Signs of Progress - Sound In The Signals Interview

I recently had the opportunity to interview Signs of Progress. We discussed the band’s origins, how the band has been flourishing despite the pandemic, writing and recording their debut EP, ‘Safe Haven’, their plans to have an EP out this year, what listeners can expect, and more. Check it out below.

First, thanks for the interview.

Jarred McKinney: Absolutely, thank you for having us!

Can you tell me how you got together and formed the band for those who may be unfamiliar? How did you initially become interested in music?

Justin Burger: Other than Sage, we all have known each other for years from our hometown music scene in Gainesville. Jarred and Trent actually started the band years ago, but due to members having to leave due to jobs, family etc., this project was never able to flourish until recently. Jarred took a job in St. Louis pre-COVID. When we decided we didn't want to give up on the band, we subsequently realized that if we're already states apart, it doesn't confine us to needing a local vocalist. We eventually found Sage online and we took off running from there. 

As for becoming interested in music, it's slightly different for each of us. Personally, I was really big into basketball in high school, but a knee injury left me stuck at home with plenty of free time and no way to practice. I was bored around the house and found an old guitar stashed away in a closet, and the rest is history. I think most artists of any sort will agree when I say that if you want to appreciate an art, the best way is to try it. This leaves no bias, no preconceived notions and no expectations; it's just a pure understanding and appreciation. Guitar for me started as a pastime for my knee to heal, but that small time is all it took for me to fall in love with it.

Your debut EP, ‘Safe Haven’ was released last year. What was the writing process like for it? 

Sage Viscovi: I never really considered myself to be much of a 'professional' writer until I got older. I took creative writing classes in high school, and I guess I just always had a lot going on in my life that I felt needed to be talked about. Writing music and the experiences I've been through went hand-in-hand; music was always my first love. I just wrote what I felt and what I thought people could relate to. I'm glad people have been able to find solace or inspiration in the lyrics.

Do you have a favorite moment from the studio while recording it?

Trent Fraley: Since our vocalist lives separately from us, we actually had to break up our recording sessions into two parts - the first dedicated to instrumentals and the second to vocals. Probably the best part was the sensation of being in a studio setting and being able to experiment with what eventually ended up on the EP. A lot of our time in the studio was spent just figuring out what we liked and having Lee (our producer) there to bounce ideas off of was a boost.

Have you been pleased with the response so far? What are your thoughts looking back on it now? 

Justin Burger: Writing and recording this EP while living across three states (at the time) in the middle of a pandemic meant that we were able to move forward with no expectations. Obviously, for most bands, you always want your first release to be perfect. However, even though it wasn't, it certainly turned out to be more than we could have ever hoped for, having started from next to nothing.

Your song “Chronicle” is one of my favorites from the EP. What was the lyrical inspiration for the song?

Sage Viscovi: ‘Chronicle’ is about feeling as if the world is continually trying to bring you down, but still finding the willpower to prove everybody wrong. Being in a serious band means taking a risk because you don't know how things will turn out. Still, you do what you can to bring your dreams to life and do what makes you happy - no one can take that from you.


The artwork for the EP is interesting. What’s the meaning behind it?

Sage Viscovi: The statue on the cover is a depiction of the Roman god Janus, who represents duality and the passing of time. His defining characteristic are two faces on opposite sides of the head looking in different directions. After reading that myth, I thought it went well with what Signs of Progress represents since we are all about moving forward from our past selves.

Are there any plans for new music this year? If so, how’s it coming so far? What can listeners expect? 

Jarred McKinney: We are currently working on the next round of music. Ideally, we're hoping to release another single soon, but it all depends - if the world allows us (COVID-19 guidelines permitting), we would like to have our next EP out by the end of the year. This upcoming batch of music will sound different from Safe Haven because we learned where our strengths lie leading up to that release. I think these newer songs will be a breath of fresh air for pop punk listeners.

Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions. Do you have anything else that you would like to add?

Sage Viscovi: Just know that when you become a fan of Signs of Progress, you can look forward to us always putting our best foot forward. We've put our heart and soul into this, and will continue to do so for as long as we make music.

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