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Thrice is an American rock band from Irvine, Californiamarker, formed in 1998. The group was founded by guitarist/vocalist Dustin Kensrue and guitarist Teppei Teranishi while they were in high school.

Early in their career, the band was known for fast, hard music based in heavily distorted guitars, prominent lead guitar lines, and frequent changes in complex time signatures." This style is exemplified on their second album, The Illusion of Safety (2002) and their third album The Artist in the Ambulance (2003). Their fourth album Vheissu (2005) made significant changes by incorporating electronic beats, keyboards, and more mature and nuanced songwriting. Their fifth effort was a quadruple album entitled The Alchemy Index (2007/2008), released as two sets of two CDs that together make a 4-part, 24-song cycle. Each of the four 6-song EPs of the Alchemy Index features significantly different styles, based on different aspects of the band's musical aesthetic which reflect the elemental themes of fire, water, air and earth, both lyrically and musically. The band's sixth album, entitled Beggars, was released on August 11, 2009.

Each album released by Thrice has had a portion of its sales proceeds donated to a new charitable organization.


First Impressions and Identity Crisis (1998 – 2001)

Dustin Kensrue and Teppei Teranishi knew each other from school and had played in a band together, the name of which is unknown. Teppei recruited his skate park friend Eddie Breckenridge to play bass, who then brought his brother Riley on as a drummer. In 1998, Thrice announced to participants at Power Chord Academy that they had come up with the name Thrice out of desperation and an inside joke; when a friend had told Dustin that he had beaten the Game Boy video game Frogger twice, Dustin replied he had beaten it "thrice."

In 1999, the band self-released an EP titled First Impressions which was the product of a two-day session at A-Room Studios with Brian Tochilin. Only 1,000 copies were made and the band members sold them out of their cars. Working with Death by Stereo's Paul Miner, the quartet recorded 12 tracks, and by April 2000, the group had released Identity Crisis on Greenflag Records. A portion of the album's proceeds were donated to a local charity called Crittenton Services for Children and Families. More support gigs and local buzz followed, and Thrice sparked the interest of Hopeless/Sub City's Louis Posen. In 2001, Posen signed with the band, reissued Identity Crisis, and sent the group out on tour with Samiam. Tours with Midtown and Hot Rod Circuit followed.

The Illusion of Safety (2002 – 2003)

Thrice re-entered the studio with producer Brian McTernan to record its Hopeless/Sub City debut, The Illusion of Safety. The album was released in February 2002 and the band toured extensively to support it, opening for Further Seems Forever and Face to Face before embarking on its first headlining tour later that year. The band again donated a portion of the album's proceeds, this time choosing a non-profit youth shelter in South Central Los Angeles, A Place Called Home. The band's donations were matched by their label.

The album received generally positive reviews and garnered the attention of several major labels. The band eventually signed with Island Records, who had agreed to match Thrice's charitable donations in the same manner that Hopeless/Sub City had. That fall, the band toured with Hot Water Music and Coheed and Cambria before returning to the studio.

The Artist in the Ambulance (2003 – 2004)

In 2003, the band released its Island Records debut, The Artist in the Ambulance. The album's title is in reference to Burn Collector by Al Burian and is meant to reflect the band's desire to do more than make music and contribute to society through their charitable donations. A portion of the album's proceeds were this time donated to the Syrentha Savio Endowment, a financial aid organization for breast cancer patients. First pressings of the album were packaged in a digipak-style case with postcards containing lyrics and notes from the band.

The album spawned two singles, "All That's Left" and "Stare at the Sun." Both songs, and their accompanying videos, received modest airplay and the band found themselves playing at larger venues as the year progressed. A co-headlining fall tour with labelmates Thursday and opener Coheed and Cambria sold out across the United States, as well as a stint on the Honda Civic Tour with Dashboard Confessional, The Get Up Kids, and Hot Water Music.

Throughout 2004, the band continued to tour in support of The Artist in the Ambulance. Island Records issued a promotional disc (that features an alternate version of "The Artist in the Ambulance") in early 2004 that would become the basis for If We Could Only See Us Now, a CD/DVD package outlining the group's career. Named after a lyric from "So Strange I Remember You," the CD portion contained live tracks from a performance at the Apple Store and various B-sides. A slot to promote the CD/DVD came on the 2004 Vans Warped Tour.

