Fresh off the release of their 2 debut singles “Admit It” and “Bones Exposed”, Gainesville, Florida based power pop punk rockers SIGNS OF PROGRESS are back with the full stream of their earworm EP “Safe Haven“, and we’re beyond stoked to be a part of their early career, which will no doubt send them into some exciting places. Today, we’re giving you the band’s special commentary about their work, in-depth track by track commentary and some goodies to get you excited. Bon appétit!
SIGNS OF PROGRESS‘ sound is a blend of early 2000s and modern pop punk, a true mix of catchy hooks and infectious melodies. Consisting of four members, Sage Viscovi (vocals), Justin Burger (guitar), Trent Fraley (bass/backing vocals) and Jarred McKinney (drums), the band formed in 2012 under the moniker “When Men & Mountains Meet.” Coming from a metal and hardcore background, they ultimately transitioned into the world of pop punk. While remaining influenced by roots in heavier genres, WM&MM’s sound developed into its signature style of blended elements. It further evolved once it expanded into a fuller lineup, including bassist and backing vocalist Trent Fraley. Having been associated through numerous other local acts within the Gainesville, Florida, music scene, their bond would serve as the backbone for what was yet to come.
In 2014, WM&MM became what is now known as SIGNS OF PROGRESS after a series of lineup changes. Eventually contacted by close friend and guitarist Justin Burger, who also came from a similar background, they continued on their path for a number of years before meeting and recruiting vocalist and lyricist Sage Viscovi, based in Long Island, New York, through an online audition. As the four core members of SIGNS OF PROGRESS were finalized, they are now seeking to defy the odds despite their geographical boundaries – nothing will allow SoP to slow down for any longer.
With news about the band already buzzing in numerous scenes along the East Coast, SIGNS OF PROGRESS are finally releasing their debut EP in fall 2020.
“Safe Haven” is produced and mastered by renowned producer Lee Dyess of Earthsound Recording, who has notably worked with bands such as Mayday Parade, From First to Last, Against Me!, I Set My Friends on Fire, Stages and Stereos, and Select Start.
Both sincerely written and packed with catchy melodies, their upcoming release is sure to send fans through an array of emotions while keeping them on their feet. In the near future, they’ll continue writing and connecting with fans via their various social outlets.
Featuring 6 energizing songs, the EP is punctuated with lyrics based on personal experiences of the band’s vocalist Sage Viscovi, who joins us today to give you her full track by track breakdown below.
1. “Not If Caring Kills” – While this song is obviously about an ex, there are actually a couple of hidden messages there as well if you squint hard enough. For example, the intro speech is taken from one of the last instant messages I sent this person after our breakup. The relationship in itself was premature, not to mention ended very abruptly, so it taught me a lot not only about my values when it comes to love, but also my own self-worth. Literally two days after getting dumped, I went out clubbing with friends and almost forgot the whole thing even happened! It was such a surreal experience at the time, but having good people who are there for you when these things happen is so important. Although I’ve grown up since then, I’m always going to retain some sort of bitterness and this song is meant to be narrated by the voice of my former self.
2. “Admit It” – In life, most people will unfortunately have an experience with someone they were once on great terms with who ended up stabbing them in the back. I used to have someone I considered one of my best friends, who I later realized was a manipulator and would always try to victimize themself whenever they were called out on it. The final straw was after they had done something so hypocritical and directly hurtful toward me for their own gain, and I never received a proper apology. Although you wish that these instances will never happen to you, sometimes they do and that’s out of your control. I want people to know that it’s okay to cut these people off if you feel like there’s nowhere else for that relationship to grow in a way that comforts you.
3. “Autopilot” – The title is quite literal – it’s about the sensation of disassociating from oneself and feeling as if you are not in charge of your own thoughts. There was a particular period in my life where things felt like they were spiraling out of control; I had totally given up on trying to resolve the problem to the point where it almost got me into some serious trouble with higher-ups. I vividly recall one night in December when I told my family what happened, who were luckily very sympathetic, and literally not being able to move or even emote while they were in the room for several days after that as the problem got fixed. It was a total low point for me, but it was through their support that I was eventually able to move past it.
4. “Bones Exposed” – The song is, in short, all about mental illness. When writing this song, the image of being stuck in a mental hospital kept popping into my brain, but not in the traditional sense – more of a hospital located within your own head, and you yourself are both the doctor and the patient. You are essentially consulting your own subconscious about how you’re feeling, and some days or nights are much harder than others. I tried to convey that narrative in a way that anyone else struggling with their own inner demons could connect with. It’s not only a much darker sound lyrically, but also tonally, as you’ll hear in the instrumentation.
5. “Chronicle” – It’s the most split-vocal song we have because of not only the amount of energy it brings, but because we wanted everyone who hears it to be able to associate with its message – it’s for anyone who has a dream, but feels like society is keeping you from fulfilling it, whether “society” means people you immediately know or a higher administration. In contrast to feeling like the time you have to do what you want is running out as you get older, there’s also this notion of finding out who you really are as time marches on. Truthfully, the only thing stopping you from achieving your goals is the mindset you have going into it and the environment you choose to settle in. It’s crucial to at least do your best to block that conventional negativity out, and remember that people only think that way due to their own insecurity or resentment.
6. “Staircase” – This song is for anyone who has ever experienced a traumatic event in their life and is now seeking closure, maybe even years later. Without giving too much away, someone very close to me was involved in a horrific accident. The whole thing left me so petrified of what could’ve happened to them, but I never wanted to put the burden of how I was feeling on that person who had it way worse than me. Thus, I held it in and let it devour me from the inside, which is never healthy. For anyone who resonates with this song, even if the words aren’t directly relatable, I want you to know that you are free to express yourself and speak your mind. Letting negative feelings fester does more damage than good and if no one else listens, then at least know that we hear you.
In the following video interview, the band explain each member’s role in their crew, as well as provide their individual answers to questions they asked themselves about their backgrounds, experience making this release, their goals moving forward etc.