Having released their debut album in the past few weeks ZT thought it a good time to catch up with new British metal act All Seeing Eyes.
Founded by Ben Colton of Neverworld (vocals/guitar) and his two friends Kenny Fraser (bass/guitars/drum programming) and James Thackway(keyboards), the trio all played together in power metal band Sentinel years ago. Reunited, the three of them formed All Seeing Eyes, a progressive metal band who have just released their debut Trinity Road.
It’s an impressive piece of work, not least because it contains 18 songs of great quality which includes ‘The Cube’ featuring Ben Jackson from Crimson Glory. Not bad for a band just starting out! ZT spoke to Ben about their debut, working with Ben and the numerous other guests who appear on Trinity Road and splitting his time between All Seeing Eyes and Neverworld.
ZT: Releasing an 18-track double-disc for your debut is quite an ambitious move. Why did you opt for a longer album?
Ben Colton (Vocals/Guitars): Basically we had a lot of songs, more than the 18 on the album. We found it hard to choose. I think we had about 25 tracks that we’d spent the last 18 months writing and recording. Personally I would have been happy with any of them being put out there but the 18 on the album are all songs we felt we couldn’t leave off. We aren’t sure when we will get a chance to do this again either so didn’t want to be sitting on songs. We like to move forward and when we come to write the next album it will all be fresh ideas.
Are you worried it may put some people off or do you think metal fans will feel they’re getting more for their money?
In all honesty I don’t know what people will think. If a band I liked did that I’d be happy about it! I mean it is value for money no doubt. We set out to do that. The reason we’ve priced it so cheap is because we don’t want to alienate people. I believe we’ve created a high quality product that fans of the progressive and power metal genres will like. There is nearly two hours of music on there and a song for every mood. We haven’t repeated ourselves here either so if people give it a chance I hope they will be happy with the length. There are no laws on listening to it all the way through either! So far the reaction has been absolutely awesome. From the press and the people who’ve bought it. I couldn’t have asked for a better one. I had no idea what to expect due to certain aspects of the album (the length included) but so far have been very pleasantly surprised. People have good taste, haha!
How was the recording process for Trinity Road?
It was actually a lot of fun. No stress. No time constraints. Just three very good friends writing, recording and having a good laugh doing it. We work out of our own home studio so it was just nice and relaxed. Personally I had this creative boom period and had to get this stuff out of me! I’ve not had a rest in the last two years but that’s fine with me. Long may it continue. I’m back in the studio with Neverworld now writing the follow up to Visions Of Another World.
And what inspired the album’s title Trinity Road and any other lyrics? There are quite a few themes going on really. Mainly the message within the album is about government manipulation, mind control, lies, secret societies etc., but there are also a few ‘love’ songs on there. Quite personal stuff really that I had to get out. The inspiration for the album title itself came about as a joke actually. There’s a road in the town where we live called Trinity Road and when we were younger we used to go to the shop there a lot. Anyway that’s sort of a private joke that no one else will find funny! We were talking about it one night and then we just had this concept about a road splitting off into three different paths and whichever one you take is your future. That’s how the cover concept was born too
How did Ben Jackson from Crimson Glory and the other guests on Trinity Road get involved? I met Ben when Crimson Glory came over in 2011. I already kind of knew Dana Burnell and he introduced us. I remained in contact on and off. He has another band he’s busy with now called Avenging Benji (check them out they are awesome!). It was really just a case of me asking him and him saying yes! Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think something like this would come off. I mean the guy is in one of my favourite bands of all time! I can’t tell you just how proud that makes me feel to have him on there. The word honour was invented for such things! The other guests are all awesome too. I’ve got to tell you guys, Kosta Vreto is one of the very best guitar players out there. No shit. He is a true virtuoso. I met Kosta when Neverworld toured the UK and Greece with his band Wardrum. Michalis Rinakakis used to be in the band Air Raid and Neverworld played with them a couple of years ago. He’s since left them and is now in Revile and Fat Nelly. Fantastic vocalist. A true metal singer and a true gentleman too. Dave Shirman and David Del Cid I know through the brilliant Neuronspoiler. Great band and very good friends of mine. Shared the stage with them many times now. The two ladies are Danae Saree and Venetia Sitaropoulou. Danae is the ex-wife of Crimson Glory’s Jon Drenning. I met her at their London show and kept in touch via Facebook. Found out she could sing like an angel one day when she posted a video! I knew I had to get her on. Venetia is the girlfriend of Kosta Vreto! I met her when we were in Greece. She sent me a track she’d done with her old band and I loved her bluesy soulful voice. All the guests on this album are great musicians and great people too. They all gave up their time for free and really are the icing on the cake. Love them all and can’t thank them enough for their contributions
It has been a busy year for you releasing debuts with both All Seeing Eyes and Neverworld. Does it feel like a lot of hard work has finally come to fruition this year? Definitely. I’ve wasted a lot of time in my life. The past is the past. I can’t do anything about that but I can shape my future. My father passed away earlier this year just after the Neverworld release. It opened my eyes as to how short life really is. If you love something make sure you give it everything. That is what I’m doing now and will continue to live like that until my time comes. I want to leave my mark on this earth and music is the only way I know.
What does All Seeing Eyes allow you to do that Neverworld doesn’t? At this stage I guess the main difference is Neverworld is more of a theatrical entity. We write with a live show in mind. With ASE we kinda do whatever we want/feel. Saying all this there are no rules in Neverworld either and we are half way through writing the new album. I think we will surprise a few. We are progressing too and writing more complex stuff. We want to evolve. Neither band will stand still.
Did you draw from many different musical influences for All Seeing Eyes? There seem to be a few more mellow moments. To a certain extent, yes. I love bands like Fates Warning, Crimson Glory, Redemption, Circus Maximus, Winger, Queensryche, King Diamond etc. To me ASE is like a big melting pot of progressive, power and traditional metal mixed in with a healthy dose of hard rock. I’d like to think that makes us more accessible to a wider audience because there’s almost something for everyone in our music.
What plans do you have for 2015? Well things are on course for a new Neverworld album. Like I said we are in the studio now concentrating solely on the writing process. I’m hoping we can get it done and released in time for the summer and then we can get back out on the road. As for ASE it really depends on how this album does. We could maybe get an EP or a mini album out too. We have a couple of new songs too so we shall have to see what the future holds! Bring it on!
All Seeing Eyes have a new track on the CD that comes with the current issue of ZT which you can read about/buy here.