-- Eternal Breath gets shredded --

Stijn Daneels
I first saw Eternal Breath in November 2015 during Metal Against Child Cancer. The show was great with several other awesome Belgian metal bands like FireForce, Ostrogoth and Hope Erodes. I already wanted to have a talk with Eternal Breath since then but last July Eternal Breath caught up with me (rather than the other way around) when their guitarist Robin invited me to come over to Oostrozebeke in September 24, 2016 to interview have an interview with Eternal Breath as well as with his other band Decades of Metal.

Flattered to say the least, Robin and I quickly arranged to have interviews with both bands. Immediately after the Decades of Metal conversation, Robin got the Eternal Breath people over to the lounge to celebrate Eternal Breath's 20 years of existence, their recently released album called the Joker and their collaboration with Ostrogoth's singer Josey Hindrix! And plenty of other stuff of course. So have a beer and don't think too much about the DC Comics supervillain of the same name because he has nothing to do with this story. Why so serious?!

BMS: Let's start off by having a drink and celebrating the 20th anniversary of Eternal Breath! Congratulations!
Eternal Breath: Thank you!

Eternal Breath from left to right: Aaron Soen (bass), Robin Van Kaaizele (guitar), Andy Polfliet (vocals), Marino Decaluw√© (guitar) and Kenny Geerts (drums).
BMS: Now, tell me how Eternal Breath's career went up to this point.
Andy: Eternal Breath's path has had plenty of ups and downs. In particular when it comes to people who have come and gone since the band's inception. It's so frustrating to see people leave your band because they lost their motivation or due to creative differences. But today, I'm happy with the current lineup and thanks to these great people sitting beside me Eternal Breath has finally managed to release an album 20 years in the making!
BMS: So you'd say Eternal Breath has now reached a golden age?
Andy: In all honesty I'd say yes! We finally got a full-length album out of the gate and both critics and fans love it plus we've had plenty of gigs. Thanks to veteran performers like Marino and myself combined with the fresh, talented blood from Robin, Kenny and Aaron, Eternal Breath is finally reaching its full potential and I can't be more happier with the band than I am today!

Marino: Me too! Both Andy and me are very satisfied to finally be surrounded by passionate folks who help putting Eternal Breath on the map and the positive reception we get from fans, promoters and magazines give us plenty of motivation to get the show further on the road!

BMS: Now, Kenny, Robin and Aaron, tell me how the three of you got into the gang!
Kenny: Five years ago I joined Eternal Breath when their bassist at the time recommended the band to me. I went to an Eternal Breath show and felt highly encouraged to join in. I recall my first gig which was at Metal Against Child Cancer 2012. Not only was the venue jam-packed with fans, but I had suffered a serious motorcycle incident shortly before the event which left me with a leg injury and a broken wrist. My doctor discouraged me to play the show but I still got out there and brought it my all. And the risk paid off big time!

Robin: In July 2015 Aaron invited me to audition for the role of Eternal Breath's second guitarist. The band was very friendly to me and I was instantly allowed to riff together with Marino and contribute the songwriting to the Joker album which we released last February. I do have to say that Eternal Breath's style is significantly more challenging than what I play in my other band called Decades of Metal. Eternal Breath plays faster, thrashier metal and it awakened another side of my creativity.

Aaron: My introduction to the band is similar to what Kenny and Robin just told you. They were looking for a new bassist, I auditioned and got the job. And I'm very thankful to be part of this group!

Picture by Karina Wijckhuyse.
BMS: Tell me how the production of the Joker album went by?
Andy: Things went smoother than I first expected. We had already spent plenty of rehearsal time with the newcomers so that gave us a head start in the studio. Since we started the album's production with just one guitarist the original plan was to release the Joker as an EP. However, thanks to Robin's additional songwriting and his quick learning of our songs we managed to add in enough songs to turn the EP into a full-length release!
BMS: That's great to hear! What are the upcoming plans for Eternal Breath?
Robin: We're currently working on new material so we can release a successor to the Joker in about two years time. There already are several songs in the works so that gives us plenty of options to decide which tracks will be included on the disc.

