Bio: Ethernity is a Progressive Power Metal band from Belgium founded in 2000 by brothers Julien Spreutels (keyboards – Epysode) and Nicolas Spreutels (drums). The band played as an instrumental band before recruiting Julie Colin (vocals) in 2005 and recorded their first demo « All Over The Nations » and a self-produced demo-album « The Journey » in 2006. In 2007, Ethernity welcomed Gregory Discenza on lead guitar and 2 other demos followed : « Quest of Forgiveness » in 2008 and « Broken Memories » in 2010.
At that point, the band found its actual sound and played in most renowned venues in Belgium, sharing the bill with acts like Tarja Turunen, Epica, Girlschool, Benedictum, Sons of Seasons, Tarot, Europe, HammerFall, Edguy, GammaRay, Rage, Vandenplas, Evil Masquerade, Nightmare,
Jorn, Rhapsody of Fire, DGM, Masterplan, Freak Kitchen, Symphony X, Evergrey,… In 2013, Ethernity started to work on their debut album « Obscure Illusions » which was mixed and mastered by Simone Mularoni (DGM, Empyrios) at Domination Studio (IT). The title track features 3 special guests singers: Tom E. Englund (Evergrey), Kelly Sundown Carpenter (Firewind, Outworld, Beyond Twilight) and Mark Basile (DGM).
Hey guys and girl! Thanks for taking some time for this interview!
Nicolas: Hi! Thanks for your interest into Ethernity!
-From the startup of the band back in 2000, the band made a huge evolution. What can you tell us about the starting year?
Nicolas: The music we were playing during the early years of the band was really far away from how Ethernity sounds nowadays! We were really beginners! We decided to buy instruments and make music together but we didn’t really know how to play! We called the band Ethernity almost immediately. We took some lessons and months after months we started to write our very first songs. We played like this as an instrumental garage band during 4 years. The music was way simpler than now, but it was already what you can call melodic metal.
-After some years, Julie was added to the band as lead vocal. Was that the plan all along? Becoming a female fronted band?
Nicolas: There wasn’t really a plan. We were searching for someone to sing on our stuff. We first tried a few guy, as we were more into bands like Stratovarius and Sonata Arctica. Those guys were more screaming than singing to be honnest! The thing is that in Belgium you don’t see very often clean singing male vocalists. That’s why we started to look after a girl. We tried out a few of them but they were more into what I would call operatic kind of singing which is not really our cup of tea. One day, we heard Julie in the school where we were taking music lessons and we asked her to come to one of our rehearsals. That’s how the band’s music started to sound a bit more like it is now.
-2006 was an important year, the debut album, ‘The Journey’, was in the making. What can you tell us about that album and the production of it?
Nicolas: The Journey was done with little means. We recorded the drums and vocals in a small studio held by some friends. We managed to record the guitars, bass and keyboards by our own means and then, we mixed it in the studio. At the time we called it an album but now, with the experience, this one sounds more like a long demo of a young band. The music was way more cheesy and more keyboards oriented. We’re still proud of what we achieved at that time but it’s far from what we’ve done recently with Obscure Illusions.
-In 2008 more studiowork, this time with an EP/Demo. Why the choice for a Demo after having released a debut album 2 years before?
Nicolas: Like I’ve said, The Journey sounded more like a demo to us and as we welcomed Greg as lead guitar player in 2007, our music changed and started to sound more like our main purpose. This lineup change allowed us to start writing the music we had in mind. The band evolved a lot technically and we started to experiment the world of home studios. We decided to record ourselves some of the new tracks we put together. This was way to have an update about how the band sounded with the new lineup before recording a real album.
-The second album eventually followed soon after. With many great shows played in that year and after.
Nicolas: After those demos, we indeed played live a bit more. We had the chance to play on some cool stages at Metal Female Voices Festival and PPM Fest. We also opened for a bunch of cool bands. We met a lot of people who also gave us some advices and helped us in way to gain some experience and maturity.
-And now, a new album is in the pipeline and ready to be launched into the metal scene! Congrats for that! Anything you can say about the sound of the newest album?
