In a fun bit of useless knowledge, Eventide was the first band I ever interviewed, way back in 2000, after they had released their Promo2000 disc. After hearing of the band's reformation and the release of their first full-length disc, Diaries From the Gallows, I was eager to hear about what the band has been up to over the course of the last 6 years. Drummer Max Seppala was kind enough to spill the beans.
Wayfaerer - Just to start things off, congrats on getting your first
full-length out into the world! I know I've had it on constant
repeat for a few weeks now.
Max - Thanks! We're happy to hear that you liked it so much!
So what caused Eventide to disappear/resurface? Even considering
the 2005 demo, there was quite a bit of downtime in that period.
There were a lot of reasons that eventually led to us taking a
break. I'm not sure if I've remembered this correctly, but I think
our bassist wanted to play guitar so he and our second guitarist
switched instruments, but after a while Ake (former bassist) quit
anyway. So now we had to find a new guitarist. We tried a few guys
but eventually Niclas (former guitarist) went back to playing guitar
as we had found a bass player. It is such a burden trying to find
band members, especially when it comes to metal. Not only do they
have to be skilful musicians with similar direction in music as the
rest of the band, the personal chemistry must be there as well.
Anyway, with all this happening we also took in a keyboard player as
the new songs we had written after the 'release' of Promo2000 were a
lot more progressive and we had a lot more keyboards in them.
All these new band members coming and going was tiring because we
could never really rehearse enough to play live before someone quit
or someone new that had to learn all the songs would come in.
But I guess the biggest reason we took a break was because the new
material we had written really didn't sound like anything you would
expect from Eventide. There were no structure in the song writing;
one song would sound like a bad dream theater copy, the next song
like a pop/rock song, and the next song would sound like
lounge-music to be played softly in the background of a
sophisticated dinner. It was truly experimental, but it got to the
point were we decided to take a break. There was no point in using
the name Eventide if the songs differed that much from the previous
At this time me and Jacob had ourselves a side project where we
played pop/rock with which we were about to record a demo, and
Niclas Linde (second guitarist of Eventide) had another band that
took up more and more of his time as well so the break came
Me and Jacob continued to play together with yet another project in
which we played rock, a project that became a band when Jacobs
brother Thomas joined us to play bass. We did that for three years.
I believe this to be three very important years for us as musicians
and also for the future of Eventide. We learned a lot about song
writing during this time which I think is one of Eventide's strong
points. Anyway, in late 2004 me and Jacob had been discussing doing
a new Eventide demo just for fun. To play metal again. So we took
one week off in January 2005 to write new material and record most
of it. Thomas decided to join us yet again. We thought it was really
fun and the songs turned out to be a lot better than we had hoped,
so we decided to send it out to a couple of record labels to see how
far we could go and I think you know the rest.
Do you feel the time between releases has made you stronger as a
Well, not as a band considering that most of this time (2000-2005)
Eventide consisted of me and Jacob. But as individual musicians and
song writers yes.
You got signed to Cartel Media Records, who've released Diaries
From the Gallows. The songs speak for themselves, but was it a
challenge getting labels' attention after being 'out of the game'
for a few years?
I don't think that anyone really knew that we had been in the game.
But I do think that most record labels are 'afraid' or unwilling to
sign a band like Eventide because of the 'melodic death'-thing.
People seem to think that it's outdated, overpopulated or dead etc.
But I think we have managed to create our own unique style. I'm not
even sure that we should be described as a melodic death metal band,
but I guess it's pretty close. And let me just say that a lot of
people are like "if I want to listen to melodic death metal, I go
with the originals In flames, ATG, Dark tranquillity etc." But
they're not really originals if you reason like that, then you would
have to go back to iron maiden, and from there back to whatever.
It's stupid to think that one genre consists of what 3 bands did 10
or so years ago. If everyone reasoned like that nothing would ever
progress or be developed. There are a lot more overpopulation and
non-progress in other metal genres...
Diaries From the Gallows once more bears the art of Niklas Sundin.
Care to explain the artwork a little bit? Tt seems pretty dark and
bleak (though that's certainly not a bad thing).
When we discussed what the cover should look like we tried to find
something that was common for all the songs. Since the songs were
written during a period of two years it was pretty hard. But after a
while we found that most of the songs were about inner battles, Good
vs. Evil etc. And we presented the idea to Niklas Sundin about
having some kind of struggle on the cover. The cover is symbolic:
the two characters are actually the same person and the one holding
the chain is the evil side dragging the good side to the gallows.
And it should be mentioned that for every spread in the booklet
there is an illustration which is meant to give some sort of
individual image to some of the songs, into illusion for example: A
person is sitting on a chair, his head a globe being formed and
shaped by a mysterious character. The lyric is about how everyone is
sort of brainwashed from the moment they're born to believe in
whatever the people around them believe, and in general what your
culture is like, religion etc. and of course about how we're raised
to believe that the world was created in this or that way. Your mind
is never really free to create its own opinion. We wanted to have a
little symbolism here and there throughout the album.
Last time we talked, over 6 years ago(!), you had mentioned that
the new material you were writing back then was all clean vocals.
What made you choose to stay along the same path as your previous
demos when it came time to record the disc?
I think it was the break we took. None of us back then really
listened to this type of music at that moment. We were all a bit
tired of the whole metal-thing. But I think that we really just
needed some change of environment, a little perspective on things.
When we finally decided to do another demo we were really into metal
again so the growling was an essential ingredient.
Is word getting out about Diaries? I've been trying to find other
reviews but only have stumbled upon a couple. How has the response
been so far?
