The Eternal

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The Eternal


Riding high on the success of their 2008 release Kartika, Melbourne based outfit The Eternal are back with their fourth full-length effort Under A New Sun, which is, without a doubt, the band’s most diverse and accomplished effort to date.

Riding high on the success of their 2008 release Kartika , Melbourne based outfit The Eternal are back with their fourth full-length effort Under A New Sun , which is, without a doubt, the band’s most diverse and accomplished effort to date.

With the announcement of tour dates, and the album just days away from its official release, Beat caught up with Mark Kelson (vocals/guitar) to talk about his experiences working alongside producer Jeff Martin (ex-The Tea Party / The Armada) and the group’s upcoming tour plans.

"I think we found a sound that we were finally comfortable with on Kartika," he muses. "I think with the first couple of records we were searching for our sound, and it wasn’t until Kartika that we really found it. We really pushed for that whole dark rock side to our sound to the surface, but without forsaking that strong emotional-type edge to it all. I think we succeeded on that album. But it’s withUnder A New Sun that we can finally say that we really mastered it. We’re essentially a heavy and dark sounding rock band, and I think Under A New Sun really shows that."

Although a long time in the making, it would appear that by the feedback so far, the time spent on Under A New Sun has been worth it.

"Over the last year," Kelson explains, "we’ve played the album to people from behind the scenes, whether it’s the mastering guys, those involved in the mix or industry people in general, and they love it. So the response has been great. We should start getting a bit more of a vibe about the album from others now that the album is starting to make its way out there, but so far it’s been really positive. I hadn’t listened to it for a few months, and I put it on the other night, and I feel that it’s a pretty strong record from start to finish.

"For me," he explains, "it doesn’t dwindle into uncertainty, or wander off. Instead, the album sounds like we’re really sure about what we were doing this time around. We’ve always been a band that likes to push our sound into new areas and experiment with each new album, but I think this album is far more coherent than Kartika."

It’s no secret that Kelson is a fan of Martin’s work with The Tea Party. So it comes as no surprise to see Martin helming the production on The Eternal’s latest album.

"Getting Martin in on this project happened quite quickly. I’ve always been a big fan of The Tea Party. I mean I’d seen the band something like 15 times," he laughs, "so I was a big fan. He’s my favourite guitarist, and I love the way he managed to bring classic rock across with this overwhelming darkness. Transmission (1997) is just some of the darkest and heaviest rock I’ve ever heard, and I just love it.

"I heard that he was doing a bit of producing, which initially sparked the idea behind getting him to produce us. So I got management to send Martin a copy of Kartika and a new song. About a month later, he called me up from Ireland and in his big deep voice said, ‘I want to work on the album with you’. I was taken a bit aback. But really, it was as simple as that.

"And working with Martin was intense!" he laughs. "I think he’s one of the most amazing guitarists and singers. He’s a rock star of the old school variety. He definitely carries the flame of Jimmy Page and people like that. We hired Martin because he is a rock musician and a rock producer, and we wanted to focus more on the eastern/classic rock elements that first showed up on Kartika. Being such a huge fan, I thought he was the right man for the job, and I think the results speak for themselves."

With Under A New Sun released, it’s now the road where The Eternal will spend their time, with dates scheduled up and down the east coast and South Australia, before heading to New Zealand and finishing up in Japan.

"It’s always really hard to tour Australia, because it is a hard slog," Kelson admits. "But I’m expecting the East Brunswick show (that they’re playing this Friday) to be really good. It’s all interesting, and we’ll see what happens.

"As for New Zealand, it’ll be our first time there, and I’m really enthused by the prospect of playing over there. So far the response has been great, and we’re getting a lot of airplay over there. I had never thought of touring New Zealand before, but I’m looking forward to seeing what its like, and experiencing a bit of their culture while I’m over there.

"We’ll be finishing up this tour in Japan," Kelson adds, "which we’re looking forward to because we were really amazed last time we went over there. Our tour of Japan this time isn’t a holiday, because the day after we arrive, we’ll be doing six shows in a row before we leave again. But that’s ok.

"In terms of future touring plans, we’ll just have to wait and see. We’re hoping to jump on some other tours and keep this thing going fairly solidly, and we have some options we’re looking at as we speak. I’d love to get back over there and do another decent support tour in Europe and move some albums that way. But in the meantime we’ll be on the road until April, and we’ll see what follows next. Right now, we have our solid line-up, we have our touring behind us, and we have Under A New Sun out there. Everything everyone likes about The Eternal is all in the new album."

THE ETERNAL‘S New Album Under A New Sun is out now.