Subscribe in a reader
The journey ends…for now

image

One Track and an E.P. in The Spotlight

Now that is a catchy title! Whilst we have Karl’s attention we thought we would look at a couple more pieces from the past. But with a new album looming large we didn’t want to pick anything that could detract from that. So we’ve picked one odd little track and a whole e.p.!

Segue

This short piece from Extinct Instinct was originally hidden on the UK release of the album. Please tell us more!

Segue” is an instrumental piece on acoustic written and performed by Jon Jeary. We liked the way he played this, so found a way to slip it on to Extinct Instinct.

image

Some of the voices include the much-loved English actor Terry-Thomas and also Nick Midson doing an impression of someone we know. A bit random, but it is just meant to be a bar scene.

Segue, hidden track 11 from UK Version of Extinct Instinct, 1997 1:40





Livedelica

We’ve always loved this early slice of live Threshold, from a tour that we at Beyond unfortunately didn’t see. Stevie Craven mentioned it above and it’s perhaps the Threshold release that least people know about. Tell us more…

image

Livedelica is a collection of recordings from the lengthy tour period following the release of Psychedelicatessen. The lineup includes Glynn Morgan (vocals) and Jay Micciche (drums). It was mixed by a friend who had a studio near Portsmouth at the time called Rob Aubrey.

The release was initially a single CD put out by GEP records (UK), but later incorporated into a double disc Special Edition of


Psychedelicatessen. This came out through Inside Out music and was later moved to Nuclear Blast, where it is now available.


Livedelica, e.p. (live), 1995 (and later re-release) 41:24 (featuring A Tension Of Souls, Sanity’s End, Innocent, Surface To Air, Paradox)

image

Pete Morten

So to end we are going to speak with Pete, the first interview we did for this issue. A pleasure, as always…

My Soliloquy played in April, how good was it to get those songs on stage ahead of Haken’s show?

It always feels a little extra special when working on your own project, simply for the fact that it’s your “baby” and you know what it’s taken to get it there. Conversely of course, is all the extra pressure and feeling of responsibility that comes with it too. So in that respect it’s a strange mix of pride and panic ha ha. Having already played shows in support of the album, late last year, it was just good to get out there and continue on. I am in the process of trying to arrange a UK tour for later in the year.

You had a couple of Threshold shows in the same month so did that cause you any problems given the complexity of the music of both bands?

image

I’ve been in multiple bands for some time now, so I feel I’m able to manage the situation rather well. It all just comes down to managing your time well. I won’t deny it’s exhausting. One week in particular, I remember I was rehearsing until late with Threshold, and on the last day (Friday) I didn’t get home and to bed until gone 1.30am. Then I was up again at 6.30 on the Saturday to make my way up to Derby to rehearse with My Soliloquy all weekend. When I rehearse with M.S. we typically do 6/7 hour days, so you can imagine that by Sunday evening I was kinda wiped out ha ha. I couldn’t even take Monday off to recover as I had Graphics work waiting.

Is “Star” the first song you have put up for a film?

Strangely enough, no. Back in 2005, I submitted two songs “Of Earth and Sky" and "Fractured" for an independent British film called ‘Retribution’. I was successful in that submission, and there is a scene in which two of the main characters get into a taxi, and there is a rock station on the radio. You can hear My Soliloquy in the background. It was kinda cool.

And will we be getting some more My Soliloquy from the studio?

Yes I’m currently writing the new album now. I have a approx 7 songs, all at various stages of development. 3 of those songs, are shaping up very well, and are almost finished. The artwork is coming along nicely too.

Looking at another band you play with, Nightmare World have also been busy. How long until we get something to hear?

Well the album is all finished. Karl Groom produced it, and it was mastered at Fine Tune in Holland by Peter Van’t Riet (who some will know has worked on a few Threshold records). We’re just setting up the PR campaign for that now. Not sure on a release date yet though, but I’m very proud of my vocal work on it.

image

I think it’s a solid album of great songs.

Let’s get back to why we are really here. Looking at the new Threshold album, how good was it to get back in the studio?

A new Threshold record is always an important event in my musical diary. To be involved in that process is always an honour and a privilege.

You had Coda and the bonus track Divinity last time round - what’s lined up this time?

I’ve written the song 'Siren Sky' for the new album. I’m very happy with it, and truly feel it’s one of the strongest songs I’ve ever written. The guys have done a great job in their respective performances on it. I did actually have quite a few riffs and melodies when I began my writing for this album, and was aiming to actually submit two songs again. However I just couldn’t get the other riffs and things to work, so I just opted to focus entirely on the one song. It was the right decision.

I know you will probably be rehearsing a number of new songs, some of which may not get played live - but is there one new song you would really like to try live?

Naturally, I’m going to say I want to play "Siren Sky" ha ha, I hope we do. As for the rest of the songs, I love ‘Turned to Dust’, 'Autumn Red', 'Unforgiven' and ‘Lost in your Memory' but really, I'm happy to play it all. I think it's a really strong record.

Not long for us to find out! Thanks to Pete.

image


And so we come to the end of another edition of Beyond! It’s really not long to wait for the album and then a lot of live dates (eighteen shows in twenty two days and eight countries)

image

Maybe we will see you on the road? As ever we would love to hear from you – what you think of the album, your own stories about discovering the band, pictures of any venues and live set lists you get your hands on, and of course pictures of the band! beyond@thresh.net

Until next time, we’re getting ready For The Journey.

image
And so we continue…

image

Fan In The Spotlight

Let’s take a short break from the band. We’ve done these spotlights before and they have always been fun so this issue we caught up with Stevie Craven from Wales, known on one forum as ProgMetal God. In fact it was with that name that we addressed him many years ago in the outskirts of Rotherham when we first met him. And now he’s signed himself up to Threshold forever, perhaps even For The Journey!

So how did you find out about Threshold?

Discovering Threshold came about when I was relatively new to the underground progressive metal scene back in the first half of 1997. Having got in to bands such as Dream Theater, Rush and King’s X in 1995, I tried sourcing similar bands or who fitted the prog metal label.

image

This was quite futile to begin with, as the sub-genre was an obscure style of music that no-one really knew about at the time. The term progressive rock is alien to most people, even now! Eventually, I was given an old catalogue by the music-by-mail order company GFT, who were the U.K.’s leading progressive music specialist, and who turned out to be an absolute godsend.

I did manage to come across a heavy prog band called Magellan a month or two before, but with this new source of underground prog at my disposal, my tastes were ready to be fully catered for. After a few month’s trading and mostly satisfactory purchases, GFT’s main man, Malcolm, suggested Threshold. They only had four albums at the time (including Livedelica) so I simply opted for their latest release, Extinct Instinct.

What a great place to start! What did you think?

It was different to the U.S. prog metal I had been used to up to that point, and there were hints of traditional prog rock in places. Damian’s voice also wasn’t your stereotypical metal vocalist. However, it was enough for me to continue with them and their first two albums were bought soon after. When Clone came out, I was surprised to discover they had another singer and that they all had short hair! By this time, Extinct Instinct had grown on me a lot and was my favourite Threshold album, yet Clone had potential with shorter songs.

Now we’ve not had this experience with Threshold, but we have with other bands, where you need to persevere to really penetrate the layers on show, and quite a few that start off hidden!

As time went by, I would pick up each album, but for some reason I had to be in just the right mood to listen to them. But then I bought the Critical Energy DVD in 2004, and from that moment onwards everything fell in to place. The DVD hit all the right buttons; it was like someone had hit me over the head, and I came to my senses. Songs that I’d once overlooked suddenly became musical gems. This came about as early as the second song "Oceanbound", which had passed me by, until I’d heard/seen the live version.

image

Why hadn’t I noticed how strong the melodies were, and the huge uplifting vocal harmonies and choruses, a key feature of Threshold? I mean I wasn’t totally oblivious to them, but it was as though I’d rediscovered them, and I love it when that happens with music. It feels better than discovering a band for the first time, like the perseverance pays off and you reap the rewards for it. Later that year, my fiancé (who also loves them, which of course is a huge bonus) and I headed to Rotherham for their show on 4th September 2004.

