Scranton, Pennsylvania based, groove metallers Threatpoint are no strangers to acclaim and increasing fan support thanks to their explosive live presence and a couple of plaudit luring albums. Recently they released their third in RIP, a thrilling new step in sound, craft, and imagination from the band sure to stoke up even keener and bigger spotlights upon the band. We enjoyed a moment of guitarist Alex Olivetti’s time recently to find out more about Threatpoint, there striking new encounter and plenty more…
Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started?
Sure, Threatpoint is Chris James (vocals), CJ Krukowski (drums), Matt Van Fleet (bass) and myself, Alex Olivetti (guitar). The band formed in early 2012. CJ and I were in a band that had just broken up and Chris’ band at the time had just broken up as well. We knew each other for a few years since our old bands used to play together. Our bassist Matt is actually the one that told Chris we were looking for a singer, since they used to be in band together. That’s where the initial seed for the band was planted. We’ve had many line-up changes through the years and now Matt is officially a part of the band. It’s very fitting since he’s the one that pretty much put the band together and it’s great since we all knew each other prior to starting this.
So you been involved in other bands before, how have those experiences impacted, if at all, on what you are doing now, in maybe inspiring a change of style or direction?
Yea, I played in quite a bit of bands actually; cover bands, duos, acoustic, rock, metal. I joined my first band in high school and haven’t stopped since. I think being in different bands doing different styles opened my mind up to more music outside of rock/metal and even rounded me out more as a guitar player. I’m always open to trying different musical ideas and evolving as a band and as a musician.
What inspired the band name?
We were throwing around name ideas, one idea had the word “threat” and another idea had the word “point” in it. So we just decided to combine the two. No crazy meaning behind it, just trying to come up with something cool.
Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?
We just wanted to be a heavy, honest, in-your-face metal band; which I think we’ve achieved. We like to write music that the audience, as well us, can connect to.
Do the same things still drive the band when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?
We all still love music but I think being more seasoned with recording three full-length albums and a lot or touring helped us grow not only as a band but as people. We inspire each other, since we all have different musical tastes. We’re always looking for new bands to listen to and draw inspiration from.
Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?
When we first got together I think we were just trying to find our sound and trying different ideas and seeing what sounded good, our second album Careful What You Wish For is definitely faster and more aggressive and I’d say our latest album RIP is a combination of the two. We also recorded an acoustic EP and are currently working on new material and still expanding our sound.
Has it been more of an organic movement of sound or more the band deliberately wanting to try new things?
I’d say a little of both, we’ve naturally all grown as musicians and songwriters over the years and we never want to make the same album twice. We are always looking for new influences and ideas to expand our sound.
You mentioned the wide range of inspirations among you; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?
Yea, we all like similar bands but we all have different musical tastes from blues to death metal. We take ideas and inspiration from many bands and combine them together.
Is there a particular process to the songwriting within the band?
Not really, songs can spark from any ones ideas. We’ve had songs start off from guitar riffs, bass lines, drum patterns and even lyrics and a vocal melody. We all bring our ideas to the practice space and work from there. The fact that everyone in the band contributes to the writing process gives us our character and sound. We put all of our styles and influences in a blender; that’s where the Threatpoint sound comes from.
How about the lyrical side, what inspires that the most?
Our singer Chris, who writes all the lyrics, can give you a more definitive answer but overall the songs are about going through life, struggle, hope and spirituality. We try to stay positive lyrically, we make songs that are relatable to anyone for any situation they may be going through.
Can you give us some background to your latest release, RIP?
The whole process for RIP from writing to the release was about a year and half. We wanted to expand upon what we’ve done in the past, some of the fastest songs we’ve written are on this as well as some of the most laid back tracks. We also had our friend Lauren do guest vocals on one of the songs. Thanks to our good friend Nick we just released our first music video for one of the tracks off of the album, Bury the Wicked.
Give us some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs.
The overall meaning behind our latest album title, RIP(Rest In Peace), is letting go or getting rid of anything that drags you down, whether it be people, objects or just taking yourself out of any situation in life that causes distress. A couple of the tracks(RIP, Tombstones of my Enemies and Bury the Wicked) all deal with that subject specifically.
Do you enter the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?
We like to go into the studio with songs about 80% finished, it makes the actual recording process less stressful, but we always leave room for the magic that can happen in the studio. Usually songs that are my least favorite at the beginning of the process turn out to be my favorite in the end.
Tell us about the live side to the band?
We all love to play live, that’s where we are in “the zone”. The songs are written with the live show in mind, we write upbeat, heavy music and are very energetic onstage. When the fans get into it, we feed off of their energy, and the vibe is unreal. I’m pouring sweat at the end of every set even if we only play a handful of songs.
It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it? Are there still the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?
We have some cool venues and some very talented bands in our area. From touring, we’ve discovered that more rural venues and places in the middle of nowhere have bigger crowds that go crazy for metal. We’ve gained some awesome followings in areas outside of our own so we make sure to return to those places whenever we get the chance.
How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band?
It’s an easy tool to get your name out there, promote and connect with just about anyone. There’s a little bit of a struggle as there are so many bands nowadays so it’s a little tougher to stick out from the pack. The fact you can watch live concerts online is great but I also think that its hindered turnouts for shows in general.
A big thanks for sharing time with us Alex; anything you would like to add?
Thanks to you for the interview and helping to spread the word and thanks to anyone or everyone who has supported us in any way possible…THANK YOU. To those who haven’t checked us out go to our website and come say hi to us at a show!
Read our review of RIP @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2017/01/24/threatpoint-r-i-p/
Pete RingMaster 25/02/2017
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