Well, we've gotten a couple of reviews giving us 5/5, 4/5, 9/10 and
8.5/10 (go to www.cartelmedia.de for more info on those) so the
response we've been given is really good! Germany's "Rock Hard" gave
us 8.5/10 and we did an interview with them so hopefully we'll get
some more attention after that considering it's a pretty big
magazine. Of course we would like the whole world to know about us,
but we never expected any more 'buzz' than this. Unless you have a
huge record label with a huge wallet to promote your ass it's gonna
take some time and a lot of live shows to get your name out and
we've only just begun.
Just for fun, describe Diaries From the Gallows in 5 words or less.
Melancholic, intelligent, melodic, diverse, thorough
Going into the songs themselves, "Into Illusion" begins on a
decidedly brutal scream that seems to constant pretty heavily with
the 'elegance' of the rest of the songs, any reason you decided to
start the cd in that manner?
It's actually a scream that Jacob recorded on 'Indifferent', that we
thought would be really cool to use solo somewhere else. It ended up
as a start-off signal for the whole album not just because we
thought it was cool but also because it works well with the cover.
We thought that first you get the cd in your hands, you study the
cover for a bit and when you press play the first thing you hear is
the painful screaming of the character being dragged through the
woods. So as I said earlier there are bits and pieces of symbolism
throughout the album.
One song that always seems to stick out when I hear the disc is
"Standards of Rebellion", partially due to the unique keyboard and
violin use. Is this an avenue you'd like to pursue in the future?
The main reason that that song has so much keys and violins is
because I wrote most of it in the beginning, and since I suck on
guitar I always write on piano or keyboard. Jacob wrote the chorus
and then we wrote a few things together, like the passage after the
first chorus. Sometimes I write a melody that is intended to be
played by a guitar, but most of the melodies on this song worked
better as they were, on a piano or keyboard. It was intended to be a
bit epic from the first note. We thought it would be cool to have a
different song structure than the usual verse, bridge, chorus
concept, so we wrote these different passages between the different
verses and choruses. Plus having our friend Magnus play some real
violins gave it a great feeling. It was meant to be a bit more
experimental than the rest of the album. People seem to like this
song but I think the use of violins etc will come naturally in the
future, and I don't think we'll ever sit down and try to write a new
Standards of rebellion, but I think we may continue to have one or
two songs that differs a bit from the rest.
If you were to do a "single" or video from Diaries, what song do
you think you'd choose?
No place darker. It's without a doubt one of the best songs we've
ever written and it's catchy and shows a little of everything you
can expect from the album.
Good lyrics are often hard to come by in metal. Where does
Eventide get their lyrical inspirations?
Thanks for letting us know what you think about the lyrics! Most
people don't seem to care about them, but I think that a lot of
people can write music, but the hard part is to write good music
with good lyrics.
I can't speak for Jacob, but when I write lyrics (or when I feel
inspired to write lyrics) I usually get an image in my head. I can
take Standards of rebellion as an example: I started off having just
an image in my head of this character, exhausted, sitting down in a
corner in his fortress wearing a crown that seemed to weigh down his
head. Then I just describe what I see to start with, and then you
have to have a little fantasy and try to write some sort of story
around that. As you may have noticed the intro is supposed to sound
like the tyrant taking deep breaths while you can hear his heart
pounding. Other times I have an image in my head and I describe that
image and the feeling I get from that image, as I did on
Confinement, where I got this image of a place somewhere between
what we call heaven and hell, like a no mans land after death, and
described the claustrophobic feeling I got from that. But 98% of the
time it's hard work that requires discipline. If we were to just sit
around and wait until we felt inspired this album would forever be
in the making. Most times you just have to sit your self down, grab
a pencil and start writing with or without inspiration.
Now that the disc is out, what's next for Eventide? Gigs? New
Both actually. But the priority is playing live. We have one gig
booked on home ground just to get started. It's also meant to be
sort of a release party since we haven't had one yet. Hopefully
we'll get to a few festivals this summer, and maybe go outside the
borders of Sweden. But as for now we only have one gig. The date is
still to be announced so I recommend anyone who is interested to
check our website later for more info.
Being one of the few bands out there now that still play towards
that 'classic' Gothenburg sound, what's your opinion of the current
Swedish melodic death scene?
You would be surprised to see how little we know about metal or
metal bands. We listen to Opeth, Dark tranquillity, Hypocrisy, Katatonia,
the Haunted, Iron Maiden and I think Sebbe is into Arch Enemy and a bunch of
other bands, but other than those really big names in Sweden we have no clue
of what's going on.
I asked this question last time, but thought it'd be interesting to
do again; where do you see Eventide in 5 years?
I hope we will be 3 or 4 records in to our career, we've made it as
one of the biggest metal bands ever to come out of Sweden, we're on
a medium-large record label, and we've won the Americans over,
touring the states once or twice a year. But what I really hope is
that we make enough money that we can do this full time.
Your disc was #3 of 2006 for me, what were some of your favorites
from last year?
We've been so busy writing and recording our own Cd that when we
finally had some time over our ears required silence. I'm still into
Opeths 2005 release 'ghost reveries', and the only Cd's I remember
buying this year was Iron Maiden 'a matter of life and death' and
Deftones 'Saturday night wrist', but I haven't really listened to them
Thanks for your time! Anything else you'd like to mention about
We're definitely worth checking out if you're into melodic metal!
Our debut album "Diaries from the gallows" is available from
www.cartelmedia.de or www.eventideweb.com. Thanks for a great review and a good interview Kyle!