Dustin Kensrue and Teppei Teranishi of Thrice performing at a Fopp instore signing in Southampton, UK.

Vheissu (2005 – 2006)

Thrice spent much of the first half of 2005 working with producer Steve Osborne on the follow-up to The Artist in the Ambulance. Thrice released Vheissu in October 2005 with "Image of the Invisible" as the first single. The album's title was taken from the Thomas Pynchon novel V., and featured a wider variety of instrumentation than used in the band's previous albums, including the use of strings, electronics, and a Rhodes Piano. Many of the album's lyrics also feature biblical, spiritual, and abstract themes.

For the band's donations related to this album's sales proceeds, Thrice chose novelist Dave Eggers's charity 826 Valenciamarker, a tutorial program for underprivileged children, which promotes literacy and aids teens develop creative writing skills. In return, Eggers created the cover art for Vheissu.

The band toured extensively in support of the album, including headlining the 2006 Taste of Chaos tour and performing "Image of the Invisible" on Jimmy Kimmel Live. In April 2006, the band released "Red Sky" as the second single from the album. The accompanying video was directed by Tim Hope, who had previously directed videos for Coldplay and Jimmy Eat World. Instead of releasing just a single, Thrice opted to release the Red Sky EP in support of the single, which included two previously unreleased tracks and four live tracks.

The Alchemy Index (2006 – 2008)

In September 2006, the band announced plans for a new album (later titled The Alchemy Index) on their official website. The album was conceived as a series of 4 EPs, each of which represents an element of nature: earth, air, fire, and water. The band maintained a studio blog titled "Alchemy Index" throughout the recording process.

During the recording process, the band announced that they were leaving Island Records, citing a difference of opinion on the band's future direction as the reason for the split. The band joined Vagrant Records on August 9, 2007.

On October 12, 2007, Thrice released the first two songs from the Alchemy Index in their entirety through the band's MySpace page. The Alchemy Index Vols. I & II was released on October 16, 2007 and sold 28,000 copies in its first week. It debuted at number 24 on the Billboard 200 chart, and it topped at number five on the iTunes top-selling albums. To promote the new album, Thrice toured with the bands MewithoutYou and Brand New, and followed with a series of Canadian shows with bands Say Anything and Attack in Black. The second half of the project, The Alchemy Index Vols. III & IV - Earth & Air, was released on April 15, 2008.

The final song on each disc is written in the form of a sonnet, depicting the relationship of man with each of the particular elements. Each of these songs is in iambic pentameter, with a concluding rhyming couplet. These final couplets also contain the same vocal melody and chord progression as each other, although they are in different keys.

Thrice recently wrapped up their Spring 2008 tour with Circa Survive and Pelican. The May 28, 2008 show at the House of Blues in Anaheim was filmed for a live CD/DVD titled Live at the House of Blues. The live album spans 2 CDs and a DVD with live footage and an exclusive interview in which the band answers fan-submitted questions. In Fall 2008, they embarked on a tour supporting Rise Against, along with Alkaline Trio and The Gaslight Anthem.

Beggars (2009 onward)

On January 4, 2009, the band announced on its website that writing had begun for the follow-up to The Alchemy Index, with the title announced as Beggars on June 15, 2009. A July update to the band's website revealed the release date to be October 13, 2009. However, after the album was leaked several months in advance, the band announced on their website on July 23, 2009 that the album would be released exclusively to iTunes on August 11. The physical CD was released on September 15, 2009. Bonus content included two b-sides from the Beggars sessions, two remixes, and a studio rendition of their cover of The Beatles' Helter Skelter.

Feeling that the band's previous two projects (The Alchemy Index and Vheissu) had a "sleepy feeling" to them, Thrice wanted to make a record that was "a little more upbeat and energetic." Thrice's members also hoped to save money and spend more time with their families by building a recording studio in guitarist Teppei Teranishi's home. Originally, the band expressed interest in tracking the record live (or recording the full band all at once, instead of each instrument individually and mixing together at a later time) in the home studio, however Thrice will no longer be recording in this style. Instead the band will record songs with "similar vibe[s] musically, and tonally" in the same session. Several wooden devices were constructed by the band for the home studio to make the recordings "sound better." The self-produced album will be released through Vagrant Records.

