Posted on April 26th. 2017
Questionnaire by Jason Houston on behalf of METAL TO INFINITY WEBZINE BELGIUM
Q: Welcome to Metal To Infinity Brian. How Are you doing? I know that your band: Eternal Voyager is from Minneapolis, MN. I have to ask you is there much of a Metal Scene there these days?
Brian: Thank you for having me, and to answer your question, yes and no. There’s I suppose like most metal scenes here in the U.S., you have a few good bands and a lot of bands that play very similar stuff, that’s not so great. It also depends on what kinda metal youre into. We have mostly your typical punk type thrash, some death, and some black metal. There’s not much left of bands here for our style of metal anymore. All the bands we used to play locally with are gone. So we are a rarity here, but it can be a good thing not to have a huge competition for getting gigs and growing a fan base. But a lot of people here still come to all national and international shows, of course. But it’s tough, here in some ways, with our style. Some things are great about it, some not so. The US in general doesnt have a lot of support for metal.
Q: I know that the band is currently recording a new CD. Can you give us an update on how far along you are into the recording of the new CD?
Brian: Yes we had a huge set a year ago, when we tried to record the album ourselves, beside the drums, and it didn’t work out at the time, so we had to go to a new studio and start from scratch. It was also a bit tough do with schedules, band’s and studio’s both. So it has been a drawn out process, that has took way longer than expected. But we are finally nearing completion. All we have left is vocals which we have already started , and leads/melodies, guitars, And we will be off to mixing, and mastering.
Q: Every time a band goes in to record a new CD usually both the band and their fans expect to see some kind of progression from the last CD to the one currently being recorded. Do you feel that you and the band have made any kind of progression in regards to the last album the band put out or should fans just simply expect more of the same in terms of a guarantee of an album that is load with nothing but what many fans expect from Eternal Voyager which is that fans will be getting a full length Cd of nothing but pure metal?
Brian: Well, it’s definitely a progression, in sound, not only in terms of performance and production, but this time it was a full band effort. The first one was at the end of an era for us and and this newer line up has made it much better. But yes of course we still sound like Eternal Voyager , and we still play true metal. So its not a huge departure, more of a continuation, but the quality and sound is night and day better. We also have a lead vocalist now, that has gave us the highs and falsetto we didn’t have much of in the past. I still sing a great deal, but Micah, has brought a new flavor to things. But I think voyager fans will like it better. Don’t worry I still sing alot, it’s almost like two singers in one. I also think there’s a lot of growth in the song writing, some songs are a bit different, but in a good way.
Q: In regards to the band currently being in the process of recording new music I’d like to ask you Brian to talk a little bit about the band’s recording process? I mean is everyone in the same room recording as a live band or does everyone kind of record their parts separate which is of course the more modern way of doing things.
Brian: Well aside from what I have already said, it’s been a journey as usual, but no, we record all or parts separately. It’s hard these days, the way a lot of studio things, but it’s much easier to get a better product to record separately. Although it would be fun, I think the only band that records live like that, is Iron Maiden sadly.
Q: You of course are the Lead Singer/Guitarist in the band Brian but I have to ask you what came first for you? Playing Guitar or being a Singer?
Brian: In the beginning I had no choice, it just came natural to sing with the music, I hear everything when I write, so for me I have to come up with vocal lines and lyrics. like I said now, I’m more of a backing vocalist with our new singer, but I still sing a lot, lots of harmonies. And to answer your question, I started with guitar, but vocals are always something I have done just to sing. I have sang for cover bands and also in a power metal band a few years back, where I just did nothing but sing. I have a thrash/ Viking metal side project were I do guitars and vocals, but now I’m happy were I’m at. I can stay in my range and concentrate on my guitar parts live more. But I don’t think I’ll ever get away from singing at all, ha ha!
Q: Do you remember how old you were when you first started playing guitar? Did you take lessons or would you consider yourself to be more of a self-taught player?
Brian: I grew up with my dad playing guitar, so there was always guitars around, so I was always plucking, but didn’t know what I was doing. And in middle school, I learned a few songs mostly Metallica. But I got my first real electric when I was 15, it sucked, then I got a Jackson and I got better. I did take lessons briefly, but I would always consider myself, self taught, it took years. I think for metal and rock I was self taught, I never had, much training just friends showing me things. It took me along time but I finally realized I had to just had write my own music the way I felt it. I think some of the better musicians are that way. But good theory helps of course.
Q: Do you remember what was the very, first song you learned how to play on the guitar?
Brian: Not totally, sure I tried to play alot of Metallica in the early days and some Priest, Maiden and Dio, but not sure what was the first. Down the road I learned a lot of Iced Earth, and Hammerfall, but it’s hard to say. I really don’t remember an exact first song. I can tell u I enjoy playing original music much more than learning other people’s.
