THRESHOLD’s second appearance in Athens is going to take place EXACTLY six years after the previous one with the same opening act, THE SILENT WEDDING.
On the occasion of their visit, we spoke with Richard West who answers our questions on details about their latest album “Dividing Lines”, but also other aspects of the band’s long career, which has made a remarkable course in the progressive field.
RockOverdose: Hello and welcome on our pages. It’s not the first time we host your band in our webzine. I think we’ve talk with Karl Groom last time, before 5 years.
Richard West (THRESHOLD): Thank you very much! Nice to meet you!
RockOverdose: First of all congratulations for your new album “Dividing Lines”. It’s easily the best you did since “March Of Progress”, if not since “Dead Reckoning”. One year after it’s release what is the response so far and how do you feel about it?
Richard West (THRESHOLD): It’s been fantastic! You know, it was great to have Glynn back in the band so he wrote couple of songs, he came back with 3 new songs “King of Nothing”, which was one of the singles and that’s really helped. I think it’s our harder, darker and heavier album and it seems to go very well, the fans love it and we feel brilliand!
RockOverdose: Indeed, is way heavier and more direct than “Legends Of The Shires”. Was it something you intended, or did it come naturally? You sound so loose like being much younger.
Richard West (THRESHOLD): I think that with “Legends Of The Shires” it was just me and Karl who wrote pretty much the whole album, it was a more progressive album and funny to do. We thought about doing that with “Dividing Lines”, we did have some stuff as well, but we realized while analysing the songs that it was stronger and it just became really strong and solid.
RockOverdose: Continuing the question above, since you did the “Oblivion Protocol” project, what was so fascinating to you on TLOTS sound and why didn’t the other members follow your vision on continuing the story?
Richard West (THRESHOLD): Well, we did it for a while, actually we’re going to make the new Threshold album the follow of TLOTS, its sequel story. I had the story and I just wanted to tell it, cause for me it sounded a great idea but I think some of the other guys decided not, so I was left with the softer songs which became my starting point for the Oblivion Protocol. I wanted to do it anyway, for myself that I actually didn’t plan to release it.
RockOverdose: How do you feel being the main vocalist on that?
Richard West (THRESHOLD): Well, just between you and me, very strange! I’ve never meant to do it, it was just of one of those accidental projects. I did it just for fun, I’ve never really cared about finding a real singer cause I didn’t meant to actually release it. I love singing, I guess I have a more prog voice, so I feel it works.
RockOverdose: Glynn sounds really fantastic on this album. We all were suprised on the previous album but this time he sounds very certain. Did he prepare himself specially, or did he feel more inside the “family” these 5 years?
Richard West (THRESHOLD): I think he felt like family straight away to be honest. From the moment he came back he just felt really comfortable, it’s easy for me to say and for Karl as we were together in the band in the ’90s. Steve and Johan, in bass and drums haven’t work with him before so it was more than a surprise for them, but we felt like a family straight away which was very nice.
The reason Glynn didn’t write on TLOTS is ’cause it was already writen, the record was already made.
RockOverdose: “Dividing Lines” came after 5 and a half years, making it the biggest gap in your career so far. Was it a result of the pandemic too, or did you want to let the previous album “Grow” a bit as it was a double one?
Richard West (THRESHOLD): It was more the pandemic I think. We did a tour in 2017 and we loved it, so we toured again in 2018 so we had more opportunities to visit more countries. So it was part of TLOTS circle and then covid happened. It just became a slower process after covid, it wasn’t intentional this gap.
RockOverdose: Coming to the title of the album, to which dividing lines you refer to? Is it a way to show that people are not treated equally due to finance, racism or other aspects, or is it something deeper than these?
Richard West (THRESHOLD): I’ll be honest… I can’t remember anymore! We’ve actually searching for a tittle, and I was editing some on the song “Let It Burn” and in verse two I thing it says the phrase “dividing lines”, so I just found the title there!
But of course is talking about the reasons in society, in religion, in anything where people taking sides. The title kind of explores different scenarios, it’s kind of a brutal title.
RockOverdose: Yes, it’s kind of an international let’s say concept that everyone can relate to it. Also, the albums artwork is great! Does it symbolize something specific or again it’s open to various interpretations?
Richard West (THRESHOLD): It always gets different interpretations. This time we wanted something similar to Hypothetical, this floating landscapes that look like they belong together, even though they are divided.
RockOverdose: Two of your songs on this album “The Domino Defect” and “Defence Condition” are two of your longest songs and they take your music to the next level sincerely. It’s one of the times you don’t want them to end. Did you feel something special to them while composing them? When you decide when to end a song?
Richard West (THRESHOLD): To be honest, the song tells you! I was working on a song this morning actually, and I really thought it was going to be a 10 min song but it wanted to be a 5 min song. The song tells you where to stop and others tell you they need more. You think you control the writing progress but you’re not.
RockOverdose: That’s very true. Also Steve Vai, has said to me something similar! That’s very interesting and beautiful as well!
So, luckily we’ll see you for the third time in Greece. What should we wait from your performance? What will your setlist include, any
“Psychedelicatessen” suprises like the previous time …
Richard West (THRESHOLD): It’s funny cause the very first show we did there we had Silent Wedding supporting us and now they are going to support us again. So, it feels like within 6 years the world has changed completely. We’re coming back and we’re doing the same thing again, we’re not going to have the same setlist, obviously we’re going to play some songs from “Legents…”, we’ll focus on Dividing Lines and songs that we’ven’t played live before.
RockOverdose: Would you like to send a message to the greek audience that will come to see you?
Richard West (THRESHOLD): Of course! We’re looking forward coming back, we don’t come so often so catch us where you can!
RockOverdose: Great! Thank you for your time and for still being around, releasing amazing albums. Close the interview as you see fit. Smile and take care, see you in Athens.
Richard West (THRESHOLD): Absolutelly! Looking forward to see you!
Interview: Vivi Zapantiotou
Questions: Angelos Katsouras
+ THE SILENT WEDDING (Greece)
Κυριακή 12 Νοεμβρίου 2023 – Κύτταρο Live
Metal Era (Εμμανουήλ Μπενάκη 22, Αθήνα / Τηλ: 210-3304133)
No Remorse Records (Ακαδημίας 81, Αθήνα / Τηλ. 210-3830981)
Reload Store (Ακαδημίας 81, Αθήνα / Τηλ: 210-3801464)
Bowel Of Noise (Θεμιστοκλέους 25, Αθήνα / Τηλ. 210-3846783)
Le Disque Noir (Θεμιστοκλέους 29, Αθήνα / Τηλ: 211 2143554)
Cinema Libre Filmstore (Θεμιστοκλέους 34, Αθήνα / Τηλ: 210-3803833)
Monsterville (Αγίας Ειρήνης 13, Μοναστηράκι / Τηλ: 210-3648180)