ETERNAL BREATH – A Talk With ANDY POLFLIET (Vocals) & KENNY GEERTS (Drums)

Posted on June 16th.. 2019

Questionnaire by Stefan on behalf of METAL TO INFINITY WEBZINE BELGIUM


On May 10th. 2019 I had the honor and pleasure of being present at the CD release show of Belgian based Eternal Breath’s newest work “World Of Chaos”. Thanks to Mike De Coene, CEO of Hard Life Promotion, I was offered the opportunity to already listen to the new album in advantage and came to the conclusion that a lot of progress had been made compared to their predecessor “The Joker”, released in 2016. I want to dive back in time with these guys to the origin of their existence and the further course over the years. Formed back in 1996 so I suspect they have something to tell me, let’s get started…

L-R: *Marino Decaluwé (Guitars) *Robin V.: (Guitars) *Andy Polfliet (Vocals) *Kenny Geerts (Drums) *Aaron Soen (Bass)

Stefan: May I warmly welcome you here at Metal To Infinity and immediately use it to offer my appreciation for the years of willpower and perseverance to keep Eternal Breath under control ! Congratulations with the brand new effort “World Of Chaos” and the great CD release performance from a few weeks back. For those unrelated to Eternal Breath so far, I would suggest giving an introduction to the band’s creation… how did it all started and who were the guys teamed up those days of yore?

Andy: Thank you, and it’s nice to be back here at MTI. Now, it all started when Marino and I wanted to start a band together. We both played the guitar then. It became a search for members, and so in 1996 the first occupation became a fact. With in 1997 the demo “Empire of Eternity” as a result. After that it was years with many line-up changes and 2 more demos, “Symphony of Agony” in 2002 and “Welcome to Hell” in 2006. From 2015 when Robin joined us, we have a fixed line-up, which also resulted in our first full cd ‘The Joker’ in 2016, and then there is now our 2nd pitch: ‘World of Chaos’

 

Stefan: What were predetermined ambitions?

Andy: Well, it was mainly that everyone had to be motivated for the 200%, and also have a lot to do for the band. When I speak for myself, I mainly want to achieve something with this band, and I think that this is also true for everyone in the band. And not only in our own country, but also abroad. We have already been able to perform a few times abroad, and I think everyone wants to do this much more .. so , a tour could come, festivals … let’s come … and we go for it

 

Stefan: You’ve released a couple of demo’s back in the days, can you tell me some more about the musical direction/sources of inspiration?

Andy: Well, if you listen to the demos, you will surely hear a different music style. 3 demos, 3 other singers … also other musicians, always with me and Marino on guitar. Our inspiration, well, for me it was mainly pure Heavy Metal / Thrash, and for Marino it was mainly Thrash. That is no different now, but with the musicians that we are now, the music just got better.

 

Stefan: What can you tell about the live actions of Eternal Breath during the first years of existence? I know you’ve played a lot of shows back then but what were the most unforgettable ones ? Please name a few bands you’ve shared the stage with.

Andy: Difficult question, there are still a few that have remained. One because of the atmosphere, the other because of the drink … if you understand what I mean. I also remember our 2nd performance, it was in Bavikhove, Harelbeke (Belgium). Many friends were present, as well as a lot of drinks. We just played our set twice, hahaha. Then yes performances where we were together with Ancient Rites, Tankard, meanwhile with the current line-up, we have already played together with, Viciuos Rumors, Benedidtum, TTT, Picture, Tysondog and more

Stefan: From that moment until the day that your first full-length album “The Joker” came out, a lot has happened in the camp of Eternal Breath. A few members called it quits and some new guys teamed up. What were the main reasons why some left the core?

Andy: The problem was mainly, the moments when things went a little less well with the band, no inspiration, no performances, and then it was always the case that one or the other would stop.
Kenny: I guess time was the big issue. People starting to have more than one band, having children, maybe also because we kept sticking around the same level. Just before the joker came out we were trying to find a good capable (bass) guitarplayer and struggled with finding the right person. Again time was the most common issue, or it just didn’t ‘click’. But things changed and for the recording of our first full length album we finally found a stable line up and we were all thinking in the same line. The band is getting younger too!

 

Stefan: The fact that Eternal Breath still exists has, according to my vision, to do with perseverance and the willpower to achieve something in the world of Metal. Proverbially described as, No Pain-No Gain… are you agree with this way statement?

Andy: Yes, I do. Marino and I, always wanted to continue, Do not give up, it will happen sometimes, and see, with the right occupation. We are now a band that is all looking in the same direction, and that provides positive results.

