THRESHOLD (Eng.)

– Hello, thanks for answering to our questions. How is everything doing right now with THRESHOLD?

We are in a good place at the moment and it is good to finally have a new album out with this line-up.

– You have a new album coming out really soon, 5 years after your previous “Dead Reckoning” was released. What have you been up to during this time?

The 5 years between albums has been down to circumstances really. Many things changed for both the band and some members during the last 5 years that have helped shape this album. Also we integrated 2 new members and had some good times from our gigging schedule. I guess we toured for 4 years before we heard the questions about a new album from Nuclear Blast. Of course, when we came back to writing, it had been a long time. So we took a little more time to compose and arrange than before to be sure this was the best we could produce.

 

– This new record is “March of Progress”. What are your expectations for this opus? And how are the first reactions being?

As ever, I hope that this is a natural step in the progression of the band and we have brought quality songwriting to this release. I am very happy with what we have put out on March of Progress and the rest is up to how that connects with those listening.

The reviews have never been this good. In fact, the owner of Nuclear Blast told us that Threshold are their first band ever to score 10/10 from German magazine Rock Hard. Fans of the band have been waiting for a long time for this album and the reaction has been more than positive so far. I went beyond what I would normally do to make sure there was nothing left to chance in this production. We felt so strongly about the quality of the material and could not let anything go unchecked.

 

– Getting a bit deeper into your new release; what’s the main concept behind it and how strong is the link between it and the cover artwork?

Photo by Robert Burress

The artwork is from an Italian artist called Davide Nadalin, who also worked on the cover for our last album “Dead Reckoning”. We allowed him total freedom to interpret the theme of the album and we love what he’s done. The album covers topics for personal strengths and weaknesses along with complacency and how that affects what we have worked so hard to achieve. The last song The Rubicon is in some ways a song about Threshold, looking back over what we’ve done. It also quotes some of our other albums for those who can spot the references.

 

– Anyway a title like this can also fit the band. Do you think “March Progress” could be applied as well to your ever evolving sound?

I think that the best thing I can say Threshold achieved is to be a recognizable sound. That means we created something original and it is good when people say they hear a track from us and know who it is without looking. Although you can follow the evolution of the band gradually from one album to the next, our core ethos remains the same as it did on Wounded Land.

 

– This album has great melodies and some of your catchiest tunes. Is it easy to blend your usual complexity with some catchy melodies? And is this balance/contrast something important for you and your listeners?

It is never easy to blend all the elements of Threshold and still make new music. I always think that if anything comes easy, it has probably been done before, so I would be suspicious if I didn’t have to give my all to find something that leaves me feeling inspired. The idea is to compose music that initially appeals because it has catchy elements, but you can come back to time and time again, as the repeat listener is rewarded with complex layers just beneath the surface. I really am searching for depth in the music that can immerse you completely in the sound field.

 

– This album marks the return of the band’s former singer, Damian Wilson. What motivated his departure and later his comeback?

Damian originally left because he had a well-paid job with a traveling version of the hit West End show Les Miserable. At the time he had a young family to think of and had to make some tough decisions. It was disappointing, but in the end we came full circle and now have our original singer back.

 

– I personally think his voice is in a really good shape, his vocal versatility is at the same page as your musical diversity. In fact I’d dare say this new record is one of your most dynamic albums ever. Was this something you strived for?

I always wanted to make an album with Damian in the modern era of Threshold. I think he has a unique voice and is one of the best vocalists around. When he was young his voice was clear and strong, but now he has more character and the ability to add emotion in key phrases. I guess there is more experience and tonality that only comes with age. We wanted to bring an album that was the successor to Dead Reckoning, but with a lot more colour and diversity than the previous release. I think Dead Reckoning is a cold hard attack of riffing, with keyboards in a supporting role. MoP brings a lot more atmosphere and textures to the palette, along with melody and harmony blended equally with heavy riffs.

 

– It’s also your longest album to date. Due to this; has the songwriting process been different?