After a near four hour drive from South Wales, we met up with two like-minded music fans, and it turned out to be one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to. The thrill of seeing Threshold for the first time, added to the excitement of their music growing on me, and the stupendous Subsurface released a few months before had made things magnificent. The atmosphere at the front was electric as a few of us sang every song with such joy; it was amazing. Mac gave me the microphone to sing “Fragmentation” during the choruses and then to top it off, after the show, the band all signed my newly acquired Replica fan club CD.

I must admit to have been slightly infatuated with Mac at the time (for his vocal ability!) and this must have been evident by the look of surprise on his face, when I came running over to him, as he came from back stage. He completed the signatures on Replica, we had our photo taken together, and the night drew to a close. Ahhh good times. Over the years since, my admiration has grown and grown. When Mac left, I was devastated, and even more so when he passed away. On a brighter note, the band have never failed to disappoint me since, and Damian’s return to the fold has worked out extremely well.

Okay, we’ll admit it, we’re exhausted! Today we’ve learnt never to ask Mr. Craven more than one question at a time!!! Now this all started because of a new tattoo, didn’t it?

image

My tattoo was done with the intention of paying tribute to a band who have given me immense aural pleasure over the years, and hopefully for many to come. I couldn’t pick any of the artwork to commit to skin, however the resulting logo is more than I ever dreamed of. I love it.

Thanks to Stevie for telling us more about his feelings for Threshold – before we go, what are your favourites?

My favourite Threshold albums at this time are Subsurface and Critical Mass. “Falling Away” has been my favourite song for a decade now, yet they have such a strong, and most importantly, consistent catalogue of music like no other band I’ve known.

image

Karl Groom

Now we’ve got that spotlight back, here’s Karl. He’ll be coming up a little later too.

Before we look at Threshold, we know you have done some guest guitars on an album but aside from the studio work what else non-Threshold have you been up to?

The new Threshold album took about 6 months to record, but whilst waiting for band member’s availability, I have completed some other albums I mixed Engraved Disillusion, 2 Galahad EPs, Nightmare World and recorded drums for a new Pendragon album The only non-production work has been my guest slot on Voiciano for my friends from the band Edenbridge

image

Are we likely to see Shadowland hit the road again? - February always seems popular!

That is highly unlikely because there is no real purpose It was enjoyable to get together with the old band members and play shows, but Clive and I are always busy with other work really


On to the main event You told us back in Rotterdam that you hoped to get in the studio a lot quicker than after Dead Reckoning So how good was it to achieve that?

I think if you look at the history of Threshold since we were signed, it averages at an album every 2 years generally The break was about changes in the band and circumstances in some band members lives As you saw personally, we did a lot of touring and consolidated the present lineup during that break The tour in 2013 inspired Rich and I to get on with writing a new album immediately and by the end of the year we were recording Johanne for the new record I can use that word again now we make vinyl!

Without giving too much away can you tell us something about a couple of tracks or the album in general?

image

There have been tough times in life with some personal loss in recent years and I think that is strongly embedded in For the Journey musically, with some tracks defining strong emotions. Lyrically the songs are very much stories about the journey of life. In the past many of our lyrics have covered subjects like politics and philosophy, but on this album it’s a bit more inward-looking with subjects such as honesty, forgiveness and perseverance,

things that help us along on our journey.


Where do you see this album sitting in the Threshold catalogue - we’ve seen some albums more overtly progressive, for example?

Just hearing the early reactions during interviews, there is always something I had not thought about the album myself Our approach to writing is completing the best songs possible whilst expressing our experiences of the time This album is no exception to that rule and I find it good to plot my life by looking back at what happened on Threshold releases and tours For me this one is a little darker than MoP and in “The Box”, we have a very different kind of track than recent albums

We’ll be anticipating quite a few new songs for the live set - how hard is it to pull the set list together?

The set list gets harder and harder to compile as more albums are available Once I put in crowd favourites and tracks from the new album, we already have a set that is complete Also I have to consider how much Damian has to memorise in terms of lyrics We are planning 5 songs from For the Journey on the first set of dates starting towards the end of October

And in terms of older songs, will there be any live surprises, any tracks that have yet to be played much?

Depending on Damian’s response, we plan a song not played as far as I recall since 1995

Looking a little beyond the new album, are there plans for any extra releases - any live material tucked away, a Wireless 2, a replica of Replica etc?

image

We would very much like to make a Wireless 2 in the near future. With Damian being something of an acoustic fan, it would be interesting to see how that comes together.

Thanks to Karl for some more insights. That’s the second mention for “The Box”!

image
Welcome to Issue Twelve…

image

Welcome new, welcome old…welcome back!!!

image

It’s been a little while since our last issue but we thought we’d let the band have all the time they needed to create
FOR THE JOURNEY.

And that leads us quickly and very nicely to our first little chat this issue - with the artist responsible for that most amazing sleeve, Leszek Bujnowski.

But that’s not enough!!! We have also caught up with the guitar section of the band, Pete Morten and Karl Groom with a

few little teasers about what we can expect. Plus we’ve got one track and one e.p. in the spotlight, going back in time to catch our breath!

Need more? We’ve also been told about a new fan tattoo and seem to have accidentally recorded a biography in the process. Plus there are a few words from Damian Wilson and Johanne James as we get ready to start the European Journey 2014

Read on, read on - the album is almost here and the tour dates will be following soon We’ve even got a beard exclusive Exciting times!!!

image

Leszek

When the sleeve was shown to the world most people were unanimous in their agreement with Richard West that this was the “perfect Threshold cover”. We’ve looked at it over and over, seeing new ideas and messages each time. Like so many Threshold references, it works in a whole range of ways. So with that in mind it seemed like a good idea to track down the artist, Leszek Bujnowski.

image

Hello Leszek. Please introduce yourself.

My name is Leszek Bujnowski. I was born in 1977 in Poland and my biggest passion is photography.

Can you first tell me about some of your previous art, for example your surreal photos?

I often use the technique of digital manipulation and 3D graphics. I’m

fascinated by the possibility of interference in the world around us and making it. Photography accounts for most of my time and is a real passion but also a great adventure that leads to the mysterious world.


Did you attend art school?

No I didn’t, I’m self-taught, everything step by step

So what inspires you?

image

Inspiration is, basically, everywhere. Often it’s items found in shops or antique markets. I find ideas in movies, horror novels, mythology and even dreams. They often occur spontaneously during a photo session. I always try to show things that are completely different to anything shown before.

Have you worked on any other sleeves?

I did “Mystery:The World Is A Game”, a great album, I really like them

Coming to the Threshold album, how did that happen?

Richard West contacted me after seeing my work on the Internet and wanting to use my work for the sleeve I was delighted because “March Of Progress” is one of my favourites

And did you already know much about Threshold?

Oh yes, I do like different types of music but progressive is my favourite!

Well we can’t argue with that Thanks to Leszek for telling us just a little more about his work!

image

Johanne James

So onto our first band member and we are going to ignore the order we introduced them in – here’s Johanne. As well as being the headphone wielding drummer for Threshold, Johanne also keeps himself busy fronting his own band Kyrbgrinder.

First up, we know Kyrbgrinder normally has something going on - can we expect a new album any time soon?

Yes! Kyrbgrinder have a new album coming out next year

image

Kyrbgrinder played with Daybroke back in July who are from Holland - will Kyrbgrinder be crossing the water again?

We plan on returning to Holland in March 2015, and maybe doing some other shows with Daybroke. They’re a good band and it was fun sharing a stage with them.

You and Steve also played a few shows with Gordon Giltrap and Oliver Wakeman - was it good to play a different style for a while?

Working with Oliver and Gordon was a wonderful experience. Gordon is a great musician and we had a lot of fun in the process. Playing that style of music for both Steve and myself was great as it widened our ears, and softened my touch, if you see what I mean? LOL

Let’s get to the reason we are here - Threshold. How was it getting back to the studio with the band? The new album has “I Wish I Could” as a bonus track. How did that get chosen?

Yes, the album, the new album, is out soon, For The Journey, and we all contributed a song As you know “I Wish I Could” was on a previous Kyrbgrinder album and choosing that particular composition seemed appropriate Karl and Richard liked it and said it should go onto the next release

image

And looking ahead to 2015, are you looking forward to playing on a big boat again?

