by Scott Roos
“We're humans. We need human interaction. We go crazy if we don't have our fellow humans to at least punch in the shoulder occasionally you know? (laughs) It's amazing how much I missed it.”
To say it’s been an odd past four months for Stu Block is an understatement. Block’s a guy who likes to keep himself busy. That’s just part of his process but, through the pandemic the music stopped, the gigs dried up and also some bizarre political shit went down. As 2022 opened up with a whimper, Block was still the frontman of prog metal titans Iced earth although, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’d know all too well how that story goes (If you have no idea what we’re talking about, google it). Suffice to say, Block is no longer with the band anymore. As the puzzle pieces started to Tetris their way into place, though, moving through the tail end of winter, Block found himself being welcomed back into the Into Eternity fold with open arms - his former band.
“Tim (Roth) has always been supportive of everything (I’ve done musically). With everything that happened (with Iced Earth) he was always checking in on me and making sure everything was good. Even when I was (still) with Iced Earth we had always talked about doing some more stuff together. So basically (after I left Iced Earth) we said 'let's do some stuff together. Let's get back and have some fun',” explained Block.
There was no animosity whatsoever in that initial conversation between the two guys post Iced Earth. Their long history with each other in Into Eternity, and the bond they had through music, meant there were virtually no issues they may have had from the past boiling to the surface if they even ever had any issues with each other at all.
“How was the conversation? It was great. It's just like talking to one of my best friends. It's always been that way with Tim so it was just really a matter of ‘hey okay let's move forward and start doing something’," Block continued.
Block was able to share the stage with fellow Into Eternity vocalist Amanda Kiernan at Drumheller’s “Loud As Hell” Festival last summer. It was a landmark moment and Block was glad to be back on stage again with old friends.
“The main thing was a bunch of people that respect each other on stage having a wonderful time and giving the crowd an experience that they're gonna talk about for a while - giving them something special. It was pure energy,” explained Block of that first show back with the Into Eternity guys.
Since then, Block has been working on new music with guitarist Tim Roth. On top of this, Into Eternity’s legendary Scattering of Ashes lineup has reunited and are getting ready to play Hyperspace Metal Festival in Vancouver April 15-17th at the Rickshaw Theatre after a warm-up show at the exchange in Regina. Kiernan has been taking time away from the band so it’s almost the perfect time for Block to give Into Eternity fans a slice of nostalgia pie.
“There’s been a lot of nostalgia going on at the jams. Lots of laughing, lots of joking around and lots of reminiscing and it's been great. We’re building up that energy for the shows in April,” said Block.
Tickets for Hyperspace festival are still available but, in the meantime, let’s hope that the show at the Exchange was not the last we’ll hear of Into Eternity in the land of living skies over the next few months.