Originally in The Oklahoma Daily on November 11th, 2007.

Since ancient times many cultures have used the four classical elements to explain patterns in nature. These elements have been frequently used in film, television, games and music. Most recently, post-hardcore band Thrice used them as inspiration for its new record, “The Alchemy Index,” a set of four EPs each representing one of the four elements.

Initially hardcore, the band composed of Dustin Krensue, Teppei Teranishi, Eddie Breckenridge and Riley Breckenridge got its start back in 2000. As time progressed, Thrice began experimenting and incorporating a wide variety of sounds into its music, which led to the creation of the extremely experimental “The Alchemy Index.”

“The element concept was something Dustin came up with,” Riley Breckenridge said. “He told us that he woke up in the middle of the night and had this idea that we could do a concept album based on the four elements. It seemed like an interesting challenge and a new way for us to approach the writing and recording of a record. We are always trying to make every album we make a unique experience.”

“The Alchemy Index” was split up into two halves: “Volume One: Fire & Water,” which is in stores now, and “Volume Two: Earth & Air,” which will be released early next year.

“We decided to split it up for a couple reasons. I just think to get anyone to sit down with 24 songs is a lot to ask for,” Breckenridge said. “It just gives people more time to digest it all I think.”

Prior to the release of “The Alchemy Index,” the band split with its label, Island Records. They made the jump from a major label back to an indie, Vagrant Records.

“I think it just boiled down to a difference in opinion on where the band was headed and [what] we wanted to do and what the label wanted us to do,” Breckenridge said. “I think they were holding out for a radio hit, and that was never a priority of ours. We are more concerned with being career musicians, touring and making the records that we want to make. We just didn’t see eye to eye on a lot of things. We decided instead of butting heads about the direction we were taking, it would be better to just part ways.”

Thrice is currently on a nationwide tour with Brand New and mewithoutYou.

“We are out with bands we really like and who are really good people,” Breckenridge said. “It’s kind of different than some other tours we’ve been on in that it’s like a touring family. Everyone gets along, everyone’s working together to make sure that all three bands are putting on the best show possible and everyone is as comfortable as possible. There are no egos or posturing. It’s just about making sure that all three bands are having a good time and having good shows.”

Thrice, Brand New and mewithoutYou will perform tonight at Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa.