Thrice frontman Dustin Kensrue confirms his idea for the group’s fourth — and fifth — album “wasn’t a quick sale.” But he prevailed in the end.
Last week, the California rock quartet released “The Alchemy Index, Vols. I & II: Fire & Water.” It will be followed in the spring by “Vols. III & IV: Earth & Air.” Each contains two discs, with music designed to fit with the corresponding element. And each part ends with a sonnet Kensrue composed depicting a dialogue between each element and man.
It’s hardly a standard-issue rock ’n’ roll album, hence the hesitation from bandmates, management and record company.
“There’s definitely a stigma around concept records — especially one dealing with the elements,” Kensrue, 26, acknowledges. “There was some resistance from different sectors. I had to sit on some people for awhile, whisper in people’s ears a little bit.
“I got kind of obsessed with it. It seemed like it was going to be a perfect project for us. I think everyone got excited about it eventually.”
Kensrue, who released a solo album between Thrice’s last album, 2005’s “Vheissu” and “The Alchemy Index” project, says his greatest allies proved to be his three bandmates, who grasped the idea as a chance for the group to keep growing its sound beyond the emo tag that was assigned to its earlier albums.
“Our band’s always been interested in combining different feels and different kinds of music,” Kensrue explains. “This seems to be a way to spread all that out and push even further in four different directions we were definitely already interested in.
“I think that was the reason we were attracted to it. The music is what keeps us doing this, that challenge to ourselves to do something different every time out.”
Thrice performs with Brand New and mewithoutyou at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday (Oct. 18 and 19) at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Friday’s show is sold out. Tickets to Thursday’s show are $23.50. Call (313) 961-5450 or visit www.livenation.com.