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Nate LeGault-Roth, Pat Regnier (Endyium)

Interview with Nate LeGault-Roth, Pat Regnier from Endyium
by Grigoris Chronis at 14 March 2009, 8:52 PM

If I lived in the (wider) Ottawa area I'd surely apply for the drummer's position in ENDYIUM. Solid classic Heavy Metal with an honest approach and some really thumbs up! songlist; what more should I need? ENDYIUM just released their first full-length album, entitled Eye Of The Storm, and Nate LeGault-Roth (lead vocals, lead & rhythm guitars) with Pat Regnier (lead & rhythm guitars) proved to be decent, humble and down-to-earth guys who are already grateful for any success may coming the band's way - I'd start with the approval for good Metal music from the heart.

Interview with: Nate LeGault-Roth and Pat Regnier from ENDYIUM

Hi Pat and Nate, thanks for your time to do this interview!

Pat:  No problem at all, I've always been a big fan of Metal Temple so the honour is ours.

Nate: Ya man, thanks for inviting us to do this. We are really excited about the album and this is the first chance we've actually had to share our thoughts and experiences about it.

First of all, since many Metal fans may not be familiar with ENDYIUM, can you give us a brief bio of the band?

Nate:  Well, we are a Hard Rock/Heavy Metal band from Ottawa, Canada. We've been together for about 10 years but only took on the name ENDYIUM (pronounced en-dee-eye-uhm) in 2002. We started as an 80's cover band and moved on to write our own tunes. We love what we do and we're excited to finally have the first album done.

So, to get to the point, when a Metal fan visits the band's official site he initially reads the 'intro' message posted: Over two years in the making…and the wait is almost over. This is some kind of a 'deliverance' statement, haha? It seems you put a lot of work on this album, right? Tell us about it, the motive, the songwriting period, the recordings etc.

Nate: Well…this album has been too long in the making. There have been so many ups and downs and other mishaps along the way that I'm glad to finally have it done. For those who don't know, we ended up running into a couple of recording hitches along the way, which ultimately caused the initial delay for the album. Once we were able to overcome these issues, and started working with Blue Bear Sound in Ottawa, the experience became a lot more enjoyable and we were able to start finalizing recordings and mixes of the tracks. So yes, it definitely is a deliverance statement to all of our fans who have patiently been waiting for this debut album.

Pat: The songwriting period for this album goes back well over 10 years with some of the songs being written in the mid-90s, while others were still being written while we recorded the album. Although each of us writes songs individually, every member of the band contributes to the songwriting process to make the songs ENDYIUM. As for the motive, some songs have personal relevance or are the result of significant events in our lives (i.e. For Granted and Eye Of The Storm) while others were just plain written for fun.

Do you all write the music in ENDYIUM? And what about the lyrics? Do you focus equally on the lyrics, too, or it's just enough to dress up the songs?

Nate: Usually, a band member will write and submit a song to the band which will generally consist of a rough rhythm track and either lyrics or a vocal line (or both). From there the band pieces it together, edits, changes stuff and adds in anything that is missing (such as lyrics or a vocal melody line if need be).

Pat: The focus on the lyrics is different for every song. Some songs start off as just a set of lyrics while others start off as a bunch of riffs that just need lyrics to complement the music. I've always loved a good set of lyrics so I tend to spend a lot of time focusing on them in the songs I submit.

Were your references/sources, when you wrote what ended up to be the songlist for Eye Of The Storm, visible or you had a tough time brainstorming for riffs, leads etc? Do you have any leftovers or all songs made it to the album?

Pat: Although we all have our personal preferences when it comes to Metal, I would have to say that ENDYIUM as a whole is influenced by bands like MEGADETH, IRON MAIDEN and Ozzy. Most of the songs we had made it on to the album but we've got a few more riffs and ideas so we'll be working on those in the near future.

Nate: I find it really hard to come up with good material for the band, especially riffs and solos. We still have some material left which we can whip into shape for the next album (which at our rate of progress should be sometime in 2025).

The new album - in my ears - means all things Metal. There's the NWOBHM influence, the central European Metal scene, the American (USA/Canada) paths…Is this what's ENDYIUM aiming to? Playing Metal music with lots of ideas and orientations based on the classic Metal field?

