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Interview - Signs of Progress

Signs of Progress are based in Florida, USA! Their members consist of;

  • Sage Viscovi - Vocals
  • Justin Burger - Guitar
  • Trent Fraley, Bass/Backing Vocals
  • Jarred McKinney - Drums

 

1. Hey guys, thanks for taking the time to talk with us today! 

Sage: Anytime, thanks for having us!

 

2. So, Safe Haven has really been making waves since its release in November last year, congratulations! Are you pleased with how it’s done?

S: To be honest, we didn't really know what to expect - I think for the most part, especially in the middle of a pandemic, we were sort of just hoping for the best. We didn't know how people would receive it, but we're so thankful that people are appearing to react positively toward it. This release will definitely motivate us to do even better on the next one!

 

3. Lyrically, Safe Haven seems quite personal and cathartic. What was the inspiration behind these lyrics? 

S: Everything I write has to do with something I've gone through first hand, I don't see the value or merit of writing a song that doesn't mean anything to me. Safe Haven, in a sense, was a way for me to get all of the pent-up emotions and frustrations I've had in the last few years out of my system; it felt very cathartic, as you said. Many of the lyrics are up for interpretation, but when people listen to us my hope is that they won't see us as just another band that's gonna write about a broken relationship or something along those lines. We want to do more with what we've got.

 

4. How long did you work on this release from start to finish? 

S: If we're going from the beginning of my time in Signs of Progress, I met the rest of the band in late 2019 online. From there, we essentially began working on the songs that would eventually end up on Safe Haven, so that's when I would say things really got kicking.

Jarred: The music had been written for a while prior to Sage joining. After she joined, it took us about a year to put it out. The process was surprisingly smooth, Sage did really great coming in and meshed well with the rest of us. It was a great starting point and we're excited for everyone to hear what we do next.

 

5. We’ve been seeing quite a few artists dip their toe into the alt/pop-punk genres recently, MGK and more recently Willow Smith, even some say Olivia Rodrigo. Would you say the scene is on the rise again?

S: Oh, definitely! At least in the influence sense, it has definitely made a comeback in the last year or two. I think it's great that all of these younger artists are getting the chance to grow up and dip their feet in pop punk just like all the other bands did in their adolescence 10 or 20 years ago. Would I say it's the same type of pop punk we've known from back then? Absolutely not, but you can hear the inspiration for sure. I think it'd be foolish for anyone to assume that the exact same sound we heard growing up is going to suddenly have a reawakening in the current day - people's attitude toward music is constantly changing. To expect every artist to carbon-copy all the pop punk of the '90s/early '00s in an effort to sound "authentic" is kind of lame - let artists write what they want to write. Is Ariana Grande any less of a pop act than Madonna was? How about Kendrick Lamar compared to Tupac? The people who say these artists are "killing the genre" are the reason it "died" in the first place... you don't have to love it if it's not for you, everybody is allowed to have their own taste! My only hope for those just getting into pop punk after hearing these artists is that they take the time to dive deeper and find more underground acts, too. Listening to and enjoying one or two pop punk artists is great, but if you want to fully appreciate the genre you should try your best to immerse yourself in as much of it as possible before forming opinions.

Trent: I actually think the MGK pop-punk stuff is great! I find myself listening to it at least a couple days out of the week - hell, at one point, it was on repeat for a solid week. I LOVE YOU, MGK!

6. You guys have been hinting at new releases coming up - are we right to expect something a little different from you this time around?

S: As far as production goes, we expect to have a more mature sound this next time around. I think the first time we stepped into the studio, we were still trying to figure out how we would work together in that setting. Being there is a totally different experience. Now that we've done it, we know what areas we can improve in.

J: This next release is definitely going to be a different experience than Safe Haven. The music still consists of songs we've been crafting for a while, but with a more sophisticated feel. It won't be anything that's too far off from our current sound, but you will see that it was intentionally written separate from our last EP.

 

7. Would you say staying active on your socials has helped you stay connected with your fans? 

S: Since we're a long-distance band that hasn't been able to play a show yet as a result of COVID-19, we'd say it's done the most to help us connect with fans! We obviously have our family and friends' support, but basically we were starting from scratch. We're so appreciative of the fans we have gained and can't wait to meet them in person.

 

8. Sage - you like to keep everyone up to date on all things alt/pop-punk on your page, including a ‘New Release Round-Up’ every Friday. What would you all say are your favourite releases of this year so far?

S: Ah yes, my BOOMING YouTube/blogging career... All joking aside, 2021 has been a great year for alternative music so far. I only just released a new video recently that details all of my favourite tracks from this year, there's too many to choose from!

 

9. How surreal was it to see your track ‘Admit It’ gain so much traction from TikTok? 

S: TikTok is so hit-or-miss that we really were just throwing caution to the wind on that one, and it ended up working. Once again, we're glad people are picking up what we're putting down and hope they'll love what we have coming next!

J: Until someone makes a viral TikTok dance using our song, I can't really say that we've made it.

T: I mean, my TikTok For You Page is just full of frogs and other cute animal videos.

Justin: What is TikTok?

 

10. If you could switch places with anyone famous for the day, who would it be and why?

S: I'm actually gonna go out of my way and say Simone Biles. She's the G.O.A.T. in her field and I've been following her career since the 2016 Summer Olympics, she's still so young. I can only imagine the amount of pressure she must always put herself under to get to that level and there's countless articles out there that talk about how much of a perfectionist she is. I think it'd be cool to switch with her not only because she has out-of-this-world athleticism, but I also feel like seeing the world through her eyes might make me put my own life and accomplishments into perspective. Even when you're the best there's ever been, you can still have your moments of self-doubt and that humanizes her for me.

J: I would want to switch with Channing Tatum so I can finally know why there was no actual magic used in the movie Magic Mike.

T: She's not famous, but I would want to be my fifth-grade teacher to find out why she failed me.

J: I'd be Jarred McKinney, full stop.

 

11. Leave a message for your fans!

SoP: We love you so much, thank you for always supporting us and we can't wait for you to hear what's in store! 


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