Latest updates:
 
 

We hope you enjoy your visit here. Please join or login if you have joined before.

MT @ Facebook


Not logged in



Users online

28 guests

Welcome to our newest member, willtravers

THREADS OF FATE's Jon Pyres: "That’s precisely what we go for. One of the main goals when I started Threads of Fate is that I wanted listeners to have images from hearing the music, I wanted the music to give them images. It was very vision driven.”

Interview with Jon Pyres from Threads of Fate
by Kevin Lewis at 16 April 2022, 1:31 AM

THREADS OF FATE is a studio project composed of three very active musicians. They all play in other bands and on other projects, but come together here for something incredibly moving. This is an album that has the feel of a movie score/soundtrack. The music and lyrics create images and scenes in the mind. The orchestration and keyboards and guitars are all there to create the mood for the lyrics, which in turn supports the soundscape. This record is hauntingly beautiful. Metal Temple writer Kevin Lewis recently had the chance to catch up with Job Pyres. Check out the lyric video for “The Cold Embrace Of The Light”:

How did the project come about, how did you Vikram Shankar and Jack Kosto get together?

Jon Pyres – It’s a pretty crazy story actually, which inspired the name a little bit. In 2016 summer, I moved back to Florida, back when Prog Power was in September. I had been in Atlanta for a couple of years. Pretty much right after I moved back, I decided to attend Prog Power 2016, because I’d never been. I had friends who offered me a ticket, so I went and I met Adrienne (Cowan, SEVEN SPIRES vocalist) at this festival. We exchanged info, and connected on FaceBook and all that. She introduced me to Jack, via FaceBook, then we started talking because we shared a lot of the same musical tastes and bands and all. At this time, I was attending music school. I was attending Full Sail online for musical composition and part of my assignments was writing music. I had written the beginning, or the skeleton, of what eventually became The Reaping, which is a track off the debut EP for THREADS OF FATE. I showed the demo to Jack and he liked it, and he offered to do guitars and whatnot for it. And that’s kind of how it started. Then eventually I came up with the name, and Vikram joined shortly after.

Interesting.

JP – Vikram and I were at Prog Power together but didn’t really get a chance to talk. We added each other on FaceBook later and then he ended up joining the band.

I’ve never had anyone offer to make me their plus one for Prog Power, but maybe one day. For now I’ll just have to be jealous.

JP – It’s an incredible networking opportunity. I’m lucky my friend Paul, he’s one of the sponsors, offered to take me. That was pretty incredible because that is one of the moments that led to the creation of THREADS OF FATE.

So, Vikram was primarily responsible for “The Horrors Within” and the title track?

JP – And he also wrote the piano for “Ashes,” the closing track.

That is gorgeous piano work.

JP – He is incredible.

I’ve seen some of his videos on Facebook because I follow him as well. He’s real progressive and almost pop at times.

JP – The thing about him is that he’s such a versatile musician, he can literally do anything.

That was going to be the question, how versatile is this guy?

JP – He can literally write anything. This guy, being close friends that we are, he shows me everything he does. Just BS’ing around, I’ve heard him write pop music, arena rock. Fun fact, we’re working on a kind of arena rock/80s/synth wave project that we’re trying to do eventually. He’s excellent at writing synth wave, he’s great at writing metal, he can write death metal as you saw with “The Horrors Within,” he’s tremendous at writing prog metal, and he’s an amazing orchestrator. His scoring work is unbelievable. He can do everything.

The scoring behind all of the music behind The Cold Embrace Of The Light is just stunning. He built an entire background that makes this feel almost like a dramatic horror film.

JP – Yeah, that’s kind of the feel that we go for. We want to have a bunch of bombastic elements, but the main goal is to have atmosphere. Whenever I write a song or material for the band, he basically takes whatever I write on keyboards, he makes it better. He embellishes it.

And that’s a fantastic word. I love embellishment.

JP – He does that very well, it’s scary how good he is at that.

I heard Jack’s guitar work on it and I can sit there and go “that’s signature Jack Kosto.” He has such a distinct sound and such a distinct flair, but when you add it into this project, it fits in a totally different way.

JP – And I think that’s one of the coolest things about this, because you know it’s Jack, but you wouldn’t think, “Oh that’s SPIRES.”

No, there is no SEVEN SPIRES crossover at all.

JP – Maybe there was a hint of that in “Against The Shores Of Le Monde,” which he and I co-wrote, even still, it’s separate, on it’s own. That’s sort of the beauty of this project, because it’s sort of an outlet for the three of us. We get to do things we wouldn’t do outside of it. It’s a fun thing for everyone involved.

