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Drummer Riley Breckenridge and a reunited Thrice plays Diamond Ballroom Oct. 1


  • Jonathan Weinerwww.jweinerphot

Members of California post-hardcore band Thrice took an extended offseason, and drummer Riley Breckenridge took to baseball.

The 41-year-old father of one did not literally strap on a pair of cleats and take to the diamond, though the ex-athlete did play collegiately at Pepperdine University. Instead, he fulfilled a different fantasy as the band entered a two-and-a-half-year hiatus following the release of its eighth studio album in 2011 — a screaming fastball of a hardcore punk and grindcore band entirely themed on the sport he loves.

A reunited Thrice performs 8 p.m. Oct. 1 at Diamond Ballroom, 8001 S. Eastern Ave. To Be Everywhere Is to Be Nowhere, the band’s first studio album in nearly five years, was released in May.

Breckenridge played drums for Puig Destroyer — a name that is a simultaneous tribute to both longtime grindcore band Pig Destroyer and Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig — during Thrice’s break. The drummer, a devoted Dodgers fan, said he kept close track of real-life Puig as he rehabbed his image with the team’s minor league affiliate in Oklahoma City.

Puig dominated minor league pitchers during his short stay in Oklahoma. Since being promoted back to the majors in early September, the gregarious and sometimes emotionally volatile Puig has showed signs of improved play and maturity.

Breckenridge, who recently spoke with Oklahoma Gazette in a phone interview, hopes the ballplayer can someday leave the dramatics behind.

“As much as we celebrated that as a band — because I think it’s cool — he could have an incredible career if he could just tone down the craziness a notch and really focus on being a baseball player,” he said.

As Breckenridge and other past bandmates called themselves back to the musical big leagues to bring Thrice back from hibernation, he worried that the music act might have lost some of its relevance in the interim. Some fans these days move on to the next thing after just a few weeks. Four years of musical silence can feel like an eternity.

Fan response to To Be Everywhere has shown Thrice is far from forgotten. The album debuted at No. 15 on the Billboard 200. Lead single “Black Honey” has been a hit with fans at live shows.

Band members have promised each other to tour less frequently in Thrice’s second act. The endless record-promote-tour cycle Breckenridge and other band members felt trapped in was part of the reason for the hiatus in the first place.

“It becomes this cycle where, if you get caught up in it, a lot of other things that are important in life can kind of fall by the wayside — family, friends and just taking care of stuff at home,” he said.

Puig Destroyer was a pet project that kept Breckenridge creative during the lull. His real achievement in the time off was becoming a father to his 1-year-old son Jake.

“He inspires me because there’s a level of love you have for a child that you can’t really compare to anything else,” he said. “It’s greater than anything else I’ve ever felt in my life.”

Jake took his first steps in August while Thrice was touring Europe. It is exactly the kind of home-life moment the band took a break to enjoy. Breckenridge said it hurts to be away from his son and wife, but being a father has given the drummer a new perspective on band life. He has never felt more compelled to provide for his family.

Print headline: Thrice repeated, Drummer Riley Breckenridge reunites with members of the post-hardcore alternative rock band after a long hiatus.

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