Touring is great fun as you know, and the best part, for me anyway, of playing music. Playing on a boat, well, it’s a captive audience, and I once heard a Captain say, “Not even God can sink this ship!” Not that I’m worried about icebergs of course, but

you never know, with all this climate change and global warming, next thing is we are dodging all sorts in the Caribbean sea! LOL


I look forward to telling you more on both KG and Threshold in the near future.

Thanks to Johanne – if you can’t wait for your next Threshold show, you’ll find Kyrbgrinder playing in all sorts of places! Definitely looking forward to their third album too.

image

Damian Wilson

Just like Johanne, Damian always has a lot going on with solo work, Maiden United, Headspace, guest appearances and more. There’s nearly always something so it’s always worth catching up…

It’s been a while since the last Beyond so we’d thought we’d start with catching up with what you have been up to - first of all, Maiden United. This just seems to keep on going with more dates this September. With two albums in the bag do you think there will be a third?

Without a doubt, it is almost ready to go!

image

Out of all the Maiden tracks you have been doing do you have a favourite?

I really enjoy “Children of the Damned” although “The Trooper” obviously sums up Maiden and is a great track I love to sing.

What do you think is the secret of MU’s success?

We simply enjoy doing it


It would be remiss of us not to mention Headspace too A lot of people will be looking forward to the dates at the start of next year but is there likely to be a follow up to I Am Anonymous any time soon?

I was in the studio just last month with Adam and the album will be complete very soon As for a release date, well, we will have to see what the record company say

Returning to why we are here, to Threshold, how have things been in the studio this time round?

The studio was very smooth, we all got on and the job was completed easily

image

Last time out you had “That’s Why We Came” on the album. Have you penned anything on For The Journey?

I did have a blinding track that was in an open tuning that just sang of Threshold. Sadly I recorded it on my iphone which was destroyed on a European trip. I haven’t managed to piece it back together yet.

The song titles alone have fans purring - what does this album add to the Threshold legacy?

That we’re not going to stop, for this is a long journey.

And is there a particular new song you are hoping will make the set list cut?

The Box” Many have already asked what is in the box I have the answer

Finally, the question everyone is asking - for the Threshold dates later this year will there be a Damian Wilson beard on display?

The beard is growing longer than it ever has been As with the box, I solely know the answer

A big thank you to the mischievous Damian – here’s hoping he gets that song put back together for the next album!

image
image

Welcome to Issue Eleven…

Welcome back!!!

image

The March Of Progress is over for now but you won’t have to wait long! Fresh tour dates are almost upon us and there’s more to come even later in the year.

We’ve got a few stories from the recent tour dates and as many snippets from the band as we can muster so probably best to get started. It won’t be long until the gigging begins again.



We’ve got two new photo contributors this issue - you can see their watermarks in the corners of the pics. Please note we have got permission to use these!!! Thanks to Daniel Horlbogen and Marleen den Brok.



image

Holland

We at Beyond managed our very own little trip to see the band. Circumstances, flights and bad timing on our part meant we had to skip the tour’s start in London but we were down the front for nights two and three, Helmond and Rotterdam.

After a full day in Amsterdam the day before, Saturday saw a lazy start and a catch up with the first of many friends for the day. Meeting many, many people you know seems somehow synonymous with a Threshold show!

image

Soon enough we were off to Lakei at Helmond. Cryptex opened and provided a lot of fun and what can only be described as a proper warm up, really getting the audience ready. Their singer, pianist, bassist, harmonica player Simon was a delight as he led the way through a varied set of progressive folk rock. (and we catch up with Simon later)

The UK’s Enochian Theory then took things in a slightly different direction. Still progressive but quite a different approach. Being at the show for the main band it’s no surprise their set really came to life for me during the heavier passages of which there were fortunately plenty.

So onto Threshold. It had been a while since the Night Of The Prog show at Loreley, our and their last outing before this tour. Since then the new album has arrived and it was intriguing to know which new songs would make the set.

image

They opened up with a confident “Mission Profile” and with no acoustic section this tour it was foot to the floor the whole way. Dead Reckoning favourites “Hollow”, “Pilot In The Sky Of Dreams” and “Slipstream” jostled with “Part Of The Chaos”, “Long Way Home” and the welcome return of “Angels”.

But it’s the new songs that deserve the most attention. At Helmond they were great but did sound new, the epic “The Rubicon” aside. But by the second of our nights they all sounded like they had been integral parts of the set for years whilst remaining fresh as songs off a new album should.

image

Coda”, Pete Morten’s first composition for the band, was aggressive and quirky all at once, the lead part delivered by the writer with skill. “Don’t Look Down” maybe slightly surprised me although the album certainly goes down as one where the whole thing could be played.


Colophon” made perfect sense, gently progressing in a familiar way, the music complex throughout.

The two “singles”, “Ashes” and “Staring At The Sun”, both flew along but centre stage has to go to the epic lavishness that is “The Rubicon”. It tries to tell the story of the band and is so immense it sounds like they have been playing it for years.

All the band appeared to be having a ball both nights. Pete Morten looked a little apprehensive in Helmond as he started “Coda”, no doubt due to some technical glitches the night before, but he needn’t have worried.

image

Highlights are difficult to pick as the whole set was played to a superb standard. Perhaps the new songs “Coda” and “The Rubicon”, definitely the closing “Slipstream”, but probably everything else in between!

Awesome!


(This first appeared at therocktologist.com at the start of April)



image

Cryptex

Always trying to find someone new to talk to, we stumbled into Cryptex front man Simon Moskon in the corridors at Helmond…

So Simon, could you introduce yourself?

Hi folks, I’m Simon Moskon from the progressive folk rock band called Cryptex.

It’s only the second night on tour with Threshold so are there any venues you are looking forward to?

image

Well, yes, Aschaffenburg, the Colos Saal, it’s a really great venue and we were there last year with Pain Of Salvation. And the Markthalle in Hamburg is pretty cool. But it’s going well so far and every venue is great.

Playing at the Underworld yesterday in London, how was that?

We’ve played there before, last year in February, again with Pain Of Salvation through the UK. It was really great in London.

Beyond is of course all about Threshold - did you know the band’s music before coming on the tour?

Unfortunately no! The first song I heard was “Narcissus”, a fantastic song and I would have loved to have heard it played live! It’s some great hooky lines. But it’s been great hearing the band play.

Just a quick chat but always nice to speak to new people!

Looking forward, Cryptex then had a set of dates to come through April, their first headlining club tour. We’ve heard they’ve been having a fun time and they certainly have enough uniqueness to stay on the progressive radar for a while to come!



image

Poland

Towards the end of the first half of the tour the band stopped off in Warsaw and played at Progresja. It seems that a small group got together to head to the show and we heard from Lukasz Jakubiak, part of the group and also a contributor to progrock.org

image

The concert was great - extraordinarily energetic. The setlist was good, tracks from “March of Progress” perform exceptionally well on gigs. About the older tracks… I was very happy when I heard “Hollow" and "Part Of The Chaos" but I missed not having "Paradox" and "Innocent"… You can’t have everything!!!

Threshold is not just an ordinary band. The first time I heard them was the Critical Mass album and that’s when I heard the amazing “Echoes Of Life”. This though was my first concert withThreshold in Poland and …. what can I say … it was outstanding! We went to the concert with quite a big party (Greetings to “Polska Progiem stoi” team). The sound system might not have been perfect, but that’s the charm of clubs.

image

Songs such as “Hollow”, “Part Of The Chaos”, “Mission Profile” and the fantastic as usual “Light And Space” were great. After the concert we took photos with the musicians and had some time with them. It was another event in my life which I will remember very warmly and will go back to it not only by looking at photos.

Thanks to Lukasz - Poland is definitely one country that the Beyond team want to visit. Maybe next time!



image

Karl Groom

Whilst we got a few bits and pieces from all the band, we also took some proper time to catch up with Karl Groom. Who better to give us a few thoughts on the tour and especially the set list?

With "Ashes" in the set, and "Slipstream", both big opening numbers, why did you choose to open with "Mission Profile"?

image

It’s more to do with the range for the voice. For Damian to come in and sing something as high as “Ashes" at the beginning, we tried it in rehearsal but he needs to warm up for those high notes. It’s not that he can’t reach the high notes but it’s consistently high all through the chorus. We’d thought we’d try something else and leave "Ashes" until mid-set.

