Threatpoint pushes positive message through aggression

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First Posted: 7/23/2013

“It kind of sounds like you’re pinning someone down to the corner,” Chris James said.

The vocalist was describing the name of his new band, Threatpoint, but he could have just as easily been talking about the group’s sound, which they have dubbed “Electric City Groove Metal.”

“We’re going to do what we want to do. We’re not just going to go with, ‘Oh, let’s play for the radio.’ Let’s just do what we want to do, and we’re heavy,” James continued.

“And Testament was already taken,” bassist Bill Little quipped.

Rising from the ashes of DropVeil and Temptation Denied, James, guitarist Alex Olivetti, and drummer CJ Krukowski formed one of Scranton’s heaviest acts about a year ago, adding Little three months ago after he found the band through Craigslist.

“When I saw these three guys working together for the first time, the first time I met them down at the studio, I could see there was something going on. They were feeding off each other – any ideas that came across the table became bigger and better, whether it was musically or sticking CJ’s face in the pizza. It just built on itself,” Little recalled, adding that this is the heaviest and fastest music he has played to date.

“With the groups that I’ve been in total the past 30 years, this is the first time I’ve seen that kind of positive energy pretty much non-stop in no matter what situation that we’re in.”

“I’ve played in handful of other heavy acts, but this is the only one that I’ve been in from the start. I’ve always joined bands after they’ve formed. This is the only one that I’ve really helped build from the ground up with the other guys,” Olivetti noted.

“Since we’ve been playing together over a year, Bill came and he gave his two cents. We definitely have more of a direction of where we want to go (now) as a band.”

“I was doing nothing anymore, and these guys were just getting ready to look for a singer,” James continued. “I knew they were killer musicians, and I wanted to step. I was tired of the hard rock stuff. I wanted to tear like DevilDriver and Lamb of God and stuff, and what’s what they did.

“I’m coming back from hard rock. I grew up with thrash and speed; these guys were in thrash and speed, and then it just kind of merged into where we take the thrash and speed and bleed it into that newer, modern metal, that more aggressive stuff.”

With a name like Threatpoint and a sound that many have compared to a brutal beatdown, James admits that he has “a lot of anger built up,” but he’s also “spiritually driven.”

“We don’t have any happy songs,” Olivetti acknowledged.

“We’re positive. Our lyrics are positive. There’s a lot of positive approach to this… Our music is what really happens on this planet as we walk the streets. If somebody says, ‘What are your influences?’ Our influences are everybody we meet, everywhere we go, and every place we find and see…. Whatever we take from this planet is what we put in our music. We’re not political, but there might be political stuff. I’m spiritual, but it’s not being pressed on someone; it’s a feeling in my heart,” James clarified.

“Our old bands crashed and burned. You get knocked down in life, in jobs, relationships. We just wanted to say, ‘You know what? We’re going to get knocked down, we’re going to get pushed down, our d—ks in the dirt, but we’re going to rise up, man. And we’re not going to take no for an answer. Basically, Threatpoint is we’re going to go through the doors that are open. The ones that ain’t, we’re kicking down.”

The title of their debut record, “Dead to Rise,” recorded at JL Studios in Wyoming, reflects this brazen attitude, and Olivetti hopes it inspires “lots of headbanging” along with hope.

“There’s always hope, no matter how many times you get kicked down. It’s not about how many times you get knocked out – it’s about how times you get back up. I think that’s us,” James said.

“We want people to rise up and do your thing. Don’t get pushed around. One of our songs, ‘Pave the Way’ – we don’t follow, we pave the way.”

Already hard at work on their next album, the band will pave its way through crowds at Ole Tyme Charley’s with The Curse of Sorrow on Friday, July 26, unleashing original tunes like the epic “Calm Before the Storm,” “The Beast Within” about the dark side of humanity, and “Never Say Die,” a reflection of their can-do attitude.

“It’s tough. The local music scene, the music industry, metal period – you’ve got your back against the wall, but we’re just going to go out and do it because we love it. We love music. It’s not about money. If you’re in it for money, go to work somewhere,” James insisted.

“We expect a really good show. We expect top-notch performances from everyone there,” Little said of the record release show.

“To just have one person come up and go, ‘That was a phenomenal show. Thank you for playing’ – if one guy comes up and says that to me or one girl comes up and says that to me, that’s my night right there. I’m now a happy person and will go to bed with a smile on my face.”