Interview date

28 Aout 2012




Interview Karl Groom (by mail)

Hi Guys and thanks for taking some time to talk with us, we are the French webzine Aux Portes Du Metal.   So your new album, March Of Progress, will be released in Europe on August, 24th 2012, what can you tell us about it? What is the meaning of this album?

This album features five writers as opposed to the previous couple of releases that were just Rich and myself. With three people writing lyrics it was more difficult keeping a concept running consistently through the album. However, there should be more diversity as a result. I guess you could say that there is a natural transition from Dead Reckoning, but we have embraced some more progressive elements in places that suit Damian’s singing. Ashes - was originally called “March Of Progress”, it wonders how well are we doing and how long will it last. Return of the Thought Police - is about the concern of watching our freedom slip away. Staring at the Sun - is about standing up for what you believe in. Liberty Complacency Dependency - I guess this is a parable for modern times, it follows the theme of the songs that have come before it. Colophon - is about being caught in someone else’s war and trying to find your way home. The Hours - is about persistence. That’s Why We Came - was written by Damian and is about putting a price on our progress. Don’t Look Down - is about rising up and fulfilling your potential. Coda - was written by Pete Morten, it discusses personal strengths and weaknesses. The Rubicon - In some ways this is 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.  

What are your favorite songs on the album?

Each song has elements that I am happy with, but Colophon and Rubicon would be my favourites.

It’s been five years since your last album. What happened to the band during this break?

After Dead Reckoning came out in 2007 we were forced into a lineup change when previous singer Mac left just before the first live shows. Damian Wilson rejoined the band and we fulfilled the dates already booked to promote the album. The new look Threshold was such an enjoyable live experience that we just kept on touring for the next four years. At that point we realized it had been a long time since the last studio album, so we started to write. March of Progress represents how we feel as Threshold currently and we are looking forward to playing some new songs live.

Did you enjoy going back to work in the studio?

I am always comfortable recording, but there were some delays on this particular album when Damian could not get rid of a chest infection. He could not sing at his best, so we waited until he fully recovered. The result is something the band is very happy with and we have been getting the best reviews of our whole career.

How did you feel about Damian’s return in the band in 2011?

Damian’s return was actually in 2007 as I mentioned earlier. It was great to see him step in with just a few days notice before we were due to play shows in Slovenia and Germany. His live performances have been beyond what I hoped for and brought a new level of professionalism to the band. Amazingly he recalled lyrics for Sanity’s End after not singing it for ten years.  

Are you fully satisfied of the band as it is now? Do you always get along well together?

The current lineup is very easy to work with and you can see that by the number of shows we did to promote Dead Reckoning. This was one of the reasons it took so long to get around to writing March of Progress.  

Can you tell us what/who inspires you to write and compose music?

My inspiration for writing has always been the same; the music I wanted to listen to did not exist at the time we started. Metal was not melodic and had poor lyrics. Progressive music was too tame, but offered great freedom of arrangement.  

Your band was created in 1988; that’s a long and impressive career! How do you consider it now?

The band then was just playing covers in English pubs. It was only around 1992 that we seriously started to write songs that were the blueprint for what Threshold became. I feel that we have retained a strong identity of what I set out to achieve and never left those principals behind.

Is there any tour planned?

Our agent is currently planning a tour in March 2013 and also festival dates for next summer. After touring so much between 2007 and 2011 it has been strange not to have a show since July last year.

Are you already thinking about your next album?

In contrast to the last album cycle, we are starting to write for a new studio album towards the end of this year. The plan is to record after we get back from the March of Progress tour in spring. That way there will be a far smaller gap between releases this time.

Will you come to France soon?

I think the last time we came to France was for Subsurface in 2004, so it would be good to return with this tour. Often we do not have control over dates booked on this kind of tour, but if there is the opportunity we will be happy to come.

Is there any other new or any solo project from band members you want to talk about?

For me, I preferred the days when the whole band was committed only to Threshold. It makes things difficult to schedule dates when we want otherwise. I guess my side project is my day job of producing other bands, but I schedule that around Threshold rather than the other way around.

Do you have something to say to the people who download your music illegally?

I guess it makes it less likely that you will see regular releases from your favourite artist. Of course the huge acts remain untouched, but bands that don’t have such broad appeal will have to fund a lot of their own expenses to make a CD. Fortunately our sales have remained similar over the last few albums and Nuclear Blast support us well, but I know many acts that are struggling to keep going as a result. We all do other work to keep Threshold going though and the prime motivation for the band is the love of music.

And finally, do you want to say something special to our readers?

Making music is nothing without the knowledge that someone is listening and that it touched their life in some way. I hope everyone can take something from March of Progress and look forward to seeing you on tour.

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