One of the things I’ve mentioned to the members of SEVEN SPIRES is that they support each other’s work so well, you can tell they are friends and help each other a lot.

JP – Oh yeah, definitely. It’s a very wholesome group of people. I’m eternally grateful for the opportunities they’ve given me. They’ve given me a lot and I’ll never deny that.

The Unforgotten Name” is just incredible.

JP – Adrienne really hit the ball out of the park with that one. I was very honored to be a part of that.

Yeah, it was kind of shocking to hear a death metal ballad.

JP – It was pretty crazy, but it’s so well written that it works.

Ashes” is a bit the same. It’s more like a dramatic ballad than a power ballad. Or a melancholic ballad.

JP – For that one, we wanted to close the record on a very somber note.

Oh, you did.

JP – The idea was to have something that sounds like a movie score piece, but with singing over it.

The whole record has the feel of a movie score. Every song has its own elements and they feel like scenes.

JP – That’s precisely what we go for. One of the main goals when I started THREADS OF FATE is that I wanted listeners to have images from hearing the music, I wanted the music to give them images. It was very vision driven.

Like, “Beneath The Starless Sky…”

JP – That’s one of my favorite songs.

the only vocal you do is a that one scream, which do that scream in three different places on the record. That one, in “The Horrors With” and I believe in “Ashes

JP – There’s actually no screaming in “Ashes” at all.

I must be thinking another place then. Or maybe just cannot count right. That scream is very unique. Where did you get, how did you get that tone?

JP – Honestly, I couldn’t tell you how. I learned how to do harsh vocals on my own, many, many years ago, before I ever even started singing. I didn’t even start singing until our EP. I kind of became a singer overnight for that, out of necessity.

You would not know that by listening. Your clean and harsh vocals are really good.

JP – Thanks, man!

I find it kind of hard to believe that you just learned it on the fly for that EP. Because it’s just so good.

JP – When we recorded the EP, I was still learning how to sing. When I started the project, I had the idea in my head of I was going to be the songwriter and keyboardist. It was never my intention to sing on this. It was not in my head at all when I started this. I was either going to have someone else sing, or have various different singers on different songs. I basically came to the conclusion that it was going to be too much of a pain, so with the encouragement of Adrienne, who had given me vocal lessons at that point, and the encouragement of Jack and Vikram, I said “screw it” and decided to become the singer.

Okay, I’m an old school metal head, and this is taking on shades of MEGADETH at their formation. He kept saying he was going to find a singer and they all just said do it yourself. He finally became the vocalist.

JP – It total had that feel. Yeah, that’s pretty much how it ended up being.

That’s interesting.

JP – I would say even now I’m still learning and evolving as a singer. It’s only been a couple of years.

That’s incredible. With what you’ve done on THREADS OF FATE and “The Unforgotten Name” and the fact you harmonize on both clean and growled vocals, you’re an incredible singer.

JP – Thanks, that means a lot. It’s been a lot of hard work. I won’t deny that. It’s been a lot of blood, sweat and tears. I’m really happy with what I’ve done what I’ve done so far and looking forward to what I can do going forward.

Many of us are very happy with it, also.

JP – I’m glad.

Where I was going with the movie score thing, there’s just this one scream at the transition point of the music in “Beneath The Starless Sky.” Somehow, even without words, you just conjure in your mind, walking down a dirt road, on a night with no moon, no starts, it just dark and foreboding.

JP – Not to get too in depth, but the inspiration for that song is a night where I was laying on a field and there were no starts or anything. I was just staring up, so that’s exactly the kind of imagery I was going for.

I gotta say, it worked. At least it did with me.

JP – Everybody in the band, we listen to metal music, and of course a bunch of different things, but we are all really big fans of film scores. I myself have loved movie scores for as long as I can remember. Anything Danny Elfman, Hans Zimmer. Things like that. I love all these guys, and so do the others in the band. A big goal with THREADS OF FATE was getting the movie score feel while mixing in the metal.

Again, I have to say I think you succeeded with that.

JP – Yeah, Vikram is just Vikram. Whether it’s him writing a whole song or taking something, I write and making it better, he just has that gift.

And just some of the little embellishments. And going back to “The Horrors Within,” because I’ve had that on loop in my car… I feel like I’m wearing a spot in the disc right there.