Kenny: We don't have a lot of gigs left for this year so the following months will be dedicated to completing those new songs. Hopefully we'll be able to premiere some new stuff in one of our next shows.
BMS: Is it easy to come up with new songs to record and play?
Marino: Well, you obviously need to be surrounded by people who are talented, who share a common goal and who can see the room for improvement in your own work. Robin's guitar playing style greatly supplements my own and allows us to come up with riffs that you can't achieve by yourself. And as Kenny said, it's good to take some time off from playing shows as it significantly slows down the creative process. Plus your shows become repetitive if you don't add some new material to your songs in due time.

Picture by Karina Wijckhuyse.
BMS: You have a point there, Marino. Now what other stuff is there in your lives aside from Eternal Breath?
Andy: I make a living as a carpenter. And I hope to one day revitalize my cover band Back Attack as soon as when I'm able to combine that band with Eternal Breath.
Marino: Aside from my ambitions to become a millionaire by means of winning the lottery, I dedicate all my free time to my family and to Eternal Breath. I found out that it's better to fully focus on one band than on several bands at once. Quality above quantity!
Aaron: I'm studying to get a degree in light and sound engineering. I get experience in that brand of work by assisting other metal events in getting their stage equipment up and running. Kenny: I also play as a guitarist for Wizz Wizzard. Currently that band isn't playing because our frontman Wizz is fighting cancer.
BMS: Yeah, I read the news on Wizz facebook page. I really hope to one day see him back on stage again!
Kenny: In addition to Eternal Breath and Wizz Wizzard I also organize my own festival called Blast from the Past which takes place in December once every two years. Last year's edition was a huge success and the upcoming edition will be even bigger than before. You're more than welcome to visit the festival next year!
BMS: That's an offer I can't resist. Now you Robin, tell me about your second band Decades of Metal.
Robin: Decades of Metal is a more traditional heavy metal band. Being in two bands gives me much more creative freedom since both bands have different styles. So when I write a new song I can either use it for Decades of Metal or for Eternal Breath depending on how the song evolves. It also is a very learning experience.
BMS: Is it easy to combine playing in two bands simultaneously?
Robin: The rehearsal days for both Decades of Metal and Eternal Breath are predetermined. So I can easily arrange my weekly schedule to fit this. I keep track of both bands' appearances and the only times when both bands have a show at the same day is when they play in the same venue. So overall it's not too hard to give each band my proper dedication.

Picture by Karina Wijckhuyse.
BMS: I heard you worked together with Ostrogoth's vocalist Josey Hindrix to record the song Rich & Poor. How did the collaboration begin?
Andy: When I was writing the lyrics for this track I thought it would be great to do a duet. I've already seen Ostrogoth play a few times in the past and I asked Josey straight away whether he was interested in recording the song with us. The offer interested him and we kept contact with each other until the day came to record Rich & Poor. In the song Josey represents the Rich and I represent the Poor. During Metal Against Child Cancer 2015 both Eternal Breath and Ostrogoth were scheduled to play so we had the chance to present the song to the public a few months before the Joker album would get released.
BMS: Ah yes. I was there as well!
It was a very fun event. Please tell me you and Ostrogoth are planning to do more shows together! Andy: It's not evident because Josey also plays in another band called HeartAttack so that keeps him very busy. But I share your hopes in bringing Eternal Breath and Ostrogoth together once more. We too had much fun during MACC 2015!
BMS: Is there anything else you wish to add before I let you get ready for tonight's show?
Andy: Enjoy the show and don't hesitate to buy the Joker album. We hope you'll have as much joy listening to it as we had making it!
Kenny: The Joker album is available for purchase during our live shows as well as on iTunes, Amazon, the Popcenter in Kortrijk, the Billboard in Roeselare and various other locations. Check it out!
Robin: Buying our CD is a great investment you know. When you buy it today it will dramatically increase in value in about ten years, especially when you have it autographed by us!
Aaron: Treat yourself to some tasty beer and come see us when we play!
BMS: I'll have the beers in a minute, but first the picture and the autographs!

Picture by Nico "Mr. Hell" De Vreese.
Eternal Breath - Rich & Poor