*Originally released in Sin City Presents Magazine
Eternal Voyager Continue to Carry the Metal Flag
Written by Alison “MetalBabe” Cohen
Eternal Voyager are in the process of recording their second CD ‘Darkened Times,’ which is scheduled for release this winter. The lyrical content continues the good versus evil storyline started on their debut CD Battle of Eternity.’ However, with our current world situation, it has taken on a bit darker twist. I caught up with Brian Blake (vocals/guitar), who is “proud to carry the metal flag for this particular genre,” to get some insight on the Minneapolis-based power metal band.
METAL BABE: Since this is a Vegas based magazine, let’s start off with a Vegas question. As far as I can tell, Eternal Voyager hasn’t played Vegas yet, so if you could play Vegas, where would you want to play, and who would you like to be on the bill?
BRIAN BLAKE: Well, that’s a good question, and since I don’t know the venues in Vegas that well, I wouldn’t be able to really answer. We would play on any bill with bands that we would fit with, for our style of music.
METAL BABE: Sounds good. Hopefully that will happen at some point. Who’s in the band and how did you come together?
BRIAN: Jeff (drums) was on the first CD, and his friend Micah (keyboards/vocals) was naturally interested in joining us. As time went on, he became our lead vocalist/keyboardist. I met KJ (lead guitar) and Mike (drums) through a site called Band Mix. This lineup has proven to be the best, and I really couldn’t do it without these guys.
METAL BABE: That’s great. Where are you at in the recording process of your second CD ‘Darkened Times’ and what can you tell us about it so far?
BRIAN: We have the drums done, and we had done a lot of pre-production, trying out ideas that became demos in the end, which we may release as bonus content at some point, but we ultimately ended up getting back to a real studio to do it properly. We knew we needed a new avenue with this one, and found the right people this time. The drum editing is taking some time, but the rest should go smoothly… We hope. We would like to have it out by early winter.
METAL BABE: What’s the lyrical content like on the CD? Is there an overall theme?
BRIAN: Well, it’s a continuation of the storyline of the first one, but it takes a darker turn, as it’s titled ‘Darkened Times.’ The lyrics deal with the same topics, but more in depth than the first CD, as far as the complex storyline that will tend to run through all our albums. It’s always been a story of good and evil, and the character on the cover will evolve as a mascot as well. He is now raising the army as in the first one, for the final days of mankind. With our current world situation I’d say ‘Darkened Times’ is a fitting title. The storyline is supposed to be a metaphor for the story of our lives and what we will face in the near future.
METAL BABE: Sounds like a great concept. What’s your writing process like and where do you get your inspiration?
BRIAN: I’ve always written songs starting with a great riff or guitar part that really sticks with me. That’s when I know it will be a great song. The lyrics are usually last. The inspiration comes when I happen to find something that makes me feel a certain way when playing. I write most of the best material by accident and that inspires me to make it into a song. It’s hard sometimes, to find the right ideas and not repeat ourselves, but I always know when it’s going to be something special. The lyrics usually come naturally, as far as the theme I have for Eternal Voyager. I have to go inside my thoughts to come up with some really good stuff. When it feels and sounds right, it usually is.
METAL BABE: How does this CD compare to ‘The Battle of Eternity?’
BRIAN: Well, in many ways it will be a lot different and more dynamic in production and sound. The style and spirit will never change though. It’s always gonna be 100% EV. This one has heavier and darker sounding songs in some ways… Definitely in terms of lyrical content. But it’s basically a step forward in the journey as whole, and as a band. Some songs are older that just never fit the first CD as much, but fit this new second CD, and some are newer that I’ve written in recent years. It’s definitely the right direction for who we are now.
METAL BABE: You are playing quite a few shows/festivals this summer with some great bands. What do you currently have lined up?
BRIAN: Well this Saturday, (7/16/16) we play a festival with Ministry, and then we have a few dates in a couple different states, and then we are back in Minnesota in September. We are very focused and feel the most important thing is to get the album done right now. We plan to have a music video out along with the album’s release as well. But the CD is the most important thing. We have to get this one right.
METAL BABE: What are your favorite parts about playing a big festival in comparison to a smaller club?
BRIAN: Festivals can be fun, because you meet a lot of bands and can sell more merch. But it’s not always so great compared to club gigs. You usually get longer sets when you do clubs. They are both good in different ways. Clubs are about you more directly and festivals are about a lot of different bands, so it can be very interesting to have the variety.
METAL BABE: Makes sense. It’s good to have the opportunity to play both. What’s the music scene like in Minneapolis?
BRIAN: Well, it’s changed a lot, and in some ways is still the same. This metal scene is very diverse, as we have a lot of styles here, but some of it, like all places, tends to sound like everything else. We have a lot of death metal and black metal bands here, but not so much power metal like us. A lot of the older bands we used to play with don’t exist anymore. It can be very dog eat dog here. But, it can also be very good when you find bands that you like and click with to set up shows together. I’ve been in it a long time now. It’s been tough, but we survived it somehow. I like a lot of other bands in different states, but this one has good things too. Everyone knows everyone here… I guess you could say. Outside of the metal world, I don’t pay too much attention. But it’s pretty diverse as well.
METAL BABE: What last words would you like to say to our readers?
BRIAN: Please check out our sites. We have a great new website, and a great store that you can buy our CDs and merch. The links are provided below. We want to thank you all for giving us a listen, and if you like this kind of metal I think you will like what we are about. We are proud to carry the metal flag for this particular genre and hope we can come play in your city soon. Thanks for taking time for the interview and I hope we can do it again. The voyage continues, stay true and stay metal!
METAL BABE: You’re welcome Brian! It’s been a pleasure. I am looking forward to the new CD and hope that EV makes it out to the West Coast as some point.
Brian Blake – Vocals and Guitar
Mike Durenberger – Drums
Jeff Igelsrud – Bass
Micah Devereaux – Keyboards and Vocals
Kurt Johnson (KJ) – Lead Guitar