The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Thursday’s gone with the wind

Such plaudits came at a time when Thursday — the band, not the weekday — had sold a mere 300,000 copies of its second album on a tiny Chicago-based indie label. So imagine the band members’ surprise when the Times — a paper not exactly known for its musical progressiveness — came calling about doing not just a story, but a cover story.

The Times issue came out in June under the headline “The Summer of Screamo,” the genre (think emo with more yelling) to which bands like Thursday, Finch and A.F.I. are said to belong. The article labeled Thursday “Screamo’s great hope” and “The screamo band most likely to be around 10 years from now.”

For Thursday guitarist Tom Keely, who talked by phone with the Tribune Marquee, the sudden attention is “completely surreal.”

“The New York Times next month could say we’re the worst band that ever existed,” Keely said. “We toured for two years without anyone paying attention to us, making $5 a day, touring in a minivan, sleeping in our clothes. So I think each of us has a foot firmly planted in reality No matter how much you get built up by media and what people say about your band, there’s always a chance you can end up back we were started from.”

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That’s not likely to happen after the band’s major label debut and expected breakout album, War All The Time, gets released Tuesday. The album has already spawned the hit single “Signals Over the Air,” which includes the classic Thursday lyric “This is how it feels calling out what no one even hears.”

The album title refers to personal battles, not political ones. The album was almost never completed when singer Geoff Rickly nearly had a nervous breakdown during recording sessions.

Rickly has been outspoken about the emotional scars that run through his songs, not that lyrics like “this is how it feels when you don’t even fit into your own skin” can’t speak for themselves. For example, Rickly has said that “Understanding in a Car Crash,” Thursday’s 2002 minor hit from Full Collapse, is the graphic true tale of a friend’s demise.

Exposing such gaping wounds for all to see is what identifies bands as emo and, emo’s more psychotic cousin, screamo. The genres’ other identifying hallmark is bands’ unwillingness to be labeled emo or screamo. Thursday is no exception to the rule.

“No matter what you say, people are going to call you what they want,” Keely said. “I try not to talk about it too much. There’s really nothing you can do about it. There’s a need, I guess, to simplify when so many people are talking about it.”

Keely said that part of his aversion to the label comes from being lumped with other bands that are getting rich off the savvy marketing of screamo.

“The bands that are getting huge off it have nothing to do with the bands of 10 years ago that should have been big,” he said. “Now there are these so-called screamo bands that are really pop bands whose screaming is kind of gratuitous.”

But don’t think Keely is ungrateful for his own band’s success, even if he acts nonplussed by all the media attention.

“Everything this band has become is a thousand times beyond any expectations we’ve ever had,” Keely said.

Thursday is appearing at 8 p.m. Sunday at The Rave, 2401 W. Wisconsin Ave., with Death by Stereo and Year of the Rabbit.