Thursday's Geoff Rickly Reveals His Childhood Obsession with Commercial Jingles
"This Song Brought to You by a Falling Bomb" was his ode to "the perfect product" — a bomb
Published Oct 05, 2017Thursday's Geoff Rickly was raised around "the music of the hippies," but his childhood obsession with commercial jingles — specifically "Meow Mix," which he compares to Bach in its genius — had a more direct correlation on his band's music, inspiring War All the Time cut "This Song Brought to You by a Falling Bomb."
The Thursday frontman stopped by Kops Records in Toronto ahead of the group's first show in the city six years this summer after going on hiatus back in 2011 to film an exclusive acoustic performance for our No Future YouTube channel when he revealed the secret he told their A&R dude when prepping to record 2003's War All the Time.
Read a transcription of what happened below, then be sure to watch the four-song acoustic set in the YouTube player at the bottom of the page, where you can also hear Rickly explain his love for jingles.
The major labels, they would all come and get us drunk and like bring a bunch of cocaine and stuff, so, you know, at like 3 or 4 in the morning you'd be saying stuff that you would never tell anybody because you were so high that you didn't care, but I remember I made the mistake of telling our A&R guy about my upbringing, how my parents were really into the music of the hippies and stuff and would take me to see shows all the time, but the music that I really loved when I was a kid was commercial jingles; I just loved commercial jingles. For years, I thought someday that would be what I would do, is I would right like catchy commercial jingles, and I told him and he was like, "Oh, you've got to be fucking kidding me; that's amazing," so he got me a separate house from the rest of the band and he was like, "You just keep making those fucking commercial songs; we're going to be rich — RICH!"
So I started trying to write, but I realized I couldn't come up with a song because I didn't have a product, I didn't have the right product. The gold standard that I loved when I was a kid was "Meow Mix," you know? That 'meow, meow, meow, meow, meow,' I know, it's like Bach, it's genius. I wasn't aspiring to that level, but I was like maybe I could bring it down a couple of notches and find something, and I could never find the perfect product. And then I had this idea, which was — you know it was 2003, the U.S. had declared that we were going to go to war in Iraq even though we had no evidence of why we would do that — and I thought, god, I wish I could write a commercial for a bomb because it's like the perfect product; people need it, they always want to blow each other up, but you can't reuse it, so you've got to buy a new one every time, and the market doesn't even set the price; it's federally funded. Man, this is like the perfect product, and I started writing jingles for bombs and this is the song that came out of it.
So I brought it to Raytheon and Lockheed Martin and they said, "Yeah, but Taking Back Sunday's already got a song about a bomb that's way catchier than that one." I told that story to somebody and they were like, "Why are you talking shit on Taking Back Sunday?" I was like are you kidding? I told that story to Adam [Lazzarra] and he said, "Goddamn right it be catchier."