INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
Threatpoint, a Pennsylvanian groove metal outfit, have made quite an impact on the American underground rock scene since forming in 2012.
They have gained a devoted following in the States, with a sound which crosses the metal sub-genres and drawn from a diverse range of influences.
With two well-received studio albums and a third on the way, I chatted with them about their journey so far, and also what the future holds for the band.
How did the band get together initially?
The band formed in early 2012. CJ Krukowski (drums) and Alex Olivetti (guitar) were in a band that had just broken up and Chris James’s (vocals) band at the time had just broken up as well. We had known each other for a few years since our old bands used to play together.
Our bassist Matt Van Fleet is actually the one that told Chris we were looking for a singer, 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 we all knew each other prior.
How did the name Threatpoint come about?
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.
To somebody discovering your sound for the first time, how would you describe it to them?
Aggressive and groovy. We like to play heavy music but also focus on the groove aspect and keeping the listeners’ head banging. We also try to combine our influences to make our sound a little different than the typical new-age metal band.
We don’t want to repeat ourselves and make sure no two songs sound alike on our records.
What are the band’s musical influences?
Everything from The Doors to Cannibal Corpse. We all listen to different bands within and outside of the metal genre. As far as bands that are similar, we get a lot of comparisons to Testament, Killswitch Engage, Devildriver and Pantera.
What is your approach to songwriting?
We don’t really have a set formula, songs can spark from anyone’s 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 makes it easier to come up with multiple ideas for songs. We put all of our styles and influences in a blender; that’s where the Threatpoint sound comes from.
Where does the inspiration come from for the band’s lyrics?
In general, 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.
What are your experiences playing live?
Playing live is everyone’s favourite and in my opinion, strongest aspect of the band.
We are very energetic and always write our music with the live show in mind.
Keeping the energy up allows the audience to get into more and we feed off of that energy.
Anything lined up in the near future at all?
We’ve just started bouncing around ideas for songs for the next record. We also have a few shows lined up but nothing extensive.
We were actually just on a little hiatus for the holiday season spending time with family and friends, so it’s nice to get back in the swing of things.
What is the band’s long-term aim?
To get the name out there and reach as many listeners as possible. Thanks for having us!