Annette Brown, Lifetime The story of June Carter Cash comes to life in the…
- Posted on Sep 12th 2007 3:00PM by Nadine Cheung
'Vols. I & II: Fire & Water,' will hit shelves on Oct. 16, while 'Vols. III & IV: Earth & Air,' will follow next spring. The decision to break 'The Alchemy Index' into four separate six-song EPs was a deliberate and personal one, singer-guitarist Dustin Kensrue tells Spinner. "I like shorter records, and even though this was a big project, I wanted to divide it into shorter pieces," he explains. "If they're all together on one disc, you don't really get the separateness of each one. The records I'm most attached to are the ones that aren't too lengthy."
'The Alchemy Index' is certainly the band's largest undertaking to date, and finds Thrice broadening their instrumental horizons. "We definitely went to some places that we haven't gone yet and that will be even more apparent on the 'Earth' record -- and some of the 'Air' stuff, too," Kensrue says. "The 'Fire' record is least 90 percent baritone guitars, and the 'Water' EP was very unconventional for us. We [used] a lot of keyboards and electronic drumbeats. It's not a very guitar-driven record, which is what we came up doing and what we're used to."
Much of the project has been kept under wraps, partially as a defense against album leaks and partially to build anticipation for the concept. However, Kensrue does reveal that the last song on each EP is a unique sonnet the singer wrote from a personified perspective of each element, tying the four together. In addition, each disc closes with the same three chords.
"Originally, I wanted to have the same song played four different ways," he explains. "So, I started one that was going to have a sonnet because it was a set meter and you could have the same song with different lyrics four times, and be played in four different ways. In the end, I wanted the moods to be more different, so I decided that all the songs would be different, and then when they hit the couplet at the end, they would all converge to the same chord progression and melody."
As with the instrumentation, Kensrue found himself with very few lyrical boundaries. On his solo album, simpler phrases and sentiments worked alongside acoustic folk and country inspired songs, but Thrice records have had a history of being more complex. "Something so important to me for a while was the lyric really matching the mood and feel of the song," he says. "'The Alchemy Index' spans all over the place, so the choices of lyrical styles I had were pretty big."
Kensrue adds that the band's new venture with Vagrant allows for more room in their creative pursuits. "All of the majors, instead of trying to adapt, push forward with the old model," he says. "We just wanted a home where people were going to be flexible and excited about doing some different stuff, and not just approaching it like another record."
For the time-being, the band is happy with their new partnership and focused on the tasks at hand: music and touring said music. "I don't know what the future holds," he says. "We're only signed for these two releases and then we'll take it from there."