In the music business, bands come and bands go. It seems most bands don't get to where they want to be because they just don't hold up.
Things change and people within a band give up, move on or just don't have the fire, determination or willingness to make the necessary sacrifices
that are required to make it in the biz. No one can blame them really. Success in the music industry, especially in metal is difficult to achieve.
number of things have happened with this band. Line-up changes, touring challenges, personal issues, and yet, new music. With every challenge
the core of this band faces, they keep truckin'. We admire this in a band because we believe that perseverance is key to success.
|Interview by Dave Henninger
|THREATPOINT - Alex Olivetti: Guitar - Matt Van Fleet: Bass - CJ Krukowski: Drums - Chris James: Vocals
What has changed since we last talked to you?
CJ: Well, we've obviously got a lot more miles down under our belt, having completed another tour heading out
to the northwest, way across the country. Got to play Seattle, Montana, revisited our friends in Indiana, went
back out to Colorado and that's just to name a few. It's always great touring but it absolutely does get tiring. And
needless to say afterwards, we released our new album, RIP.
Tell us about your newest release.
CJ: This album was definitely not as easy to make as we thought it would be... we lost some band members and
had a bit of a rough 2016 in the process with a breakdown to our bus when we were on the road in the spring
and some other mechanical issues as well, which lead to a few show cancellations later in the summer.
On a personal level, two of the guys in the band split with their spouses, one even getting divorced... so, we've
had better years as a band and as people but we're still here and standing, they can't take THAT from us!
On a musical level, this album definitely holds the title to our groove metal genre but there's a definite focus on
our thrash side that we never really let out before, so that's kind of proud to us. We actually even released our
first video for this album with the song "Bury the Wicked", check it out!
Tell us about the acoustic album "Road Less Traveled".
CJ: Ha... that was definitely an experience! It was challenging to do because
we didn't play our songs verbatum, we kinda rewrote some parts in them or
played them a little differently, whichever made it sound good.
Chris obviously stripped his vocal style down, which gives it a Johnny
Cash/old school country vibe and I played a smaller kit with hot rod drum
sticks, so the drums and cymbals have a different sound... we also recorded
full band and without a metronome! We wanted an organic, natural, raw
sound and I believe we got that.
When people give you a blank stare and tell you they can't believe that it's
you they're listening to, that's what we strive for... we always say not to put
us in a box!
What can you tell us about the single R.I.P.
CJ: It was the first song we wrote with our lineup now, the three of us and
Matt on bass... it truthfully came together rather effortlessly and just feels
good. We believe it's absolutely one of our strongest, if not, THE most
strongest song in our catalog.
If i'm not mistaken, you have toured several times. There are a lot of
sacrifices that go into making that possible. But the intention and
goal has endless possibilities. Do you manage and finance your own
yours, or do you have sponsors or investors etc.?
CJ: this band is completely funded by us for us... nobody helps us with
anything. We are self built in every way, from the ground up. Recording is
the same thing, it's all out of our own pockets. Trying to find a record label
who will invest in you and believe in you is a tough thing to come by but we
are still on the hunt.
As far as touring goes, you just have to book realistically. It definitely helps when shows are closer together and not so far
apart and you have to be able to get some type of guarantee that way you're not having to pay for it out of your own pocket as
What advice would you give to anyone contemplating a tour of their own?
CJ: Touring is something that you have to see is being fun and like a vacation, you definitely can't do it to get
Getting out in front of new people and new places is an awesome thing, though... we've made friends and fans
all over the country who will still hit us up on occasion asking us when we will be back, so there's not much
more rewarding than that. Plus it helps when you return to a place that's super far away and a few people are
there to see you with your shirt on... that really says something.
Do you think that the line up changes has changed the dynamics of the band?
CJ: The core of the band has always been Chris, Alex and myself... everyone else for better or worse has
came and went. Matt is with us now and without question, this is our most solid line up to date and the
chemistry both live and writing is unreal... he's also been with us the longest so far out of every other member
we've had. And the type of player he is, he just makes the band better.
Little things I would say have changed through the years. When you're writing with new players, things will
sound a little different... no two players are the exact same. But truthfully, we've always remained to our sound.
Being a DIY band takes a lot of work and even courage. Have you considered
joining or hiring an agent or agency?
CJ: of course. We've reached out to some and have had some reach out to us but in
the end, a lot of them just want their guaranteed money upfront, regardless of how
good or bad the band is doing. We understand this is a business but we put out a
quality product all around. We spend good money on recording, getting CDs made,
maintenance for our bus which enables us to tour, merch, and gear just to name a few
things... mind you, we still have our own bills in our personal lives and responsibilities.
Some of these "management" companies won't do you too much good as you'll have
that big bill/hole in your pocket every month. If they can get us better guarantees,
better quality shows, more notoriety, it's something to consider. Again, it's a business
and nobody will help anyone for free and that's understandable but if someone wants
something bad enough, they will work with them no matter what.
In all your travels, is there any place or show that stands out in your memory as one
of the best shows you have done or been a part of?
CJ: it's so hard to say but we always seem to do very well whenever we are down south,
Virginia in particular... The people there just get us. Plus the fact that they are some of the
nicest people we've ever met, "southern hospitality" really does exist.
What are the plans for ThreatPoint for 2017?
CJ: Coming into the new year, we started writing again and are starting to get the wheels turning for some shows... back to he grind for
us! Hard telling when we will get in the studio, most likely near the end of the year. However, we just released "RIP" back in October, so
go check it out.
What is the funniest gig story you can tell us about. Either as a witness or involved party.
CJ: every time we go out on the road is a bit of an adventure in of itself... nothing in particular stands out. But
from people who try to trade you a pocket knife for one of your T-shirts, Chris swallowing a fly on our West
Coast tour of 2015, or Chris getting lost in Montana, freaking out and throwing our GPS out the window,
there's a few of 'em.
If Mcdonalds started making Whoppers and Burger King started making Big Macs, what should
CJ: Haha... I'm really not sure how to approach this. Team with Taco Bell and release the ultimate taco-heart
|Threatpoint - Groove Metal from Scranton, PA