Photo by Robert Burress

Songwriting started towards the end of 2010 and completed summer 2011. The process is very much the same approach each time. I never set out to write with any pre-conceived idea of what we want to do, because composition is a very natural process and should be allowed to flow. There is never room to use old material because, if a song didn’t make it for the last album, that means it is certainly not good enough for this one. I think the objective with me is to capture the period of time just before recording and the feeling I have in the mood of that music. We wanted to include every song we had this time because they all fitted the dynamic of the album and that came to over 70 minutes.

 

– Beside Damian’s return on “March of Progress” you also have a new member: Pete Morten. What has he brought to THRESHOLD?

Pete was brought in to replace Nick Midson for the live shows. Nick’s last show was Prog Power UK in 2006 and Pete played from 2007 onwards for the Dead Reckoning tour. The band works so well now and the members are balanced, so we decided to ask Pete to start getting more involved on this album. He ended up writing Coda for the album and also the bonus track Divinity. He then played a few solos on other tracks and will become more and more part of Threshold. In fact, I believe he has started writing for the next album already!

 

– Yourself took production duties and also recorded the album. Could you say this has worked fine for THRESHOLD or did you sometimes needed an outside’s critical eye? Is it easy to be objective with your own stuff?

I have a clear idea of what I expect from the production from the beginning these days, so it is a good situation. However, it is always good to be open to new ideas at any stage of the recording. Controlling our own production gives us the ability to know the job is done exactly as we want and I enjoy that side of making an album. The production work is clearly defined between Rich and I, although we try to check what the other is doing at each stage too. Rich records bass and vocals, while I record drums, guitar and mix the album.

 

– All this about “March of Progress” being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?

What we intended.

 

– You were formed over 20 years ago so, have your musical influences changed, or have you opened to new ones, throughout the years?

Threshold was forged on a love of metal music like Testament and Metallica, then crossed with the progressive bands we favoured such as Genesis and Rush. I still like those bands, but more recently I have been listening to Mike Oldfield and My Dying Bride. That is because these two artists are masters of creating a mood and atmosphere in music and I recognize that as a real skill.

 

– As I said, you’ve been for 2 decades into the musical scene. During this time both music and technology has changed a lot, and nowadays both things seem to be strongly connected. How does technology affect you? Is Internet a good way to promote music and band’s work or rather a handicap?

I can still hear the difference between good and bad performers and the songwriting will always be a good judge. Technology has been able to increase the quality of production and the recordings we capture. It is like all tools in music and you should embrace the best of everything to convey your composition and bathe the listener in your creation.

 

– When you were formed; what were your goals? And what goals do you still have to achieve?

Photo by Robert Burress

We started to write our own music for Threshold because there was no band making the music we wanted to hear. There was a clear idea of the sound we wanted to attain and we achieved that with Wounded Land. Since then we want to perfect each element of writing and recording and strive for that perfect album. Of course your sights change as soon as a little time has passed and the way we feel preceding the writing period affects what is to come.

 

– And after so many years of musical existence; what have been both the best and worst moments for/with THRESHOLD?

There have been many highs with this band and I can always feel that excitement each time we play a live show. It never goes away and makes the hard work worth it. I guess a recent event that has been very positive for the band was signing to Nuclear Blast. They approached us when our deal with Inside Out was coming to an end and have been very good for Threshold.

The lowest points I recall are usually departures. Saddest for me was when original members Jon and Nick left for family reasons and then after finding out previous singer Mac passed away last August.

 

– Finally, what are your near-future plans?

Now we are booking a Spring tour for March of Progress next year and also summer festivals. In the meantime we will spend the end of the year writing for a new album. That might sound odd because this record only just came out, but we don’t want to leave it another 5 years to the next one! Also in the pipeline are possible plans for a live DVD and maybe another fan club release; so plenty to do with Threshold

 

– That has been everything from my side, thanks once more for your time. If you now want to add some final words; feel free to do it.

I want to thank fans of Threshold for all their support over the years and that has enabled us to keep releasing albums. I look forward to being on tour again soon.

 

Sergio Fernández

sergio@queensofsteel.com

 

Comparte este artículo




You can Enviar un comentario, or trackback from your own site.

Envía un comentario

Highslide for Wordpress Plugin