Obviously it’s a tour for a fairly new album. Songs like “Ashes "and "Staring At The Sun”, as “singles”, maybe pick themselves for the set. What were the reasons for picking the other new songs you played?

Staring At The Sun" wasn’t initially in the set list but when it got released as a second single we added it, late on. We were always going to play (The) Rubicon, because of what it means to Rich and I when we were writing it. It holds that special memory of the whole history of the band over the years, and the fans, everything that happened with Jon and Nick and through to the current line up.

image

We had to pick “Coda”, Pete’s first song and it’s never been played live, we couldn’t leave that out. It turned out to be a really great choice and really inspiring to start rehearsing to. What else did we play that was new?

Colophon!

Well, that’s my favourite song that Richard’s ever written. I love the way this song feels from beginning to end, it never really feels like it is repeating itself. Maybe there are sections but they are constantly adjusting as it goes through. It has a natural build right until the end when it comes right down to nothing again.

I really love the structure of that song. That was a definite for me.

If you take the middle section out, it’s the first time we have written a real pop song which is “Don’t Look Down”. So we’d thought we’d have a go at that! My life’s changed quite a lot in the last few years, being happy as opposed to constantly miserable, without going into detail, and it’s changed my outlook on life. Sometimes that comes out in the song writing. That was one particular song that caught that atmosphere.

It was great to hear an older track like “Angels”, that some fans might not know as it’s from Clone. Were there others like that up for selection?

image

Clone was a special case and was never re-released on Inside Out, getting stuck on GEP for contractual reasons so it wan’t available. It also undersold everything else. Whenever I’m in Holland especially I get asked about Clone and end up making promises to play tracks from it so we chose one. Damian did such a great job that I don’t know why he was nervous about singing anything from that album. We should do some more.

I was going to pick “Choices" from Critical Mass but we also needed space for new songs. I particularly like that track but I suppose we did do it on the DVD shoot which was only ten years ago!

Incidentally Steve is celebrating ten years since he joined Threshold.

The other one from the current album we wanted to do was “That’s Why We Came" but it needs an acoustic for just half a song. With three bands on the bus and all the gear on stage we didn’t want to get it damaged! We dropped that one but if we do a slightly more relaxed tour later in the year we might bring that in. It’s a really good track.

Ah yes, more dates.

Well the band have some Summer festivals lined up with Celebr8 at Kingston (London) 11th May, Rock Hard at Gelsenkirchen 19th May, Sweden Rock at Solvesborg 5th June and Metalfest Loreley 22nd June.

image

As well as the new ProgPower in Norway in November, there’s also a good rumour of a UK tour at the end of 2013 or soon after, so it would make a change for us at Beyond to welcome all of you to the band’s home country!

Twenty years on from Wounded Land this would be the first time the band has done a proper UK tour so we have everything crossed!!!

Fancy coming to see us?



image

Closing

That brief mention of more gig dates brings us nicely to the end. When we were in Holland seeing the band we did try and find out as many things as we could.

Pete let us know that My Soliloquy are very much a real band now and building on a host of rave reviews for the album he intends to get some live dates played.

image

Johanne told us that he has an album of material ready for recording but since then Kyrbgrinder have decided to bring things to a close. Hopefully those songs will see light somewhere as the last album was a joy!




But the most exciting thing is that both Richard and Karl confirmed that a large amount of material is already progressed for a new album. We’ve also heard that a new fan CD is probably coming too with a follow up to the acoustic Wireless likely and a second DVD is also being mentioned.

Exciting times!

Going to see the band in the next set of dates? We’d love to hear YOUR story or see your pictures. We also want to get our hands on your pictures of any set lists you grab as well as carrying on our quest to get a picture of every venue the band has ever played!!!

See you on the road.

image

image

image

Welcome to Issue Ten…

Welcome back!!!

image

Well here we are again - a new album still spinning in the background and a tour about to start.

When we started Beyond we didn’t really expect to still be going this far down the road so a big thank you goes out to everyone that has read Beyond, to all of you that have contributed and most importantly the band and all those others with various connections that have given us the material to share!!!

Group hug out of the way, what can you expect from issue ten? We’ve got a main feature this issue that gives some extra information about the video for “Staring At The Sun”. Then we will be looking forward to the first wave of the tour and having a look at the summer festivals.

We’ve of course got a couple of tracks to put in the spotlight including one special guest contributor and we’ll be having a think about the new vinyl re-releases. We’ve also got a new review of an old album!!!

We’ll also have a bit of a band member round up…


image

Achim Bieler

Who? Well back when March Of Progress was released it was announced that the song “Staring At The Sun" would be the subject of video competition. And one Mr Bieler came up with a stunning video which we hope you have all seen (there’s a link at the end of the article)

Always wanting to bring you that little something extra we tracked him down and he does like a good chat…

Hi Justin, Hi everyone. Today is the perfect day to answer some questions. It’s raining outside and that somehow reminds me of “Staring At The Sun

image

Did you know the band’s music before doing the video?

I first got in touch with Threshold’s Music when Wounded Land was published (1993). So there it was, a new supposed to be heavy prog band with Damian Wilson (who I had heard singing for Landmarq on Solitary Witness), and Karl Groom

(who I just had seen on stage with the Shadowland “Ring of Roses“ Tour ). How heavy might this be? I thought to myself. I put the disc into the player and couldn’t stop listening to “Mother Earth and “Siege Of Baghdad”.


Years passed by, and I lost track of Threshold. Well, there was a time without the World-Wide-Web-Information-Overkill. You actually had to know someone, who knows someone, who just stumbled across a CD in a music-store. Prog Rock CDs in German Music Stores is a story by itself.

But then it happened: Hypothetical was my companion during long trips and lonely hours. Isn’t “Narcissus" amazing? Since then I kept my eyes wide open for every Threshold release. Thanks to my best friend, who firstly introduced me to the beautiful world of Progressive Rock, I managed to never lose track again.

Believe it or not, I’ve never been to a Threshold concert. Living in a small town at the edge of Germany, far away from where the fun is happening, isn’t very fulfilling. But next year’s tour won’t happen without me visiting their show!

image

Is this your first video and if not what else have you done?

It’s only my second one. In 2009 I helped Benjamin (director of photography on the “Staring At The Sun" video) with a small music video project he was planning with a local band (a rock band with blind band members called Blind Sensation). So I plotted a story and directed it. It was a "No-Budget-Lot-Of-Enthusiasm" project.

If you ask me about videos in general, yes I did quite a few, mostly short movies. I’m working at the Athanor Akademie, which is an Academy for actors and directors. I have classes with director students and teach them how to develop their theatrical performances. And I have camera acting classes with the actors too.

Working with directors and students from script to post production on movie projects is a challenging and rewarding job. Over the years (besides my daytime involvement in dramatic arts) I mostly directed theatre productions, but managed to do some short movie projects too.

So you can call it a professionalised hobby. I love to work with Benjamin. He is an excellent director of photography. Unfortunately we haven’t managed to earn money with the projects we do together. We just do it for fun, I guess. Whenever he feels the need to film something more artistic, and whenever I can’t watch a student trying to ruin Shakespeare ;-) we meet for a day and start shooting.

image

And could you tell us a little more about the others involved?

So you heard from Benjamin, you have seen his work. What’s more to know? Let’s start with my beautiful wife Ulrike.

She is a gifted actress with a talent in front and behind a camera. I won’t tell you the story about how a professional relationship started to be a private one!


Ulrike can be a fabulous assistant director and second camera operator and of course: a very emotional face on screen. Karina and Johanna are both actor students of mine, in the second year of their education. They never heard of Threshold before and liked it from the start (another way to gain new fans).

Since Johanna has a good technical skill and interest in stuff like that, she was willing to help behind camera. Karina was my first choice for someone looking somehow familiar to Ulrike and she did wonderful work.

Where did your concept come from?

From a weird mind, I guess. I heard the song and read the lyrics several times and was asking myself: who is he talking to? Who could represent the “You” in the text and what character traits should he have. It sounds like an argument between someone wanting someone else not to give up, to fight for rights, for life, for hope, for light.

