time to decompress and soak it all in. I hope you all understand. As always, I can't thank you all enough for reading, commenting, “liking”, and tweeting links to 3hree Things over the past couple of years. I really appreciate the support and feedback.
Ah, gratitude. There it is again.
Be good, folks. I appreciate the hell out of you.
I'll see some of you on tour, and I'll see the rest of you on the other side of this thing.