Interview with Into Eternity
Band Photo: Into Eternity (?)
I had the honor to interview Tim Roth, the guitarist and songwriter of Into Eternity, on March 20th, 2005 before their show at BBkings in NYC. I conducted the interview in a small back stage dressing room. Overall, it was a fun interview with laughter, smiles, and agreement.
Some of my questions threw Roth off, but he answered them thoroughly with some added humor.
Zack: What’s it like touring with a band as big as Amorphis? How’s Beyond the Embrace?
Tim Roth: Oh yeah, we hung out with the bands every night. Amorphis was mad cause we haven’t been drinking with them every night, cause we gotta drive to the next venue right away. But they are on a tour bus of course so they don’t have to. But yeah, all the bands are super, super cool.
Zack: Recently you’ve lost and gained two members, what was it like to teach them the material?
Roth: Stressful of course, but our new vocalist is phenomenal. He’s doing a great job on tour. Then we got a new drummer, Adam, from the states. Adam’s been with us since July, so he knows all the material now. Stu’s been with us for a couple of months now. And the rest of the guys have been with us for a few years now, so we’re doing okay now. But they all caught on quick. They are all professionals otherwise we wouldn’t have gotten them.
Zack: What do think has helped you more throughout your career, connections or talent?
Roth: Well, we had no connections, so I guess it was all talent. We’re from the middle of nowhere in Canada, Regina. No A&R reps came through town, barely any bands would come through town, so all we did was send out packages. We got signed based on our music.
Zack: Your really lucky. What are your opinions about file sharing?
Zack: classic one huh?
Roth: yeah that’s tough one. One of our last shows we had about 10 kids come up, they downloaded all our music they said, cause they’ve never heard of us before. In turn since they downloaded all the music, they came for our live show, they saw us, and they said they were blown away, then they all went and bought the album at the show. It’s a new day. I know when like FM radio came on there was a big uproar of ‘oh no radio, you can’t put music for free on the radio, no one’s gonna buy albums,’ but that’s just another promotional tool. For a band like Metallica, they don’t need it, cause they’ve already built their fans, but for a band like us its important.
Zack: If you relied on music as a primary source of income would you still feel the same way?
Roth: Yeah because the band makes money off of merchandise and playing shows are making money. Albums sales, most bands don’t get royalty checks from anyway.
Zack: Do you play any video games?
Roth: oh yeah, all the guys are big video game fans. Rob and I play mostly sports games, we play madden against each other and rob is into hockey. I like first person shooter games, Medal of Honor and those types of games, but there’s no real time to play right now.
What do you think of the old school Nintendo games on the NES and SNES?
Roth: oh yeah, I started off on Atari and I’ve had every system of creation. Zelda was always fun.
Zack: Would you ever do a cover of a song from a game?
Roth: Haha, yeah I tried learning that Super Mario Bros. *hums underground theme*. So I tried learning a few of those things, but they are really hard to play actually on guitar. They are so unorthodox to play.
Zack: I know a few bands that play video game covers and play stuff like that and go on tours. What genre would you classify Into Eternity as?
Roth: Progressive death metal. Progressive since we have clean vocals, shredding solos, and off time signatures. And death cause we got the death vocals too. So we’re a hybrid, half and half. We’re definitely not death metal and we’re definitely not progressive either.
Zack: There’s a local band, Divinity Destroyed, who is always compared to Into Eternity, but I honestly don’t hear similarities except that they are progressive death metal. They incorporate more traditional metal elements to their music. What’s your process for writing songs?
Roth: Rob [guitars] and I will write riffs at home and kind of have a mock arrangement. Rob has a Protools system at home so then we take the riffs and throw them on there. Then when we get the rest of the guys into the country, like Adam’s from the US and our singer is from another city. So then we’ll show them the stuff and arrange it as a band. The initial ideas come from the guitar riffs. The lyrics are written completely separate. As soon as we have the music how we want it, we start humming melodies and then try to get the lyrics to go with the melodies. So the music is first and the lyrics are second.
Zack: Have you let any of the new band members contribute to the writing?
Roth: Yeah, Troy [bassist] came up with a few cool little ideas recently, but they aren’t going to come up with full songs.
Zack: What’s the local scene in Canada?
Roth: It’s pretty good across, but its just on a smaller scale cause Canada has only 30 million people. There’s metal heads in each city, but it’s just on a smaller scale. New York has as many people as like the entire country, so that says it all right there.
Zack: There’s this one band I know of from Ontario, Betrayer, but that’s about it as far as what I know of the underground Canadian scene. Are there any bands you’d like to mention?
Roth: There are so many bands across Canada unsigned and signed, but bands that never got recognition from Canada were Sacrifice, they were a good thrash metal band on metal blade, they put out quite a few albums. Then there’s Razor and Annihilator, who were a big influence Canadian wise. Now there’s 3 Inches of Blood, who came out of Vancouver, Strapping Young Lad and Kataklysm, who are out of Quebec, and Cryptopsy. Yeah Canada’s got quite a few bands.
Zack: How would you define talent?
Roth: (laughs) Yeah that’s a good question. For our band we wanted to have talent, in that we aren’t afraid to solo or sing, which makes a lightweight to the death metal realm cause you should always growl and don’t do solos cause its not ‘in’. Anyone who gets on stage has talent, cause it takes guts to do it.
Zack: What do you hate most recording or touring?
Roth: Recording is frustrating as hell, it’s not fun, but it’s cool to hear the final product. With touring, its great being on stage, but then there’s the long sitting in a van traveling. They’re both a toss up.
Zack: Any stories you’d like to share from the tour?
Roth: (laughs) Yeah there’s a few, but it’ll probably get a few of the members incriminated. We got pulled over by the police about seven times already just because we are in a white van. They pulled the guard dogs out recently and they found a little bit of pot. Our drummer threw it in a bottle of Nyquil. “We have nothing on us officers,” we would say. They ripped apart our entire van, pulled out our seats. And end up they found it all in that little bottle of Nyquil. It was nothing; there was no fine or anything. The hardest has been stop getting pulled over by cops.
Zack: Has it been hard to break into the US scene?
Roth: Yeah, it took us years and years. We’re doing good now, but it was really hard to break into the US scene, especially being a Canadian band.
Zack: Was it easier to break into the Europe scene?
Roth: Yeah it was for sure. They were accepting of us right away, especially having that kind of weird sound we have. Europe was a sucker for those guitar harmonies and stuff like that. But in the US it was a harder market, cause it’s run by like metal-core and what not.
Zack: What can fans expect from Into Eternity in the future?
Roth: we have two more tours this year, the hate eternal tour in June/July and the Stratavarious tour in September/October. Then we gotta finish writing for the next album, so hopefully we’ll have that out by March of next year. Then touring again, so we’ll be busy for the next couple of years again.
Zack: Anything else you’d like to add?
Roth: We got a new website, check out the new site at intoeternity.net . We got a domain switch, the new members on there, information, and a new message board on ultimate metal.
Remaining tour dates for the Amorphis, Beyond the Embrace, Into Eternity tour are as follows:
3/25 Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
3/26 Masquerade – Tampa, FL
3/27 Culture Room – Ft. Lauderdale, FL
3/29 Jesters Pub – Fayetteville, NC
3/28 Thee Imperial – Jacksonville, FL
3/30 Downtown – Farmingdale, NY
3/31 Northern Lights – Clifton Park, NY
4/1 Webster Theatre/Underground – Hartford, CT
4/2 Penny Arcade – Rochester, NY
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