Thrice’s Dustin Kensrue Still Looking for a Home on ‘Beggars’
Listening to the crisp, speedy metalcore of Thrice circa 2001 and the bass-rumbling, earthy rock of Thrice circa 2009, you might hear two different bands. And in a way, you’d be right — little about the Orange County act’s early and recent music is similar, something longtime fans have debated for years as each subsequent release shifts the music further away from Thrice’s roots.
‘Beggars,’ Thrice’s seventh album in eight years, is worlds apart from the band’s debut, ‘Identity Crisis,’ but a few factors do remain — namely, singer Dustin Kensrue’s constant grappling with the idea of home, faith and purpose. The first album was called ‘Identity Crisis,’ after all. With ‘Beggars,’ though, Kensrue dives deeper into his beliefs than ever before.
About ‘In Exile,’ one of ‘Beggars’ heaviest-grooving anthems, Kensrue told Noisecreep, “That song is speaking of the contrast between this world — the one we see around us, the one that will end when we die — and someplace else.”
But where many a faith-leaning metal band will simply pander about the big man upstairs, Kensrue approaches issues more philosophically.
“C.S. Lewis said, to paraphrase, that everything we have a desire for must exist. There must be a satisfaction to a desire, otherwise the desire would never arise,” Kensrue said about the search for home of ‘In Exile.’ “So if I find a desire that can’t be satisfied in this world, than the most logical situation is that the desire was created towards another world.”
But here on earth, where does Kensrue feel most at home? With friends and family, of course, but also onstage, where he feels he can disappear.
“I’m a pretty introverted, mellow person as people meet me,” he said, “But I’m not that way onstage. I feel exposed– there are bright lights on you. But a good show’s one where you’re not thinking. You disappear into it — not that you go away, but you feel a cohesion between yourself, the sound, the crowd, the venue, the lights.”
It’s easy to get that feeling from Beggars — the album contains some of Thrice’s loudest, most bombastic moments (‘Talking Through Glass’) and quietest, most beautiful tunes (‘Circles’). It’s a record that you sink into after repeated listens, that’ll leave you begging for more.