Recently I had the pleasure to interview Daniel and Jaime from Eternal Storm, a very promising rising talent in the Spanish doom-death metal scene and I was pleasantly surprised by what they had to say. Check it out!
George – Why don’t you start by introducing yourselves and letting everyone know what your role is in Eternal Storm.
Daniel: Hello, George! First of all, thank you for this interview and the nice review, we really appreciate it 🙂
My name is Daniel and I try to play guitar in this gathering of weirdos which goes under the name of Eternal Storm.
Jaime: Hi there! I’m Jaime, the other guitar player in the band and main songwriter, and occasionally do some shy clean vocals here and there.
George – What was your first contact with heavy metal, and what determined you to start playing music yourselves?
Daniel: Warning! Cringey and long post ahead!
My first contact with heavy music was thanks to videogames during my preteens: when I was 10 or so I posted on some Resident Evil forums and it was there where I listened to some fan videos with “heavy music” on top of them (i.e: Papa Roach, Metallica, Evanescence etc) and started to dig it. I did some research and shortly later started getting into many rock/metal bands like Faith No More, Katatonia, Opeth, Black Sabbath, Brujería, Ozzy Osbourne, Megadeth, Slayer, Pantera, Children of Bodom or Napalm Death. I also have an older brother who listens to hardcore, punk and some metal and around the same time he got me into bands like The Misfits, Agnostic Front, Blood For Blood, Rage Against the Machine and many other bands thanks to The Matrix CD Soundtrack he often jammed. All of that was combined with the classics my parents listened to (Pink Floyd, America, Dire Straits, Alan Parsons Project, The Police…) and that helped me to open my mind.
Shortly later I found my way into much heavier stuff like Enslaved, Death, Obituary or Celtic Frost and I guess that was it. Right before turning 13 I asked my parents for an electric guitar and here I am, still trying not to suck too much but clearly failing at it!
Jaime: My first big love in music was a spanish rock band called “Heroes del Silencio”, they were huge in our country in the early 90’s and that was my gateway to the rock and metal world. Shortly after I started to get into the big names in rock and metal, you know Led Zeppelin, Maiden, Sabbath, all the classics, and after that I discovered things like Arch Enemy or Children of Bodom, which in the beginning sounded brutal to me but their melodic guitars were really appealing, and once I got used to the vocals I could jump into the more extreme side of the metal spectrum. I guess it was at this moment when I sort of decided to start making music of my own which would strike a balance between the melodic bands that were my “roots” and the more brutal stuff I was listening to at the time. In terms of picking up an instrument, I started relatively late, since I got my first Spanish guitar at the age of 16 and one year later I would buy my first crappy electric guitar.
George – What were the bands and artists that influenced you the most while growing as musicians?
Daniel: Some of the artists which had a bigger impact on me have been Faith No More, Death, Katatonia, Edge of Sanity, Pink Floyd, Opeth, Pain of Salvation, Gorguts, Ulver, Amorphis, Discordance Axis, Ved Buens Ende, The 3rd and the Mortal, Massive Attack, Manes, God Is An Astronaut, Type O Negative, DJ Shadow, dälek, Eucharist, Jakob, Rapture, Lykathea Aflame, Tiamat, Dead Can Dance, Killing Joke, Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine, Alcest, Cocteau Twins, Isis, Porcupine Tree, Breach, Thrice, Underøath, Asgaroth, Cult of Luna, Nahemah, Vidres A La Sang, Boards of Canada, Autechre, Akira Yamaoka, John Williams, Oceansize, Minus the Bear…the list just never ends, haha.
George – So you just recently released your debut full length “Come the Tide” on August 23rd on Transcending Obscurity. How has the reception been so far?
Daniel: It’s gonna sound like the typical clichée, but so far the feedback has been really amazing. At the moment we answer this interview (first week of September), the album has been out for ten days and it has already appeared as some of the “best releases of August 2019”, sold many more copies than we expected and 90% of the the reviews have been truly excellent, there were only some complains about the album length, which is alright, I understand it can be a bit hard for some people to come across a few songs which last for more than 10 minutes on the debut album of a band.
George – Tell me a bit about the album. What was the creative process like and what were your biggest challenges?
Daniel: Jaime is the main songwriter of the band, he usually sends us some drafts (either demos or Guitar Pro files) and then we work on them, either on band practices or at home. I changes notes, add drums, bass and additional guitars to his drafts, modify the structures etc and then we work on the lyrics and vocals, except for “The Scarlet Lake”, which lyrics were written by Kheryon before the music.
The first bits of “Come the Tide” were written in late 2009/2010, but most of it was done between 2014/2015. The biggest challenges were finishing the album with our former drummer AWOL and with Jaime moving to Scotland, but luckily Jaime made things really easy for us and once Mateo joined us we could arrange the last bits of the songs. We are pretty patient and laid-back people, I guess other bands couldn’t have handled the process and would have just quit, but again, we are quite stubborn.
Jaime: As Daniel said, I sent the guys the main ideas and let’s say the “backbone” of the tracks, then both collectively and individually we worked on the arrangements, drum parts, keyboards, etc… Some songs, at least in their initial form, are actually quite old, such as “The Mountain” and “Of Winter and Treason”, which more or less were conceived even before our first EP “From the Ashes” was released.
George – I found it was a lot more technical and engaging than most metal albums that have an atmospheric side. Is this something you targeted in particular?
Daniel: To be honest, I don’t think our musically is particularly technical, other than the drumming. We do have a few riffs in odd time signatures and some slightly complex stuff but, we are nowhere near the level Persefone, Ne Obliviscaris or many other bands display. Of course we love many technical and proggy bands, but we try to make it sound rather natural and our main goal is the song itself, you know 😉
Jaime: Yeah, I don’t really see our music to be particularly technical either, we’re kinda sloppy with the exception of our little drummer, haha. But I see your point, I guess we all also like some more technically challenging music so even if our main aim has always been the focus on melody and atmosphere the love we have for bands like Death or Obscura somehow found a way into our songwriting.
