Another cool band to discover for you guys out there, ETERNAL VOYAGER. Answers by guitarist Brian Blake. Anders Ekdahl ©2017

Can you please tell all our readers about the history and discography of ETERNAL VOYAGER?
Brian: We started back 2004. We were a 3 piece, but the band’s music has been around since 1998. I had to move around the country for awhile to find people who could actually play this kind of metal, or wanted to at that time. We went under the name Eternal Voyager around 2005, and it stuck as an active band ever since. We changed line ups a lot for various reasons and eventually became who we are today. As far as a discography goes, we didn’t release a proper demo until 2009, later followed by a single called “Vagabond”. We then released our debut album “the Battle of Eternity” in 2014, and now we are currently recording our second album “Darkened Times”.

What fascinates me is how you can still come up with new combinations of chords to make new songs and sounds that have not been heard before. What is it that fascinates you into coming up with new songs and albums?
Brian: Yes I agree, I think bands always grow and as a writer myself the reason for being able to keep coming up with new things, is because of that growth. I always felt the best bands or writers can keep coming up with great material because they keep doing what they love, and write things that stay true to who they are, but still ever moving into slightly new territory. metal is a thing that has so many possibilities. As for Eternal Voyager we will always play this form of metal but we keep evolving.

How is this new recording different from the previous? How do you take your sound one step further?
Brian: The new album, is different in part of my own growth as a writer but also because of the line up we have today, and what they contribute. It has some heavier stuff but also still has tons of melodic elements. There’s a few new areas that we ventured into but in a good way. As in terms of sound and production, it will be much bigger and better, we have changed studios from the first one and it will impact the sound a lot, we also are mastering with Stu Marshall, “Death Dealer/ Ex Dungeon”.

When you write songs about the topics you do what kind of reactions do you get? How important is it to have a message in your lyrics? What kind of topics do each song deal with? Is there a red thread to the songs?
Brian: The albums aren’t concept albums but rather a continuing concept from album to album like a growing story line. The story line is kind of complicated but it basically centers on the time similar to to the Mad Max movies, where civilization has collapsed and people are lost surviving in the collapse . The character on the cover is a warrior/watcher of sorts who is sent trough time to re balance mankind, and fights against the tyrants who are responsible for the destruction of the world as we know. Its a metaphor for good vs evil as well. I use a lot of metaphors in the lyrics to center in on the human element of what is happening to our world today. And yes the message in the lyrics are very important, in one sense its telling a tale of this thing being its own mythology and also being very relate-able to the whole human story, the battle of life.

Whenever I think of you I cannot help wandering off to different bands. What bands/sounds do you identify with?
Brian: We have had a lot of people come up with different things they hear in our music, some I’m surprised at, because their not at all direct influences for me. I most identify what I do with bands like Iron Maiden, Iced Earth , and Hammerfall, that’s how I view our basic sound. But there are a lot of other things in it as well. I listen to so much that its hard to tell where my influences come from these days. I’m into everything that good from old to brand new. but I think for us we have a lot of similarities to a band like Iced Earth. Our sound has the classic and traditional elements, but is heavy and dark at times to.

How did you go about choosing art work for this new album? What was important to have in it?
Brian: Well its very important to keep the character on the cover as he is our mascot, but the story is evolving and so should he. we are trying to lay a backdrop of a post apocalyptic world where the character is raising an army in the dark period to fight what has happened to them. We choose the title “Darkened Times to reflect the lyrics, and the art will reflect it as well. Art is very important to telling the story so it has to be good. We are also using the the same artist who happens to be our lead singer micah again as well, and hes taking it up a few notches in terms of quality. Hes using some 3D animation to give the character and his weapons and armor a different feel, its a very ambitious project, so we’ll see how it turns out, it should be pretty epic.

Something that scares me a bit is this I hear from more and more bands that they aren’t that bothered with art work anymore because people today download rather than they buy physical. To me the whole point is to have art work that matches the music. I don’t know how many times I’ve been disappointed by weak art work to an otherwise cool album. What’s your opinion on this subject?
Brian: Right I couldn’t agree more. It’s very annoying to have bands that don’t represent their art or band as a whole, as I said artwork is very important to me, and it’s part of the reason for wanting a physical copy. I think it’s sad that some bands don’t feel it’s necessary to have great art. but i think metal is one of the few genres where this will never die. We will always strive to have great art that you can count on that.

8. How do you come up with song titles? What do they have to have to fit the songs?

Brian: Well for us naturally they have to fit what the song is about, either as a whole or what ends up as the chorus. That’s why each song still has loosely base to the concept, so its not in an exact story format. I always like strong song titles that really represent the song.

I use Spotify and Deezer but only as compliment to buying CDS (it’s easier to just have your phone or pad when you’re out) but I fear that soon music as we know it will be dead and buried. What are your worries as a band?
Brian: Yeah I really don’t use these but i can see and like the convenience. I buy so many CD’s it would be hard for me to put them all on my computer, at this point. I have these worries too, but I still have faith in metal heads and collectors to buy the physical copies. although its killed CD sales, and shops hardly exist anymore at least here the in the states. Its also made it hard to sell our CD’s as well. But I still get most people wanting actual copies so i guess it depends. I think people realize this though too, especially metal people, that’s why vinyl has come back so big.

How much of a live band are you? How important is playing live?
Brian: Yes we are very into our live act, we have always been a live band and we really enjoy it. I love it all playing live is the ultimate thing for me. We have put a lot more into our stage act recently and will ever increase our live act as much as we can afford to. We have had a great string of shows lately and hope to continue. We just played a sold out show with UDO Dirkshneider Jan 14th, our next shows are Lordi, Feb 13th, Hammerfall April 29th, and Evergrey May 25th. So we are very exited.

What lies in the future?
Brian: Right now we are trying to finish the album and its been hard with schedules, and getting studio time booked. We want the album to be released as soon as possible but are most likely looking for a spring release at this point. Other than that we will be very busy with the shows and rehearsing. We will also be making a music video to accompany the album release as well. We have some great ideas for it and want to do it right. I think as a band we have grown so much and I feel for once its starting to really come together and we are more of a band these days then in the past. There’s a few side project some of us are involved in but the main focus is to keep this band moving forward and stay busy. I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished in the last couple of years and we want it to continue. Thanks for your time and I hope to talk with you again, metal on!!!

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