To rebel and not surrender. To plot a big rebellion, of course would have been impossible without a proper budget. So I thought of writing a very intimate, small, psychological fight (somehow an inner-view). One character constantly living in her “darkest hour”, wanting to end her life, and the other confronting her and pulling her back into “light”.

image

I needed to have different situations that somehow carry this dynamic inside. But on the other hand, I didn’t want to actually have someone jumping off a bridge or cutting herself with the knife. It should be symbolic to represent a

state of mind more than a specific action. That’s why it ended up being so cryptic.


Once you play with the inner-mind of someone troubled, you discover the thin line between reality and vision, fear and hope, act and wish. Well, it turned out to be more psychedelic, than I firstly intended. I heard really interesting interpretations of the story, and they all contain the simple truth of what I was trying to tell. And of course - I was verbally attacked for “killing my wife” ;-)

Haven’t seen the video yet? Well here is your chance! We’ve left the link longhand and will be back with Achim later. This is Achim’s original competition entry. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toHqQIz6oow

image

This March - A MARCH Of Progress

So Achim mentions he’ll be catching up with Threshold on the road this year. We hope you are too and with that in mind we have a request. If you are going to a show we want to see your pictures. We like to get a picture of EVERY venue that Threshold plays so take one on the outside! (include yourself if you want!)

image

If you are lucky enough to get your hands on one of the setlists then we want to see a picture of that too! And don’t forget any pictures of the live show itself or with the band if you get to catch up with them.

The tour kicks off (1st March) in London at a venue that has become a bit of a must do for many

bands. From there they make the short trip over the water to play in Holland at Helmond (2nd) and Rotterdam (3rd). We’ll be there so say hi if you see us!

Then it’s off to Germany for the first pair of seven dates, with Hamburg (4th) and Berlin (5th) before the band heads east to Poland and Warsaw (6th). That’s followed by trips to three more countries with Kufstein in Austria (8th) followed by Aarau, Switzerland (9th) and Ljubljana in Slovenia (11th).

The band then return to Germany for five straight dates with the 12th to 16th seeing them appear in Augsburg, Aschaffenburg, Ludwigsberg, Essen and Osnabruck. Then they head home stopping off in Belgium and Vosselaar (17th).

For full tour details and ticket links check out the Threshold tour page http://www.thresh.net/touring.htm There’s a few new venues this time around so we really want pictures of those venues!!!

image

The band are joined on the road by show openers Cryptex from Germany and then main support, fellow British band, Enochian Theory.

We did manage to ask Richard what he was hoping for this time around,

I’m really looking forward to the tour, especially after not doing any shows last year. I’ve been keeping myself busy on the Threshold front though, I’ve got a number of new songs under development.

Is that a next album teaser???

image

Vinyl

Well following the great success of issuing the mighty March Of Progress on vinyl as well as the usual 21st Century formats, came the news that the pre nuclear Blast back catalogue would get the same treatment. First up is the very recent double release of Wounded Land and Psychedelicatessen.

image

We remembered reading that Jon Jeary had said, way back when, that Threshold would only be a real band when they released a vinyl album and having waited about twenty years there’s suddenly no stopping them since March Of Progress! If you haven’t got your copy of the first two to be re-released, here’s Karl to let you know what to expect.

Of course, the Threshold release of vinyl is some kind lifelong ambition for Jon, but we are all thrilled to see artwork like Wounded Land

featuring on an LP. We went right back to the original mixes for remastering on this album so it would have the best sound for the format.


I have heard the master, but not seen the cover results as yet and look forward to this more than any product in recent times. Both Wounded Land and Psychedelicatessen will be double gatefold and are on heavy vinyl, so the result will be of the same quality that March of Progress was when it came out in September.

Got them? What do you think? What’s your favourite colour? let us know, beyond@thresh.net

image

Round Up

Time for a breath! Not that many of the band members have been taking one…

image

Damian has continued to pop up all over the place with various releases, recordings and live performances with all sorts of bands. We’re particularly looking forward to the Maiden United world tour of Lancashire that’s planned for April this year with quite a few more this summer.

Johanne and Kyrbgrinder had a very busy 2012 and we’ve heard they have a few plans for this year too.

It just has to be time for a third album from them, doesn’t it? We’ve caught up with them on the road a number of times and never been disappointed.

Richard has already developed the League Of Lights project, and we hope there’ll be more soon, but he’s also involved in Alpha Flood. For once he’ll “just” be a band member and we’re really looking forward to what direction this project takes.

Karl has no doubt been busy in the studio with the vinyl reissues no doubt taking a bit of time to work on. Whilst they are eagerly anticipated it’s a shame that there’s not been a Shadowland tour for a while. But then a certain Mr Nolan has also been a little busy too!

image

And you may have noticed that the long awaited My Soliloquy album, the Interpreter, with Pete Morten at the helm is with us. It’s received some great early reviews and pictures have emerged of a band line up. Tour, anyone?

And Steve…

image

Summer And More

We almost forgot. There are already a few summer shows in place with festival headlining at Celebr8 (Kingston, May) and the Rock Hard festival (also May, Gelsenkirchen). June sees an appearance at the very large Sweden Rock Festival before Metalfest later the same month (Loreley, where the sound is unbelievably good). We’re hoping there might be a few shows in between to keep us fully topped up!

Later in the year there is also a new country being conquered with top billing at ProgPower in Oslo. Still thinking about that one as a possible trip…

image

Achim Returns

Here’s the second half of our chat with “Staring At The Sun" video competition winner Achim Bieler.

What did you do to prepare for the shoot?

When you think of a story, normally you already have pictures in mind. You have a sense of what the action could look like and how it should be filmed. My next step is to look for locations. I knew the corridor in the basement (by the way, it’s the basement of the Athanor Akademie right in the centre of the castle of Burghausen. Not much medieval look left in that building, I know). And I knew the small wooden chapel, which is on the area of the local Youth Hostel.

image

On my search for a nice riverbank, I drove down the Salzach found it, turned around and looked at a small stoney lookout tower on top of a hill. Once I stood inside it, I knew, it had to be part of the video. Next step is to think of how the action could take place in that certain area and write down some notes of where we should place the Camera.




Usually I don’t draw storyboards, but I draw a top view of the set and mark where the camera positions are, related to the movement of the actors. Then I have a list of camera positions and shots. A location always gives you new ideas.

If you think of the stones being painted by Ulrike – well, when I visited the chapel, I saw lots of painted stones inside. They must have been a project of some Youth Hostel visitors, maybe years ago. At that time I knew, I wanted Ulrike to paint herself in colors to express her dark self destructive side. And I was afraid someone could see the red paint and take it for a bad movie-blood-trick, instead of what it should be: just a symbol of blood, and real paint.

So I was looking for an action that would define the colour as a real paint, not as fake blood. The stones were the solution. With both, the locations and the story line, I did a script in which I simply wrote down the actions for each location. I knew, where to edit it compared to the lyrics, so some moments had to be timed while shooting, but most actions could have had their own timing and expression.

image

What’s your favourite part?

Let’s start with the less favourite part: The Basement. Unfortunately it is a very narrow place and left us no space to put light. We had to deal with what was there. And Benny and I still wish we had had more time to create a better look. The jumping between Basement and Nature could have been better.


I do like the moment, when Ulrike is opening the door and is stepping into the forest. And everything Ulrike and Karina did at the chapel (not to mention getting rid of the paint afterwards) was a gift.


Thanks to Benny it also looks good.

So, what’s next?

Filming “March of Progress” as a whole ;-) Joking aside - but it would be fun, wouldn’t it? - well, there are so many other Prog Rock Bands who might be interested in a video too.

And then there was a development…

image

We all know how good the band likes to make everything look whether its the design of a CD booklet, the addition of producer notes or the superb Paradox box collection of a few years ago. So to decide to ask Achim to shoot some extra footage with Damian is probably the best compliment that could be paid to Achim and his team.



As you will have seen Richard posted some photos I sent him from our shoot with Damian and the new video is now out. It was amazing. He was actually staying only three hours away from Burghausen. So we could invite him to shoot extra footage at the original locations.

And everything turned out perfectly. I would like to write a second part, telling you all about the shoot with Damian. And of course, I can provide some photos too. We had a stills photographer on set (I’m waiting for his footage), and I shot some behind the scenes movie footage. So there is now a new version of the music video with Damian singing. And I am trying to edit a making of too.

