A lot can happen in 10 years. For power pop punk stalwarts the Thermals, it’s their entire span of existence, in a sense. Recently celebrating the 10-year anniversary of their debut LP, More Parts Per Million, front man Hutch Harris meditates on just how much things have changed. “When I think, ‘Oh, the band’s been around for 10 years,’ I don’t feel that old. I don’t feel like the band is that old. But, when you start talking about how the music business has changed, then I feel fucking old.
“By the third record, everything was digital, there was nothing being printed and sent. Each record you had more people buying it digitally and, of course, each record you had more people illegally downloading it.”
Harris reflects on the phone a couple hours before performing the second night of about 30 shows in 37 nights. It’s a familiar feeling for Harris, given the band’s relentless touring schedule over the years. “There’ll probably be over 100 shows, at least, this year.”
This year may also represent a shift for the band after releasing Desperate Ground, their sixth LP, which seemed to call back to the lo-fi and more political nature of their earlier works. “I feel good now that we’ve made this record,” says Harris, agreeing with the assessment. “‘Bookend’ is a good way to put it. I feel a lot freer to do something completely different for the next record.”
Known for their high-energy shows, the three-piece will soon cause havoc at Sled Island for a second time. “We did Sled Island in 2010, as well. That was awesome. We’re stoked to come back.” Harris then recalls the lineup, “It was like Fucked Up, Ted Leo, us and then Built to Spill. So, that was amazing.”
The list will continue as the band is currently slated to share the Olympic Plaza stage with legends the Jesus and Mary Chain. Let the good times roll.
Catch The Thermals at Dickens Pub and Olympic Plaza June 22.
By Cory JonesAB, Alberta