Interview: Jon Howard of Threat Signal.
We have known the lads in Threat Signal for a number of years, and you can even see them in our shirts in videos and on tour (Because they love how comfy they are, but love us too!), so we do have a long history with this band of brothers. So, when they decided to come out with a new album after a bit of a hiatus, we definitely wanted to swing back around and get an interview with a band we go way back with, and who have supported us for many years.
It has been a number of years since you put out an album, what brought you guys back together to put forth another album now?
Our plan was never to slow down, or take a break… We began writing this album in maybe 2012 and by 2014 we were ready to hit the studio. The music industry side of things was a complete mess, and nothing was working out for us, so by 2015 Travis and I decided to record the album ourselves in our home studios. The album was finished and mixed in 2015 and it took another 2 damn years to get the thing released. Lets just say we are moving forward, with a new team and a brighter future. It’s a tough industry and you really have to take control of things if you don’t want to waste away.
How has the industry changed since your first album? How did you go to Agonia Records as a label?
Well there was a lot more money back in the album contracts when I started that’s for sure!! Haha. Album sales are nothing like they used to be, so the record labels really had to jump on the digital train and find ways to make their money that way. I personally could care less about money, which is probably why I don’t have any, haha, but it really is that necessary evil you need to figure out to keep your band alive. You gotta figure out the game.
We released 3 albums with Nuclear Blast, which was amazing; however our contract expired after the third release. We were looking forward to renewing the contract, but our management at the time informed us that Blast was no longer interested. I later found out that wasn’t totally the case, and there had been a lot of miscommunication. Anyways… things happen for a reason I guess… we got in talks with many labels; however, Agonia seemed very promising. I wasn’t looking for a large recording deal budget, I was looking for a decent deal, but with the major focus on marketing, and that’s what Agonia is focused on. Also we would not be the small fish in a big pond. Even after the album is released, Agonia still works on pushing the album rather than just forgetting about us and moving onto the next release. I’ve had a great experience so far!
You have your own recording studio, how did that help with members living in various areas, and having different lives from when you guys were young?
Lets face it, people grow up, get into relationships, go to work, have kids, blah blah blah… So no its not like when we were young, getting together after school and jamming almost every single day. The only time we jam now is before a tour and most of the members have to fly in for that. So yea, having the luxury of our home studios and the internet has kept this band going over the years. We keep in tough almost every day, but honestly, I can’t wait to see the guys again!
I know the loss of Norman Kileen was difficult for you and the guys, I know that for myself, Norm was always a pleasure to see when we had the chance to hang on tour.
I still can’t fuckin believe it man… He lost hope, disappeared and eventually opted out. I felt guilty for a while, but that was a stupid way to think. Playing with Threat Signal meant the world to him, and he told me that several times!! However, his playing was going down hill and it seemed like he was falling apart, I chose to fire my friend for a tighter drummer… FUCK. It went extremely downhill for him after that. Anyone out there, just know: that you’re not alone. Talk about your feelings, and be open, don’t get lost in your head. I was hoping he would come back into the band after he worked things out, but he disappeared. I love ya Norm and I always will. I have a tattoo on my hand that reminds me alllll the time.
Where is Threat Signal Heading now? What is the plan and future of the band?
We are putting together a whole new team, Management and booking agents. We hope to light a new fire under this band and get back out there playing the music we love. We are extremely proud of this new album, and I want to scream it to the whole damn world!!!! We have also been working on more new songs. The wait for more music will not take as long this time haha. Mark my words.
THREAT SIGNAL wearing our Shirt in the Video