So you’ve seen the first version, here is the second!!! (fully Damianed up!) Again we have left it long hand and it is accessed via the excellent Prog Rock Magazine site http://www.progrockmag.com/news/video-premiere-threshold-staring-at-the-sun/

image

Rewind

So with new videos, tonnes of other projects on the go and a tour almost upon us what better way to celebrate than with a review of an album from a while ago! Well, more of a story really…

image

Having ventured into the world of progressive rock at a very tender age purely by accident, my exposure to the genre remained quite limited for a long while. Remember that this was a time when not everyone had internet and information was pretty scarce if you did have it. I basically discovered music by word of mouth or by discovering artists that were connected to the bands I already knew.



So this was the state of affair in my early twenties. I was regurgitating all my Genesis albums and slowly getting my feet wet with other progressive acts like Yes, Gentle Giant, King Crimson, Marillion, IQ and so on. I had known about progressive metal for a while and was a fan of early works by Dream Theater and Queensryche, however both had disappointed me and I was slowly giving up hope for progressive metal, or, to put it better, that I would ever feel the same as I did when I first heard Images and Words or Operation Mindcrime, or even Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, for that matter.

It was a time of great turmoil in my life. I had just failed my first year at University and was going through a great crisis. I was going to the same classes as the year before, wearing sweatpants and a sweatshirt, showering when I felt my own odours taking me to the brink of unconsciousness and pretty much being indifferent to everything and everyone. Except music, of course! That has always been one of the passions which has been able to save me even in the darkest of moments.

So, after visiting those classes for the second year in a row and feeling no smarter, I would usually make my way to the local record and CD shops, gazing at the shelves full of music, unable to really buy anything due to lack of funds, but salivating nonetheless over the treasures I might never hear. It happened one day that I was browsing through the metal section and I accidentally picked up a CD by this band called Threshold. It was Hypothetical, their 2001 release. The sticker on the front said »RockHard album of the month«. I have never put much stock in such blatant promotional tactics, but I took a gamble even though the album was quite expensive for a financially struggling student.

image

From the first moments that I put the CD on, I knew that this would be something I would come back to many times. From the sheer power of Light and Space to the dramatic developments of Ravages of Time and Narcissus and even to the catchy pop sensibilities of Keep My Head – this band was clicking for me on all fronts. Further listens kept revealing new depths and intricacies in the music, which was both technically challenging, but at the same time full of melodies that you could actually hum.

The lyrics were also something I could relate to, containing both the fantasy element to be expected in progressive music and personal insights as well.


Naturally, I investigated their catalogue further and while there was much to enjoy, Hypothetical seemed a step ahead and still holds a special place in my heart. I don’t know if it was a matter of finding me at such a moment in my life, or if the music here was just otherworldly and it would affect me regardless of my state of mind.

In a way, Threshold and in particular the album Hypothetical restored my hope in progressive metal and convinced me that it wasn’t all about how quickly you can play, but about elegance of delivery and style as well. And Threshold have heaps of that! Not only that, Threshold also helped me make it through times of great personal hardship and pieces like Narcissus actually made me take stock and reassess my life, which wasn’t so bad after all and there was hope for me in this world. The elastic band in my sweatpants was proof of that!

Hypothetical will forever hold a special place in my heart and I consider it one of the best albums in progressive metal. The genre hasn’t become my favourite in progressive music, but when I have the desire for it, Threshold and especially Hypothetical satisfy those urges quite nicely. Well done lads!

Thanks to Rok for his thoughts - of course the album has just been re-released as a “Definitive Edition”. Rok is the founder of The Rocktologist website that features daily news as well as a monthly webzine that includes a specific progressive section - and he’ll be catching up with the band when they visit Slovenia this year!

image

Two Tracks

Just space for a couple in the spotlight this time round - and it’s one from each of the first two vinyl re-releases, plus a special guest!

Mother Earth

image

This has always been a song that thrusts me back to places and times past. Karl tells us a bit more,

Although this one comes on Threshold’s debut album Wounded Land, the song first appeared on our second audio cassette demo release and was sold at our gigs in The Compasses. The band had gone from just playing covers, to integrating our own material into the set list. Mother Earth joined Paradox as one of the two songs written before the band were signed.

image

Ah - The Compasses, 1980something or other and a song that introduced me to the word “interstices”. The rather grubby t shirt pictured comes from those heady days and was sold at about the same time as that cassette. Karl continues,



This song was largely put together from something Jon Jeary had written on acoustic with a folk tuning. I remember Jon liked Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin (due probably to his parents’ influence) and had been exploring his alternative guitar tunings. The track remains mostly as it was originally played on acoustic, with the addition of a middle section once adapted for the full band recording.

Will To Give

As promised here’s our guest contributor! But rather than us tell you about Jon Jeary’s pulsating bass and the song’s story we’ll hand over to Glynn Morgan, singer on the album.

image

As far as I remember this was the second of the songs to be chosen from the three or four that I put forward to Karl and the guys to be considered for the album, not being the heaviest of the ideas, that was “Fist of Tongues" but I think the most interesting dynamically. I was more than pleased to say the least that a couple of my songs were going to be on the next Threshold album!!

Fist Of Tongues" was one of the excellent "new" songs to appear on the superb Paradox boxset a few years ago with Glynn coming in to record the vocals.

As like most of the stuff I wrote around that time I came up with the main riff and then built the track around that, bringing it in and out and also using it for the chorus. I love the idea of trying to get different textures to create the mood, so starting it off with a solid racing bass line then fold in the (backed off) guitars, add a pretty grooving drum part that together with the bass line creates momentum and the feel that will be carried through the song, then, a pinch of keyboard for extra atmosphere and simmer gently until, Smack!! The riff!!

That’s about it, the song drifts in and out of these two main parts adding some clean guitars in the verses to complement the melody. Variations of the main riff appear throughout, with the whole thing being wrapped around the bass line. Obviously Richard was responsible for the keyboard parts and Karl the final arrangement, Karl also adding the solo and the harmony guitar parts that really lift the track towards the end.

image

Music aside, what of the lyrics?

Oscar Wilde quoted ‘ I can resist everything except temptation ’ and I for one have been guilty of that on more than one occasion and have to live with the consequences whether I like it or not. In the track I encroach on this subject hopefully, without giving too much away, leaving the listener to decide and perhaps relate to something that may have happened in their life.

It’s human nature to do things we know may be wrong, but we do them anyway,’ lead us not into temptation’, but many are willing to give you something you find hard to resist!


All the songs I put forward were put together on my old Vestafire 4 track portastudio, I Remember lending it to Jon Jeary, I don’t remember getting it back…

Many thanks to Glynn for taking the time to give us such a comprehensive back story to the song!

image

Post Script

And that’s it for issue ten. We are hoping to catch up with Achim again to find out a bit more about his behind the scenes film and of course can’t wait to see the band hit the road again.

With that in mind don’t forget to send us your pictures of set lists, the band and of course the venues! beyond@thresh.net We also want to hear your stories so we can share them!

To help express why we are so looking forward to the live shows we caught up with Jon Patrick (we have spoken to him before when we told you a little more about the venue he is involved with, The Peel) to ask why Threshold were chosen for the second edition of Celebr8 this year.

Celebr8.2 is a major line up. Having worked with Threshold many times as well as Damian’s various projects (including Maiden United), and with the long awaited and fantastic new Threshold album released it was an obvious choice.

Enough said!

image

image

Well it’s about time we gathered together the various pictures we have been sent. Here are some more venues. The Peel, de Pul and Biebob including a fairly infamous penguin.

Do we need to remind everyone?

Well just in case - we want a picture of EVERY venue Threshold has ever played. It could be a picture you took at the time or it could be a venue you happen to be at from the past.

But we want your picture not just some random one from the net!

Thanks to all the contributors - and sorry we’ve been soooooo slow to post these!!! Beyond Issue TEN is almost here!


Welcome to Issue Nine…


Welcome back!!!



It’s been a while. In fact it’s been a year!

Issue Eight saw us cover the last few tour dates associated with Dead Reckoning and for Threshold there’s been plenty to do since. New album anyone?

Add to that more from Kyrbgrinder, League Of Lights, My Soliloquy and pretty much everything Damian is linked too, it’s been busy.