George – Do you have any favorite songs from the album?
Daniel: My favourite track off “Come the Tide” would be “Embracing Waves”, as I feel we created a very special mood on this one, despite its considerable length. It might not display our heaviest side, but nevertheless I think it’s a good introduction to our sound and intentions.
Jaime: Embracing Waves is my favourite as well, even if it does not feature our most extreme side I think it still manages to portray the range of emotions and tones we’re going for better than the rest of the tracks.
George – One thing that I didn’t have access to yet is the lyrical content of your music. What message are you sending to your listeners?
Jaime: Well, there’s not any specific message or idea, our lyrics are more on the questioning side of things rather than asserting some particular truths. We try to make some sense of both our inner world and the reality we see around us, so there is a slight psychological/philosophical angle to our lyrics as well as some focus on society. In the end, if anything we are trying to keep a critical mind in this increasingly polarized world of today.
George – You are currently signed to a label, Transcending Obscurity. How long have you been working with them and how do you feel about the collaboration so far?
Daniel: I’ve known Kunal, the label owner, for many years, back when he was running his webzine Diabolical Conquest. Shortly later he started doing PR for a few labels I know and I heard some very good things about his work, and the same from the first few bands he started to get more serious with: Drug Honkey and Come Back From The Dead. A bit later he signed De Profundis (who we played with in 2015) and Officium Triste (who we are pretty big fans of) and I decided to give it a try. He sounded really enthusiastic, passionate and honest and on top of that the conditions were much, much better than the ones the rest of the labels we were talking with were offering, not to mention that I saw he really took care of the product presentation and of course the promotion of each release.
Even though we had to wait for a wee bit until the album was released, I can say he has put a lot of effort on our release and that we have grown tremendously thanks to his hard work.
George – How important do you think it is for a rising artist to be signed to a label? What are the ups and downs?
Daniel: It honestly depends on the goals of the band, but also the way both the band and the label work. There are many labels these days which offer you absurd conditions (paying insane amounts of money plus giving away your album rights in exchange of a poor quantity of copies and shitty promo), we were offered many of those, I can tell you. But if you find a good, honest and hardworking label with a strong promo plan then it can be a very strong ally. Not to mention that it gives you a lot of credibility in the eyes of the audience and certain promoters. But many people think that because they are signed to a certain label they don’t have to do anything, just focusing on writing songs and that’s not true at all, some bands even expect the label to book tours and festivals for them and do not understand that booking agencies and record labels usually work independently.
The pros would be that a label take a lot of weight from our shoulders (the manufacturing of the records, most of the promotion and packing and sending the preorders, in our case), as well as the chance of reaching out some of the listeners who are familiar with previous releases of the label’s roster, which in our case worked great as Transcending Obscurity Records is a very popular label these days. The main disadvantage would be sticking to the label’s schedule, but it is what it is!
George – So far you have played live with bands like The Black Dahlia Murder, Leprous, Gorguts, Septicflesh, Moonspell, and even did a small tour with Wolfheart. That’s an impressive amount of live shows before even releasing your first full length album. In a day and age when everything is moving towards the digital spectrum, including music, how important do you think it is for a band to play live?
Daniel: I would say that playing live is the most important aspect of being in a band, specially nowadays that people don’t buy music online or at shops as often as they did in the past. It’s also great to establish connections with bands or just listeners, I’ve known some of my favourite people in the world thanks to sharing the stage with them and having some absurd backstage talks! Needless to say, playing live is usually great fun and a magnet for funny situations!
George – How is the metal scene in Spain? Are there a lot of opportunities for bands to play live and expand their audience?
Daniel: In my opinion, there is no thing such as a “scene”, at least in Spain. We do have many great bands (both obscure and “famous”), some mainstream festivals and a few “boutique” festivals like Madrid is the Dark, AMFest, Move Your Fucking Brain or, until a few years ago, Be Prog! My Friend, so there are options out there, just too many bands in my opinion for a relatively small and very picky audience. Some more small/medium venues would help as well.
George – What bands would you like to tour with the most?
Daniel: We had a great time touring with Wolfheart in 2017 and wouldn’t mind doing that again, for sure. We would also love to tour with bands whose music we admire and who also happen to be great people, like Persefone, Alcest, Enslaved, Der Weg einer Freiheit, Omnium Gatherum, Foscor or Aborted. All of those guys are really funny and professional. There are other bands we barely know personally but that I think it would be cool to tour with, like Ahab, Uada or Au-Dessus.
Jaime: There are tons of interesting bands out there nowadays which I would love to play with like In Mourning, In Vain, Insomnium, etc.. but two bands I would be happy as fuck to share the stage with are Opeth and Alcest.
George – What plans do you have for the future? More shows? More music? Is there anything cooking behind the scenes that you can share?
Daniel: Right now we are completing our second full-length, which we will start tracking on January 2020 and also trying to play live as much as possible. We are doing a short European tour next month (that is, October 2019) with our friends in Totengott plus a bunch of club shows in Spain. Next year, once we have recorded the album, we will increase our live activity and will do a good bunch of festivals in Summer, so everything looks quite busy and funny for the time being.
George – You get the last word. Do you have anything else that you’d like to let our readers know? Thank you for your time and good luck onwards!
Jaime: Thanks a lot for the interview and the nice words on your review, we really appreciate it. Cheers!
Daniel: Thanks again, George! Hope you guys didn’t mind our lengthy answers, feel free to check out our stuff at eternalstorm.bandcamp.con and www.facebook.com/eternalstormofficial. Cheers!