JP – That song is so funny to me because we literally wanted to go for so many different things in that song, like we wanted to go for doom and something just sinister and evil and have elements of OPETH and SWALLOW THE SUN in there. It’s a mix and match of a bunch of different stuff.

The part that I was going to mention is a little after four minutes in, he just goes full on DEEP PURPLE, Jon Lord synth on it.

JP – Yeah, he pulled out the Hammond.

That tone, out of nowhere, in that song just throws in a completely different element. It blends in so beautifully.

JP – That moment of the song is what I call the OPETH moment of the song.

Yeah, I know that sound more from DEEP PURPLE, so that’s what I would call it. And I’m 52 and you’re how old?

JP – 33.

Yeah, that might be the difference.

JP – That’s totally accurate though, because DEEP PURPLE and bands of that era used that sound a lot. Of course, RAINBOW is a band that used it a lot.

Yeah, and RAINBOW was an offshoot of DEEP PURPLE. All those bands tied in so well, and all those elements tie in so well. I go back to the old school and you hear the BLACK SABBATH vibes in it.

JP – It had that 70s moment, mixed in with the OPETH style growling, then it goes back into the chorus and has a very black metal style ending.

So, in “Against The Shores Of Le Monde,” that one line “where the dead rise”, is that a legend or is that your own creation?

JP – That’s another funny story. Growing up, I played a lot of video games. The majority of them were fantasy themed, and RPG games on SquareSoft, way back before it was SquareUnix. I played a lot of Castlevania, and there was this one game called Vagrant Story, I must have been eight or nine years old when I played it obsessively. That song is based on that game. It was a very dark storyline that had elements of necromancy and magic and a very dramatic plotline. The setting of the story is in a fictional city in medieval France called Le Monde. In that city, the dead were rising during the telling of the story.

I must admit, I never was a gamer, so I never would have caught that reference.

JP – Yeah, only people who played that game would know the story behind the lyrics because there’s so many nods to it.

And the lyrics work beautifully because it flows quite well, and then that leads into “The Cold Embrace OF The Light.” There’s been so many metaphors for light.
JP – That song is probably the most metaphorical on the record.

So many people use “the light at the end of the tunnel” or something like that.

JP – Or the light within. It can be taken in so many different ways. That’s one of my favorite things in music, whenever people write music or lyrics that you can apply to literally anything. So that’s something I try to do my best with. Even though I’m giving it my own meaning, I try to write it ambiguous enough that everyone can give it their own meaning.

I think that’s the mark of a brilliant lyricists, if they can make you feel. Not necessarily what they are feeling, but just to make you feel, them they’ve done something incredible. There’s a couple of bands that just really speak to me on a visceral level like SEVENDUST and ARMORED SAINT and a couple of others like that.

JP – Both are great bands.

The interesting thing about this one is, to me, it feels a little more like Poltergeist, you know “run to the light Carol Ann.” It feels like this is where you get the cold embrace as you transition over. That was haunting.

JP – That’s awesome because that is one of my favorite films ever. I grew up watching that film. With this record we wanted to go with a super haunting atmosphere. Very ghostly.

I have to say, you hit the mark pretty well. So, what is the primary take away that you personally got from this album? What did you learn about yourself, not just from the composition, but from the lyrics and the singing and everything? What did this album change in you?

JP – It was a big catharsis. I basically wrote out a lot of what was going on in my life at the time on to a record. I learned that as an artist, I’m able to emote really well with my singing. If I had to pick something I’m really proud of, or something that I favor about my singing, it’s that I’m able to emote. I’d say those are my biggest takeaways from it.

You definitely have the emotive part down. I’ve been thinking about this, and I didn’t write a single question down. I just knew this was going to be more like a conversation.

I didn’t even know what to ask because there’s so much I want to know.


JP – That’s good. I think a good interview is more like a conversation than anything else anyway.

I often hear that really deep emotional vocal you have called “cry.”

JP – Yeah, and that’s the correct term for it.

And you’ve got a ton of that. Towards the end of song seven “Love Held Hands With Hatred,” you’ve got what I’ve recently learned is called a diphthong towards the end where you’re combining two vowels in a single breath. One is an A and the other is an E. You hold the A sound, drop it, throw in a vibrato, the flip to the E sound and vibrato is out again.

JP – Uh huh.

That was an incredible note.

JP – Aw, thanks, man.

That single note held so much emotion, and you say you’ve only been doing this for a couple of years.

JP – Yeah, I’ve been singing for nearly five years total. I’ve had a lot of help along the way. I started with Adrienne. She gave my first couple of voice lessons. Then I had a few others after that, and my recent go to is David Akesson, who is also Adrienne’s voice teacher.