This issue aims to bring you up to date and more importantly let you know just a little bit more about what is coming…


The trailer


You have hopefully feasted your eyes and ears on the album trailer that came out earlier this month. We sneaked a few questions into Karl after we had confirmed that the song you can hear is album opener “Ashes”. We’re loving that riff that starts as Karl speaks which now it’s out as a radio edit you will be able to hear clearly!!!

If you have no idea what we are talking about then check out the official trailer here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AH4EWifqLk (long hand so it’s easy to paste!)

Over to Karl…



So where did you get your photo shoot done this time?

The photos were taken near to where Damian’s boat used to be on the River Wey, Guildford.

And the van movie?

That is taken on Steve’s phone when we were late for Metal Camp in Slovenia. They picked us up from Venice airport and drove like crazy to the show.

Our flight (captained by Paddy Barrett who is Nick’s brother from Pendragon) was delayed because of flooding at Heathrow. We ended up 10 minutes late for stage, jumped out of the van and started playing.

We always try to bring you that bit of extra information you won’t find in a regular interview!

And what about the gig footage?

That’s at de Boerderij from the balcony by someone called Vladan!

In the crowd at that show? If you spot yourself let us know beyond@thresh.net


Karl


Let’s stick with the man that is so important to so much that we love about Threshold.

Mr Groom has of course been right at the heart of the new album, recorded as it was at Thin Ice. It’s a fairly prolific studio so it’s probably just as well that he hasn’t been out on the road with Shadowland for a while. We caught up with him very briefly to pose a couple of questions about March Of Progress…

Recent albums have been composed by you and Richard - so how was it this time with some of the others joining the writing team?

One of the main differences on this record is that there are five writers. Hopefully this brings some extra variation to the album, because we have 75 minutes of music after such a break. Steve worked with Richard, with Damian and Pete writing their own compositions. I think the time between releases allowed some new ideas and the additional writers was good too.



Looking at the packages being created can you tell us anything about them? For example will there be “producer notes” as have featured in the past releases?

There are two different versions of the CD. The special edition will include a bonus track, liner notes and extra content. I am still not sure exactly how it looks because nobody in the band has seen the final cover as yet.

Also there will be a very special double gatefold vinyl edition of the album. Jon always said we couldn’t consider ourselves properly signed until we had an LP!


Of the new songs are there any you are particularly looking forward to live?

I will be glad to play anything live. It’s always hard to co-ordinate everyone’s schedule, but hopefully the beginning of next year will see a tour.



Dead Reckoning was toured extensively so do you envisage similar schedules or is it too early to say?

We enjoyed touring during that period after Dead Reckoning and it helped shape this lineup well. Everything will depend on what comes up and who is available as usual. Personally I also hope to make our tenth studio album as a priority, so not such a long tour as last time.



Do you think that counts as an exclusive?

Rather than have the normal eclectic mix of articles we thought we’d do something different. No set lists, live reviews, tour stories and not even any tracks in the spotlight. You’re probably only interested in the new album so we don’t want to spoil the surprise!

Instead we’ve tried to throw a few questions at everyone else in the band. Here’s how we got on…

Steve


About all we knew about Steve’s activities can be seen in the album trailer!

So of course we tracked him down too.

The last issue of Beyond was a year ago - so what have you been up to since?



Goodness me, that means it’s been about a year since the band last got together to play some live shows ! Time does indeed fly.

Well, since then, I guess the new Threshold album has been my main musical focus. I got the demos for the new album back in the Autumn last year.




I like to spend a bit of time just listening, absorbing the flavour, bonding with the tracks before diving right in. Once I’ve taken in the tracks, then comes the challenge of getting some of the more technical parts of the songs under my fingers. I guess I spent a fair chunk of time doing that! There’s always a few challenging surprises!

I try to be quite conscientious when it comes to learning all the material upfront and having some ideas ready when I go into the studio; it always makes things go smoother.

I put down the bass with Rich in his studio last December around Christmas time. We managed to get everything recorded in three days! That was hard work, but Rich is a very patient calm producer which always makes the whole process very comfortable. We also had some rather tasty homemade soup.

Other than Threshold, I’ve also been working with Trevor Wells, a fine guitarist, on a new Jazz Fusion, project called Jigsaw which he’s putting together with his writing partner Caroline Rawlinson. This kind of music will always be one of my big passions and so I was really happy that Trevor asked me to get involved (you can check out some of the material on, www.jigsawontheweb.com). There are all sorts of influences in the music coming from funk, latin, rock and prog all cleverly fused together.

How free were you to add your own mark on the songs for the new Threshold album?

I do always get the freedom to add or expand ideas with new Threshold songs. Initially, I spend some time just listening to the demos and begin to create rhythmic and melodic ideas in my head. Then I sit down and work out a few of those ideas on the bass. Usually, the riff based lines and more complex parts of the songs are played as written, but I often might adapt a groove to sit more comfortably under my fingers.


I guess the sound and style of the band members is also in mind when new songs are written; on a couple of songs Karl wrote in space for some solo bass parts. He came up with some parts which I adapted and I added a few of my own too.

Early last year I sent a few riff ideas to Rich one of which he weaved into the “The Hours”, so it’s great to have made a small writing contribution to this album !

A lot of ideas also get created spontaneously in the studio and it’s always nice to hear how they work in the finished track. I hadn’t heard any of what Johanne had put down until I recorded the bass with Rich, so all of the runs I play with the drums were all created spontaneously during the session. I love doing that, although they all usually change when we play it all live !

So are there any songs you are particularly looking forward to playing live?

Well I can’t really give too much away, but there are a few which are going to be fun and challenging to play live such as "Liberty Complacency Dependency" which is really epic and atmospheric and "Staring at the Sun" which is complex and melodic. I thought Pete’s and Damian’s songs also turned out great so looking forward to playing those too and of course I must say “The Hours”, but I guess I’m a little biased there!

Pete


So on to Pete “many bands” Morten! We are yet to find any evidence that Pete sleeps day to day and in fact we believe he actually goes on tour for a rest. Somehow we managed to pin him down to get a very quick catch up…

The last issue of Beyond was a year ago - so what have you been up to since?



Hi Justin. hmmm, apart from moving house yet again you mean ha ha.. well, as you know I’ve been very busy writing for and contributing to the new Threshold album, as well as finishing up the new My Soliloquy album. I’ve also been in the studio with Nightmare World laying down more vocals for our as yet untitled debut album.




How free were you to add your own mark on the songs for the new Threshold album? (as in the ones you didn’t compose)

Well regarding the rest of the Threshold album, my part was relatively small, I was invited to write 3 main guitar solos for songs that Karl and Rich had written. But I had no input on song structure etc etc for their songs, as they were already fully realized before I got to them. Much like how I presented my songs to the rest of the band. So yea, their songs were completed, and just needed my solos to finish them off.

And anything you can share about the ones that have a full writing credit for you?

The two songs I’ve written for March of Progress are ‘Coda' and 'Divinity’. Even though I purposely tailored my somewhat quirky writing style to fit more in keeping with the Threshold sound, it was still nice to see my songs take shape as the other members added their stamp, thus, further still, cementing them into the Threshold signature sound.



For weeks all I was listening to were my demo versions of the tracks, which I’d sung on, so by the time I heard Damian’s take on them, it was a little strange at first. I had to take my ‘demo head’ off so to speak, and look at the final recordings from a new perspective. But the more I heard, the more I liked what I was hearing.

I think, save for a few minor points with regards to certain inflections on some words or how certain lines were expressed by Damian, I was actually pleased with his interpretation of my lyrics. “Coda" has a homage to Mac in the lyrics too, see if you can spot it when you hear it!

We keep getting little snippets about My Soliloquy - what’s the latest?

The latest on the My Soliloquy album is that IT IS DONE!!!!!! ha ha. All that’s left is the final mix and mastering to do, which I started on the 16th of July. Man, it’s been two years of hard slog. I’ve written, arranged, and recorded everything myself, save for the drums of course, but I still overlooked the composition and recording of them at every stage to make sure they were right and how I wanted them.

Making an album is a huge undertaking even for a whole band, but for one person, hmm, I wouldn’t advise it, particularly if you value your sanity. It’s just nice to have come out the other side and to have something I’m really happy with to show for it. Unless you’ve made an album like this, and over such a long period of time, it’s hard to comprehend what it’s like to live with something as intensive as making an album, day-in/day-out for two years.

