Aged 10, he saw his dad pull out a guitar one day, having been previously unaware that he played the instrument at all. Tim was intrigued. “I saw guitar as an escape from the violin,” he says, and began learning to play songs from his dad’s Black Sabbath collection by ear. By the age of 15, he had completely abandoned the violin.
Tim was at middle-school at a time where the likes of Chiodos, Taking Back Sunday and From First To Last were all the rage, and was surrounded by peers with long fringes and jeans tight enough to cut off their circulation.
“It was a cool thing all the older kids were into,” he remembers. “I remember trying to understand it and thinking, ‘This is kind of scary,’ because of the screaming and everything, but when it clicked, I was like, ‘Some of these melodies are incredible, the instrumentation is really unique.’”
Having only been exposed to older rock music – The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, the aforementioned Sabbath – hearing what modern bands could do felt revolutionary, especially when it came to blending solos with more technical riffs.
By the time Tim got to high school, most of his classmates had outgrown their scene phases in favour of pursuing more ‘normie’ pastimes. Tim, meanwhile, didn’t quite get it, still perfectly content to listen to Whitechapel. Nonetheless, it didn’t stop him being any less curious about ‘mainstream’ music and why it was so popular.
“I would go and listen to these songs and really try and understand why people liked them,” he says. “Metal is all very niche, but I started to appreciate music that could reach a wider audience, and dissect what made it accessible and why so many people identify with this kind of music – even people who don’t really care about music. I didn’t personally identify with it, and I was just trying to fit in. Being made to feel like an outcast because of the things that you like is not a good feeling. [Regardless], I developed a very genuine appreciation for a lot of those things.”