Phenomenal guy.

JP – Amazing! That man is a freaking surgeon with vocals. I cannot recommend him enough to anyone who is interested in singing. He is a magician.

If you listen to Adrienne’s vocals from Solveig to Gods Of Debauchery, you can hear tremendous improvement.

JP – Oh yeah, he will seriously level you up. He did that with me. I’m really excited to do all the vocal things I will be doing in the future, because thanks to him, I’ve completely leveled up since we recorded this record.

I’m really not surprised to hear you say you did a lot of work with David because he almost has a "student sound,” and you fit that really well. So, kudos to him and to you for being a great student.

JP – What’s awesome about him is that he makes learning so comfortable and easy. There’s no sort of awkwardness. He makes the whole experience comfortable, which is important. If you aren’t, it makes learning more difficult.

Absolutely.

JP – What you are referring to, the cry and all that, I honestly end up do that very subconsciously. Half the time I’m even trying to do it, and that’s the massive influence that a lot of other singers have had on me. If I point it out to you, you’ll probably hear a lot of EVERGREY in the vocals because I’m a huge EVERGREY fan.

Yeah, I remember that from the live stream of the album release.

JP – If I had to pick one main vocal influence, it would be Tom Englund.

Is there more to this story? Is there more to THREADS OF FATE? Or is this a project that came together and did what it needed to and it’s done now?

JP – It’s not done, but for now it is a studio project. Everyone in the band is so busy with everything else their doing. I very much want this to remain something the guys doing because they love doing it or because they find it fun. I want it to be a release for them just like it is for me. For now, it will stay a studio project, it’ll be a while before we start to work on new material. SEVEN SPIRES is incredibly busy right now and that takes up most of Jack’s time. Vikram is busy with SILENT SKIES and REDEMPTION and LUX TERMINUS and the 50 other bands that he's in. I myself, I have my projects going on. I have LYCANTHRO now. I have a project with the CALAMUS keyboardist. We’re actually recording music for that right now. I’m supposed to track vocals for that tomorrow actually. Then I have an 80s music project that I’m trying to work on with Vikram and Andreas Nergard from the band NERGARD. There’s another project with a good friend of mine that’s in a band called BLOODY HEELS, also a huge favorite band of mine. So, yeah, we’re all immersed in a lot of different projects and super busy, so THREADS is something we just do when we can.

Understood. Oh, and Jack said “Hi” last night.

JP – Great. I’m seeing him on the 12th, next week.

I was lucky. I got to see them last night and they hung around the merch table. I was going to either wear the DOVAS or the THREADS shirt and I chose DOVAS since he was playing. Turned out it was the right choice because his grandfather was there and got brag on him. That was so cool.

JP – I love Chris, he is an incredible drummer and human being and his solo records are absolutely nuts.

I’ve got both of them.

JP – He’s a really talented kid. It’s crazy, the fact he’s so young and talented now, imagine how good he’s going to be later on.

I got to speak to him for a bit last night and he spent time bragging about how good his 12-year-old brother is. You are absolutely right; he’s is just a nice guy.

JP – He really is super nice.

I heard you and Vikram say that he tracked this entire record in a day.

JP – Yeah, he’s a freaking monster. When drum recording started, I had no doubt he was going to do that in that fashion.

He’s an incredible drummer, and the fact that he can go 6,000,000 beats per second with his feet and still have that sludgy doom going with the one cymbal and the tom at 12 beats per minute.

JP – That’s the best thing about him, he’s the total package. He’s got groove, he’s got soul. As a player, he can literally anything. He’s got chops, he’s got technique. The word solid falls short.

You are absolutely correct. On his solo records, he not only played drums, he also played the rhythm guitar and did the vocals. He only brought in Peter for bass and guests for the guitar leads and solos.

JP – He just kind of picked up guitar for that project. It’s ridiculous.

Yeah, that’s kind of like something saying, “well maybe I’ll just sing instead.” Where have I heard that before? So, THREADS OF FATE is a bunch of really talented people who got together, and you just made something magical. You really did.

JP – I’m truly blessed to be working with such people. It’s not something everyone gets to do, so I’m extremely grateful to have these people around.

You’ve definitely got some great people around you. Talking to Peter last night, he was talking about writing music, and you know, I can’t write music, so I write about music. I can do that. But you, you are one of the ones who have the talent to write. You hear new stuff. I hear stuff I’ve already heard. I don’t grasp that, but I am so grateful that people like you exist, and that you can take something and create something this magnificent out of it.

