Thursday Working Quickly On New Album

The as-yet-untitled set is tentatively due in April and is the follow-up to 2003's "War All the Time," which debuted at No. 7 on The Billboard 200.

As tipped here last month, New Jersey-based rock act Thursday is a week into recording its second Island album with producer Dave Fridmann at his Tarbox Studios in Freedonia, N.Y. The as-yet-untitled set is tentatively due in April and is the follow-up to 2003's "War All the Time," which debuted at No. 7 on The Billboard 200.

"We'd always liked his records," singer Geoff Rickly tells of the decision to work with Fridmann. "We've always had a hard time fitting in all the stuff we do, with two guitars doing both rhythm and leads, keyboards and everyone in the band singing different parts. It's always gotten kind of cluttered, and one of the things he does best is keep track of a lot of information. Also, when he got the demos, he freaked out about how much he loved them, and it always helps when someone likes what you're doing and wants to work with you."

This will be Thursday's first project not recorded with producer Sal Villanueva, which Rickly says has given the band new perspective. "Sal's like family to us, and we're really used to the way each other work," he says. "There's something cool about that, but it's also safe. You knew what he was going to say and he knew what we were going to say, so any argument would have a degree of inevitability as to how it would work out. With Dave, there have been a lot of new ideas we'd never had about how things should work."

The band is attempting to record as much of the album live as possible. "On the last record, Tucker [Rule] played a lot of the drums on a click track to himself," Rickly says. "Whoever else was around was ancillary -- they didn't need to be there. Now, everyone's there all at once, and everyone has ideas all the time. It's been really exciting."

This approach seems to be working, as Thursday has already tracked seven songs and completed vocals on two. Of those, Rickly says the song "We Will Overcome" is nearly finished.

"The chorus goes 'If you follow the path that's straight and narrow, walk hand in hand because our roads are paved with broken arrows, we will overcome,'" Rickly says. "It's about how much of America's history is based in violence, and it's also about the current war going on, and the situation the country's in. It's also based on folk music and Pete Seeger's 'We Shall Overcome.' It's about standing up and saying something and not to despair the state of our country, but to stick together with the people you love and have hope."

Rickly says the material recorded so far has changed significantly from the demos presented to Fridmann. "There are certain elements that are still there, but they were so long ago that some of the songs changed even before we got into the studio." Rickly says. "The other song we've come really far on is one that was on the demos, but it has a totally different chorus now."