Like many bands who break up in their prime (Kyuss being the most prevalent example in my mind), the legend of Eugene, Oregon’s, YOB only grew after their demise, and as guitarist, vocalist and principal songwriter Mike Scheidt began to explore other sonic avenues with subsequent outfit Middian on their debut, Age Eternal, it seemed like everything that had been said under the YOB banner was said. They were, in short, done
Then Middian got sued by a Wisconsin local band named Midian, effectively ending the band. Certainly ending their deal with Metal Blade, which had been a continuation from YOB after their two records on the label, The Illusion Of Motion (2004) and The Unreal Never Lived (2005). During these troubled times, former YOB drummer Travis Foster approached Scheidt about reforming the band. They replaced bassist Isamu Sato (H.C. Minds) with Aaron Reiseberg, recorded the stunning comeback record, The Great Cessation, released it last month through Profound Lore, and it was all just as simple as that.
Scheidt, who resumed YOB thinking he was doing so on a part-time basis only soon to find the rest of Age Eternal (the name Middian took following the aforementioned dickheaded legal action) were gone, is now back in position as the figurehead of one of this decade’s most important doom bands. In this two-part interview, the guitarist tells the story of transitioning from Middian/Age Eternal back to YOB and how things are different this time around with The Great Cessation.
Was it Middian’s legal battles, or was there something else that led you to get YOB back?
I can’t say the name legally, I can’t say anything about it, other than we went through it and it’s over. What we changed our name to, Age Eternal, so I’ll just use that, AKA The Name That Shall Not Be Named. Yeah, the lawsuit tore us apart ultimately, is what it did. There was already a little bit of band tension, just personality-wise, and you put that on top of it and it made it worse. At the tail end the lawsuit happening, Travis Foster got in touch with me and said, ‘Man, it’d be fun to do a reunion show.’ In the back of my mind, I’d already been thinking of doing a YOB studio album. A studio album geared more toward the YOB side of things than the Age Eternal side of things. A lot of people think that they’re exactly the same, but in my mind they just aren’t.
Age Eternal had an approach for me, mentally and YOB had an approach for me, that was very different. That was something we started talking about, he and I, and I told him we changed our name and that Age Eternal was going to be my priority, but that to do a YOB record, just for studio and fun sounded great. Well, as it worked out, Age Eternal’s drummer moved to Idaho and Will Lindsey moved to Olympia and joined Wolves In The Throne Room and what was gonna be a side-project became a full-blown band. We decided to get a bass player and we did with Aaron Reisberg. I had a couple songs written and we got together and it just flowed fantastically. Next thing you knew, we had a record.
Is Age Eternal still a band? Is it on hold?
Yeah, I wouldn’t say it’s on hold. It’s gone. It’s unfortunate, but it was an incredible learning experience, going through that whole process, and what can you do? The irony is that while I miss those guys and I miss the songs that we played, I’m really happy playing YOB stuff again and things are just going really well for the band. I know that the guys from Age Eternal too—Will’s doing great in Wolves In The Throne Room, and Scott’s pursuing a career in Idaho, so it’s good.