With Vheissu, Thrice deliver the most definitive record of their career. The title was inspired by Thomas Pynchon’s classic underground novel from 1963 titled: “V.”, which is a loose collection of arcane myths and ideas. While explanations for the title aren’t entirely specific, the band alludes to the many crossroads and decisions they’re faced with everyday being in a band whose fame is consistently growing each day, remarking that they are “standing at Vheissu,” which could also stand for Vesuvius, cited by Virgil as an entrance to some complex maze of the underworld. This hazy definition of meaning juxtaposed with the concise and focused sound of the record reveal the many layers of duality within the recording, images of light and dark, day and night, land and sea, are prevalent throughout.
When it came time to choose a producer, the band wanted to turn to an objective ear, and someone perhaps not familiar with them at all. They ended up enlisting the skills of Englishman Steve Osborne (Doves, U2, Peter Gabriel), who’d never produced a heavy record before. It happened to be the perfect choice for a band going somewhere they’d never gone before.
Thrice is one of those rare bands that manage to craft a fresh new take with each record while keeping their unique “sound” fully intact. Drawing on their wealth of musical talents and vast reservoir of influences, the record signals a movement into uncharted territories for the band. From the eerily programmed drums on “Red Sky,” the classical style piano intro on “For Miles,” and the prison chain-gang creepiness of “the Earth will Shake,” they have moved into an unexplored creative realm with a natural ease and confidence that few bands can match, especially in their early twenties.
Thrice have become a great rock band but still wave the punk rock flag proudly. They have actively donated proceeds from records and participated in charities since their first show, and continue to do so this time around for a charity called 826 Valencia. 826 is a tutorial program for underprivileged kids that focuses on creative and academic writing, reading, and college preparatory classes.
They’ve gone from playing Metallica karaoke with their friends in the basements of Irvine, California, to one of Island Records most talented acts, and continue to be one of the most genuine and down to earth group of guys in the music industry, very impressive indeed.