That rumble Idahoans sometimes hear to the far east of the state is not the apocalypse. Well it could be. That ground shaking, soul penetrating, sonic bombast comes from four unassuming metalheads working their collective craft in Idaho Falls. The seeds for Eternal North were planted in the cold hardened ground of the Idaho music scene in the Winter of 2010 by guitarists and vocalists Mark Seaquist and Andrew Smith. A year ago the fertile union of the two came to an unholy fruition with the additions of bassist Michael Rupe and drummer Russell Kummer. Rupe would later move behind the desolate scenes, handing over the lowlands to bassist Matt Montano.
This weekend, Smith took time to give us some insight into Eternal North and what fans can look forward to as the thaw ends and the guardians ov the cold emerge to commence their spring rituals upon an unsuspecting world.
The American black metal scene is pretty slim yet here is Eternal North toiling away at it from the unlikeliest ov locations. How did you kindred spirits connect?
“Mark (my co-guitarist) and I met up in early 2010 and formed Eternal North shortly thereafter on our own. Russell, our drummer, joined in early 2012 along with our former bassist, Michael Rupe. After Michael’s departure in the Summer ov 2012, it wasn’t until the following Autumn that Matt, our current bassist, joined the fun.”
Do you even identify as a black metal band? You have referred to yourselves as “Omni metal”
“We generally tend to shy away from labeling ourselves as any particular kind ov metal. Between the four ov us, we all have so many different inspirations from so many different genres ov music (metal and non-metal alike) that it’s very hard for us to limit ourselves to any one particular “style”. Certainly our music contains black metal elements, but, that only represents a fraction ov our collective sound across all our material. That’s why we like the term, ‘Omni Metal’. It just seems so fitting since we like to do a little bit ov everything.”
It’s certainly not a glamorous question but one of the first things new fans always want to know is the origin ov, or story behind the band’s name.
“Mark and I came up with the name early in the band’s creation. We wanted something that conveyed the primary concept – or primary ideology – behind our inspirations. Our sound, we think, has a lot ov Scandinavian elements and we wanted a name that accurately reflected that.”
Eternal North have been hard at work on your EP “Children ov the Cold”. How is that progressing? When can fans expect to get their ears on it?
“Work is going strong on the EP. Everything is recorded. It’s (at the time this was written) currently being mixed and mastered by our former bassist, Michael Rupe. He’s been absolutely awesome to work with and we’re very excited about how it’s sounding. Right now, we’re shooting for a June release.”
“It was for Autism Awareness, for Autism Awareness month and we really enjoyed the fact that they asked us to play. That was a great show and we had a killer time playing it. We got to show some kids our gear and do some instrumental demonstrations for them. It was a blast. We were very glad to have had the opportunity to do it and our thanks go out to everyone who came out and showed their support.”
Coming up you are also getting ready for a mini-Pacific Northwest tour culminating in a very special show at the new Venue location in Caldwell with 3 Inches of Blood.
“Yeah, we’re pretty stoked for it. We’ve been itchin’ to hit the road for a while now and spread our music as far as we can. We’re looking forward to meeting some new faces along the way. Everyone we’ve worked with has been awesome and we’re hugely thankful for the opportunities that have been presented to us. Getting to play with 3 Inches Of Blood is going to be very surreal for us simply because they’ve always been a huge inspiration. It’s a very rare thing to share the stage with one ov the very bands that we’ve listened to for years – since before I even played guitar. We are also getting the chance to open for Starkill who is on the same label as 3 Inches Of Blood during that mini-tour in Spokane, WA.”
Do you find coming from a smaller location like Idaho Falls makes things more difficult or does it give you an edge because you’re not swimming in a sea of other bands?
“I don’t think that’s something we’ve ever really thought about before. Honestly, we’ve never been particularly concerned with having an edge. We just want to rock out with our other fellow bands and have a good time. As long as the music is loud, the crowd is rowdy, and the beer is cold, we’re good.”
Pointless question of the week: Cities and cultures all over America have reality TV series; Swamp People, Hillbilly Handfishing, etc. If they were to make one about Idaho and Idahoans, what do you think it would/should be?
“With all the meth labs out here, some TV producer could probably do a reality TV spin-off ov Breaking Bad or something like that. I had a meth dealer as my next door neighbor for 5 years. It was a less-than-pleasant experience. They could call it Meth Country.”
Head over to the Eternal North’s Facebook page for more info, music and tour dates.