JP – I honestly don’t know where it comes from. I basically just hear it. Whenever I write something for THREADS, I hear the whole song in my head, then I just flesh it out on keyboards and software or whatever.

That’s an incredible gift to me.

JP – Yeah, I constantly hear new melodies and music in my head all the time. I just sort of pick and choose what I want to turn into a song.

Whereas I have the intro to “The Horrors Within” running through my head. Getting back to the “what did you learn” issue, writing this, what epiphany did you have about life and death?

JP – Honestly, there was nothing like that. To me, the concept of the album, this is what it means to me personally, it’s not literal death. It’s more the death of who you were as a person, or the death of certain qualities. You sort of become something else after. It was very much based on personal experiences I had at the time, except for “Against The Shores Of Le Monde” which is about a video game. Everything else was a very personal extension of me, even on the songs that Vikram wrote, because I wrote the lyrics.

When I think about it, that kind of makes some sense. Like you said earlier, the way you write things, you write is about how you feel, but ambiguous enough that someone else may feel something different. I didn’t get that same sense out of that; I saw it more as an exploration of what could happen when the physical dies.

JP – And it makes me happy that people are abler to give it their own interpretation. That’s exactly what I want.

When I hear you say that maybe it’s the death of a bad trait or something that it’s time to move on from, something like a transition in life, it gives the whole thing a different spin, and kind of a new feel.

JP – The way I wrote it, it was in a tragic sense, it’s literally the death of who you were as a person completely and you become and entirely different person, for better or worse. You went through something that transformed you, you went through something that was so painful, and which caused you so much grief, it changes you as a person. More than anything, it’s based on that kind of idea.


I don’t know what you went through, but I am sorry for your loss.

JP – Thank you. I’m learning to have no regrets and something came out of it, and that’s what matters to me most. We were able to write this music and put this record out.
Many times when you transition from one thing to another, it may not always be easy, but it’s almost always worth it. Something comes out of it.

JP – I’m obviously not the first person to do this. So many artists, and definitely the artists I look up to and admire, they base their art off their own heartache and their own painful experiences. They make great albums from it.

Yeah, TALYOR SWIFT with every break up album ever.

JP – Oh, yeah, that’s a great example.

I’m actually not trying to be facetious there. ALANIS MORISETTES Jagged Little Pill.

JP – That’s another good one.

I don’t know how much you are into SEVENDUST, but their latest album had a couple of songs that did the exact same thing.

JP – Oh man, LaJon Witherspoon kills me. That dude is such a fantastic singer. Talk about emotion.

Oh God yes.

JP – He’s incredible.

There’s a song on their latest album, Blood From A Stone, called “Nothing Left To See Here Anymore” and it’s about the absolute end of a relationship when you just realize there’s nothing left and you’ve got to move on. There is no chance of this getting back.

JP – this is a big throwback. I remember the first time I heard “Skeleton Song,” it blew me away.

Incredible song. And the one that puts more people in tears at their shows, “Angel’s Son.”

JP – Oh yeah, that’s another big one, too.

I know you said earlier that THREADS is just a studio project, but I do hope that at some point, you get to play live, even if it’s just a couple of one-off shows.
JP – And that’s kind of how we envisioned it, maybe not a touring band, but a show here and there, or maybe a festival here and there. We don’t know, but we did have that thought. We are, of course, open to playing live one day if the stars align and we’re able to. All three of us are definitely open to that. I hope it happens because some of these songs would be super fun to play live.

I can see the intro now. How’s this for a visualization. The lights go down, you hear the intro to “Beneath The Starless Sky,”

JP – That’s actually how I envisioned it.

You come in under the cover of darkness and you actually kick in with that scream and continue the song.

JP – I’ve actually thought of the first three songs as openers.

I can definitely see that. I had only gone that far in my head at this point.

JP – Yeah, time will tell at this point.

 – I’ve definitely seen so many bands walk onto the stage to intro music and they kick in in different ways. You’ve got the perfectly built song for that.
JP – you are definitely correct. In all seriousness, I do hope we get to do one or two cool shows in the future all things permitted.

I do appreciate you taking the time to speak to me. It has been fun and I wish you well with all your future endeavors.

JP – And thank you!



Rating

Unrated
You do not have permission to rate
Edited 07 July 2022
 

Metal Temple © 2000-2014
Yiannis Mitsakos

Designed, Implemented and Hosted by PC Green