Into Eternity - The Taste of Ashes

By Joe Who?

"All good things come to those who wait" is a phrase that's usually associated with being on the verge of something good or when the end result justifies the means. It also sums up nicely the much deserved "buzz" Canada's Into Eternity have created with their new album entitled - "The Scattering Of Ashes".

The group's latest release is a profound plethora of precisely packed majestic metal mastery. Incorporating multiple styles into their sound, plus adding other variables to the equation like pride, talent, and determination, has been the formula they've used to grow and prosper.

With ten years under their belt, and four full length albums out, they continue to rise up the ranks by challenging the status quo and pushing the boundaries of what metal is, was, and will be.

I had the pleasure of speaking with guitarist / vocalist Tim Roth recently, when Into Eternity made a stop in Chicago on the "Metal For The Masses Tour". Here's my chat with one of the most dedicated musicians in the business...

Wormwood Chronicles: Welcome back to Chicago. Good to see you guys again.How's the tour going?

Tim Roth: Killer so far. Yeah, every night there's a lot of people and we get to see the same faces every's cool. We just came through here a few months ago on the Destruction tour. We've never played the Metro though. It's a nice venue.

WC: I've been really impressed with all these blockbuster tours you've been a part of; Gigantour last fall, you were just out with Destruction, and now this amazing tour with The Haunted and Dark Tranquillity. I'm glad you guys are getting some major opportunities...especially with Gigantour, that had to be one of your biggest tours here in the states. Did that tour meet your expectations? Did you make a lot of new fans on that tour?

TR: Yeah, we only had twenty minute sets, but it was tour we've ever done. Totally taken care roadies moving our gear, and playing arenas every night...every show was an arena, except for two shows. Yeah, it was killer playing with all the other bands and hanging out at the catering...we've been lucky.

WC: Into Eternity has been on the scene for a good ten years now. Does it feel like you're finally starting to break here in the States?

TR: Just with this tour ("Metal For The Masses Tour"...) I've noticed, yeah. I think our band is definitely on the way up now for sure.

WC: What were the early days like for you guys before you signed with Century Media? Looking back, was it a major struggle to get where you are today? Or did you have any fond memories?

TR: Fond memories...I wasn't fond of being broke all the time, but yeah, it was ok. Back in the day, that's just the way it don't make any money. We were getting paid twenty-five dollars a show, fifty bucks a show, but now things are a lot better. Now at least we have a vehicle, and we're making money. This is the most money we've ever made in our career...this Haunted tour. It's our best tour money wise...

WC: So was Gigantour the stepping stone that helped you guys reach this next plateau of your career, do you think?

TR: Yeah, and now that the video came out on MTV, that's helped. A lot of kids have been talking about the video, ("Severe Emotional Distress"...) even if they've never seen us live, they can still see us on tv. So that's cool.

WC: You're the only original member left in the band. With all the lineup changes you've endured over the years, did you ever get discouraged, and want to start fresh with a new project?

TR: No...maybe for like a few hours, but no. I just get back in the vehicle, and we keep going. I wouldn't start another project because this is exactly what it would be anyway. So there's no point starting something new, and making a new name because this is exactly how it would sound.

WC: Hey man, congratulations on your latest album, "The Scattering Of Ashes".I think it's superb...

TR: Oh, thanks.I appreciate it.

WC: One thing I really like about this album is it's brutal one minute, progressive the know what I mean? It's not stuck in first gear, it really keeps your attention...

TR: Yeah, we even go into second, third, and fourth gears on this album...

WC: Oh, absolutely. Your last album "Buried In Oblivion" was very layered, complex, and technical...this one is still along those lines, but to me it sounds like it has more emphasis on melodies and catchy hooks, particularly on the chourses. Was this intentional?

TR: Yeah, when I was writing the album, I wrote ten different chourses, and then wrote the music around the chourses. As long as I had the hook in each song, I thought...Well, I was probably high at the time, (Laughs) but I thought as long as I can put in the technical stuff, then have that original hook that people can snap their fingers to, and the chicks can sing along in the front row, then I know I've done my job.

WC: When you write lyrics, do you use books or any other sources as inspiration?

TR: I don't read too much. Just maybe Harry Potter, that's about it. I'm usually inspired by tv or just real life experiences, and stuff like that, but not so much from books. Inspiration can come from anything, you know?

WC: Do you ever have ideas overlap into others? For example, when you come up with a good riff, do you usually think of some words to go with it? Or is it a trial and error process?