Q: What do you remember most about the very, first guitar you ever got?
Brian: That it sucked, but at the time I didn’t know the difference. It was pretty cheap and had action, so it wasn’t until I got a better one that I noticed the difference. I realized I could play a lot better with a decent guitar, ha ha.
Q: Who were the bands/Musicians who had the greatest influence on you when you were growing up?
Brian: Priest, Dio, Maiden, Manowar, and all kinds of power metal, but definitely Iced Earth, and Hammerfall have had a big influence on my style. I’ve had a lot of influence from so many things and different styles, it’s hard to say now, what creeps in to my playing.
Q: Eternal Voyager recently played a show with Lordi. What was that show like for you and the band? How do you feel The Lordi fans reacted to Eternal Voyager? Are you a Lordi fan at all I have to ask?
Brian: Im not a huge Lordi fan, im into other bands from Finland, they weren’t a huge thing for me but it was a lot of fun. Lordi is a great band live, we have had a lot of recent international shows we have guested on, but it was definitely one of the fun ones. Good guys too!
Q: As far as the new CD you’re recording do you have a projected release date yet?
Brian: It has been tough, to say exactly, we thought it would have been out by now, but like i said a lot for set backs beyond our control. We plan to have it out by early summer now. We are not sure about any date, cause once we have completed, the record we have to schedule time for final mix, and we are mastering with Stu Marshall , in Australia, so it will depend on his time and schedule. We hope for sure sometime this early summer though.
Q: Brian, could you talk a little bit about how you first met the other members of the band and came to form Eternal Voyager? What year was the band formed?
Brian: The band has had a few line up changes through the years. The first one was when I lived in the state of Iowa, and met our first bass player and drummer, but we have since had a lot of members come and go. The music however I had written most of between 98 and 2003. But we went a band until 2004. The newest line up has been the most prosperous, but all the past members have brought things to the table over the years.
Q: Have to ask you what’s the story on how you came to name the band Eternal Voyager?
Brian: Well I struggled with finding a good name that fit what I wanted the band to represented by, and I finally came up with Eternal Voyager. The eternal part means the never-ending , never stopping metal that will always go on. The voyager part is the journey that we have to take. It’s about never giving up, in life and in music. It’s has couple of meanings but that the gist of it. It’s about an ongoing journey of music, but always staying true to who u are at the same time.
Q: I know you spend a lot of time talking about Eternal Voyager and doing everything you can to help spread the word about your fantastic band but I have to ask you Brian is there a CD or band that you’ve been listening to lately that really Rocks your world that you think more people should know about?
Brian: Now that’s a though one, I buy so many CDs, I couldn’t pick just one. There’s so many good bands out today and so much great new music, and also older bands have put out great new albums as well. Right now I’d say some of the best new stuff I’m listening to, has been the new Hammerfall, Seven Kingdoms, Bloodbound, Kreator, Crystal Viper, Firewind, it’s so hard, too many to name. But there’s a new band from Austria that’s unsigned that people should check out and watch for in the future, called (Don’t Drop The Sword), the name is a bit different, but the music is very good. Very promising band, for a future full length album. I am a huge fan not just a musician, so it’s hard to pick one thing especially these days.
Q: What would you say has been the greatest thing you’ve had the opportunity to experience as a result of being in Eternal Voyager that you might not have otherwise had the opportunity to experience had you not been in the band?
Brian: Well we have played some really great shows, recently, we have done a string of shows with great acts. We played with a festival with Ministry, and shows with Alestorm, Lordi, UDO, and we will be opening for Hammerfall and Delain on their U.S.tour here at the end of April. Then we play with Evergrey in May, so we have had some incredible shows that have definitely got us out to new audiences. We got lucky and have been working locally with a new promoter that has really helped get us some great gigs. The line up we have today has made this band so much better, much more professional, and our new album will be great I can assure you. So I have no regrets this has been a journey but a lot of great things have happened for us, and I hope the best is yet to come. We are just getting started.
Q: Anything else that you’d like to say to all the Brian Blake/Eternal Voyager fans out there?
Brian: Yes, we definitely appreciate the support you guys have given Eternal Voyager and we will never dissappoint the fans. We plan to always stay true to our path, and keep it interesting at the same time. This band is not just another U.S. power metal band, we hope you will contiue to help us grow, and please check out our website, www.eternalvoyager.com, and our Facebook page. We have a store on our site for all our CDs and merch. Thank you for your time and the interview. A lot of good questions.
Thanks to all who support true heavy metal! The voyage will continue!