Thrice played The Bamboozle Left festival in April, and played selected dates on this summer's Warped Tour. Throughout the Warped Tour shows, Thrice played "All the World is Mad," "At the Last" and "The Weight."

The song "All the World is Mad" is featured in the Vagrant Song Pack for Guitar Hero, which was set for release on July 23, 2009. "Deadbolt" will be appearing on the upcoming Guitar Hero 5.

On July 29, Brand New announced that Thrice will be playing on select dates of their Fall North American tour. Multiple shows were sold out, and the band notably performed a cover of The Beatles's Helter Skelter. After this leg of the tour, Thrice began a tour with The Dear Hunter, but they had to play without guitarist Teppei Teranishi who left due to a family emergency.

In 2009, while on the Vans Warped Tour in Houston, TX, the band autographed a Gibson Guitar for the non-profit Music Saves Lives and assisted in their goal of raising the nation's blood supply.

Thrice posted a poll for fans to vote for which song from Beggars to use for a music video. "All the World is Mad", "The Weight", "Circles" and "In Exile" were the choices for the poll, with "In Exile" narrowly beating "The Weight" even after some voters hacked into the system to try to choose the winner. The live-themed, black and white music video premiered on Myspace Music on Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 2009, their first live video since 2002's "Deadbolt."


Themes relevant to the Christian faith appear frequently in the subject matter of their songs. Particularly prominent are references to the twentieth-century Christian apologist and philosopher C.S. Lewis, with the songs "As the Ruin Falls," "The Abolition of Man," "That Hideous Strength," and "The Weight of Glory" being named after works by Lewis. The song "The Earth Will Shake" borrows heavily from Lewis's poem "The Prudent Jailor." and the song "Come All You Weary" contains the line "the light's growing bright further up, further in," which is a reference to Lewis' The Last Battle. In the same song, the lyrics make frequent reference to biblical scripture, with many lines being direct quotations of Jesus. Another noticeable example of this is the song "Moving Mountains," which largely derives from 1 Corinthians 13:1-3.

Side projects

  • Dustin Kensrue has released two solo albums, the first on Equal Vision Records on January 23, 2007, titled Please Come Home. The album opened at 142 on the Billboard 200 with 5,800 copies sold. The follow-up was called This Good Night Is Still Everywhere and featured two original Christmas songs and covers of Christmas carols.
  • Dustin Kensrue provided guest vocals and Teppei Teranishi played guitar/provided production on The Out Circuit's album Pierce The Empire With a Sound.
  • Teppei Teranishi is in a side project with Chris Jones called Black Unicorn. Chris Jones also played drums and electric guitar on Dustin's solo album.

Band members


Studio albums

Year Title Label Chart peaks

US Indie

US Heat


2001 Identity Crisis Sub City Records
2002 The Illusion of Safety 14 20
2003 The Artist in the Ambulance Island Records 16 109
2005 Vheissu 15 119
2007 The Alchemy Index Vols. I & II Vagrant Records 24 1 114
2008 The Alchemy Index Vols. III & IV 17 1 140
2009 Beggars 47 4
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.


Year Title Label RIAA Certification
1999 First Impressions Independently released
2003 Live from the SoHo & Santa Monica Stores iTunes exclusive
2005 If We Could Only See Us Now Island Records Gold
2006 Red Sky
2008 Come All You Weary Vagrant Records/iTunes
2008 The Myspace Transmissions

Live albums

Year Title Label
2008 Live at the House of Blues Vagrant Records


Year Title Chart peaks Album
US Main US Mod UK
2002 "Betrayal Is a Symptom" The Illusion of Safety
2002 "Deadbolt"
2003 "All That's Left" 36 24 69 The Artist in the Ambulance
2003 "The Artist in the Ambulance"
2004 "Stare at the Sun" 39
2005 "Image of the Invisible" 24 Vheissu
2006 "Red Sky"
2007 "Digital Sea" The Alchemy Index
2008 "Come All You Weary"
2009 "All the World Is Mad" Beggars
"In Exile"
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.

Note: All singles have a music video except for "The Artist in the Ambulance" and "All the World is Mad."


External links

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