By: David D. Washington III
Photos courtesy of Sangsouvanh Khounvichit
One-fourth of the post-hardcore rock band Thrice from Orange County, California, Teppei Teranishi has been on the music scene for more than 20 years. Teranishi and his Thrice bandmates are currently touring with Rise Against, DEFTONES and Frank Iero and the Patience, scheduled to perform in Jacksonville at Daily’s Place on June 24th.
We caught up with Teppei while they were on the first part of this tour, in Maryland.
Buzz: Good Morning Teppei. How is the tour going so far?
Teppei: It’s been good man. We’re just two days into it, but yeah, we’ve toured with both Deftones and Rise Against before. So yeah, it’s cool. Just kind of being out with some old friend, it’s good vibes. It’s been fun times.
Buzz: Thrice has been around for more than 20 years. How did Thrice get started?
Teppei: So, we started in the summer of 98. So close to 20-years ago. Yeah, this was like literally; kind of like our high school garage band for most of us. It just kind of slowly started snowballing and turning into what it is today, so. Yeah, we never thought we would be here close to 20 years later. Twenty years later, we’re doing the same thing.
Buzz: What were some of your first big shows?
Teppei: Each step of the way was kind of like a big milestone for us we thought. One of our first shows was at a community center food drive, and that was kind of like, cool we got a show.
We got our first real show at a place called “Chain Reaction” in Anaheim, California, and that was like a huge deal because we were like, alright we’re playing a real show in a real venue. It’s been like that every step of the way, so it’s hard to say when it really felt like alright, this was our big show that we finally got to play.
Buzz: We talked about some of your first shows as a band. Do you remember what your first big break was? When you really felt like you made it?
Teppei: I guess it would be when we signed our first record deal.
Buzz: Thrice has been with four different record labels?
Teppei: Something like that. Yeah, we self-released our first LP, and then a couple friends of ours, they ran a record store local to us. They kind of helped us put it out and kind of distribute it. But, that was only like a 1,000 copies or so I think. And then, we signed to Hopeless/Sub City Records, and that was kind of our first “real” record label, and they re-released that same record under their own distro.
Buzz: Let’s talk about the hiatus? Thrice as a band decided to take a break. It eventually turned into a three-year break. How did you guys get to that point where you decided to take some time off? Because Thrice did a farewell tour in 2012 and to most people, they would think this was the end for Thrice.
Teppei: Well, you know at that point, we’d been doing it for 15 years or so. You know, life was just kind of moving on. I had two kids, with a third on the way at the time. Dustin, our singer, had three kids, and you know Riley, our drummer, was married or was gonna get married, so it just kind of felt like time to take a break from all the touring and being gone from home all the time and just kind of like letting life happen for a second, you know. Enjoy the kids and the family.
Buzz: Can you tell us about your new album titled “To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere.” Can you tell us how you came up with that title?
Teppei: Dustin, our singer, came up with that title from the Roman philosopher, Seneca the Younger. Dustin read it and it kind of resonated with him and we liked it also. We thought it was a cool title, we thought it was pretty relevant.
Sort of like how we live our lives with all the social media. You know, the expansiveness of the internet. Nobody seems to be living in the moment, you know. Nobody seems to be actually present where they are, so. That’s kinda the basic idea of that I guess.
Buzz: It looked like for a time that it might have been the end of the band. What does the future look like for Thrice?
Teppei: Well, we are finishing this tour up, we got another three weeks left. We have a couple of festivals in September I believe, and then we got a U.S. fall tour coming up that’s yet to be announced, but it’s gonna be pretty sweet so we’re pretty stoked. And then we’re just going to be writing and getting back in the studio.
Buzz: Any big names on this tour?
Teppei: Ahhhh yeah, I don’t think I want to say anything yet, but we’re stoked.
Buzz: So, I see that you’re into leather crafting business. How is that going?
Teppei: It’s good man, that was basically like a hobby I had that I was doing on the road. By the time we called the hiatus, it was kind of like a company a little bit. You know, I was kind of just trying to fund the hobby cause it’s not a cheap thing to keep buying leather.
I already had set up and obviously, I had to find some way to support my family during the hiatus cause we honestly didn’t know how long it was going to be whether it was going to be three years like it was, 10 years, we really had no idea.
So, at that point I could have tried to do something else in music but, you know I had done music for most my entire adult life at that point. It just wanted to try something different. Yeah, I just took that and kind of ran with it. It kind of turned into a full brand I guess.
Buzz: Have you ever explored any other genres of music?
Teppei: Oh yeah, definitely. I mean, especially at this point in my life like, most of the stuff I listen to sounds nothing like the stuff we do. Jazz I think is like probably one of the genres of music I listen to most outside of like regular rock. And it’s something I always wanted to learn how to play.
I just kind of figured like yeah, if I keep listening to it forever you know, I’ll kinda start to pick it up and almost learn it by osmosis. I kinda like realize that that’s not working for me. There’s so much theory and knowledge I think involved in that. I actually just started taking jazz piano lessons. I’m like two lessons deep.
Buzz: If you had any advice for new musicians trying to make it in the music business now, what would you tell them?
Teppei: Man, I don’t know, it’s hard cause it’s like—you know, it’s such a different landscape from when we first started, it’s almost a completely different world. So I wouldn’t even know where to start nowadays.
You know, I think at the core of it, if you are just doing it from your heart. You know you’re doing it for all the right reasons, you are doing it just cause you love it, and you wanna play music.
I think authenticity shines through more than anything else.
As cheesy as that sounds.
So just stay true, keep it real. Hopefully people catch on. If so, that’s rad. And if not, you’re still playing music so that’s rad, you know.