Nate: Actually, I try to push ENDYIUM to write and play 80s style Rock and Metal with a modern edge - newer tone, heavier riffs, etc. Personally, I love the classic European Metal the most and I know it sneaks into my music and writing. I still wish we were a bit heavier from a production point of view.

Pat: Yeah, I agree. I personally love the new European Power Metal but it's not really the style that I write. I think a great example of a band that stays true to the 80s style Metal but still makes it sound modern is ICED EARTH. I've always admired their production (particularly on Something Wicked This Way Comes) so I think our future work will probably focus more on heavy guitar riffs but with all the elements of great metal (harmony guitars, soaring vocals and solos, etc.)

Do you think the band's sound/style can be appealing to younger Metal fans, currently seeking for more aggressive (on one hand) or ethereal (on the other hand) patterns? Or you feel guitar-orientated traditional Metal always is of interest?

Nate: We can only hope the younger Metal fans will take a liking to the tunes. The truth is we write what we wanna write. If people like it, great, if people don't like it, great. There's always someone out there who won't like you. My advice to them is don't listen to our stuff. We do this cause we love the music. When someone likes our tunes we're just glad they took the time to listen to them - and people like this have become some of our biggest and best fans! When we started writing stuff years ago, one of the reasons we did it was because we hated what was considered popular music.

Pat: Yeah, we've never worried too much about the people who don't like this style of Metal. That said, I do think that games like Guitar Hero have done wonders in terms of attracting new fans to this style of music so there is hope for the future.

Now thinking, the guitars work in Eye Of The Storm is simply immense. You play like one, there's tons of interesting leads, some great riffology and not even one song is out of interest. You do carry the 'guitar duo' tradition rather well. With one of you out (for any reason) you feel any other guitarist would not fill up that easy?

Nate: Well, if Pat quits the band is over…period. However, if he was hurt and couldn't play for a temporary period it would be hard to replace him. I'd probably just wait till he got better. My guitar work on the other hand could easily be replaced…

Pat: I completely agree with Nate…Nah, just kidding. I should probably add that I can't sing worth crap so I don't think Nate has much of a hard time sleeping at night.

Really, what guitarists/duos you think are a good reference for ENDYIUM's music? I have a couple of ideas in mind, haha.

Nate: IRON MAIDEN, IRON MAIDEN and more IRON MAIDEN (Murray and Smith).

Pat: I honestly don't know who I think we sound like so that's a bit of a tough question but I definitely believe we take some influence from Dave Murray and Adrian Smith of IRON MAIDEN and Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing of JUDAS PRIEST. Then again, on some songs I try to draw from a different inspiration. For example, on the harmony solo in Revenge, I tried to come up with something that I thought HELLOWEEN might write. Other times, our harmony stuff reminds me of MEGADETH.

Not to forget: you were in search of a drummer lately. What happened to your previous skinsman? Is there any update in this issue?

Nate: Our former drummer got a really good job opportunity last year that required him to move far from Ottawa. We're still looking for a solid full time drummer but we have something in the works that may allow us to do a few shows to support the album.

Pat: We've been busy recording the album over the last couple of years but we're now more seriously searching for a replacement so please feel free to send in your application if you live in the Ottawa, Canada area!

To the cover artwork: simple, yet ample, it strongly speaks for the band's music, in my opinion. Who took care of it? Did you have any other ideas that you rejected?

Pat: We were incredibly fortunate with the artwork! Interestingly enough, we met our graphic designer at our drummer's going away party. We started working with him and, although we went through several concepts, it really didn't take too long for him to come up with something amazing and we were thrilled with the work!

Nate: Agree, we really got lucky. We went through a few concepts but our designer was able to sit with us while we shaped our concepts to eventually get what ended up on the album.

The CD booklet is well-designed, too. Are you supporting the opinion that you should judge a book by its cover? You think it should be value for money, the time a fan decides to spend money on a CD album?

Nate: Ya, I ended up designing the booklet - it was a really interesting experience to say the least. We really wanted something that looked professional and I'm really picky about our image. I believe if you are gonna do something, do it properly and don't cut corners. I also believe that if fans are gonna pay good money for this they deserve a good quality product. You shouldn't judge a book by its cover but if the cover never catches your eye, you'll never pick up the book so to speak.

