Interview with All Seeing Eyes

ASE LogoTrinity Road by All Seeing Eyes is one of my favourite releases of 2104 and is a real treasure trove of delights for any Metal fan. Singer/guitarist Ben Colton, (also of Neverworld), was kind enough to give us a bit more background to this exceptional group.

What are your influences?

All our influences are quite different I’d say within ASE. Mainly within the metal genres but personally I just love great, well written, well played music. I have a huge CD collection and I think it’s probably fair to say all of it has influenced me in some way or another. I tend to lean towards music’s unsung heroes. I really admire bands like Fates Warning and Winger. Both genius, both criminally underrated. Both have never really repeated themselves but somehow they have retained their own sound. That is something that’s really hard to do. I’m big on a lot of bands though. Stuff like Van Halen, King Diamond, Crimson Glory, Redemption, Circus Maximus, Dan Reed Network, Thin Lizzy, Ratt, Guns N Roses, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Helloween, Manowar, etc. It’s pretty much an endless list. I’m also very influenced by the music of the director John Carpenter. He’s a very clever guy musically. I love music that can tell a story or just surround you in an atmosphere. John’s music definitely does that. Very simple stuff on the surface but it’s captivating, eerie and just plain awesome!

ASE KenWhat are you listening to at the moment that you would like to recommend?

Well there’s several great bands out there that definitely aren’t getting the attention they deserve. I just mentioned Circus Maximus and Redemption. Two absolutely amazing prog bands. Every bit as good as Dream Theater in terms of musicianship and quite frankly much better song writers in my opinion. Never self indulgent. It’s all about the story, the music, the song. All Prog fans should be listening to them. As for good old heavy metal, there’s 3 bands that spring to mind. Wardrum, Hibria and Neuronspoiler. Mind blowing musicians. Stellar vocals. Great songs. What more can anyone ask for?! If you haven’t heard of them before go and check them out. You won’t be disappointed.

What’s the meaning/concept behind the album title?

Initially ‘Trinity Road’ came about as a private joke really. No one else will find it funny so I’ll spare you the finer details! We just used to go to a shop a lot when we were kids and the road opposite is Trinity Road. The title comes from that but we sat around one night and just thought of this concept of a road splitting off into 3 destinations, 3 different outcomes if you will. It’s like you’re at a crossroads and the future is down to you. You have the power. Make the right choice. We just sorta came up with the theme for the art work in our heads and just thought yes! That’s it!

Talk to us about the album artwork.

Basically the picture depicts the present and the future on the horizon. The road to the left leads to darkness. Apocalyptic, bleak. Like a nuclear wasteland. Straight ahead leads to an endless life of monotony. Watching TV, going to work, not thinking much. To the right leads to enlightenment. A bright future. Happiness and fulfilment. We really liked the premise behind it and thought it would make for a great cover. I think we were right. John Vincent took our idea and made it happen brilliantly. He’s a very talented artist and went above and beyond on the art for us. We are all very happy with the outcome

What did you want to achieve with Trinity Road?

Pretty much as much as possible. I’m a realist, I wasn’t expecting anything really but the reaction has genuinely blown me away. From the media and the fans, it’s just been so positive and already made the project worthwhile. Ideally I’d like to reach a much wider audience but that is hard. I understand why. It’s an over saturated market and people don’t often like going out of their comfort zone, especially with music. I’m fairly confident that most metal/rock fans would get something out of the album but it’s hard getting people to listen. We’ll keep trying, reaching out and hoping people bite. I mean we aren’t greedy, the album is available for a great price and there’s a couple of reasons behind that. One is we don’t want to rip anyone off and secondly we want to sell as many as possible! We hope the price tag serves as an incentive for people because at the end of the day you won’t find a double disc extravaganza like Trinity Road anywhere else. It’s 1 hour and 48 minutes in length, it’s completely different and it’s waiting to be discovered

ASE JamesAre you happy with how it turned out?

Musically yes I consider it my finest hour to date. We worked really hard on this. We wanted to make an album with great depth and that didn’t repeat itself. I think we’ve achieved that. As a musician I pushed myself like I’ve never done before. Both vocally and guitar wise. I don’t think I could have done it better than I did and the same goes for Kenny and James. We wrote and performed to the absolute limit of our abilities. The challenge is to better that in the future!

What can you tell us about the lyrics?

I guess you could say they cover various themes from love and life right through to government manipulation and the NWO. We like our music to have a message or tell a story. There’s a couple of deeply personal songs on there about stuff that has affected me in a big way. I’m quite happy with how it turned out lyrically because I’m not a big fan of writing them! I often dread that part of the writing. Sometimes it comes easy but most of the time I end up sitting there for bloody hours listening to the same songs/riffs over and over! Anyway quite a few people have said the lyrics really get to them, make them think. That’s great. Couldn’t ask for more than that

Give us a bit of information on the songwriting process.

Well the three of us had worked together previously about 8 years before in a power metal band called Sentinel. We know each other well. I think we just hit a creative boom (hence why there is 18 tracks on the disc!) and the writing process just came really easy in terms of ideas. It was a cool environment to write in. No pressure whatsoever. We just had a lot of fun, had a lot of laughs and just got on with the task in hand. We knew what we wanted to achieve at the end of it. We wanted a quality product, a selection of songs that were all different. It was just a great experience to write without any rules. There was no one saying well we can’t do this or that because people won’t like it! So we got together a lot and just let the music flow

What’s your favourite song on the album and why?

That’s quite a hard one. I really like all the songs for different reasons but if I had to pick two tracks I’d say ‘Trinity Road’ because it’s just completely different to anything I’ve ever heard before and ‘Wild Life (The Tribe)’. ‘Wild Life’ is a track that kinda sums up the project. It’s got a bit of everything in it and I think it’s pretty infectious too. Proud of that one. It nearly didn’t happen because Kenny and James couldn’t stop laughing when I was trying to write the intro and using my acoustic as a bongo! I’m glad I persevered!

ASE BenHow do you see your position in the wider Power/Heavy Metal musical framework?

I don’t know really. I guess it doesn’t really matter how I perceive us. We are what we are. I just hope people like it and see us in the same light as the greats! Obviously I want us to be held in that regard but saying that we need to back up this release with another and it has to be better. There’s a lot more work to do

How do you see your songs/direction developing in the future?

I’m excited right now. We are literally about to hit the studio again now so it’s gonna be interesting to see what we come up with. I think at this stage we are likely to make a more progressive album this time round. I don’t like the idea of treading water as a musician. If you can’t better what you did before then there’s no point. I think we can. We are better musicians now and the new songs will definitely reflect that.

What’s next for All Seeing Eyes?

Another album although this one won’t be a double! We’d like to follow this up quickly so we are hoping to get another 8-10 track album done in the next 6-7 months. It’ll be difficult because I’m also in the middle of writing the new Neverworld album too. Keep your all seeing eyes peeled and we’ll keep you posted on the albums progress! Watch this space.

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