It just consumed nearly every waking and sleeping thought, as I agonised over every little detail of every instrument, lyric and vocal line. Then add to the mix, rendering the artwork which I laboured over with the same degree of intensity. So with all that and figuring out how I was going to pay for it all, is it any wonder I have a few extra grey hairs now ha ha.

However, it was worth it as I’m very happy with how it sounds, and feel it is my best work to date. I’m very proud of it and I look forward to sharing it with you all soon.

As ever some very extensive answers from Pete!

Johanne


Well you may have noticed that Johanne’s comments in the trailer were text only - and we’ve had the same problem getting in touch!



The man behind the Threshold drums was last seen asleep following the latest Kyrbgrinder show - have you seen their schedule in the last year?


They’ve got a few more ahead too so if you want to see where check the “Gigs coming up” page that will be in the panel on the right of this page. Maybe we can find something about Johanne later…






Richard


League Of Lights have been the big story in the last year for Richard. A debut gig, which saw a unique combination of the Salvation Army band with choir and guest vocals from Glynn Morgan, vocalist for Threshold’s second release, Psychedelicatessen.

The gig was in Staines (a town name recently changed to Staines Upon Thames!) which isn’t far from the Threshold stomping ground of yesteryear.

And since? Well on 9th July this year they released the single “Forever" with Glynn again guesting. We caught up with Richard to ask him a couple of things…

Looking back over the last year there has been some League Of Lights activity - a live show and a new single. So can we expect more shows and a second album?



I really hope so. Our new single is hopefully a taste of more things to come. Glynn sounds great on it and we’re hoping to do more recordings and shows with him. (if you haven’t checked it out yet you can find the video and order details here)

It’s one of many acts that Threshold band members have been busy with so how has it been trying to arrange everyone’s schedules for recording?

I think everyone was mostly available when needed so I don’t think it caused any problems!

Recent albums have seen you and Karl take on the writing so how was it having so many new contributors?



It felt a bit more like Psychedelicatessen, lots of different writers and combinations. Most of March of Progress is still Groom/West though, so there’s quite a lot of continuity from our last two albums. But all the other guys have done a great job fitting in to the Threshold way of things.

Dead Reckoning was toured extensively so do you envisage a similar long schedule of shows?

I hope so, I’m looking forward to it.



Damian


Who have we forgotten? Well forgotten isn’t quite the right word is it? To complete the set we also caught up with Threshold’s front man ahead of his third studio album with the band.

We know you have been kept fairly busy since the last Threshold shows so could you give us a quick up date? How has recording new material with Maiden United gone?

The Maiden United album ‘Across the Seven Seas’ is sounding fantastic! I can’t believe I’m actually so excited about my ‘Dutch metal-acoustic cover band’. I love the guys, they are the dog’s, I could hang out with them all the nights of the week but I never expected us to be producing music I like doing as much as this.

And of course Headspace - what do you think of the reception to the album so far?



So far so good. I think the album is great and the musicianship exceptional. It has a lot of me in it, and I am looking forward to getting my teeth into the live work and next album.

You’ve also managed a few solo shows - what’s ahead? Any chance of a return to the DWB touring?

Although I have an album’s worth of material ready, I am writing a fresh

album as we speak working on a different approach. Many plans ahead. I’d really like to get a band out again on the road with the solo material.


Coming back to Threshold, how did this recording compare with your last album with the band?

Many flash backs, but very different with all our experiences over the past 15 years.

Thinking of the songs are there any in particular you are looking forward to playing live?

To be honest, I am more fearful than looking forward to playing them live. I thought Headspace was testing but this is going to be a lot of work and expertise to represent live. Come watch us do it!

Damian - fearful? Surely not!


For the next issue we want to hear from YOU - show us your copies of March Of Progress, tell us what you think, which songs you want to hear live and if you have written a review send us a link.

We’ll then share it with the whole Threshold world!!! beyond@thresh.net


Something extra…


We did say earlier that we wouldn’t have any of the usual mixed bag of articles but we’ve got space for a couple to give you a flavour of the sort of things we like to find out and then share. Over to Astrid de Ronde who has helped us out before!

Many of our readers will be well aware of Damian’s various releases recently and one of those was a compilation album of his solo work, “I Thought The World Was Listening”. And Astrid added her part too…

Last year I got a message from Mark van den Hoven from Blacklake. (responsible for the sleeve design and more). He said he liked the pictures of Damian I’d posted and asked if he could use some of them for the booklet of Damian’s then still forthcoming compilation album.



I was completely blown away by this, I mean, what a great honour to be asked, isn’t it? A couple of weeks later he asked me to send the files of a few pictures and then I didn’t hear from him again for a little while, until the magic e-mail came. He was going to use one of the pictures for the CD and it would also be used for the tour poster!

I was over the moon! At this moment in time I didn’t know which of the pictures it would be, so I was very curious. About a week before the release I saw the poster so I sent Mark an e-mail to thank him and tell him what a great job Blacklake had done on the picture, as the original looks okay, but not as wonderful as on the poster.

To my surprise he told me that not only was this picture going to be used for the inlay of the CD and the tour poster, but also for the re-release of ‘Live in rehearsal’! I think you can imagine how proud I was when I was given a copy of the CD. So unbelievably cool!! Not bad for an amateur eh?

Not bad at all. And to think Astrid’s photos first got published here! Probably.


And another something extra!


Astrid also saw her photography in demand for another band associated with Threshold, Kyrbgrinder. So whilst we haven’t managed to catch up with Johanne we do at least have a recent picture!

I had a trip booked to London back in April and a few weeks before the trip I heard that Kyrbgrinder was going to play in Southampton. I’d seen them there before, I knew where it was, I love Kyrbgrinder, I had a mission!

Anyway, for a while I had been nagging Kyrbgrinder’s manager Nick Preece about the band’s promo pictures so Nick challenged me. He said he could do with new updated promo pictures and would like me to take them when I was in Southampton. I was honoured, but also very nervous.



The only time I’d done a photoshoot was with a few kids and that had been a while. But I did take this task seriously and so I wanted to prepare myself and practice first. A week before I went to the UK I caught up with Steve, who lives in Holland, and lucky me, he had some family members over and I’d brought my camera!

It was great fun to have this kind of practice. The pictures I took were not very good at all, but I learned a lot from this experience and was glad I was at least a little bit prepared.

The first thing I did when I arrived at The Firehouse was trying to find a good location for the photo shoot. The alley next to the venue seemed to do the trick. Then all I had to do was to get the band there. Lucky there’s only three of them!

Even though one of them is constantly hungry, they were very cooperative and patient with me, this nervous wreck. I tried different poses, including the boy band pose. All lots of fun and a great experience.

I took about 80 pictures and must admit I’m not overly excited about all of them. Nick said he only needed one picture, he was happy. It ended up as Kyrbgrinder’s profile picture on Reverbnation.

Well we’ve got our hands on one of those pictures - who wants to see some more?

Post Script


That’s it for our returning issue. The radio edit version of “Ashes" is out and about and it really isn’t long to wait for the whole album. Once you get your hands and ears on it we want to hear from you!!!

We want to see pictures of you with your copy of March Of Progress. We want to know what you love about it and which songs you can’t wait to hear live. And anything else you can think of!

Until the next time, enjoy the album!


Beyond


The radio edit of album opener “Ashes" is now available. The long hand link to the label’s site is

http://www.nuclearblast.de/en/label/music/band/about/71049.threshold.html

where you can download this song for free!!!

You can also tune in to The Rock Show at Generate Radio from 8pm UK time today 26th July to hear it and more Threshold. (www.generateradio.com)

And don’t forget that the next issue of Beyond should be ready at the end of July!!!

The band have just released a trailer for MARCH OF PROGRESS, the new album due to reach us on 31st August. We’ve left the link long hand so you can share it more easily!!!



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AH4EWifqLk


New issue of Beyond!!!


Yes that’s right - all inspired by news of the album we will be working on a new issue very soon aiming for the end of July.

We need your input - pics, thoughts, ideas, reviews of old shows or albums, why you first listened to the band, anything! beyond@thresh.net

stats counter
Web Counter