Pat: Personally, I love the collection aspect of owning music. I love having the albums on a shelf on my wall, etc. So, to me, the artwork and booklet were a big deal. This band is just very fortunate to have a singer who is handy with graphics software and has the patience and the knowledge to put it all together. But yes, in short, we felt that good artwork would reflect well on the album (as it does for thousands of other albums out there) so we wanted to spend the time (and money) on making it count! Plus, it lends itself well to other merchandise (check out our new t-shirts coming soon to!

So, Eye Of The Storm will be out in a few days, I bet most reviews will be positive (and beyond!) and the one-million-question is: should we expect ENDYIUM to ink deal with a record label any time? Are you in negotiations with any label? What's the status in this sector, anyway?

Nate: Well, like any band we'd love to have the backing of a label assuming the terms were reasonable.

Pat: We're not in negotiations at this point in time but we would certainly be willing to sit down and talk with anyone should they choose to contacts us.

Have you ever thought that, instead of being 'another band' in 'another label', it's better to do everything yourselves? This has its good and bad points, of course.

Nate: It's a tough call. Personally, I think labels have the money and resources that independent bands just don't - especially for areas like touring and promotion. Like anything it would depend on the terms of the contract a label could offer.

Pat: Yeah, I don't think we've ever really been opposed to being on a record label by any means. We've accomplished a lot on our own but we've never really flown the independent band flag much. I think we would all welcome the helping hand of a label if it meant we could focus more on playing and writing. On the other hand, we're also not willing to sell ourselves short for the sake of signing with a label. With or without a record label, you'll be seeing more of ENDYIUM.

When ENDYIUM was formed did you have a master plan with different goals that you altered as you gradually realized them? Or you have the same focus? Music and daily life is a tough mix often.

Pat: As for goals, we started off playing cover songs that we all loved but that was never the long-term goal of the band. We knew that we eventually wanted to start writing our own songs so I don't think our goals have changed much since the beginning. Our expectations and predictions, on the other hand, have varied widely over the years…The work/life balance is always a delicate issue but, if you love something enough, you can always find time for it.

Nate: Music has always been a business to me (albeit a fun one). If you want something badly enough, you do what you need to make it happen. We've always set realistic goals in the past so it's been easy to stick by them.

Songs like For Granted, Soldier Unbound and…the whole album, probably (haha!), shall combine a great set onstage. How's the planning go for future gigs? No upcoming shows are posted in your website.

Nate:  Well, with no drummer we've opted to push promotion of the album to the top of our priority list. Hopefully this will also catch the eye of some lone drummer out there who's been waiting for the opportunity to play in a band like ENDYIUM. Once we get that we can focus on shows again.

Pat: Yeah, we haven't booked any shows as of yet because we've been busy with the release of the album and we don't have a permanent replacement for our drummer. That said, we do plan on doing whatever we need to do to start playing again in the near future.

Canada has been a great love for metalheads in the 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s. It's truly remarkable the amount of good bands, from AOR/Hard Rock acts to Metal/extreme Metal warriors. How the hell do you succeed in playing such great music, anyway? What's your country's prides, in your opinion? I personally love dozens of bands: from TRIUMPH, MOXY, LOVERBOY, FIST and HONEYMOON SUITE to ANVIL, EXCITER, SACRED BLADE, PILEDRIVER and RAZOR to ANNIHILATOR, VOIVOD and INFERNAL MAJESTY.

Pat: I honestly don't think it has much to do with national pride. I like to believe the Metal community is global and, ideally, we'd love to be a global band some day. We love Metal and that's why we play. It just so happens that we live in Canada.

Nate: Ya, I agree. I love Hard Rock and Heavy Metal and aspects from different parts of the world have influenced me.

Guys, thanks again for your precious time. How would you like to end this interview? Hope we'll talk again soon!

Pat: I'd like to end by thanking you and Metal Temple for reviewing our album and giving us the opportunity to talk to the Metal community through this interview. We appreciate the work you do and we'd be happy to come back any time. Thanks again!

Nate: Same here, it's been an exciting opportunity. It's nice to be able to share our experiences with our fans and this interview will give them the chance to get a taste of what went into this album! Thank you!


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