Dustin Kensure of Thrice recalls how the band found their creative stride when writing 'The Artist In the Ambulance'

Dustin Kensure of Thrice recalls how the band found their creative stride when writing 'The Artist In the Ambulance'

- By Ramon Gonzales

The frontman revisits what it was like to balance major label expectations and hectic touring schedules while trying to make a record that would stick.

The latest in the exploratory series, The Disc Dive, with journalist Ryan J. Downey features an at length conversation with Thrice frontman Dustin Kensure. The catalyst for the discussion is the recent news of the band's decision to re-record their seminal 2003 release, The Artist In the Ambulance.

Having just marked their 25th anniversary as a band, Thrice opted to mark the twentieth anniversary of the iconic album be revisiting the tracks in their entirety and welcoming guest vocalists including the likes of Ryan Osterman (Holy Fawn), Chuck Ragan (Hot Water Music), Sam Carter (Architects), Mike Minnick (Curl Up And Die), Brian McTernan (Be Well), and Andy Hull to breathe new life into such rock music essentials.

On a segment of The Disc Dive, Kensure recalled what the climate was like during the band's writing sessions for The Artist In the Ambulance and what it was like to balance the band's growth with the kind of expectations that come with such a meteoric rise.

Speaking highly of their creative kinship with producer Brian McTernan, Kensure detailed his appreciation for having him be a part of the process and explained that their established rapport was evident in the final product.

Kensure further explained that the real pressure was less about the politics that come with being signed to a big label like Island, but rather the kind of timeline the band had to work with given the touring scheduled that continued to fill up. Kensure expressed that the label seemed to be in it for the long haul, but working to make a quality album in time to get on the road definitely added an element of pressure during the Ambulance era.

Adding a caveat to the story, Kensure recalled having to get the single, "All That's Left" finished ahead of the album. He recalled the time crunch and remembered that in the aftermath of a post 9-11 society, his lyrics of "We are the dead" didn't bode well with a song intended for radio rotation.

Lastly, the frontman shared how The Artist In the Ambulance allowed the band to better focus their style. he explained that preceding albums like The Illusion of Safety were kind of all over the place in terms of song structure. Working with producer Brian McTernan really allowed Thrice to understand the importance of crafting memorable hooks, big grooves and those lasting moments that make a good song, great.

Stream the segment of The Disc Dive with Ryan J. Downey and Dustin Kensure of Thrice below.


The Artist In the Ambulance: Revisited is currently available for pre-order - HERE

Additionally, Thrice will embark on a spring U.S. tour to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of The Artist In the Ambulance by playing the album in full. The run of show dates will include support from Holy Fawn. Get the dates and cities below.

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