Kenny: We changed our idea of making music. We started getting in touch with the right people, fixing important deadlines, making new music… When you are renewing the band and when you feel it’s all getting to the right place, you keep getting a boost on continuing. Just after the release of the joker album we immediately started making new songs. It never gets bored after all!

Stefan: Speaking about the first full length album “The Joker”, released independently in 2016…. remarkable fact, founder/guitarist Andy Polfliet in charge as singer. From where the position switch?

Andy: Well, I have always written the lyrics and more or less set the vocal lines from the beginning. At a certain moment our singer back then (Tom Hugelier, now Ironborn) gave up. Then it was a new search for another singer, but our drummer back then(Vinnie) said, from Andy, you are already writing the lyrics and vocal lines, why don’t you become the singer? I have therefore made that decision, which was difficult at the beginning, but now with the necessary singing lessons, I think I manage quite well.

 

Stefan: Was it one of your ambitions to become a singer in a Metal band or was it a challenge to try something totally different? What about the first experiences as new Eternal Breath frontman?

Andy: I always wanted to be a front man, but I thought I couldn’t do this, that I couldn’t sing well. And like I said, it didn’t go so well in the beginning, my first performances were a disaster. But then I started taking singing lessons and things got better. Then I ended up at Mind The Voice, where vocal coach Tiffany Veys has taken care of me and that was what I needed to be able to do what I can now.

 

Stefan: How the rest of the renewed group occupation looked like those days?

Andy: You mean how it look like today. Well, so I’m the singer, Marino is still playing lead guitar, and also Robin plays lead guitar. So the big advantage of 2 lead guitars is, a lot of guitar solos. On Bass we have Aaron, and do I forget someone? Haha on drums, Kenny Geerts.

 

Stefan: After the release of “The Joker”, Eternal Breath was starting to appear on numerous concert/festival posters, national and even international wise. Hence this increase in performances – give a few names you shared the stage with.

Andy: Yes, we played at the SOS festival in Manchester, and also at Grimm up North fest, also in Manchester. Very nice festivals with cool bands like, Tysondog, Savage, Salem, Oliver/Dawson Saxon and many more. Like I said before, we also shared the stage with Viciuos Rumors, Picture, also  Freedom Call, Omen and many more. Last year we also had the opportunity to set out with The Three Tremors with Sean Peck (Cage, Death Dealer), Tim “Ripper” Owens and Harry Conklin (Jag Panzer) and Benedictum. Of course we could not resist that. It was a great experience and cool trip. Both TTT and Benedictum are great guys and woman.. We are still in contact with them.

 

Stefan: Your own beer has been available at concerts for a while. What was the intention behind this initiative? What kind of beer is it, how does it taste?

Andy: We’re actually looking for something to bring in extra money for the recordings of our WOC. I already saw that bands did this too, but not many Belgian bands do this. I went looking for a brewery that wanted to work with us to have a beer with our name “The Joker” to offer. The Joker is a dark yellow triple. It is fruity, slightly sweet with a mild bitter aftertaste. Alcohol content, 8.5%. You have to try it, it’s good….

 

Stefan: The number of fans grew visibly and to reward their fidelity, a successor had to come, no matter the cost. About tree years after the release of “The Joker”, the times had come to spoil the fans with a brand new effort called “World Of Chaos”. Meanwhile released through Sliptrick Records and I like to know where the collaboration comes from. Under which condition the contract has been inked?

Kenny: We are very happy with signing this deal with Sliptrick Records. We had a few labels who were interested in releasing the World Of Chaos album. Whatever the deal was, there was just one thing we wanted to be sure, staying the owner of all our songs. We just think Sliptrick Records had one of the better deals in releasing this album worldwide.

Stefan: I think it’s a great move and big step forward working with a label like this. It’ll help you out doing some more concerts and the name of your band will also get more international fame this way. Is this a one-off collaboration or does the future look promising?

Kenny: We were warmly welcomed for future releases through Sliptrick. But this record deal is just for this album. We don’t know where the future will bring us, but it is great to have a worldwide distribution and the label is promoting the album completely around the globe. We want to let the world hear how our music sounds like. Doing this all by yourself is just impossible.

 

Stefan: Guys, trust me on my word when I tell you that the new album “World Of Chaos” is a direct hit, bulls-eye in my opinion. A big progress in regards to the songwriting, the technical skills are much improved, vocals took a big step forward… you guys just delivered a great album ! First on, where and by whom the album has been produced?

