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Interview with Stu Block
(Vocals / Guitars - Into Eternity)

Interviewed by Rob Benaquista
Date: October 2006

So, how is the Gigantour going for you guys so far?
Oh, it’s awesome! Basically, how could you not be happy? First, it’s a phenomenal tour, being out with MEGADETH. Now, I can die a happy man after that. The crowds are awesome. People are taken in by the band, and it’s a whole new level of exposure for us. It’s definitely bringing us a whole new fan base. We see lots of horns raised, and fists in the air. We’re attracting new fans, and by the time we hit the stage, people are getting close to the front of the stage. Overall, it’s really awesome, and we’re stoked about it.

What are your thoughts on the new record, “The Scattering of Ashes” ?
I think it’s awesome! It’s been built upon a lot of change. There’s very high expectation and anticipation for the record to surpass “Buried Into Oblivion.” All the press and fans I’ve talked to tell me we’ve definitely achieved our expectations. There’s definitely that classic INTO ETERNITY sound, but we wanted a more stripped-down feel for the album. We wanted to achieve the “live feel” and try some new things that we haven’t done before. I believe that when you go see a band live, you want to hear what it sounds like on the CD. On the last album, the harmonies were greater, with the back-up singers, but we wanted to make this album sound exactly like we do on stage. So we took the best elements from our earlier records, built on them, and added a raw, stripped energy to it. It’s heavier and got a great mix of harsh and clean vocals. It was recorded in one month, and the vocals took about five days. So, yea, we’re really happy with the way it came out!

Has the record been out or previewed in the United States yet?
It drops on October 3, so I can’t really give any numbers on that. People are downloading and streaming the new music on the internet, and we’re getting great feedback.

How would you compare your vocal style to that of the former singer, Chris Krall? And how did you get the slot in the first place?
I try not to compare myself to the former singer or other singers. Chris Krall was a great vocalist, but has a different voice, and my style’s different. I try to be as much of an individual vocalist as I can, and put my stamp on INTO ETERNITY. I tried to add new things to enhance the music for “The Scattering of Ashes,” but it fits the music well so you can still know it’s INTO ETERNITY. I got the gig through a band I was part of in Canada. Through word of mouth, I was called for an audition and they heard me do a cover of “Painkiller,” and the rest is history.

What can you say about life on the road with your band mates?
It’s great. We’ve had our rough tours and hard times, but the Gigantour is great. The catering is really good, the fans really dig us, and the respect overall is there. We’ve had our fair share of tours where we’ve played with musicians who thought they were better than us, but on this tour, Dave Mustaine has been really cool to all of the bands and made sure that it would be a respectful environment. I mean, he handpicked all the bands and we’re going out there every night and enjoying ourselves. Each day is awesome.

What is the metal scene like in Canada, and how does it compare to the scene in the U.S.?
It’s a huge difference from the U.S. See, in the U.S., you have more cities and states so when you play every night, you’re guaranteed to have a crowd of rabid metal fans. In Canada, it’s a little tougher and slower to get your name heard, because there are fewer people. But, like the U.S., we have an East Coast and West Coast metal crowd. West Coast is more underground and caters to more of the local scenes, while the East Coast has more of a thicker metal crowd. But the U.S. and Canada - opposite worlds from each other.

What have been your favorite bands to see on the Gigantour line-up so far?
Besides MEGADETH, of course (laughter), I would say OPETH. I’ve always been a die-hard OPETH fan. I really loved their sound last year on the tour with NEVERMORE, and this year they sound even better. But now, I would have to say LAMB OF GOD. The reason is that when I first heard LAMB OF GOD on CD, I was never a huge fan. But now that I’ve seen them live on this tour and watched their stage show, I finally understand what they are all about. They are an onslaught on stage, and they put on a killer live show. From now on, when I listen to one of their CDs, I will never listen to it the same way again. It’s so in your face, and you can feel their energy when seeing them live. So yea, my favorite band on this line-up is LAMB OF GOD!

So, who were your biggest influences on your vocal style?
Oh, so many vocalists and styles. Lots of power metal, black metal, death metal, Viking metal, and classic metal vocalists. Rob Halford, Bruce Dickinson, Geoff Tate, MAYHEM, IMMORTAL, any artist who can capture that “dirty falsetto” sound with an edge as well as the screams.

What’s currently in your CD player as of now?
To be honest with you, I haven’t listened to much stuff lately in terms of influencing my sound. I always want to be original and try to stay fresh, so I don’t listen to too much music. But when we’re on the bus, we’ll pop in a few CDs. Century Media always sends us boxes of CDs and samplers from new artists and featured artists on the label so we’ll give them a listen.

Your lyrics for “Severe Emotional Distress” and “Timeless Winter” really stand out to me. What are these songs about, and what comes to mind when thinking of them?
“Severe Emotional Distress” - there’s a big problem with a lot of people who cut themselves, through depression or emotional problems. It was a great subject because I’ve noticed it a lot more nowadays, especially with adolescents. They want an outlet, but it hurts a lot of people growing up. They try to release pain in their lives. I’m not going to make a public service announcement or anything like that, but this is something that needs to be talked about these days. I mean, if anyone should talk about things like that, it should be INTO ETERNITY.” Timeless Winter” - I’d have to say, it’s about living in a cold climate. I’d get some people talking to us and tell us that we didn’t really write anything about this. I had a poem a while back about winter, related to death. The other guys liked it, and Tim was like “yea, let’s do it.” So it’s got the whole theme of winter, death, necro, and all that cool stuff.

What are your plans after the Gigantour is wrapped up?
Well, right now, nothing’s set in stone or solidified, but we are going to take a 2 or 3-month break after we wrap up the Gigantour. We’re definitely in the works of booking a couple of tours, and once the album drops we’ll be busy. We can’t plan too far ahead.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In five years... hopefully still playing metal! We hope to take it to the next level, and eventually quit our day jobs, but I really don’t care if I’m playing a dingy club or an arena. I’m very happy what I’m doing, and I keep positive about everything. Me and the rest of the guys of INTO ETERNITY hope we can focus on writing and recording music as much as possible, but we can’t try to see to far and just have to roll with the punches. I definitely see myself still singing and putting out records and touring.

What is the highlight of your entire career?
Right now, being on tour with MEGADETH! This is it. I mean, if it all came to an end now, I would die a happy man because I love what I’m doing and shared the stage with so many great bands. I’m really excited about being on a great metal record and being part of a great tour. So yea, this is my biggest highlight of my music career and my life.

Stu, thank you very much for the interview with me at, it’s been a pleasure talking to you!
Thanks, Rob it’s been awesome. Take it easy, and hope to see you on our tour!


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