Nicolas: Thanks! It’s an achievement I would say! We worked a lot to make this one and we’re proud of it! We worked something like 3 years on it between writing the songs, the recording sessions and then finding a way to release it. With Obscure Illusions, it’s really a new start for the band. We now have a good sounding album which represents the band in a good way. It sounds darker than anything else we’ve released before. It’s also more progressive without being too excessive for this style of music. We also tried to show all the faces of the band. Some songs are kinda aggressive, some are more progressive and some are softer. We also decided to work with Simone Mularoni from DGM for the mix and mastering and it was definitely a good choice! He made a hell of a job on it! There’s also the title track which is almost 15 minutes long and on which we have 3 special guest vocalists in the names of Tom Englund of Evergrey, Kelly Sundown Carpenter of Beyond Twilight, Firewind and Mark Basile of DGM. This piece was really challenging to write and to record. We’re really happy of the result!
-What’s on the menu after the album release? Live shows from back to back? I guess you guys can’t wait to play the new stuff live on stage!
Nicolas: Now, we’re looking for some live shows of course. We want to play as much as we can to make people discover our band. There are some new songs on the album, which haven’t been played live before, but also a bunch of tracks that we were also playing before. You always have to start from something I guess. We played the songs live but each time somebody wanted to buy a cd, those songs were not on it. Now this problem is solved J We also plan to work very soon on new material as there’s an hunger for new stuff in band right now! With the next album, things will be different. We’ll keep the songs secret until its release.
-Now, each band we interview, we ask this question and in the past, the answers have been great, surprising and sometimes disturbing. Each band, has a WTF moment in the past… Crazy fans, stalkers, tourvan breakdowns or stage faillures. To make the question short, what WTF-story will Ethernity remember for many many years to come?
Nicolas: There’s one gig we made some years ago. I’ll keep the name of the festival secret :-p Everything was very chaotic from start to finish. The guys wanted us to be headliner for their festival. We were kinda surprised but we accepted. We were kinda naïve at the time. They sold themselves by saying that there’s gonna be 2 big stages and some fireworks for us as the last band playing. We were kinda excited! In the end, we were playing in a truck, they had 2 hours of delay on the program and even it was in May, it was very cold. We played around 2am, in front of 10 people. Everybody left because they were freezing. During the gig, a random guy presents himself like the manager of the band to the promoters. I don’t remember the details but the promoter were kinda beginners too so they gave him our money! After the show, we packed our gear in cars and went back home disappointed. That’s where we landed into a massive police control in the middle of the highway where they were checking all cars for drugs. We had to wait there for a long moment before being able to continue our way. That’s what I call a bad luck day! Now we’re making fun of it!
-Being a female fronted band, how does that work for you Julie? Can you handle the boys on stage? Or, can they handle you?
Julie: Actually, I’ve never really thought about it. I am a honest person and I think my character fits well with the guys. On stage, I think the gender is not a major factor. We just headbang together and that’s all that matters. Music and friendship comes before the rest. It’s true that sometimes I feel a bit lonely surrounded by all these guys but in the end, I also think they have to deal with me too! So it’s a matter of give and take, so to speak.J
-Grégory, we have met you before while playing with Komah. The contrast between Ethernity and Komah is big isn’t it? What made you go for a project like Ethernity?
Grégory: Yes indeed! The contrast is big. I listen to a lot of different metal styles. I can switch from Symphony X and Dream Theater to Hatebreed and Testament and many others without problem. My goal is to take pleasure in what I do and in these two bands, I find my groove. Ethernity allows me to develop myself in another universe where I can develop my guitar playing by making solos for example. In Komah, I develop more the intention and the dynamics of my playing. Things that are complementary to me.
-Keyboards, bass and drums seem to be a Spreutels-family affair! 3 family members in one band, that must give great Christmas diner conversations!
Nicolas: Yes it is! Plus Julie and I are married! Julien and I are brothers and François is our cousin. Our fathers are playing in a Hard Rock/Heavy Metal band since at least 40 years! That’s how the virus was spread! As we were always together since we’re kids, we also wanted to buy instruments and play music together J It’s true that some diners are kinda music oriented but we’re just a family before anything else and we’re very united!
-Before we depart ways, what’s there to be expected from you in the future?
Nicolas: You can expect to see us live a bit more now hopefully! It’s bit hard to say right now how things will turn but we hope to have some good opportunities. Things are already moving way more since the album is out! We also don’t plan to wait so long to put some new music out!
-In one sentence, why should people come check you out live asap?
Nicolas: First of all to support the local scene! There’s not a lot a lot of Progressive Metal bands around in Belgium! If you want a good dose of energy and melody in a good mood, come and check us!
Ok you guys! Thanks for your time and I wish you all the success for 2015!
Nicolas: Thanks a lot for the interview!