Andy: The album was recorded, where we also recorded ‘The Joker’, namely in Studio Shellshok in Knokke (Belgium). Pieter Nyckees from Shellshok also did the mix of the album, and the mastering was done by Attie Bouw, who also did the ‘Painkiller’ album by Judas Priest. He works together with several big names. And we are also 1 of them now, now also become a big name, hahaha

 

Stefan: The cover artworks of both “The Joker” and “World Of Chaos” look very cool, spot on to the creator ! Please spread the word of the person who has achieved this.

Andy: We also went to the same guy for the cover, because we were also very pleased with the artwork of ‘The Joker’, namely Guy Commeene, who is also a guitarist at Dyscordia and has a tattoo shop in Wervik (Belgium), Ta.2 .Guy. So, he did the artwork for ‘World of Chaos’.

 

 

Stefan: Prior to the official album release, the video clip for ‘Need For Speed’ was released, please tell some more details about the Making Of.

Kenny: The videoclip had a quite easy theme. Need for speed was the name of the song which reminds you to fast cars and movements. We headed out to some friends with nice cars & motorcycles & put it all together in a 360° set.

We had an excellent team for making this all possible. The location was great, The setting had to be perfect. And the lightshow was just perfect. We thanked everyone who was involved making this possible. Double thanks to Geert Fiew who did the whole filming & editing. The video clip was filmed in November. I still remember it was very cold outside and the location was a garage which was just a garage. It was cold but we couldn’t just sit there in our winter clothes.. so we had to drink soup for staying warm!

Andy: And also we drink our own Joker beer. And for those who pay attention, the beers can be see in the videoclip.

Stefan: What’s the meaning behind the album title “World Of Chaos” – can we speak about a concept album? Do you mind to give a tour through the lyrics of a number of songs?

Andy: We searched for a title, and found that no song could become the title of the CD. Then I thought about the lyrics of the songs. My redemption is about having fun killing. Never Surrender is that we can never give in to terror. Fire is about the destructive power of fire. Hard life, it’s about survival, that life is no joke, especially today. The greatest loss is about having suicidal thoughts, not my thoughts. I love life. But for this text I have had help from 2 women who do have these thoughts. Revenge is about having feelings of revenge and taking revenge. So yes, those are things that fit into a World of Chaos. Hence the title, and now let’s say we live in a World of Chaos too…

 

Stefan: Has it become, musical and production wise, what you had planned in advance?

Andy: I would say YES, it sounds good and we are satisfied with the songs, otherwise we would not have put them on CD. Now of course we have to wait and see what the world thinks about it, but the reviews we already have, including of course those from MTI, are good to very good, so yes we are satisfied.

 

Stefan: With the eye on the future, it is possible that Eternal Breath may exceed this high level performance – what would you like to realize over time?

Andy: The idea is to get better and better. What we would like is, as already mentioned, becoming a name in the Heavy Metal world, being able to stand at major festivals, touring, and making CDs that are at least as good as the previous ones, and better ….

Stefan: What are the reactions of the press and media on the new album so far?

Kenny: The reactions so far were great! We also had a lot of reactions about the sound which sounded very nice because of the very professional mixing & having it mastered by Attie bauw!

 

Stefan: Are there certain songs that give you’d like to give priority over the rest? If so, which ones get your preference, and why?

Andy: Everyone has their favorite in the band, but everyone in the band will say Need for Speed and fire. For me, every song is good. I would also say The Greatest Loss and Revenge.

 

Stefan: What about the distribution, in which countries is the new album available? Please give an address where to place an online order of “World Of Chaos”.

Andy: The CD will be available all over the world. Now you can get it through us, the band. He is officially released all over the world on June 28 through our label, Sliptrick Records. I think he will be available/order through all normal points of sale.

 

Stefan: Is there also a possibility to listen to the album via streaming services?

Kenny: The official worldwide release is ,as Andy said, set for 28th of June. This means that from that date you can listen the album through streaming websites or buy them worldwide online digital and physical copies. It will distributed by Spotify, Amazon music, Google play, Itunes, Deezer, … and of course on the record label page Sliptrick Records.

 

Stefan: The end of our conversation is coming to an end, before closing I would like to ask what the coming weeks/months will look like. Have performances been booked already?

Andy: Yes, you can find all the performances on our new site: www.eternalbreath.be and on our Facebook page. The next performance is on 24 August in De Verlichte Geest, Roeselare (B) via Evil or Die benefit. The gigs come in little by little, so just follow us on Facebook and website.

 

Stefan: Thanks for the exchange of views on the story of Eternal Breath in different facets of your career. The pleasure was mine… greatly appreciate your way of collaboration ! Close this interview as you wish, speak freely… Horns Up !

Andy: Well, I would say, listen / buy our album, come to our performances and we will make it a party. See you out there !

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