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Part Two of my exclusive interview Thursday vocalist Geoff Rickly, conducted 11/23/11, one day after the band announced their impending split. Here Geoff discusses the band’s foundation and early days, the bands who inspired them, the new crop of artists they’ve influenced, career highs and lows, the band’s brotherhood, and what the band plans to do post-breakup.

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Part One of my exclusive interview with Geoff Rickly from Thursday, conducted 11/23/11, one day after the band announced their impending split.

My good friends in Thursday have decided to no longer create beautiful music together. I was introduced to them when I was batteling cancer more than 10 years ago and the record “Full Collapse” just kept me sane. From teenager to adulthoold they’ve written records that seemed like tailored soundtracks to my life. This isn’t goodbye, just farewell. 

“…with his hands in the air, was he laughing and dancing or only just trying to wave goodbye!” - Thursday “As he climbed the dark mountain”

One bruised arm and ringing ears, the best concert of my life:

The Thursday concert last night was, as Geoff put it, like a circus. The opener bands were awesome. I got to meet the flute player of Aficionado (we talked about flutes for 5 minutes, she was really cool) and Marissa Paternoster, lead singer of Screaming Females. I was really nervous about meeting Marissa, so I kind of herp derped and forgot how to speak for a few minutes. The conversation went something like this:

Marissa: Hi!

Me: Herrrdrrrghhh…Hi! Uh, I like uh your ur you must get a lot of this art dur

Marissa: Uh what?

Me:You must get a lot of compliments from people wanting to do art. I can’t really speak today. Ummm…. can I buy a hoodie?

Marissa: Sure! 

Me: Sorry I can’t really speak to people in a social way

Marissa: It’s ok you’re doing good.

Me: Thanks! (runs away with hoodie screaming quietly)

I kind of redeemed myself a little when I ran over to the Merch table at the end of the concert and told them “That was an amazing set, thanks for everything!” and Marissa smiled and said thanks. As it turns out Marissa’s pretty shy as well so she probably understood. The Screamales put on a great show, and everyone was impressed by Marissa’s sick guitar playing. Mewithoutyou was great too, though some people still found the ability to mosh to them, which was a little weird. But the energy in the place was unparalleled when Thursday came on set.  

They played the heaviest, fastest songs (Open Quotes, Jet Black New Year, I am the Killer, etc) and the crowd was wild. People were literally being thrown on stage for almost every song. The guys in the band were really confused and Geoff said, “Wow, you guys must really like us because you keep coming up and saying hi! Don’t worry, we’re not mad, just don’t step on our shit.” And I, all 120 lbs of me, was right in front of Geoff. As in when I reached out I could touch his knee and arm. It was tough to stay in one spot due to the raging crowds, but I held onto the speaker in front of me for dear life. The guy in back of me was really awesome; he would let me know when a stage diver (more like stage bomber) was coming so that I could duck and he went out of his way to help me not get hurt. I can’t thank that guy enough, whoever he was! He definitely saved me from getting crushed. But the best part of the concert came when they played Cross Out The Eyes. Geoff saw me struggling to hold on throughout to show, and he smiled at me and then all of a sudden he grabbed my hand when the “we can rise” verse started. He held it until he finished the verse, which felt like a good minute, and the whole time he was looking right at me. I sang it back at him, and I’m sure I looked a bit thunder struck. It was just incredible. He didn’t do that for anyone else, it was a spur of the moment thing and I was lucky enough to be there. They played songs from every album, even Waiting (This Side of Brightness, which was beautiful). The band left at the end of ‘Resuscitation of a Dead Man’ but everyone was screaming “One more song! One more song!” The guys came back out and Geoff said, “Guys we wouldn’t do that to you! This is one of our last shows so we’re playing 3 more songs!” The last song was, of course, Turnpike Divides. We all went nuts in the crowd. The concert ended on that last note of Turnpike, the lights turned a golden yellow, and Geoff stepped back with his eyes closed. It was a perfect closer.

The guys stood by the crowd to take a picture, and I put my hand on Geoff’s head and stuck my face between his and Tom’s. I was able to shake Tom’s and Geoff’s hands at the end and thank them. 

All in all it was an unforgettable night. The only bad thing about it is that this is one of Thursday’s last shows, but oh what a perfect closer it was. 

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This reopened the gaping hole in my life that Thursday left. I miss these guys. If I had a time machine, you can bet I’d be at every single one of their shows. This song sounds so wonderful to me, so ethereal, even live. I wish I’d seen them more than twice. Their musicianship and group dynamic is wonderful. I can get lost in this song. The passion they put into their music is just breathtaking. It’s also kind of amusing to see Tom with a beard and Geoff with that longer hair. God I love these guys. My faith in humanity is immensely bolstered when I know such wonderful music is out there. Thanks, Thursday. Miss you.