TR: If I come up with a good riff, I always think of a melody over it like, Hmm, Hmm, Hmm, Hmm, Hmm...whatever the melody's gonna be, (chuckles) and the lyrics are always last. I think of a melody...I can hum the melody, but I don't necessarily have words, so the words come last. I'll come up with a riff, then the melody, and then the lyric last.

WC: Do you have any messages or themes that you like to convey through your lyrics? What do you enjoy writing about?

TR: Usually I write about death all the time and depression, stuff like that. Mostly it's all dark and depressing. We don't write about demons and wizards or anything like that...

WC: I noticed on your earlier albums, you had crows for imagery. Was that part of the death theme?

TR: Yeah, that was supposed to be for the death theme, but the guy that does our album covers ,Mattias Noren who thought of that idea with the crows, kind of milked it too far. So with the new album we stopped using the crow, but on this cover there's a hand scattering the ashes. So everyone's asking - Is that the crow?

WC: I was gonna ask you about the new album cover ,too! What was the idea behind it?

TR: I don't know. It's our artist Mattias from Sweden, he comes up with the images. We just give him the album title,and he comes up with the stuff. So, yeah, he'd probably be the guy to ask, but we dig his album covers, they're amazing.

WC: Your new singer Stu Block sounds great on the new album and makes an excellent addition to the band. How did you find him?

TR: We were on tour with Kataklysm in 2004 in Europe, and Stu and me were chit-chatting over message boards. I mentioned to this one Canadian booking agent that I was looking for a singer possibly at some point. So he heard about it and contacted me. Then after that tour we had a replacement singer...he only did one tour, and didn't want to do it anymore after that. So then we called up Stu and he came down...that was January 2005.

WC: On the album and in the live setting, you guys have a set of three vocal harmonies. Is that difficult to pull off, and make it sound natural?

TR: Yeah, you just try to do the best that you can because, maybe you're out of breath from running...we try to put on a show too. I mean, we could just stand there like sticks and try to nail everything, but half of it I think is the show, and then we just try to do the best we can and harmonize...But yeah, I guess it's not easy.

WC: You have a wide range of styles and influences in your sound. Do you forsee expanding even more in the future? How do you see the band envolving?

TR: I think we're just gonna stick with the same thing, like more aggressive songs and keep the same kind of formula with the catchy chourses. I don't know if we're gonna add too many different other elements. We have enough I think already. We're just trying to maintain our sound, and keep writing good songs.

WC: Looking back on this album years from now, how do you think it will be remembered?

TR: This is one of my favorite albums...this one and "Buried In Oblivion". I think ten years from now, you should still be able to listen to it because there's a lot going on.

WC: How's the metal scene out in Regina, Saskatchewan Canada?

TR: It's ok, like when we play, we sell out of course, because people wanna see us. The local scene has other shows that usually do pretty good too...just as good as any other city in the U.S. I think. So, yeah, we have a good scene.

WC: I see on the last Kataklysm album, you played a guitar solo on the song - "The Road To Devastation". How did that
come about?

TR: We've been friends with them for years and we've also done three tours with them before in the States, Europe, and in Canada. We happened to be going through Montreal their hometown durning the Hammerfall tour and they called me just as they were recording it. They said - "Can you come down and do a lead?" So as soon as I got to the city, their guitar player Jeff picked me and Rob (Doherty former guitarist...) up,and we went down there and I did the guitar solo. I never heard the music, so I just had to ad lib something. I mean, if I could have had like a week with it, or even just a day to listen to it...but I just did it on the spot.It turned out pretty cool though...

WC: Yeah, it sure did. That was one of my favorite songs on the album...

TR: Oh, thanks. I didn't write it, but I'll take the credit! (Laughs)

WC: Do you have any Spinal Tap moments or crazy road stories you could share from any tours you've done past or present?

TR: Oh, god, everyday is a tour story. We blew a tire a few days ago, there's always too many people on the bus, and they have to leave...I mean, there's always something. On the Destruction tour, some guy was pissing on the bus and then our road guy beat this guy up! So it's always something on the road. It's not just one thing...everyday is a horror story.

WC: What are your plans for the months ahead?

TR: We're just gonna tour the U.S. all year. Our plan is to do all twelve months.

WC: Wow, sounds like you guys are gonna be busy this year. So what do you like to do in your spare time when you're not doing all the music stuff? Do you have any hobbies?

TR: Not really. We play video games, I like to sit on my couch...I bought a new dog, so I'll play with the dog. I hang out with the girlfriend and watch movies, that's about it. I still play guitar everyday, even if I'm not on tour.

WC: Thank you so much for your time Tim. Do you have any final words for your fans out there?

TR: Yeah, I do...Shake And Bake! (Laughs)

Century Media's Website

Into Eternity's Official Website